Neil Young
13 Days of Neil
RustWorks, Vol. 8
Out of the Blue

I recently acquired Chris Davis’ fantastic Jerry Garcia compilation, “8 Days of Jerome” and thought that somebody should do the same for Neil Young. Well, taking my own advice I embarked on this little project in May 2011 and, hoping others will enjoy it, decided to share. The title, “13 Days of Neil” is an obvious rip-off from Chris and Neil (Lucky 13), but feel free to call it whatever you want. Neil’s birthday is on the 11/12 and this set contains 14 volumes. Yeah, it makes no sense.

Vol. 8: Out of the Blue “Instead, Young stalks the stage like a slightly seedy James Stewart/Henry Fonda type moving in arhythmic bobs and weaves, he sometimes seems to be performing a near-tribal dance-and guides us through a raft of new (or at least unreleased) material: "Out of the Blue and into the Black," "Thrasher," "Shots," "Pocahontas," "Sail Away," "Ride My Llama" ("an extraterrestrial folk song"),"The Ways of Love." Of these, I'd bet at least two are masterpieces. "Out of the Blue and into the Black" is about-well, here are some of the words: My my, hey hey, rock & roll is here to stay, It's better to burn out than to fade away...The king is gone but he's not forgotten. This is the story of Jonny Rotten...Hey hey, my my, rock & roll can never die. There's more to the picture than meets the eye...*And "Thrasher" a complex and incredibly touching song about friendship, duty, work and death, I'd guess after four listenings sounded even better, especially on the twelve string guitar.” (Paul Nelson, Rolling Stone, 7/27/78)

The one stop World Tour was a(nother) turning point in Neil’s career. We begin with the debut of My My Hey Hey on the opening night of the San Francisco Boarding House run. The officially released Shots pales in comparison to the sublime acoustic rendition. Ride My Llama is maybe the “funnest” song Neil’s ever written. Along with the Boarding House tunes, this volume felt like the right place to put the acoustic Hurricane, Lookout For My Love, Sad Movies, Kansas, Lost in Space and the strangely uplifting Depression Blues. The understated acoustic Southern Man communicates sadness and despair just as effectively as its angry electric counterpart. We end with the classic Hank story and the asshole who tries to interrupt Neil. Any true Rustie would know better.

My My Hey Hey (debut, San Francisco, 1978-05-24)
Shots (San Francisco, 1978-05-27L)
Ride My Llama (San Francisco, 1978-05-27L)
Lookout For My Love (Linz, 2003-05-04)
Like a Hurricane (Philadelphia, 1992-03-24)
Lost in Space (Dublin, 2009-06-21)
Thrasher (debut, San Francisco, 1978-05-24E)
Thrasher (San Francisco, 1978-05-27L)
Sad Movies (Washington, DC, 2007-11-15)
Campaigner (Studio, 1976)
Kansas (Washington, DC, 2007-11-16)
Pocahontas (New York, 1999-04-19)
Southern Man (Live Oak, 1997-08-23)
*Powderfinger (debut, San Francisco, 1978-05-26L)
Depression Blues (New York, 1992-02-17)
Shaddup, Asshole-Don't Let it Bring You Down (Philadelphia, 1999-04-24)

The selection process for this compilation was quite simple. I attempted to pace the songs in a loose chronological order, creating counterpoint with slow and uptempo tunes, and above all include versions of songs that I can enjoy over and over. In that sense, this is more of a retrospective than a greatest hits or best of compilation. Basically, it’s just a bunch of songs that just seem to go well together. Of course, the fact that Neil is so prolific made this project fairly mind-boggling simply in terms of available material. Clearly, I avoided any officially released material, or any that was likely to be released in the foreseeable future.

This collection is also a showcase for the great people and bands with whom Neil has played over the years: Danny, Bert, Nicolette, all those Nashville players, Crazy Horse, the Stray Gators and Santa Monica Flyers, the Springfield, CSN, Pegi. Listen closely and you’ll hear all of them at one point or another. This goes out to Long Grain in particular. If not for Ben Keith, I fear there would be no Neil Young as we’ve come to know, and love, him.

A word about compilations: I compiled these performances for my personal listening pleasure, and share them for the same reason. There are many Neil Young compilations available out there: “Archives be Damned 2000” (and 2006), “Acoustic Masterpieces,” “A Perfect Echo.” Of course, the one must-have compilation is the officially released “Archives.” Nothing beats the original tracks themselves. This compilation is not meant to replace any of the aforementioned. It, simply, is what it is.

I urge you to seek out the original performances (they’re all available somewhere). Thank you so much to the original tapers and uploaders and all who share this great music (what we do here at DIME is a rare and precious thing). And, of course, thanks, Neil.

November 2011

Lineage: All recordings obtained from various torrent sites (DIME, Trader’s Den, HungerCity, TapeCity, Zomb): FLAC > WAV > CD-R > FLAC (8) > DIME
Notes on Sound Quality: All Audience Recordings except as noted, the SQ is Excellent to Excellent+ throughout except*
*SQ is Fair to good
Convert to lossy for personal use only
Please support this artist-purchase official recordings, attend live performances regularly, and visit the websites:

RustWorks, Vol. 1: Sugar Mountain
RustWorks, Vol. 2: Heart of Gold
RustWorks, Vol. 3: Tired Eyes
RustWorks, Vol. 4: On the Beach
RustWorks, Vol. 5: Interstate
RustWorks, Vol. 6: This Old Guitar
RustWorks, Vol. 7: Let it Shine
RustWorks, Vol. 8: Out of the Blue
RustWorks, Vol. 9: Into the Black
RustWorks, Vol. 10: Transformer Man
RustWorks, Vol. 11-Part I: Don’t Spook the Horse
RustWorks, Vol. 11-Part II: Don’t Spook the Horse
RustWorks, Vol. 12: Stringman
RustWorks, Vol. 13: Borrowed Tune
RustWorks, Vol. 14: Looking Forward