Tim Simmons said:
"Mostly I think that people react sensitively because they know you’ve got a point"
The Monsanto Years (2015). Neil brings in Willie Nelsons son’s band and it sounds Crazy Horse-esque. I dug them alot when I saw Neil in Berlin in 2016. And I thought both Seed Justice (not featured on the album) and People Want to Hear About Love were... fun. But I don’t like this album. Nowadays when Neil wants to protest he sounds mostly cranky. And a record about GMOs should have maybe been just an EP and maybe been given away for free with a ticket to Farm Aid. Promise of the Real sounds great with Neil - I doubt I will put on this album too often though...
Cool interview with Rolling Stone today
How does it feel to have the archives up and running?
It feels great. It's a labor of love. For people to be able to hear it, and to have your magazine recognize the sound, it's amazing. It has to be amazing because it's the best digital sound in the world. That's what we have. We just found a way for everybody to hear it. Spotify and Tidal haven't figured it out yet, but we figured it out.
Well, I have a friend in Singapore who figured it out for me. [Laughs] But it's really simple. It's adaptive bitrate streaming. Spotify has two levels of streaming. Apple has a couple levels. Tidal's upper levels are higher than everyone else's. It's almost CD quality. The whole thing there is based on 20th century technology where people were trying to compress files to save memory. We don't have to do that anymore. That's over. This is the 21st century. Those companies have two or three levels - we have 15,000 levels. So the music has 15,000 levels that it can play back on at any given time.
What’s your role with it?
I’m on the phone with them 24/7 talking about different categories. Different things we’re doing; ways we’re gonna improve the service. The subscriptions are going to be great. There will still be a free level where you can hear my 10 best most popular streaming albums of the day for nothing.
When will you start charging?
We have to start charging by June because [that's when] our deal ends. We made a deal for six months, free everything. Then the subscription starts, which is always the kiss of death because when people find out they have to pay for it… But our price is going to be so low, and we give them all my music in high-res and all the information and movies and videos and everything you get from the archives. We’ve only loaded about 25 percent of what we have.
Are there a few things that you hadn't heard in a long time that jump out to you as great?
Broken Arrow [Crazy Horse's 1996 album]. That's a hell of a record. Some songs on there — "This Town." I really love that record. There's a great video Tim Pope made that I don't think anybody's really seen. "Scattered" is another one I really like. That's the first record I made after my producer David Briggs died. So it means a lot to me. These records are all about what was happening at the time and i love having them there where I can dive in and check out different records for their tone. Zuma is a good one that I like. We also have Dume coming – from Point Dume. It's another take on Zuma, which has six unreleased Zuma tracks, but slightly different. So there's a lot of things coming.
It must be interesting to see all the work you've done, laid out in front of you in one place.
It’s pretty unbelievable, really. I try not to focus on it too much - it starts in 1963 and it’s 2018. I try to be mellow on that.
You don't like to look back.
You have to for this. And it’s great. We have our crazy little charts and I’m Number One all the time. [Laughs] But “Aurora” and “The Sultan” [by the Squires] were in the Top Ten for the first couple weeks. Seeing those records I made with my high school band up there with Harvest, that was pretty cool. People call it a chart. Mostly me. I make it for myself. I have a lot of fun with the site.
Do you have plans to how to roll this out?
That's a challenge. We're coming up with it. There's gonna be two tiers. When you pay, it's gonna be 20 percent of what you pay for any other service. It's gonna be really low. You get everything in the archives in high-res. If you don't [pay for] that, you still get my 10 most popular albums and browse through al the information.
Are you done with physical box sets at this point?
No…The record company really wants me to put out another one and we’ve prepared a Volume Two and it’s almost there. Unfortunately my art director Gary Burden died last week. He’s been with me for 50 years. Yeah, it’s sad. He was gonna do the book and the cover and all that. He was working on it. His wife Jenice is still here and she’s gonna help us finish it. You know, times are changing. We have to put it out with the compromised sound of a CD. It's not gonna sound as good as the website, but you can take it with you. But you can stream it too on your phone. If you’ve got a good set of phones with a digital-analog converter built into the bones, you plug it into your lightning output and you’re gonna hear 24/192 right there.
And you’re gonna keep playing with Promise of the Real this year.
Yeah. we’re doing Arroyo Seco [in Pasadena, California]. We’re playing Quebec. And we’re playing Farm Aid. That’s what I have figured out right now. I don’t have it in me to do another tour of barns, stadiums or anything like that right now. Maybe next year I’ll do that. I’ve got so many things to do with the archives. I’m working on that and I’m working on a book. I’m finishing a novel that I’m working on.
A lot of other major artists have announced retirement tours lately.
I'm going out with Cher. Cher and I are doing a retirement tour. [Laughs]"Neil and Cher." When I retire, people will know, because I'll be dead. They'll know, "He's not coming back! He retired." But I'm not gonna say, "I'm not coming back." What kind of bullshit is that? I could go out and play if I felt like it, but I don't feel like it. I've got a great band. I've got two great bands - I've got Promise of the Real and Crazy Horse. They're both great bands and they're different. But they both can play a lot of shit. Promise of the Real plays almost anything I can do. And they're great. they got the energy, everything. Everybody on that stage has the vibe. There's not one ounce of fear anywhere.
You wrote recently that the door is not closed on Crazy Horse.
Well, we have an incredible album that’s in the can that’s a recent album. Alchemy. Then we have a 2001 album, Toast. We have a 1969/70 album, early days, which is a lot of stuff nobody’s heard. So when I do go out, I have things to put out there. Right now, I’m not ready to tour right now. I have a funny feeling in my body that I listen to, and it just says no. It will say yes when it’s ready. I’m just listening to the muse, and the muse just says take a break.
1995- New Orleans, LA : New Orleans, LA
1996- Charleston, SC
1998- Atlanta, GA: Birmingham, AL: Greenville, SC: Knoxville, TN
2000- Atlanta, GA: New Orleans, LA: Memphis, TN: Nashville, TN
2003- Raleigh, NC: Charlotte, NC: Atlanta, GA
2004- Asheville, NC (hometown show)
2006- Cincinnati, OH
2008- Columbia, SC
2009- Chicago, IL x 2 / Ed Vedder- Atlanta, GA x 2
2010- Bristow, VA
2011- Alpine Valley, WI (PJ20) x 2 / Ed Vedder- Chicago, IL
2012- Atlanta, GA
2013- Charlotte, NC
2014- Cincinnati, OH
2015- New York, NY
2016- Greenville, SC: Hampton, VA:: Columbia, SC: Raleigh, NC : Lexington, KY: Philly, PA 2: (Wrigley) Chicago, IL x 2 (holy shit): Temple of the Dog- Philly, PA
2017- ED VED- Louisville, KY
2018- Chicago, IL x2, Boston, MA x2
2020- Nashville, TN
2023- Austin, TX x2
Visitor LP on sale for 8 USD. Amazon.com
Is Visitor worth it? I previewed a few of the songs and some aren’t very good
Hitchhiker (2017). It’s just amazing that this was released 40 years after being recorded. It’s really special. Great versions of all these songs. Nothing in this world beats Youngs 70s voice.
Did not see this coming...
What??? is this an April Fools joke?
NY & CH?
there still might be hope for a tour this year!!!
Awesome news! I think I just peed a little.