Neil Young’s Archives, Part 1

NYA

NYA

Neil Young, “Archives Volume 1, 1963-1972″, 11DVD box – I don’t know what you’ve read about Neil Young’s Archives, but it’s probably the coolest thing you can spend your money on. Yes, we know it’s meticulous, and it’s been decades in the making, but the experience of owning a copy is really something unforgettable. First of all, when the 12 discs arrive (10 DVDs and 2 CDs), the box set is really huge. So big you wonder if it will fit on the shelf. The set won a grammy for best art direction on a box set, and it’s easy to see why.

The Box:

You open it from the top, and it has a strange little magnetic tug to it. At the top of the box set is a 236-page book that is tall and thin, it has a fake leather jacket that is really beautiful that shows some sort of forest-at-sunset scene. While the music covers the 1963-1972 period, the book starts in 1945, when Neil is born (actually, even before that, as it shows pictures of Neil’s parents). The book has no text, just lots of pictures, lyrics, doodles, coffee stains and newspaper clippings. It offers a beat-abstract journey through Neil’s life focusing on the substance without all of the vanities.

Next up is a slim poster that is presented like a filing cabinet that contains all of the songs in the set.

After that, there’s the crazy box of 10 discs numbered from zero to nine with neat little magnetic fasteners. The discs are gatefold CDs that generally have pics all over them, with no booklets. We pop the first one in and we see a nice title screen with the promise of “Play All”, “Song Selection”, “More” and “Set Up”. When you select any of the first one you get the songs, when you select the second one you get the filing cabinet, and depending on what you click on you may get various multi-media, you get into the songs, and you might get photo galleries. “Early Years” is a family album. Selecting a song will get you a title card, with all the vital statistics. When you click on the “play” triangle you get a picture of a turntable with the song playing. If you want, you can watch the turntable spin, there are interesting things nearby like sheet music. The rest of the songs on the first CD are like this, although they change a bit – sometimes they are turntables, but they may also be reel-to-reels of various sorts. All of the other CDs contain various multimedia presentations, it will take ages to explore them.

Here are some pics I took of the various discs and their covers:

Neil Young Archives, Disc 0-Disc 3, Outside artwork

Neil Young Archives, Disc 0-Disc 3, Outside artwork

Neil Young Archives, Disc 0-Disc 3, Inside artwork

Neil Young Archives, Disc 0-Disc 3, Inside artwork

Neil Young Archives, Disc 4-Disc 7, Outside artwork

Neil Young Archives, Disc 4-Disc 7, Outside artwork

Neil Young Archives, Disc 4-Disc 7, Inside artwork

Neil Young Archives, Disc 4-Disc 7, Inside artwork

Neil Young Archives, Disc 8 and 9, extra CD/DVD, Outside artwork

Neil Young Archives, Disc 8 and 9, extra CD/DVD, Outside artwork

Neil Young Archives, Disc 8 and 9, extra CD/DVD, Inside artwork

Neil Young Archives, Disc 8 and 9, extra CD/DVD, Inside artwork

Here’s what all the discs look like. Neil tried to get most of them to resemble vinyl somehow.

The faces of all the CDs in the Neil Young Archive Part 1

The faces of all the CDs in the Neil Young Archive Part 1

The final component is a black box/drawer, which contains three items: a notepad from the Whiskey A Go-Go that says “Speaking Pad”, which appears to have on it written in pencil the words:

“IF YOU ARE
A SPEAKING
PAD – WHY DON’T
YOU SAY SOMETHING
?!??!?”, followed by the words written in pen in what looks like Neil’s handwriting “(Uhh?”)”

The box also contains a CD and DVD version of “Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House 1968″, part of the “Neil Young Archives Performance Series”. It also comes with a card that contains a code that is supposed to let you download all of the songs on the collection (since most of the music is on DVDs you can’t rip them to your iTunes), but my code is defective and wouldn’t download – could it be that they aren’t allowing downloads over the US Thanksgiving weekend? Maybe.

…well, sure enough, on the Tuesday after the weekend it worked. Downloadable are 125 songs only. The DVDs have easter eggs of a further 12 songs (hidden tracks), and if you own the Blu-ray version you get even more songs available for download when you want them.

There’s just so much here. The box itself is gorgeous, made to look like something that is classic, tattered, decaying, yet vibrant and defiant. There is even stuff printed on the bottom of the box. Neil’s image is everywhere, as are motifs of his name, down to the name wrapping around the box itself (I guess when there are four boxes you can arrange them together any side you want to form his whole name, giving you a $1,000 Neil Young wall) and the main material is old newspaper clippings. The box top sows a hand of eight cards with pictures of Neil through the years, from a young boy to the Neil Young and After The Gold Rush covers and beyond. Inside the lid is an early ad for a gig starring “Swinging Neil Young and the Squires”.

Slotted in the top of the box is space for the 236-page book, the poster, the 10-disc keeper, and the black box that contains the download card/code, the speaking pad and the Sugar Mountain CD+DVD.

The book:

The 236-page book is a great document: the first 181 pages are images, there are 34 pages of listings of Neil’s catalogued song archive, then 19 pages of credits for the songs, the images in the book, and the box set production. The images portion of the books is without text but full of reproductions of photos, lyrics sheets, newspaper clippings, letters and telexes, souvenirs and other stuff, all with maps of the local region as a background. The catalogue of archived songs is a coffee-stained sheet of all of the songs Neil wrote or recorded (with alternate versions, of course) that indicates which songs went into this project and which didn’t (for example, in addition to the six songs by The Squires that are on this release, there’s seven other songs listed, which were either not recorded or where the tape is lost). At the very end are the full credits of all the songs, full photo credits and explanation of the photos, box production credits, and all sorts of other groovy stuff. I’m glad that they made the decision to not have an essay running throughout, since these things are often just pap (the essays that accompany the otherwise-fantastic Robert Plant and John Lennon solo career retrospective boxes I bought recently are either nothing new or just a bit too sparkly).

Since there’s no essay, the pictures and lyrics sheets tell their own story, the former more than the latter. At the beginning we get a picture of Neil’s maternal grandfather taken in 1910 (notes at the end tell what’s going on in all of the images for interested parties; anyone else can just enjoy the images for what they looks like), then a portrait of his father as a young man in 1937, pictures of Neil’s birth mother, his birth parents’ wedding picture, and then four pages in the first pictures of Neil, four years old wearing a cowboy hat, or fishing in a river, or with his brother Bob. There’s also a clipping from a newspaper about his town in Ontario called Omemee, which is not too far from Peterborough, that shows him holding up a gigantic fish, a muskie, that is as long as he is tall. There’s a school picture that shows a kid with weird eyes and a toothy smile that is distinctly recognisable as the Neil Young we all know and love. There are pics of Neil in school, with his family, on the beach (ha ha), on a dock, fishing, with his dog, with his fellow high school yearbook staffers, or wearing his “Canadian Freeloaders Society” jacket. A picture of his dog by the porch screen door when he is ten years old is particularly compelling for me – my own son is nearly ten himself and the size of the kids is about the same. The first picture of Neil with a guitar is at the time of his junior high school graduation in 1961 when he was 15.

Soon we get music-related pictures, and there’s the first-known picture of Neil’s band The Squires, from December 1962 when Neil had just turned 17. Then there’s the label from their first single, “Aurora”, released in 1963, set lists, early reviews, set lists, cord charts, an audiotape cover, gig announcements that include the Squires along with acts like Judy Scott, Phil Sanchez, Chad Allen, Miss Mickey Allen, and Lenny Breau. There’s a rare photo of Neil with a girlfriend, Pam Smith, a picture of his famous hearse “Mort” from April, 1965 that The Squires toured in, and a great pic of a 20-year-old Neil standing next to a highway marquee that said “Neil Young to nite” in the summer of 1965. There’s a full letter to his mom when he was staying at “Bunny’s mother’s” in Toronto that includes a message in beautiful handwriting from Bunny herself. From page 42 onwards, Neil is in California, and there’s a picture with the Buffalo Springfield from June 1966, with the famous speaking pad and a ticket from the Whisky ‘A-Go-Go. On page 53 there’s a picture of a Buffalo Springfield guitar pick, which the end credits describe as “Buffalo Springfield guitar pick found by Ron Perfit many years ago in Richie Furay’s couch in Colorado.” There are lyrics for an unfinished Buffalo Springfield song “Scarborough High”, other snatches of unpublished lyrics “There’s a Girl I That I Knew”, clippings of a drug bust that nabbed Neil, Paul Furay, James Messina, as well as Eric Clapton, described as “a guitarist for another rock group known as ‘The Creams.’” There’s articles about the Buffalo Springfield’s breakup, then the solo era starts with a picture of his Topanga Canyon house, lyrics sheets for “Birds”, “Last Trip To Tulsa”, and lyrics and chords for a song called “Here We Are In The Years.” The rest of the book is newspaper articles, the odd photo, concert posters or sleeves for singles, and you see Neil’s hair getting real long. Then he’s in a group with Crosby, Stills and Nash with tons of pictures, sometimes with Joni Mitchell, there are concert programmes, and then the Crazy Horse era begins. Nice pictures of Neil playing with Danny Whitten, covers of Time and Life showing the Kent State murders. There is also a column from Neil’s dad Scott Young describing the feeling of seeing his son play Carnegie Hall, along with a concert poster, and an ad showing that season’s Carnegie Hall schedule (Neil Diamond played Carnegie Hall a few weeks before him, Pete Seeger and Judy Collins played separately the weeks after). Then there are also pictures from his new Broken Arrow Ranch, one of them together with Louie Grappi, his forman and the inspiration for the song “Old Man”. There is a series of photos taken in September 1971 when Neil was recording “Harvest” with the Stray Gators, including a particularly cool one of Neil sitting slumped in a wooden chair in a room with sunlight streaming through the windows, with his long scraggly hair and checked flannel shirt where he looks particularly insane, or like a young Kurt Cobain. There’s also a great picture of Neil in a Nashville junkyard on October 2nd 1971 standing next to a mountainous pile of flattened cars (at one point cars are stacked nine high in the cropped picture – don’t know how high up it went).

One complaint about the book – it’s kind of stinky! It has a weird chemical/onion stench to it. I hope it doesn’t give anyone headaches/allergies/cancer. I wonder what it’s coming from?

The music:

Musically, on the DVDs and the MP3 downloads, the story starts with Neil’s first band, the Squires, and two jaunty surf instrumentals that they do, “Aurora” and “The Sultan”. There’s nothing to suggest Neil Young is in this band, but the third song, “I Wonder”, has vocals, and it sounds like an early version of “Don’t Cry No Tears” from Zuma. The first disc warms up with six songs by the Squires, all of which are written by Neil Young (in fact, his first co-writing credit comes in 1966, “Kahuna Sunset”, which he wrote with Stephen Stills, which is a surf instrumental as well). That’s followed by three songs recorded with Comrie Smith (of whom little is known, except that after he played with Neil he also played in the mid-sixties with a Vancouver band called 3′s A Crowd), seven solo songs, and then a bit of the Buffalo Springfield era. The Squires songs sound very old, surf jingles, and the ones with vocals sound pleasant and naive. The Comrie Smith songs are a mixed bag: the first one is a blues rap, the second one is country, and the third one is the jangly guitar rock of the day. The set of songs performed by only Neil Young starts off with the first sign of the Neil we know, demos recorded in New York in December of 1965 of “Sugar Mountain” (when he played it at the Canterbury on November 9th and 10th, 1968 he claimed he’d written the song five years earlier but not played for four-and-a-half years) and “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing” (which he recorded with The Buffalo Springfield) with just Neil on guitar and vocal. That’s followed by four previously unreleased songs. “Runaround Babe” sounds like a very typical Neil Young acoustic jangler, as is “The Ballad Of Peggy Grover”, which sounds not too different from “I Wonder”/”Don’t Cry No Tears” (it incorporates parts of each song). “The Rent Is Always Due” is “I Am A Child” with different lyrics, but has a bit of a Bob Dylan/protest song element to the lyrics and vocal presentation. “Extra, Extra” is a simple acoustic song that’s a bit dull. The entire box has about 16 previously unreleased songs that the public is hearing here for the first time.

Following the early years, there’s Buffalo Springfield songs, either in a Neil Young solo version (“Down, Down, Down” is an early version of “Broken Arrow” – the former was recorded in 1966 and the latter released in 1967). Songs from the Buffalo Springfield albums that are not on the archive are included as “hidden songs”, which means digging through the DVDs to find the clues and clicking on them. There’s a fantastic unreleased song called “Sell Out” that is like a Bob Dylan diss, but has the full-on Neil Young in Buffalo Springfield attack. Not all of Neil’s Buffalo Springfield songs are here from the original versions (he had five on the first album, three on the second, two on the third… we could see where that was going), but among the hidden tracks are plenty of Stephen Stills songs. Left off entirely is “It’s So Hard To Wait”, which he co-wrote with Richie Furay. There’s also an instrumental called “Slowly Burning”, recorded during the Buffalo Springfield years, but with other musicians. “One More Time” is a Neil Young solo song, mellow, played just on an acoustic guitar, but was included on a Buffalo Springfield box set.

The treatment of Neil Young’s proper solo career starts off with “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere”, a promotional single released in 1968 around the time of his first solo album that eventually became the title track of his second release. The promo version is recorded without Crazy Horse, who became his band with the second release – it is shorter and a bit thinner. The set contains three versions of the song – the promo single, the album version, and a live release from the Filmore. It also contains three versions of “Birds”, a song from “After The Gold Rush” that I never particularly liked because of all the yucky harmonizing. An early version is done with guitar and some busy drumming (so-so), there’s the slow B-side of a non-LP single of August, 1969, done as a band number, it is shorter than the eventual version from “After The Gold Rush” (it’s getting there); better yet is the solo acoustic version from Live at the Canterbury House, Ann Arbor, Michigan, November 9th and 10th, 1968, which has no annoying elements (harmonizing, busy drumming, etc).

The set contains four live concerts: the Canterbury House show, Live at the Riverboat, Toronto, recorded February 7-9 1969, Live at the Fillmore East in New York March 6-7, 1970 and Live at Massey Hall, Toronto, January 19th 1971. Each of the concerts comes on its own DVD (or in the case of the Canterbury show, on a CD and a DVD). There are a few “straggler” live songs added, such as Neil singing with Crosby, Stills and Nash at Woodstock, a blistering little number called “Sea of Madness”. There’s also a number that Neil learned in church that he claims he doesn’t know who wrote it, a hokey number called “It Might Have Been” that he played with Crazy Horse at the Music Hall in Cincinnati, February 25th, 1970. Then there are two more numbers with Crosby, Stills and Nash – “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”, which would be released on “After The Gold Rush” on August 31st 1970, performed at the Fillmore East in New York City on June 5th, 1970, and “Tell Me Why”, also from “After The Gold Rush”, performed exactly one month later at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago. There’s also Neil playing “See The Sky About To Rain” solo, with voice and piano, at The Cellar Door in Washington, DC, December 1-2, 1970, and “Heart of Gold” recorded solo with vocal, guitar and harmonica at UCLA on January 30th, 1971.

The concerts are all nice, with plenty of between-song banter. When Neil performs solo (Canterbury House, The Riverboat, Massey Hall) he tends to have spaced-out raps that are either self-pitying or just plain funny, while he tends to also groove with repartee with Crosby, Stills and Nash. With Crazy Horse, like the Fillmore East set, there is nearly no between-song banter at all. And less nonsense – the set is blistering, particularly 12 minutes of “Down By The River” and a 16-minute long concert closer “Cowgirl In The Sand” and (although when the band walks offstage you hear the first snatches of a very anticlimactic “Sweet Baby James” coming over the PA).

The DVDs:

There are 10 DVDs in this set, and opening each one of them is like opening up a birthday present. Most of them provide the same features: Play All, Song Selection, More, Set Up.

  • Pressing “Play All” lets you “watch” the songs being played. If they are singles, you get to see the single spinning on a turntable; if they are album tracks, you get to see the LP, and if they are unreleased you get to see reel-to-reels. The hi fi equipment is of the era (i.e. looking vintage), and there are plenty of close-ups of the spinning vinyl for the vinyl fetishists. Surrounding the hi-fi equipment are pictures and news clippings that are relevant to the song.
  • Pressing “Song Selection” opens up the filing cabinet and you see the songs that are on the disc. If you select one, it gives you the option of seeing Photos (if any are available), Documents (if any are available), Press (if any is available) and Memorabilia (if any is available).  You also see full albums, and if you click on that you get a simple card that describes all of the when, where, why and who. You also get TV spots (video), radio spots (audio), lyrics and some LP summaries.
  • Pressing “More” gives you a sub-sub-menu that shows “Neil Young Biography” (giving the context of the disc and its timeframe), “Web Info” (a dead end; probably this is for Blu-Ray buyers), “Timeline” (an amazing interactive map that spans the wedding of Neil Young’s parents in 1945 to October 1973. Shows global events ((JFK assassination, etc) recording industry events (Les Paul’s first guitar), bands, shows, recordings and all sorts of other milestones.
  • Pressing “Set Up” just gives you info about how to set up your speakers.

The discs tend to start with a menu that shows the image that is on the cover of the disc. Some discs, such as disc 3 and disc 8 (the latter offers to skip the intro, the former doesn’t), start with a short video montage before the menu appears.

Disc 0 – Early Years (1963-1965): “Aurora” and “The Sultan”, watching a vinyl 45 on a turntable, “I Wonder” seen as a reel-to-reel with pics and handwritten sheets. “Mustang” (also unreleased) reel-to-reel with sound reel mixing, pic, trim out, similar for “I’ll Love You Forever”, telegram from CN “(I’m a man and) I can’t Cry”, reel to real, board and three pics. “Hello Lonely Woman”, Neil and Comrie at Concord, Transitorized Stereophonic 550 reel-to-reel on the floor “Casting Me Away From You”, see reel-to-reel close-up with the words “Casting Me Away/ There Goes My Baby / Yesterday’s tomorrows / High heeled sneakers”. The “Sugar Mountain” clip just shows a weird suitcase reel to reel, no pics or clippings, also same for “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing.” To end. “The Rent is Always Due” sounds like “I Am A Child.”

Song selection – song by song, most have photos, documents, press, memorabilia, lyrics, song, it’s endless! Cover from a pic taken May 21st 1965, live at the Westgate High School in Fort William, Ontario (now Thunder Bay, Ontario). Inane photos like the Comrie Smith family car, or Square photos attached of ACS song. Nothing for NYC session of “Sugar Mountain”.

Disc 1 – Early Years (1966-1968): “Flying on the Ground is Wrong” cassette tape. “Burned” a ’45 on a mini turntable. “Out of my Mind” shows LP on turntables, then focuses on Buffalo 25cent piece on needle head. “Down Down Down” unreleased, like “Broken Arrow.” Reel to reel set. “Kahua Sunset”, surf instrumental like the Squires, reel to real, unreleased “Mr Soul” single on turntable with super acetate as source.

Found excerpt from a radio interview. “Flying on the Ground is Wrong” came from Roy Orbison’s “Blue Boys”. 11/12/1969, Neil Young’s birthday, articles, William Morris Agency letter of signing. Radio clip on the similarity between “Mr Soul” and “Satisfaction.” “Mr Soul” on TV clip, Stephen Stills with cowboy hat, Hollywood Palace 4/8/67. Merry Clayton sings on “Expecting to Fly.” Two radio excerpts. Poster for “BS Again”. At your groovy record store now. “Slowly Burning” (it’s a slow instrumental, although the notes tell that some lyrics exist). “One More Sigh” is a beautiful ballad. The “This Is It” montage of three songs from the last concert, picture with weird floating green sound cloud that contorts with the sound levels. “The Buffalo Springfield will not perform unless you go back to your seats,” is repeated over and over. Country song becomes Ravel’s “Bolero”. First solo LP “Neil Young” really had cover as was used on “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.” “Birds rap.” “Wore himself out on overdubbing on the first album.” “Far out, man.” Sample of radio spots for first album. Merry Clayton on “The Old Laughing Lady.””I’m not tryin’ to go on another trip, y’know what I mean?” Groovy. Far out. It”s pretty hip. “Bush Baby” rap.

Disc 2 – Topanga 1 (1968-1969): Reel to reel, “I’ve Been Waiting For You” puts the reel to reel over his eyes from the first album. Candle light in front of reel to reel for “Sugar Mountain.” “Down By The River” close-up on needle, following “the river” of grooves. Different angles of vinyl fetishism. Beach turntable is literally “in the sand”, tea mugs to be seen.

Here are some shots I took of the DVD presentation of audio tracks:

Neil Young Archive Disc 2, "I've Been Waiting For You"

Neil Young Archive Disc 2, “I’ve Been Waiting For You”

Neil Young Archive Disc 2, "I've Loved Her So Long"

Neil Young Archive Disc 2, “I’ve Loved Her So Long”

Neil Young Archive Disc 2, "Cowgirl In The Sand"

Neil Young Archive Disc 2, “Cowgirl In The Sand”

Disc 3 – Live at the Riverboat 1969: Shows a short clip of the outside of the Riverboat, where the entrance shows David Wilcox’s name on marquee. Video clip included shows yearning for days of Riverboat show when he’d get raves over totally new songs. BB King, Janis Joplin and the Mothers of Invention played Toronto that February. Toronto Star February 5th, 1965, Jack Batten. Other reviews from the Peterborough Examiner, The Ottawa Citizen, the Toronto Daily Star, the Toronto Globe and Mail. Nine raps – mentions Sam The Record Man, A and A, CHUM FM. “It was out of sight.” Met up with The Rockets at the Bitter End in New York City right after that. Robin Lane sings beautiful duet vocals with Neil on “Round and Round”. Photo shows original artwork for the “Oh Lonesome Me” LP. “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Berkowitz” rap.

Disc 4 – Topanga 2 (1969-1970): first video – “Sea of Madness”, 9/14/69 Big Sur Folk festival, Neil Young singing at keyboard, band played next to pool, naked hippy men dancing about. “Mr Soul” acoustic with CSNY, “Down By The River” on TV.

Disc 5 – Neil Young & Crazy Horse Live at the Fillmore East 1970: intro shows a street scene as it would have been in front of the Fillmore East on a rainy night before a show. Review mentions “Cinnamon Girl”, but it’s not available on this release. DVD runs through photos of the band from the show. Next best thing to having it on video.

Disc 6 – Topanga 3 (1970): Radio interviewer asks Neil his reaction to being named on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” “Ohio” front and back cover, black and white song lyrics on black, bill of rights stuff (press and speech freedom) on white. Video of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young acoustic singing “Ohio”, became great clap-along ten months later (March 1971). “‘Till the Morning Comes” shows After The Gold Rush 8-track in deck.

Disc 7 – Live at Massey Hall 1971: nothing to see – this is a CD.

Disc 8 – North Country (1971-1972): Starts off wit a video of Neil driving around Broken Arrow ranch in a car, looks like that’s Graham Nash in the car with him. “Bad Fog of Loneliness” has James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt sharing vocals with Neil Young. Onstage raps show mic and shimmering green line. Radio raps show radio and shimmering green line. Three pics with Louie Avita (the “old man”) for “Old Man.” Ironic: 1971 single of “Old Man” shows Neil Young looking like the bearded old man he really is now (Italy single only). “Even When I’m happy it sounds like I’m not.” Eleven-minute video of Neil Young and the London Symphony Orchestra doing “A Man Needs a Maid” stuff. Jack Nietsche in his shades. Neil strums “Harvest.” At the end he looks up, realizes it’s done and gives a big smile of relief. Jammin’ in the barn to “Are you Ready For The Country” with Jack Nitzche on slide guitar. Neil Young in 1971 lookin’ like Kurt Cobain, in his flannel shirt. “Alabama” barn video with false starts, without Crosby and Stills backing vocals. Twelve-minute “Words” interview, Neil Young reclined on field drinking Coors and listening to the echo. Spinning golden LP for the “Heart of Gold” segment. “A Man Needs A Maid” shows reel to reel, with 1971-era black and white TV with images from the 12-minute video. A clip of Neil in a record shop finding bootlegs of his show, and confiscating them. Journey Through The Past

Disc 9 – Journey Through The Past A Film By Neil Young: Extra materials show movie listing at #44 in the Variety box office listings of May 15th, 1974 with $20,000 earned in its first weak of release; other movies on the same list are The Sting, Blazing Saddles, The Great Gatsby, The Exorcist, The Last Detail, Papillon, Sleeper, The Conversation, Foxy Brown, Serpico, American Graffiti, The Lords of Flatbush, Deep Throat, The Way We Were, It’s Alive, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and The Poseidon Adventure! Lots of bio stuff. Starts with sombre music at the opening. Scenes include: driveway / elevator / intros / goofy kid acting like a manager / backstage halls / DJ booth / two Buffalo Springfield songs, “For What It’s Worth” and “Mr Soul” / man sitting on hood of rolling car / Neil Young rolling a joint and smoking it with Graham Nash and Carrie Snodgress / backstage poster pile / CSGN / Fillmore East “Ohio” / Cadillac in desert drops injured bearded graduate / CSNY “Southern Man” / Graduate on Vegas strip / old-timer with a flannel-shirted Neil and Carrie smoking a joint in the forest, eating fruit / Stray Gators jam in barn “Ready For The Country” / Graduate on driveway / lizards walking / card tricks / mouthy kid gambling / graduate at gas bar drinking Coors / Neil Young’s old-timer / Crosby with joint babbling / cow on sunset hill, listening to “Alabama” being played by Stray Gators in the barn / driving through town slowly / “The footprint of the American Chicken” sticker on door / Nixon sings “God Bless America” / Crosby mutters, “and they’re full of shit!” loudly / barge falling down slide into water / climbing car mountain (with Coors in hand) / Stills and Nash walk in field / talking with intense city folk / truck on beach / man walks on beach with car / clansmen rie on beach, through surf / truck drives around post / klansmen attack post / syringe inside Bible / sings “Soldier” / limo arrives / freeze mid-step. Neil Young was editor, executive producers were Ahmet Ertegun, David Gefen and Elliot Roberts. Film was intended to have same vibes as a Neil Young album, he edited it the way he would have edited an LP release.

The timelines of the DVDs tend to hide some interesting material, particularly videos. This is what they include:

Disc 0 - no videos or audio clips

Disc 1 - “Do I have To Come Right Out And Say It?” 3:04 – audio – single

- “For What It’s Worth” – 2:42 – audio – single

- “This Is It” last concert excerpt – 14:29

Disc 2 – No video or audio extras

Disc 3 - No video or audio extras

Disc 4 - Neil Young and Stephen Stills sing “Mr Soul” at Woodstock, August 18th, 1969 – 5:04 – video

- CSNY, “Down By The River”, TV spot, 4:53 – video

- interview segment – 4:05 – Danny Whitten – Rusty old tractor vs well-oiled machine

Disc 5 - backstage bios of Crazy Horse and members, with two secret videos

Disc 6 - “The Loner” and “Cinnamon Girl” at the Cafe Freejon and the Filmore East, June 1970 acoustic solo, talking to hippies in Washington Square Park, tuning and teaching one guy to play “Cinnamon Girl”

- CSNY “On The Way Home” at Filmore East, June 2nd, 1970 – 13:24

Disc 7 - CD

Disc 8 - Confronting bootleggers – 14:42

- On writing “The Needle and the Damage Done”

- “There’s A World” 3:48 – February 28th, 1971

- “Gator Stomp” – 1:37, jeep on driveway, Jack Nitzche on slide guitar, drinkin’ Michelobs

Disc 9 - No extras

Extra DVD - No extras

Regarding easter eggs, someone’s compiled a directory of them here, but I haven’t had the time to investigate this yet. Someone else has provided the following advice:

When you get to the main menu page, toggle your remote around. Push the button to the up,down, east and west postions. This will cause something other then the usual, “song selection”, “more” etc to light up. When that does click that and it will bring up a hidden song or easter egg. On the timeline, click the gray or white pins and you will get information or a video.

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