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Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Cowgirl In The Sand - Boston, MA - 11-22-1976

An epic take on a Crazy Horse classic, from Neil's Nov 22 1976 show at Boston Music Hall (3 days later Neil showed up at The Last Waltz to play with The Band, Joni and many others). The picture used in this video was shot by Andrew Jarmus, who snapped it a few days prior at the Nov 18, 1976 Palladium gig in NYC. GREAT SHOT! You can see more of Andrew's pics from Palladium here: Neil Young: Guitar, Keyboards, Banjo, Harmonica, Vocals Frank Sampedro: Guitar, Keyboadrs, Vocals Billy Talbot: Bass, Vocals Ralph Molina: Drums, Vocals Crazy Horse's roots reach back to Los Angeles in the early 1960s, when Ralph Molina and Billy Talbot sang in a vocal group with Danny Whitten called Danny & the Memories. "We were one of the slickest acts around," says Talbot, "really into arranging the harmonies, the whole trip." Eventually, Molina took up the drums (having previously played them in a high school marching band), Whitten began concentrating on guitar, and Talbot learned bass and piano; this preceded the group's evolution into a rhythm and rock outfit called The Rockets (also including guitarists George and Leon Whitsell and electric violinist Bobby Notkoff). Playing The Whisky and other L.A. clubs in '67 and '68, the band attracted a following and recorded one self-titled album which sold "about 5,000 copies," Talbot recalls. One of those copies landed in the hands of Neil Young. "We first met Neil and jammed with him a little in Laurel Canyon when he was in the Buffalo Springfield and The Rockets were just coming together," says Talbot. "Later, Neil heard our album, really liked it, and he sat in with us at The Whisky. Then he wanted to record this song, 'Cinnamon Girl,' with Danny, Ralph and me. S we went up to Neil's studio in Topanga Canyon to work on that one song." The March 1969 session went so well that Young invited the musicians back to record "Cowgirl In the Sand," "Down By the River" and the rest of the songs that would fill Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere o the first album by Neil Young and Crazy Horse (the new name Young had bestowed upon Molina, Talbot and Whitten). Several live shows were sandwiched around the making of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, with Young and Crazy Horse performing primarily on the East Coast. There was talk of reviving The Rockets at some point, but it never happened. Young and Crazy Horse (with Jack Nitzsche on keyboards) played a series of U.S. concert dates during the first quarter of 1970. And in addition to contributing to Young's 1970 album, After the Gold Rush, Crazy Horse also landed a separate deal with Reprise, recording a self-titled album that was released in 1971. The band was augmented by guitarist/vocalist Nils Lofgren and keyboardist/producer Jack Nitzsche for this album, which included such songs as "Gone Dead Train," "Beggar's Day" and "I Don't Want to Talk About It," which was covered by Rod Stewart a few years later. Since mid-1970, Danny Whitten's worsening heroin habit had driven a wedge between Young and Crazy Horse. By 1971, Talbot and Molina had seen enough as well. "Danny was a surfer-type guy o really mellow, straight," Molina says. "To see him go to that extreme just blew my mind." Talbot adds: "Danny never straightened out We didn't want to become junkies, too, so we fired him." Determined to keep Crazy Horse rolling, Talbot and Molina recruited other musicians and recorded two albums, Loose and Crazy Horse At Crooked Lake, that were both released in 1972. Whitten was asked to join Young's post-Harvest touring band, but he was too far gone to keep it together during rehearsals. Sent home to L.A. Whitten died of a heroin overdose in November of 1972. In the wake of the drug-induced deaths of Whitten and CSNY roadie Bruce Berry, Molina and Talbot contributed to Young's 1973 Tonight's the Night recording sessions and a tour with The Santa Monica Flyers. Crazy Horse did not begin to reemerge as a band until Frank Sampedro arrived on the scene in late 1973. Having played guitar in some high school rock bands in Detroit, Sampedro moved to L.A., where he met Talbot, then Molina. The trio soon forged a musical alliance, writing songs and jamming regularly throughout most of 1974 in the basement of Talbot's Silver Lake home. That's where Neil Young first heard "the new Crazy Horse." Sampedro remembers: "There was some magical energy happening."
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