As the inaugural release from his upcoming Official Bootleg series, Neil Young chose a concert from December 4, 1970 at Carnegie Hall. It is an unheard solo acoustic concert that happened shortly after the release of After the Gold Rush.
Young performed two shows at Carnegie Hall that week. These gigs were the end to a phenomenal year for him due to the success of After the Gold Rush and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s Deja Vu. How important were they to Young and his budding career? He flew his parents to New York from Canada to witness the show.
In his book, Neil and Me, Young’s father, Scott Young, wrote,
“We sat, I guess, like visitors from another world, but once the place was dark, we could all see this dark form approaching the front of the stage and then the spotlight came on him: tall and thin, blue jeans, checkered shirt, work boots, dark straight hair to his shoulders or beyond, two acoustic guitars on a rack beside a plain wooden chair, a concert piano to his let. Moving gingerly as if his back was bothering him. No music to play except the songs in his head, all his own.”
Young has not yet announced a release date for the Carnegie Hall show, but fans could likely see the release before the end of the year. It is one of many projects, including the second volume of his Neil Young Archives box set and a 1990 club show with Crazy Horse.
“This one — Carnegie Hall, December 4th, 1970, is very special to me. Change happens fast. As I have gone through these early bootlegs, Carnegie Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion [2/1/70], Royce Hall [1/30/71] and others, they show a change, something you can hear — an evolution.”
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