Neil Young Recording New Album, ‘StoryTone,’ With ‘Awesomely Loud Big Band Arrangements’ – Nov. 2014 Release Date?

Neil Young’s LincVolt parked outside Sony Pictures Scoring Stage in L.A. Photo by Greg Dennen via the Gina Zimmitti Music Contracting Facebook page.

Neil Young is recording an album that will include songs with “big band arrangements,” according to music contractor Gina Zimmitti, who is involved with the project, and who posted photos and wrote about the sessions on the Facebook page for her company, Gina Zimmitti Music Contracting.

Zimmitti wrote that at one session, the musicians played “awesomely loud big band arrangements.”

Young has used an orchestra in the past, most notably on the songs “Expecting to Fly” and “Broken Arrow” recorded with Jack Nitzsche that appeared on Buffalo Springfield Again, and on the Harvest tracks, “A Man Needs A Maid” and “There’s A World” which Nitzsche recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra in London.

Violinist Marc Sazer has participated in at least one of the recent sessions and wrote on his Twitter page, “Recording with @neilyoung, great to have a great choir live in the room with us!”

The album is titled Storytone, according to arranger/conductor Chris Walden, who posted that information on his web site, along with a release date of November 4, 2014, but has subsequently removed that info from his site and replaced it with “untitled” and “2014.” Of course Neil Young is known for changing things at the last minute, so it’s possible that the title and release date could change, or even that Young could decide not to release the album at all.

Walden, according to Wikipedia, is known “for writing big band and orchestral arrangements for recording artists such as Michael Bublé, Diana Krall, Jennifer Hudson, Paul Anka, and Christopher Cross. He has been an arranger for ‘American Idol’ since 2007 and has worked for producers like David Foster, Phil Ramone, and Tommy LiPuma.”

The possible album title, Storytone, apparently refers to a rare early electric piano that Young may be using on the album.

Rare 1939 Storytone piano.

On the Piedmont Piano Company website is info about the Storytone piano pictured above:

This is an extremely rare and historically important instrument. The Storytone piano was built in 1939 in a joint venture between Story & Clark and RCA – the piano has normal strings and action but no soundboard – the sound is amplified by pickups and a speaker system making it the world’s first practical electric piano. The sound is very beautiful considering its design during the infancy of amplified instruments. As you can see the design is striking – art deco at its most radical.

Sessions for the album have taken place at Sony Pictures Scoring Stage and at EastWest Studios, both in L.A., during the last two weeks of August. Young concluded a tour of Europe with Crazy Horse on August 8 of this year.

Niko Bolas, who has worked with Young on such albums as This Note’s for You, Freedom and Living With War, is producing, according to Gina Zimmitti.

On August 19, Zimmitti posted:

“We don’t feel cheesy calling this one a ‘precious moment,’ and posted this photo:

Zimmiti wrote about this photo: George Doering, Chris Walden, and Neil Young (L to R). First day recording Chris Walden’s fantastic arrangements for Neil Young. — with Chris Walden at Sony Pictures Scoring Stage.

On August 23, Zimmitti wrote:

“2nd day of recording with Neil Young and producer Niko Bolas – this time for some awesomely loud big band arrangements by Chris Walden composer-arranger ! — with Chris Walden at EastWest Studios.”

She also posted this photo on August 23:

On August 27, according to Zimmitti, Young and the orchestra were back in the studio for more days of recording, this time working with arranger Michael Bearden.

Bearden has worked many successful musicians including Madonna, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, Chaka Kahn, Patti Austin, James Ingrahm, Babyface, Lenny Kravitz, Yoko Ono, George Benson, Natalie Cole, Anita Baker, Edie Brickell, Nancy Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Liza Minelli and Michael Jackson.

Speaking to Billboard earlier this year, Young said, “I have new songs that I’m working on, and I haven’t stopped doing that. I do it when I feel like it and I’m collecting them. And sometimes I play them live before they come out as a record, and because of the way everything is people hear them before they come out, on the Internet. But I still feel like I’m gonna make records of them.”

One song that Young performed live numerous times this summer with Crazy Horse in Europe is called “Who’s Gonna Stand Up And Save The Earth?”

“I’d like to make a record with a full-blown orchestra, live – a mono recording with one mic,” Young told Billboard. I want to do something like that where we really record what happened, with one point of view and the musicians moved closer and farther away, the way it was done in the past. To me that’s a challenge and it’s a sound that’s unbelievable, and you can’t get it any other way. So I’m into doing that.”

However based on the photos, these sessions utilized numerous microphones. Oh well.

Some of Neil Young’s fans are skeptical regarding the project.

At Steve Hoffman Music Forums, a fan using the name “P(orF)” wrote, “It’s sad because I’ve been listening to him for 45 years, but my only reaction when I hear he’s doing a new recording is ‘What’s the gimmick this time?’”

And “Babyblue” added, “Yep, more and more Neil seems to be more about the gimmick than the actual music. I can see how this could happen to a veteran musician (especially a creative and eccentric one like Neil). It probably keeps things interesting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always produce good music.”

But there were fans who defended Young. “Six String” wrote, “I’ll wait until I hear the music before passing judgement. It’s only a gimmick if it doesn’t work…”

[I just published my rock 'n' roll novel, True Love Scars." I've got a Goodreads. book giveaway going right now. It's over sometime September 2, so if you want to enter, now is the time. Click here and enter.]

– A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –

Video: Bob Dylan Sings ‘All Along The Watchtower’ – Adelaide, Australia, Aug. 31, 2014

Last night, August 31, 2014, Bob Dylan performed at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, Australia.

He’s been encoring in Australia with “All Along The Watchtower” and “Blowin’ In The Wind.”

Here is an unorthodox, dare I say jazzy at times, version of “All Along The Watchtower.”

Dig it!

Thanks to Johanna’s Visions for the tour poster image.

[I just published my rock 'n' roll novel, True Love Scars." I've got a Goodreads. book giveaway going right now. It ends at some point on Sept, 2, so if you want to enter, now is the time. Click here and enter.]

– A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –

Audio: Bob Dylan Sings ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man,’ ‘Long And Wasted Years’ – Brisbane, 2014

Bob Dylan at The Tivoli. Photo by Paleearth.

I’ve previously posted a bunch of clips from Bob Dylan’s Brisbane, Australia shows.

You can find them here and here and here.

These new clips just went online. There’s “Long and Wasted Years” from the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on August 25, 2014, and then a nearly 9 and one half minute “Ballad Of A Think Man” from Dylan’s club show at The Tivoli on August 27, 2014.

Enjoy.

Bob Dylan, “Long And Wasted Years,” the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia, August 25, 2014:

Bob Dylan, “Ballad Of A Thin Man,” The Tivoli, Brisbane, Australia, August 27, 2014:

[I just published my rock 'n' roll novel, True Love Scars." I've got a Goodreads. book giveaway going right now. Click here and enter.]

– A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –

Video: Bob Dylan Covers Beatle George Harrison’s ‘Something’ – Nov. 13, 2002

Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden, 2002.

Bob Dylan is in quite good voice as he covers the George Harrison-written Beatles classic, “Something,” at Madison Square Garden on November 13, 2002.

[I just published my rock 'n' roll novel, True Love Scars." I've got a Goodreads. book giveaway going right now. Click here and enter.]

– A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –

Audio: Listen To The Beatles’ Final Concert – Candlestick Park, August 29. 1966

This is a cassette recording of The Beatles final concert, which took place at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, August 29, 1966.

Published on May 28, 2012
01. 00:00 “Rock and Roll Music”
02. 01:39 “She’s a Woman”
03. 04:52 “If I Needed Someone”
04. 07:52 “Day Tripper”
05. 10:58 “Baby’s In Black”
06. 13:43 “I Feel Fine”
07. 16:24 “Yesterday”
08. 19:06 “I Wanna Be Your Man”
09. 21:45 “Nowhere Man”
10. 24:33 “Paperback Writer”
11. 27:19 “Long Tall Sally” (Incomplete)

The following is from the YouTube page where this clip resides:

Although they made an unannounced live appearance in January 1969 on the rooftop of the Apple building, The Beatles’ final live concert took place on 29 August 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.

The Park’s capacity was 42,500, but only 25,000 tickets were sold, leaving large sections of unsold seats. Fans paid between $4.50 and $6.50 for tickets, and The Beatles’ fee was around $90,000. The show’s promoter was local company Tempo Productions.

The Beatles took 65% of the gross, the city of San Francisco took 15% of paid admissions and were given 50 free tickets. This arrangement, coupled with low ticket sales and other unexpected expenses resulted in a financial loss for Tempo Productions.

Candlestick Park was the home of the baseball team the San Francisco Giants. The stage was located just behind second base on the field, and was five feet high and surrounded by a six-foot high wire fence.

The compère was ‘Emperor’ Gene Nelson of KYA AM 1260, and the support acts were, in order of appearance, The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes. The show began at 8pm.

The Beatles took to the stage at 9.27pm, and performed 11 songs: Rock And Roll Music, She’s A Woman, If I Needed Someone, Day Tripper, Baby’s In Black, I Feel Fine, Yesterday, I Wanna Be Your Man, Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer and Long Tall Sally.

The group knew it was to be their final concert. Recognising its significance, John Lennon and Paul McCartney took a camera onto the stage, with which they took pictures of the crowd, the rest of the group, and themselves at arm’s length.

As The Beatles made their way to Candlestick Park, Paul McCartney asked their press officer Tony Barrow to make a recording of the concert on audio cassette, using a hand-held recorder. The cassette lasted 30 minutes on each side, and, as Barrow didn’t flip it during the show, the recording cut off during final song Long Tall Sally.

Barrow gave the original tape of the Candlestick Park concert to McCartney. He also made a single copy, which was kept in a locked drawer in Barrow’s office desk. The recording has since become widely circulated on bootlegs, although quite how is not known.

The final show saw perhaps a slightly more energetic performance than usual from The Beatles, and was longer than their usual 20-25 minute duration. They barely paused between songs, although their on-stage patter was notably looser and less scripted than normal.

Particularly revealing are McCartney’s comments before Paperback Writer, during which he questions the group’s future; and Long Tall Sally, which may have carried a veiled reference to the withdrawn ‘butcher’ artwork for Yesterday… And Today.

Just before leaving the stage, John Lennon teasingly played the opening bars of In My Life, before running off to join the rest of the group backstage.

The Beatles were quickly taken to the airport in an armoured car. They flew from San Francisco to Los Angeles, arriving at 12.50am. During the flight George Harrison was heard to exclaim: “That’s it, then. I’m not a Beatle anymore.”

[I just published my rock 'n' roll novel, True Love Scars." I've got a Goodreads. book giveaway going right now. Click here and enter.]

– A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –

Video: Radiohead’s Thom Yorke DJs Poolside At Roosevelt Hotel in L. A.

Thom Yorke at the Roosevelt Hotel. Photo from video by Spellesmusic.

Some fans videoed some of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s recent DJ set out by the pool at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.

Check it out.

Thanks Stereogum!

[I just published my rock 'n' roll novel, True Love Scars." I've got a Goodreads. book giveaway going right now. Click here and enter.]

– A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –

Audio: Bob Dylan Performs ‘Thunder On The Mountain’ – The Tivoli, Brisbane, Australia — Plus More!

Bob Dylan (above) at The Tivoli, courtesy of Paleearth, a fan who was at the show.

Here’s another clip from the show at The Tivoli in Brisbane, Australia on August 27, 2014.

“Thunder On The Mountain”:

These are from the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia, August 25, 2014.

“Love Sick”:

“Early Roman Kings”:

“High Water (For Charley Patton)”:

“Forgetful Heart”:

“All Along The Watchtower”:

And another recording:

“Blowin’ In The Wind”:

[I just published my rock 'n' roll novel, True Love Scars." I've got a Goodreads. book giveaway going right now. Click here and enter.]

– A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –

Audio: Bob Dylan At The Tivoli – Brisbane, Australia, Aug. 27, 2014 – ‘All Along The Watchtower,’ ‘Blowin’ In The WInd’


Photo of Dylan and band at The Tivoli via Paleearth/Instagram.

Bob Dylan did a show at The Tivoli, a 1500-capacity club in Brisbane, Australia, on August 27, 2014.

This was the ticket that Instagram Dylan fan Paleearth had for the show.

Here are the encore songs, the only clips that have surfaced so far that I can find.

“All Along The Watchtower”:

“Blowin’ In The Wind”:

[I just published my rock 'n' roll novel, True Love Scars." I've got a Goodreads. book giveaway going right now. Click here and enter.]

– A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –

Video: Watch Arcade Fire Perform Bo Diddley’s ‘Who Do You Love?’ In Chicago

Arcade Fire photo via Arcade Fire’s Facebook page.

Arcade Fire have been covering songs relevant to where they happen to be performing.

In this case, we get some of their take on the great Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?”

- A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –

Video/Audio: Bob Dylan in Brisbane, Australia – Aug. 25, 2014 – ‘All Along The Watchtower,’ ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ + U.S. Tour Announced

Tickets for Bob Dylan’s U.S. shows just announced at bobdylan.com.

Here I’ve got a couple songs that Bob Dylan and his band performed at the Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane, Australia, August 25, 2014.

And over at www.bobdylan.com it was announced today that tickets for Dylan’s North America tour will be on sale Sept. 5, 2014.

Read all about the U.S. tour at Rolling Stone.

“All Along The Watchtower”:

And another fan recording:

“Blowin’ In The Wind”:

[I just published my rock 'n' roll novel, True Love Scars." I've got a Goodreads. book giveaway going right now. Click here and enter.]

– A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –