Tuesday, March 8, 2016

40 Year Itch : Far Across the Moonbeam

   On March 8, 1976 the Neil Young and Crazy Horse tour of Japan made a stop in Fukuoka where a polite crowd often clapped along to the songs, especially during Young's friendly solo acoustic set.
  “I’d like to do this song for Rodan the Flying Monster,”  Young announced before playing a warmly greeted "Heart of Stone".
  When Crazy Horse emerged for the electric set, it was with Young's new guitarist, Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, whose previous experience was playing in bar bands and on Zuma.


 Among the songs they played was a nearly nine minute version of the yet-to-be-released "Like a Hurricane". 
   In his autobiography Waging Heavy Peace Young tells the story of writing the song's lyrics "on a piece of newspaper in the back of (his friend) Taylor Phelps's 1950 DeSoto Suburban, a huge car that we all used to go to bars in.
   "As was our habit between bars, we had stopped at Skeggs Point Scenic lookout on Skyline Boulevard up on the mountain to do a few lines of coke; I wrote Hurricane right there in the back of that giant old car. Then when I got home, I played the chords on this old Univox Stringman mounted in an old ornate pump-organ body set up in the living room.
 "I played that damn thing through the night," Young says. "I finished the melody in five minutes, but I was so jacked I couldn't stop playing." 
   That would be true for most of Young's career. The concert favorite would finally appear on 1977's Stars and Bars.

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