Listen: The Best Bootlegs – Neil Young, Citizen Kane Junior Blues 1974

I’d like to start with a kind of a quiet song. It’s called, eh … it is called … Citizen Kane Junior Blues.
– Neil Young

This is one of the best concert recordings of Neil Young ever done! It was taped at The Bottom Line in 1974. The Bottom Line was a music venue at 15 West 4th Street between Mercer Street and Greene Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. During the 1970s and 1980s the club was a major space for small-scale popular music performances. I believe it should be considered for the ongoing Neil Young archival series.

Neil did not tour as a solo act during 1974 (he did a brief tour with CSNY), and therefore his excellent On The Beach stuff doesn’t show up on many bootlegs. This (is) an all-acoustic show featuring Neil performing solo during his supposedly “depressed” period (after the OD deaths of his guitarist and roadie) between On The Beach and Tonight’s The Night. Can’t tell he’s depressed here – he’s friendly and talkative and doesn’t even get upset when a few members of the small crowd yell for Southern Man – instead he tells a funny story about the same thing happening in LA. What really makes this one stand out, besides the happy/chatty Neil is the setlist, which includes some rare appearances of a few songs from the aforementioned NY album On The Beach, including Motion Pictures, Revolution Blues, On The Beach,and the quintessential Neil tune Ambulance Blues.
“With the exception of Helpless, all of the songs were unreleased at the time of this performance, making for some interesting first impressions by the crowd. On The Beach is the backdrop for this recording, with four of its songs performed live. Renditions of Pardon My Heart, Long May You Run, Roll Another Number and Flying On The Ground Is Wrong” (recorded in a 1970 Carnegie Hall performance) round out the songs. This has been called a SBD, but it is clearly not – some distance between the mic and Neil is apparent; however, it is a quality audience tape, with Neil’s guitar/harmonica and voice all clear.”
-BigO

This concert at the Bottom Line set was apparently an unnanounced appearance at a Ry Cooder solo acoustic gig. The bootleg title comes from Neil’s introduction to Pushed It Over The End.

Set List:

1. Pushed It Over The End (AKA Citizen Kane Jr. Blues): 0:42 – 6:26
2. Long May You Run: 7:38 – 11:47
3. Greensleeves: 12:03 – 13:55
4. Ambulance Blues: 15:00 – 23:08
5. Helpless: 24:17 – 29:20
6. Revolution Blues: 30:50 – 34:28
7. On The Beach: 35:05 – 40:26
8. Roll Another Number: 41:30 – 44:11
9. Motion Pictures: 49:15 – 53:10
10. Pardon My Heart: 54:38 – 58:39
11. Dance Dance Dance: 59:18 – 1:01:58

Plenty of fun talks by Neil Young between the songs as well.

Tracks 1-11 Recorded live at The Bottom Line in New York on May 16, 1974

In addition there are two bonus tracks on the boot (not on the Youtube):
12. For The Turnstiles
13. Flying On The Ground Is Wrong

Track 12 Recorded live during 1973, location unknown
Track 13 Recorded live at the Carnegie Hall in New York on December 5, 1970

Neil Young stunned fans at New York’s Bottom Line on May 16th, 1974 when he played a surprise hour-long set consisting almost entirely of unreleased songs. It remains one of his greatest bootlegs and deserves to see an official release one day. The show opened up with a song he introduced as “Citizen Kane Jr. Blues,” but was later retitled “Pushed It Over the End” when it resurfaced that summer on CSNY’s stadium reunion tour. It’s a mellow, dreamy song supposedly inspired by Patty Hearst that would have been a career highlight for most songwriters. For Neil, it was merely something he played a handful of times one year and then tossed overboard forever.
– Rolling Stone Magazine

citizenb

The same 13 Citizen Kane Junior Blues tracks resurface on yet another bootleg called “First Plane Outta Here”, with four extra Elektra demos.

– Hallgeir & Egil

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