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Santa Cruz 1977 Compilation [no label, 2CD]
Various venues? Santa Cruz, California; Summer 1977. Very good soundboard (previously uncirculated).
The Ducks were a short-lived band of Neil Young, Bob Mosley, Jeff Blackburn and Johnny C (Craviotto) in the ’70s.
This is what Pat Mead posted at human-highway.org:
During the summer of 1977, Neil Young joined a local band in Santa Cruz, California and played with them in bars and clubs around Santa Cruz for several weeks. Jeff Blackburn, a San Francisco musician in the 1960s, first met Neil during Neil’s Buffalo Springfield days. The pair had renewed their friendship in the spring of 1977 when they jammed together at a birthday celebration for Jerry Miller (of Moby Grape fame). At the time, Blackburn’s group, The Jeff Blackburn Band, had been in need of a lead guitarist. Blackburn invited Neil to fill the spot and, wonder of wonders, Neil accepted! The band was renamed The Ducks, Neil rented a house overlooking the beach, and the adventure began.
In addition to Blackburn and Young, The Ducks featured Bob Mosley (an original member of Moby Grape) on bass, and Johnny Craviotta (aka “Johnny C”) on drums. (Johnny C’s pedigree is a little murky - someone recently posted that he was a veteran of Blue Cheer, but I find that hard to believe. I remember reading at the time that he had done some recording sessions with Arlo Guthrie and with Ry Cooder, and those associations better fit his musical personality.) Every Duck could sing and all except Johnny could write, so The Ducks’ setlists were very democratic. Each member took his turn on vocals in fairly strict order.
At some point during this period, Neil and Jeff Blackburn co-wrote My My, Hey Hey but that song was never performed by The Ducks. Neil’s contributions included compositions from the late ’70s like Homegrown, Long May You Run, and a handful of songs that later turned up in much softer arrangements on the Comes A Time album. Highlights included a scorching electric Mr Soul (Neil told the local entertainment rag, Good Times, that “these guys do the song better than the Buffalo Springfield did it”), as well as the unique instrumental guitar showcase Windward Passage. The group also did a fine version of Are You Ready For The Country?
Click here for more.
Thanks to grner1 for sharing the tracks at Dime; and to ethiessen1 for the artwork.
This just came my way from a friend who I recently met here in Santa Cruz. It came from outside of the “tape collecting world” from cassettes squirreled away many years ago and were just transferred to share for the first time. The other three members besides Neil Young were associated with Moby Grape and this band only did perhaps 20 shows or so at most, and all in the Santa Cruz area. No soundboard recordings of live shows have circulated till now and nothing has ever been released in any form by this band. I transferred two 90-minute compilations of live tracks that were not well labeled but they are from more than one night with the likely venues being The Catalyst and The Crossroads.
Multi-track masters > Dolby B encoded Maxell UDXLII cassette (unknown recording decks).
Transfer [2013-08-27]: Nakamichi Dragon (Dolby B decoded) > Macintosh with Digidesign Audiomedia III sound card > Pro Tools (minor “nip and tuck” edits, normalization & tracking - no EQ or additional noise reduction) > AIFF > xACT (Flac level 8 files with sector boundaries verified).
Compilation 2 is shared here.
Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.
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Disc 1 (52:36)
Track 101. [cuts in] A Deeper Mystery (4.4MB)
Track 102. talk (1.7MB)
Track 103. Gypsy Wedding (4.5MB)
Track 104. talk (1.4MB)
Track 105. Bye Bye Johnny (5.4MB)
Track 106. talk (1.2MB)
Track 107. Long May You Run (7.0MB)
Track 108. talk (Neil broke a string) (2.4MB)
Track 109. Sailor Man (7.9MB)
Track 110. Younger Days (6.5MB)
Track 111. talk (2.4MB)
Track 112. Love You Forever (10.6MB)
Track 113. Gone Dead Train (6.2MB)
Track 114. [cuts in on first notes] Hold On Boys (8.0MB)
Track 115. Sail Away (9.0MB)
Track 116. talk before set break (704k)
Track 117. Silver Wings (9.1MB)
Disc 2 (35:26)
Track 201. [cuts in on first notes] Two Riders (8.9MB)
Track 202. Poor Man (6.8MB)
Track 203. Mr Soul (8.2MB)
Track 204. talk (984k)
Track 205. Tore Down (6.4MB)
Track 206. [cuts in on first notes] Wide Eyed And Willing (7.2MB)
Track 207. Truckin’ Man (5.4MB)
Track 208. Don’t Let Em Get To You (8.2MB)
Track 209. talk (1.3MB)
Track 210. [cuts in] Long May You Run [cut] (6.2MB)
Neil Young - guitar, harmonica, vocals
Bob Mosley - bass, vocals
Jeff Blackburn - guitar, vocals
Johnny C. (Craviotto) - drums, vocals
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