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Fred Neil

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On The Record: Bruce Springsteen’s ‘No Nukes’ Concert, plus Eric Clapton, a Fred Neil Tribute, & More

Though the 1979 recording that resulted from that September’s No Nukes benefit concert filled three LPs, it barely scratched the surface of the performances at that event by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. It included only their version of “Stay,” the 1960 Maurice Williams hit, which featured contributions from Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, and singer Rosemary Butler; and a super-high-octane medley that combined a bit of Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly” with nods to the Mitch Ryder versions of “C.C. Rider,” “Devil with the Blue Dress,” and “Jenny Take a Ride.” Not a single Springsteen original was featured.
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Fred Neil :: 38 MacDougal

The only problem with Fred Neil’s music is that there’s not nearly enough of it. Unlike many of his (often less talented) peers from the 1960s NYC folk scene, Neil didn’t record much and had more or less dropped out of the music biz entirely by the time ‘70s rolled around. So that’s why even a brief, informal session like 38 MacDougal feels like a treasure trove. Taped in 1965 at Peter Childs’ and John Sebastian’s apartment Childs, who accompanies Neil on guitar and dobro throughout, the recently released collection is the equivalent of a private recital by one of the great American singer-songwriters. Neil and Childs roll casually through some tunes that would eventually end up on the classic Bleecker & MacDougal LP, in addition to some choice folk songs and spirituals. Despite its vintage, the fidelity on the tape is crystal clear and Neil sounds invigorated and in fine voice throughout; one gets the sense he might’ve preferred this kind of laid-back setting to a pro recording studio. All in all, a necessary—if all-too-brief—addition to the Fred Neil saga. | t wilcox.
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FRED NEIL: THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS LIFE

In 1969, as his most famous song, ‘Everybody’s Talkin’”, was dominating pop charts, Fred Neil (1936-2001) was working overtime to remove himself from the public eye. Though he turned his back on fame, Neil’s vanishing act couldn’t obscure the power of his music or hide the influence he had on a couple generations of rock bands and solo acts who followed in his wake (and covered his songs). To note Neil’s birthday (March 16) and the release of a riveting live album, 38 MacDougal, Scott Schinder unearths Neil’s not-quite-forgotten genius.
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