The Traveling Echoes, alias Neil Young and Crazy Horse, came to the Coastside Monday night for a surprise two-hour jam session at Old Princeton Landing.

Additional shows by the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer were held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. No performances are scheduled for the weekend, but sources hinted that additional shows at the bar on Capistrano Road are tentatively scheduled for next week, though the decision on more shows is being made day-to-day. The $20 tickets will be sold the morning of the show if additional performances are announced. (Ed. note - No more shows were performed.)

The number of tickets available for each show is limited. The bar's capacity is 150 and only 50 tickets were sold to the public for Monday's show. More than 100 people were lined up outside the Old Princeton Landing Tuesday morning.

Young and his longtime backup band of Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina romped through more than a dozen songs Monday night weighted heavily toward Young's mid-1970s catalogue.

The show was announced under the name of The Traveling Echoes. But word that Young, who lives on the South Coast and likes to keep a low profile here, would play on his home turf spread quickly.

According to one source, the purported reason for the shows was a sort of commemoration of a 1976 tour Young and Crazy Horse went on called the 1976 Northern California Bar Tour. Tickets for Monday's, Tuesday's and Wednesday's shows show sold out in minutes and only a handful of tickets were available for the public for Thursday's show.

Fans without tickets crowded around outside the bar, peering in through windows. Organizers are hoping to head off complaints by residents and businesses, however, and are urging fans not to gather outside the bar. Sound levels during the show were kept down in an attempt to head off complaints.

The night's song list included familiar numbers such as a feedback-drenched "Like a Hurricane," and "Roll Another Number," as well as more obscure songs stretching back as far as 1969's "The Losing End," and "Danger Bird," off 1975's "Zuma." The rest of the set included "Country Home," "Homegrown," "When Your Lonely Heart Breaks," "Bite the Bullet," "Wonderin', " "Stupid Girl," "Drive Back," "Barstool Blues," and "Prisoners of Rock and Roll." He ended the evening with a blistering, 20-minute version of his favorite "Down By The River" from 1969's "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere."

Song lists for other night's shows were similar, but included some variations.

The 51-year-old Young showed no signs of fading into his golden years quietly. Bobbing and weaving around the small stage in his familiar herky-jerky bounce, Young played alternately fast and slow, often journeying into extended instrumental excursions.

Although he still draws near-sell out crowds at larger venues such as Shoreline Amphitheater and the Cow Palace, Young often plays small clubs prior to a tour. In 1993, he played several shows at The Warfield in San Francisco. In 1987, he played for a few nights in an old, abandoned movie theater in Mountain View, and in 1984 he opened a tour of country and western songs at San Jose's Saddlerack Bar.

Young, who first hit it big in 1966 with Buffalo Springfield, has been recording albums for 30 years. He just recently released his latest project, a soundtrack for the forthcoming film "Dead Man," by Jim Jarmusch. The album features Young playing solo guitar with occasional overdubs of poetry read by Johnny Depp, star of the movie.

In 1995 he was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and is still considered a major influence upon rock bands of today, including such notables as Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth.

The Old Princeton Landing shows may be a warmup for a club tour to follow, although a source said no additional shows in other parts of the Bay Area are planned.

Half Moon Bay Review

Neil Young plugs in at Princeton Landing

Half Moon Bay Review, 20 March 1996


Eric Rice