Neil Young Country

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(Neil Young playing Hank Williams Sr.’s guitar at the annual Bridge School Benefit, photo courtesy Paul Tomita)

Editor’s note: Today we are really excited to feature a post from guest blogger Chris Horn, a music lover who has followed Bay Area resident and rock legend Neil Young for nearly 35 years. We met Chris when we were doing a blog post on our Hotel Kabuki’s cameo the night of The Band’s last performance at the now defunct (and also legendary) Winterland Ballroom. Chris was gracious enough to let us use a wonderful photo he had taken of Winterland before its demolition in 1985. You can find his writings on music and some of his great photos here.

By Chris Horn

Neil Young is one of the most beloved and respected musicians of our time. Poignant, prolific, and fiercely independent he has followed his muse and penned songs that have touched the lives and consciousness of multiple generations. Writing and performing music since the early 1960’s he shows no sign of slowing down.

Neil doesn’t just play songs, he lives and breathes them. Whether he’s playing acoustic on a guitar once owned by Hank Williams Sr. or caressing punishing electric notes out of Ol’ Black, (both pictured) he can get into a zone that only he fully feels. We, the audience, have the joy of coming along for the ride.

He has toured the world and since making the San Francisco Bay Area his home in the early 1970’s, he’s played the widest variety of venues here.

While he’s performed in the area’s larger and famous venues (Shoreline Amphitheater, Oakland Coliseum-Arena, Winterland)  he has also played some much smaller places too (Old Princeton Landing in Princeton/Half Moon Bay, Saddle Rack in San Jose, The Inn Of The Beginning in Cotati).

I’ve assembled a list (below), with dates and set lists, of those varied sized venues.

I first saw Neil live on July 1, 1976 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York when he played with Stephen Stills as the Stills-Young Band.  I hadn’t followed him too closely but had heard his music on the radio and occasionally listened to Deja Vu. After the Beatles broke up, Poco was my favorite band. One day my younger brother came to me with Neil’s “Tonight’s The Night” and “Zuma” albums and insisted I listen to them. I knew he was really into Neil and I obliged. I then devoured all his other Neil LP’s and my music appreciation course had changed. The time came when he was going to play locally and I could see him live. With Poco opening, not only was it a dream concert it set the course of my live musical journey.

Each October Neil hosts his annual Bridge School Benefit concerts at Shoreline Amphitheater.  Since 1986 he’s invited artists to perform acoustically for the benefit of the Bridge School. Pegi and Neil Young founded the Bridge School to assist children with severe speech and physical impairments learn the tools to express themselves to the world through technology.

It has also been amazing to see Neil perform at smaller venues.  I was lucky enough to catch a few (Boarding House, Old Fillmore, Catalyst) and they are some of my favorite concerts down the road of my musical journey.

(Photo of Neil Young in England playing his electric guitar Ol’ Black, courtesy Chris b)

Some may question why Neil chose to play these venues, but I say why question it.  Whether to warm up for a tour or maybe get the feel of a small audience, each performance holds a special place in the hearts of those who attended them.

Possibly the most notable series of small venue shows occurred in 1996. Neil and Crazy Horse performed at the Old Princeton Landing near the Half Moon Bay harbor. A bar, with a capacity of 150 people, it’s probably the closest they came to feeling like a garage band on that two foot high stage.  Those times are documented on the website Neil at OPL.

While Bay Area residents and visitors might attend a show of another performer at one of the larger venues, some may want to check out the smaller spots Neil has played live. Go to one of the bars, look around and marvel at the small space where this rock legend has performed. What’s your favorite Neil Young show, or other performer you’d travel anywhere to see?

For current/archive Neil Young information visit Thrasher’s Wheat

For live Neil Young dates and set lists visit Sugar Mountain

Here is a complete list of Bay Area venues where Neil Young has played.

San Francisco

Bill Graham Civic Center

99 Grove St
San Francisco
Show date


Boarding House
(RIP)
960 Bush St
San Francisco
Show dates and set list

Fillmore Auditorium

1805 Geary Blvd
San Francisco
Show date and set list – Fillmore Auditorium

Show date and set lists – Old Fillmore (1987)


Golden Gate Park Polo Fields

Show dates and set lists


The Grand Ballroom
The Regency Center
1290 Sutter St
San Francisco
Show date and set list


Kezar Stadium

755 Stanyan St
San Francisco
Show date and set list


KQED Studios

Show date and set list


San Francisco
Civic Auditorium
(now Bill Graham Civic Auditorium)
Show dates and set lists


The Trocadero
(RIP)
Show dates and set lists


Warfield Theater

982 Market St
San Francisco
Show dates and set lists


Winterland
(RIP)
Post & Steiner
San Francisco
Show dates and set lists


Bay Area

Alex’s (RIP)
Woodside
Show date


The Attic
(RIP)
931 Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz
Show date and set list


The Back Room
at The New Riverside
(RIP)
Barson St & Riverside Ave
Santa Cruz
Show dates


Berkeley Community Theatre

1930 Milvia St
Berkeley
Show dates and set lists


The Cabaret
(RIP)
San Jose
Show dates and set lists


Cabrillo
College Stadium
Aptos
Show date


Catalyst

1011 Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz
Show dates and set lists

Cocoanut Grove
400 Beach St
Santa Cruz
Show dates and set lists


Concord Pavilion

(now Sleep Train Pavilion)
2000 Kirker Pass Rd
Concord
Show dates and set lists – Concord Pavilion

Show dates and set lists – Chronicle Pavilion at Concord

Contra Costa Junior College
San Pablo
Show date


Cotati Cabaret
(RIP)
(now Congregation Ner Shalom)
85 La Plaza
Cotati
Show date and set lists

Cow Palace
2600 Geneva Ave
Daly City
Show dates and set lists


Crossroads Club
(RIP)
303 Potrero St  #25
Santa Cruz
Show dates and set lists – Crossroads Club

Show date and set list – The Crossroads Club


Fox Theatre

2223 Broadway St
Redwood City
Show dates and set lists

Little Fox Theatre
2209 Broadway St
Redwood City
Show date


The Fox Theater

1807 Telegraph Ave
Oakland
Show dates and set lists

Greek Theater
Gayley Rd
Berkeley
Show dates and set lists


The Inn Of The Beginning
(RIP)
(now Friar Tuck’s Pub)
8201 Old Redwood Hwy
Cotati
Show date and set list

The Keystone (RIP)
260 California Ave
Palo Alto
Show dates and set lists

Maples Pavilion
Stanford University
655 Campus Dr
Palo Alto
Show date and set list


Margarita’s
(RIP)
Santa Cruz
Show date

The Mountain House
13808 Skyline Blvd
Woodside (La Honda)
Show date and set list

Mountain View Theater (RIP)
228 Castro St
Mountain View
Show dates and set lists

Oakland Coliseum-Arena
(now Oracle Arena & Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum)
7000 Coliseum Way
Oakland
Show date and set list – Oakland Arena

Show date and set list – Oakland, Arena

Show dates and set lists – Oakland Coliseum Arena

Show dates and set lists – Oakland Stadium

Old Princeton Landing
460 Capistrano Rd
Princeton/Half Moon Bay
Show dates and set lists


The Omni
(RIP)
4799 Shattuck Ave
Oakland
Show dates and set lists


Paramount Theatre

2025 Broadway
Oakland
Show date and set list


Saddle Rack
(RIP)
San Jose
Show dates and set lists


San Jose Arena

(now HP Pavilion)
525 West Santa Clara St
San Jose
Show date and set list


Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

307 Church St
Santa Cruz
Show dates and set lists


Shoreline Amphitheatre

One Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View
Show dates and set lists


The Steamship
(RIP)
Santa Cruz
Show date and set


Veterans Auditorium

846 Front St
Santa Cruz
Show date and set list

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4 Responses to “Neil Young Country”

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    Thanks Chris.

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