Crazy Horse (band)

From Academic Kids

Crazy Horse is the name of a band that often plays with Neil Young. They have been co-credited with him as Neil Young and Crazy Horse on a number of albums from Everyone Knows This is Nowhere in 1969 to Greendale in 2003. In addition, the band has appeared on select tracks on other Neil Young solo albums, and they have also recorded several albums on its own.




The band began as a doo wop group named Danny & the Memories with Danny being Danny Whitten and future Crazy Horse members Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina being members. The band evolved into the Rockets in 1966 with Whitten becoming a guitarist, Talbot a bass player and Molina a drummer as well as adding Bobby Notkoff on violin and Leon Whitsell and George Whitsell who played on the Rockets first and only album, a self-titled set in 1968.

Whitten met up with Neil Young who had left Buffalo Springfield and played gig at the Whisky A Go-Go club in Los Angeles. Young asked Whitten, Talbot and Molina to play with him on several songs on Everybody Knows This is Nowhere his second solo record including "Cinnamon Girl" and toured with Young afterwards. The trio broke up the Rockets and formed Crazy Horse.

Neil Young used Crazy Horse on his third solo album After the Goldrush. At the same time, Neil Young also accepted an invitation to join Crosby, Stills & Nash. In the interregnum, Crazy Horse signed its own recording contract releasing a self-titled album in 1971.

Danny Whitten developed a serious drug habit and left Crazy Horse in 1971. He died on November 18, 1972 of an overdose. According to many reports, Whitten died after failing an audition to join Young's touring band for his Harvest album.

Young reconvened with the band with Nils Lofgren joining for the album Tonight's the Night in 1975. Crazy Horse also announced Frank "Poncho" Sampredo as Whitten's official replacement. The band played on Zuma and American Stars n' Bars as well as a few tracks on Young's acoustic set Comes a Time.

In 1978, the band released its fourth album Crazy Moon before rejoining Young for the classic album Rust Never Sleeps. During the eighties, the band played as a unit on Hawks and Doves, Re·ac·tor and Life.

After the tour for Life, Young announced that he wouldn't work with Crazy Horse again. Sampredo decided to remain with Young, but Molina and Talbot recruited Matt Piucci on guitar/vocals and Sonny Mone guitar for the spitefully-titled album Left for Dead.

Young and Crazy Horse made up and reunited in 1990 for the acclaimed album Ragged Glory and a subsequent live album Weld in 1991. There were further appearances on Neil Young albums Sleeps with Angels, Broken Arrow, Year of the Horse and Greendale. Sampredo was not on the Greendale CD, but he did appear with the band on the subsequent tour playing keyboards for the Greendale material and guitar for the encore.

In the Neil Young biography Shakey, it was mentioned that Crazy Horse was working on a new album in 1995 and 1996. However, that album was never finished because Neil Young began work on Broken Arrow.


The Rockets

Crazy Horse

Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Other Collaborations

Billy Talbot solo

External links


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