neil youngIn honor of the man’s 68th birthday today, let’s take a listen to a recently surfaced rarity from the summer of ’77. Neil spent much of that year out of the limelight, only to surface with the short-lived Ducks, a band that included former members of Moby Grape. With multiple vocalists and songwriters, this little side-trip suggested that Neil was trying to recapture some of the team spirit of the Buffalo Springfield. Playing mostly low-profile gigs in Santa Cruz, the Ducks premiered several new Neil tracks, including “Sail Away,” the still-unreleased “Windward Passage” and “Little Wing.”

The latter tune would pop up on Hawks & Doves in a hushed, solo acoustic version a few years later. The electrified “Little Wing” here is a bird of a different feather, with Neil’s distorted guitar leading the way into a mournful dirge. “Little Wing, don’t fly away / When the summer turns to fall,” Neil sings achingly. Of course, he did just that soon enough, leaving the Ducks in the lurch once September rolled around. They don’t call him Shakey for nothing. words/ t wilcox

Neil Young & The Ducks :: Little Wing (Santa Cruz, 1977)

6 Responses to “Neil Young & The Ducks :: Little Wing (Santa Cruz, 1977)”

  1. ahh, the Ducks. wish this coulda lasted a little longer. hbd neil.

  2. Anyone know where the full show can be found?

  3. […] You can hear the track at the excellent music blog, Aquarium Drunkard. […]

  4. Very cool that I share the same birthday as Neil. Not to sure how I feel about Charles Manson sharing it though.

  5. full shows –

  6. Oh wow, thanks for this! I recently came across the old audience tape of the Ducks, hearing this version blasts that out of the, er, water

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