Neil Young & Crazy Horse Autographed Poster
Neil Young News
May 8, 2005
Steve Cross contributed this story to Thrasher's Wheat and was the winning entry for the Greendale Songbook Contest. Here's Stephen's roadtrip story.
My brother and I headed to Kansas City from Wichita in search of Greendale.
Found Neil's bus the night before....late. Went to the Hyatt Crown Center hotel Saturday morning...scoped it out. Parked in a taxi zone in front of the hotel most of the day....suprised they didn't tow me.
First sighting was Zeke...Neil's son. I had my "Feedback is Back" Ragged Glory large poster for a challenge to get autographed. Zeke told me for sure Neil and the Horse would not sign it because of Ebay.
Next sighting...out of the blue walks into the lobby David Crosby with his wife Jan! CSN was playing a concert 70 miles away at the State Fair in Missouri (we didn't know they were staying at the same hotel). My brother asks him if he would sign...refused, no way!
I started to take a photo a minute later when he was talking with Zeke....Crosby looks over at me and yells "put that down, right now!!"
I start to smile and laugh....he yells at me to "get out" and comes toward me and then heads to the front desk to get security. Meanwhile all the guests in the lobby can't believe what an idiot Crosby is! They somewhat take my side in disbelief and talk to me about how rude he was. I should have told Crosby that I wasn't there to see him, but Neil and the Horse. Crosby finally heads up the escalator staring back at me seeing if I took a photo....I should have. Security asks us to wait outside of the lobby....no problem.
Now back to my mission of Neil and the Horse. First saw Billy Talbot exiting the front lobby doors....so I took my poster (with cardboard backing) to him asking if he would sign....No problem...signed graciously and commented on the nice poster. Said he was out getting a breather (smoking cigarettes)....He signed my brothers also, then posed for pictures with us. Then headed down the sidewalk and went around the corner. One down, 3 to go.
Overheard Zeke telling some of his people by the buses about how Crosby was yelling at me in the lobby...laughs for everybody (except Crosby). In the next hour I spotted Ralph Molina coming out...standing by the front doors. Went over and asked him to sign....No problem...happy to do so and commented on the poster. I told him we would be in the front row for the show.
In the meantime we spot Stephen Stills and Graham Nash walking around between the buses and the hotel...further away from Neil's bus...so didn't bother them for autographs for fear of missing Neil. Now waiting for Poncho and Neil....Frank Sampedro (Poncho) walked out and walked towards some people by the buses....I wasn't quite sure it was him, but followed him anyway.
Stood next to him and the group with Billy and Ralph just listening and Billy said to Poncho if he had seen and signed the "cool" poster of mine yet. Poncho said "no, he hasn't asked me yet". Now I was SURE it was him...(sarcasm). I asked him...and he said no problem...signed, and I told him thanks for the music....and staying with Neil....that the Horse keeps Neil going...maybe it's the otherway around? They all continued to hang around the bus with part of the crew....One more to go!
After about 30 more minutes Neil and his family, Pegi, Ben etc... strolled out towards his bus. My heart rate went up big time...and headed towards Neil asking if he would sign my poster. He seemed to hesitate while his tour people put there hands out tried to keep me back a little. Then Neil took my sharpie and was about to sign on the top of the poster...and simultanously I motioned for him to sign under where he was pictured on the poster....he paused again and said calmly "you're a little pushy" and set the sharpie down on the poster without signing, then headed to the bus!
My heart stopped and I looked at David with my jaw dropped....thinking I really screwed up. When my heart started again, I headed to the bus in disbelief and frantically tried ask his bus crew to ask him again if he would sign...that I didn't mean to be pushy, but was only very excited. In the mean time Neil signed a few autographs standing in the door of his bus.....I sat down on the ledge next to the bus and motioned to Pegi if he would sign it.
A few seconds later....someone on the bus motioned to me to come over and hand in the poster. My brother quickly headed over and handed his in also......I stood there trying to look in and saw Neil signing both of them.....Neil yelled out "This pen sucks!" (I saved the pen) I guess my sharpie dried up...then he signed it with his ball point pen and handed both posters out to us.
He even signed EXACTLY where I wanted him to in the first place. What a RELIEF!!! It was complete! I could breathe again.....What an intense few moments that was. I motioned to Neil and Pegi Thanks a lot!! Now off to the concert at Starlight. Front row seats in the center section!!
Awesome, could feel the airconditioning from the stage. Great Greendale set....My brother and I both made eye contacts throughout the show with band members.....surely they remembered the posters. Pegi even motioned to me for the Bridge Benefit shirt I was wearing...Thumbs up!
Poncho motioned to my brother for his Zuma shirt he was wearing also. After the Greendale set all four of them were standing taking a bow...when I looked at Ralph Molina and motioned for him to give me one of his drumsticks......he didn't even hesitate, took a couple of steps toward me and tossed me one of them!! SWEET!!
The drumstick said Ralph Molina...Neil Young and Crazy Horse on it! Don't get no better than that.....great music, autographs, photos, drumstick. All for being just a little bit "pushy". By the way, I did end up getting a photo of David Crosby....at a distance.
What a day!
Steve Cross, Wichita, Ks.
Thanks Steve! Be The Rain!
For more on Greendale tour, see the Neil Young Greendale Concert Reviews 2004 page.
More on Neil Young and Greendale.