The first run in '96...
Brad Brandeau took a somewhat obscure story that was originally told by Graham Nash, and turned it into the biggest production in Rust List history to date (1996). The back of the shirt tells the story, for those who don't understand...
After working with the artist and a printer, Brad single-handedly took orders from the entire Rust world -- not once, but twice -- and shipped the shirts out to everyone in time for the 1996 US Tour. At the Raleigh show, Lookout Mama presented to Neil his own MORE BARN! shirt, and shirts for his family.
Subsequently, via Lookout Management, Brad has passed shirts on to the members of Crosby, Stills and Nash. Also, another Rusty has presented one to guitar-legend Steve Cropper of Booker T & The MGs.
While taking orders for the shirts, Brad asked folks to pitch in a few extra bucks to donate to the Bridge School. Rusties responded enthusiastically (as usual).
Here's Brad's story of the delivery of that donation, during the 1996 Bridge Benefit Concert:
"...It's around 5:00... so we head to Shoreline... just down the street ... TRAFFIC! Finally get into the parking lot... head to the show... WILL CALL... works out ok... and we have some backstage Guest Passes!!!!!
It's about 5:45, so we grab a few shirts and start asking the gatekeepers where to go after the show for the reception ... no one knows??? After the 3rd or 4th person, we are told that we can go back there RIGHT NOW!!!! It's now about 10 minutes until showtime and we find the backstage gate area ... and head in...
We get there and my girlfriend, Kumi, heads to the restroom, while I am hanging out. It's kind of a hustle and bustle now with many people coming and going ... and a couple of kids right there in their wheelchairs & all. Pretty moving.... And then I recognize one of the kids looks like Ben... Sure enough... there's BEN! I turn around, bam... It's PEGI!!!
I say, " Pegi Young?!" and she looks at me, smiles and says "I gotta ..." and I say, "Wait!!!!! I'm from Rust and I..." she says "I really..."
I say, "I have a donation for The Bridge School from our Group...." I assertively shake her hand ( and I'm not an assertive kinda' guy!) and put my envelope in her hand at the same time. And she says, "You guys are great! I really have to be out there 5 minutes ago..." and then she says to a friend of hers, in a leopard skin coat "Can you hold this...?" And she hands her my envelope... And off they go... She just slipped away...
I'd say that all of that action took place in 3-5 seconds... But I reacted to what ended up to be my only chance...
Kumi comes out of the restroom & I tell her it's all over! I gave Pegi our donation and I barely remember what happened! She couldn't believe it!
I just wish we would have known what these guest passes were for before we got there (ie, before the show) You arrive 1-2 hours before & attend this function ... and then again after the show too, if you want. Timing & communication is everything ... but this "just happened", luckily!!!
I almost wouldn't say I "met" Pegi, as I never had the chance to introduce myself, mention MORE BARN! , or anything. It was just a wham-bam kinda' thing. I just hope to God that the envelope (which was not sealed, as I planned on showing Neil the check) got to the right people -- and that Pegi & Neil get to read the letter I enclosed with the check, explaining the MORE BARN! project, the extra donations received, etc...
So it goes...
We get to our seats as Pegi is being the MC. Aas I take my seat and whip out my binoculars, I notice Pegi's friend standing on the side of the stage -- in her leopard skin coat -- holding my envelope in her hand. I guess that's a good thing... I got a little rush out of it...
The show was better than any review one could write! Afterward we said "WTF" and went backstage again .... hung out till' about 1:30 ... waiting for people to slowly leave.
So we're hanging out, and there are people coming and going. Ben is there for a few minutes ... and there's a large wooden crate with some Lionel Train stuff in it ... and a couple of guys farting around. So I drop a [MORE BARN!] card into the crate... hang out... and wait...
Wait some more...
Most people are gone... It's getting late...and out comes Eddie Vedder. He has a bottle of wine under his arm, and a 100mm cigarette in his mouth. He's immediately surrounded by many younger fans. He mills around for a few ... and then takes off...
I ask another guy about Neil & The Horse. He says everyone's gone already...
With a 45 minute drive home to his own bed, I can't say I blame him!
Back to the last car in the parking lot..."
Lookout Mama's Story...
... Anyway, more Rusties keep showing up - by the time we're all ready to go I lost count. Drove over with O&O and Dave-from-Texas. Park the car, meet up with the other guys and we all go in. Security is not too tight so I was able to sneak in my camera. A big thank you to Dave for carrying in my large lens. Unfortunately, my shutter is broken so I have to do some weird gyrations to shoot so I'll know in about an hour from now if anything came out. We get in and stake out the Rustie meeting place. While we're all drifting in and out and up and down from the beer kiosk folks are coming up to us and asking if we're from Rust. Lurkers and total strangers. Apparently, the MORE BARN! shirts and the RUST@DEATH shirts were a tip off. I think we made several new Rustie converts that day. Hi guys! Welcome aboard!
So, here we all are, hanging out at the Rust table getting wet and not caring when Linda M and some friends come running over to me telling me I have to give them a [MORE BARN!] shirt cuz they told Zeke Young about it and he wants to see one. Told them that I'd do them one better - let's go over and I'll give Zeke his shirt, which Brad had provided. So we go over to the soundboard and there's this 20 something blond haired Neil semi-clone sitting there. Ladies, he definitely got the best of Dad & Mom - he's not bad!!! (taste of course being subjective) Gave him the bag and told him to grab himself a shirt. Finds his size and takes it out, gives it a good luck and starts saying "oh wow! this is really great!" and other stuff which was generally favorable to the MORE BARN! shirt. We got the idea he liked it.
Unfortunately, I had put my camera strap in the bag with the shirts and he found that too. It's an old ratty strap but it sorta looks like those 1960's guitar straps that us ole hippies loved. So he picks up the strap and tells me that his dad "would love to have this". I'm like, Zeke are you nuts!!! It's a ratty ol camera strap! And, your Dad CANNOT have it! Tell him to get his own! Well, guess what? I think I left the strap in the bag when I gave it to Neil (I can't find it). So....Neil if you're out there, can I have my camera strap back, man? Please??????
OK, so we chat for a while with Zeke and then Ben Folds Five comes on. Mention that maybe we should all go to our seats and Zeke makes a face. So I say, "I gather you don't like them, huh?" His reaction was, "Yeah, they suck." Unfortunately, from what I heard of them I have to agree. I'd like to hear them in a quieter circumstance - give them another try. So, back to the Rustie table. BTW, Linda M tells us that Zeke has heard of us over on Rust.
Jewel is next and although I really wanted to see her, I missed her set waiting in line at the payphone (had to call the daughter and wish her goodnight). So, back to the RustTable, hang out, get wetter, have some iced cappucino, hang out..... NEIL TIME! And, the rain stops!
I've been going to see Neil since January, 1973. That's a lot of shows. This show definitely ranks as one of the best Neil & the Horse shows I've ever seen. From the first chords of Hey Hey My My we were all on our feet and didn't sit down for the rest of the night. Well, I did sit during Cortez. It was washing over me and I was swaying so much I almost lost my balance. So I just sat down, closed my eyes, and let Neil do his magic.
Hurricane was more than intense! As others have reported, Neil broke every string on Old Black and still got that guitar to scream. From the angle I had I could see that when Black had slipped down off Neil's shoulder and he was holding it around waist level it almost looked like he was making love to his guitar. This image was further enhanced by the fact that the strap was just bouncing up and down across his ass with total abandon.
Pocahontas was real fine as well. Sorta loped across your brain. The guys really got into Welfare Mothers. "Where's the Check??!!" I liked Slip Away - I did. The jams were great. Very easy but very intense. I woulda loved to have not heard Heart of Gold and Sugar Mountain but I understand why they must be played. Hey Neil, an idea - maybe instead of one of those 2 you could do Homefires or even Interstate? How bout acoustic Dead Man? That may sell a few copies.....
Unfortunately, it was over way too soon with the curfew. Time to head backstage with the shirts. Jim McKelvey also had a backstage pass so we went in together, along with his son. We had red passes and had to sit in the red pass area (as opposed to the green pass area). Fortunately, as it was a hot muggy nite, there was plenty of bottled water and iced sodas laid out for us.
After about 5 minutes one of the guys on the crew came out and told us that Neil would be out shortly - we were to sit around the tables and he'd come around and chat for a few minutes. Well, I was in 7th heaven since I only thought I'd be meeting Elliot since the arrangement was to present the shirts to him to give to Neil. But it also pissed me off a bit. It was almost like Neil is this trained seal to be trotted out and made to perform before being put away again. But, I suppose if Neil didn't want to do it that way he wouldn't do it at all.
We sit at our table and all of a sudden Neil, Elliot, Ralph and Billy come strolling out. I honestly don't remember what Neil had on - except for the straw hat. But he looked sooooooo good. It seems that when Neil has a good night, the years just melt off his face. He looked around 35 years old (or was that Grecian Formula?). So relaxed, and with that crooked Neil grin.
Of course everyone rushes him. Don't know why, but I decided to hang back like we were told. Almost blew my chance that way. The tour dude kept telling folks to get back and they kept crowding in closer. Jim M went off to talk to Elliot about the archives and I angled in to snap a few pix for some folks who wanted themselves posing with Neil. (I did get them back a while ago and NOTHING came out except a few dark ones of the Rustfesters at John Meckley's garage and a very ghostlike image of Neil with his back turned away). While I was snapping these pics I had to tell Neil several times to get in closer. Fortunately, it didn't annoy hiim - he thought it was a goof. Told him my camera is broken and I didn't have a short lens so he had to bear with me. He did say something back but I don't know what it was - we all laughed though.
So I take these pix and suddenly Neil starts walking away. And here am I with the shirts. Decision time - do I just give them to Elliot or try and grab Neil? Well....obvious no brainer here. I just run up to him, tap him on the shoulder (he's only about 6 feet btw - the old age shrink has started!) and say "Neil, wait a sec!" He turns around and I hold out the bag to him and say "I have something to give you on behalf of Brad Brandeau and the rest of Rust".
Neil: "Oh yeah....Rust!" (with a smile and one of those I-know-who-you-are type of nods).
Me: "Neil, this is just our way of saying thanks, man. Thanks for everything you've given to us. There's a shirt in here for you and everyone in the band, 2 for Elliot, one for Larry Cragg, and Zeke already has his so don't let him have another one <grin>. Oh yeah, shirts for Pegi, Ben and Amber are being mailed to Lookout under separate cover."
At this, he broke into the biggest grin. And his eyes literally lit up. You could see the love in his eyes and I think he's really glad we remembered the rest of his family. Neil: "Thanks!",and he turns to go.
Me: "Oh yeah Neil, one more thing! Could you sign my shirt, man?" Turn around, lift up my hair and he signs across the top. Me:" Ooh, that tickles!"
Feel the movement stop and turn around to get the pen and give him Dave Katz's pick case to autograph - he hands me the pen, turns and goes. It's over.
We pack up to leave. I break down my totally worthless camera and we head towards the door. Suddenly the "handler" comes running up to me:
"I just want to tell you that Neil is crazy about those shirts! He thinks they're great! As a matter of fact he just walked out to the bus carrying one under each arm!".
Me: "Cool! Glad he likes them. Just make sure they go to everyone else!" Handler says he will and turns to speak with somebody else. Now it's really over.
BTW, I did get a chance to speak to Elliot - introduced myself and thanked him and Lookout for what they've done for us at Rust. And told him he had a shirt too. He didn't say much - smiled a lot though. He was in a very good mood too.
The 20th Anniversary More Barn! order deadline concluded on August 26th.
Thanks to all who ordered BARN! Shipment of all orders is projected
to begin on or around Sept 23.
Over the past few years many people have sent me and the Rust List emails inquiring about the MORE BARN! shirts, their availability, and whether or not other MORE BARN! "stuff" might be available. It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since the first More Barn! run in 1996 when many of us from the Rust community first met in person in the BARN! at the Gorge Amphitheater for the Year of the Horse!
Celebrating 20 years of MORE BARN! has been very satisfying. If you have interest in shirts you may contact me via email directly and if I have any extras from over the years in your size I'd be happy to try to help get you in the BARN! Sizes and styles will most likely be limited. No additional runs are planned at this time.
Thank you for visiting More Barn!
Many thanks to:
Neil and Graham for your music and spirit!
Todd Van Luling, Senior Staff Writer, The Huffington Post for his recent article confirming the More Barn! story:
Neil Young Finally Confirms The Most Popular Legend About Him
My Fiancée Raina for her help with my buttons, IT consult and overall support.
Michelle at Zooma Design for her help in bringing More Barn! up to date here for online ordering!
See you in the BARN!
"More Barn!" Brad