How Neil Young and ‘Homegrown’ Drummer ‘Butted Heads’

How Neil Young and ‘Homegrown’ Drummer ‘Butted Heads’

Veteran drummer Karl Himmel recalled how he risked his future with Neil Young when the pair “butted heads” the primary time they labored collectively.

Himmel was really useful by Levon Helm as Younger labored on his album Homegrown in 1974. Though the document wasn’t launched till final 12 months, the classes led to knowledgeable relationship that lasted for many years.

In a latest interview with Rolling Stone, Himmel mentioned he was first approached by coproducer Ben Keith: “[He] mentioned, ‘Come by the studio and I’ll introduce you to Neil. And Levon wants some gear.’ I’d identified Levon for years, and I mentioned, ‘I’ll give him something he desires.’ However I used to be working a few instances once they have been within the studio. I additionally didn’t need to go to another person’s studio once I’m not the drummer. The final day that they have been recording, Levon mentioned to me, ‘You gotta come down.’ And so I went, and he launched me to Neil.”

When Helm mentioned the drummer job was vacant as a result of he needed to maintain enterprise elsewhere, Himmel and Younger’s first skilled change happened. “Neil mentioned, ‘I actually like your snare drum.’ Then I am going, ‘I like your fairly guitar,’” Himmel mentioned. “It was only a nice assembly. … However we butted heads that first time within the studio. I’ll always remember the look on Ben Keith’s face. … We have been doing a music, and Neil mentioned, ‘What’s the drummer’s title?’ Ben Keith goes, ‘Karl.’ And Neil goes, ‘Karl, I believe you’re pushing me.’

“On the time, I assumed I used to be bulletproof since I labored with lots of people. I went, ‘What’s that guitar participant’s title?’ Ben mentioned, ‘Neil.’ I mentioned, ‘Neil, I believe you’re out of tune.’ He smiled and went, ‘That’s it! I gotta get one other drummer!’ And he began laughing.”

Himmel mirrored: “That’s how it’s with Neil. We nonetheless giggle after we discuss, however he’ll go, ‘Why don’t you name?’ I am going, ‘I don’t name anyone.’”


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