‘I’m the stick in the mud’: Poncho Sampedro nixes future Crazy Horse projects without Neil Young

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As Frank “Poncho” Sampedro recovers from a hand injury that nixed the remaining European dates on Crazy Horse’s on-going tour with Neil Young, don’t expect him to start entertaining thoughts of a separate project.

Sampedro and the rest of Crazy Horse are expected to return with Young for another round of North American shows beginning later this month, after missing festival dates in Sweden and Belgium. The next concerts begin in Ontario and conclude on September 7, 2013, at the Interlocken Music Festival in Virginia.

Long-time fans will remember that Crazy Horse put out a series of albums without Young, primarily in the early 1970s, including their well-regarded eponymous 1971 project. A year later, guitarist Danny Whitten died of an overdose; Sampedro joined in 1975, just in time for the Young collaboration Zuma. In all, there have been five Young-less recordings, the most recent of which was 1989’s Left for Dead.

Don’t look for any more to follow, Sampedro says — at least if he has any input on the matter.

“I’m the stick in the mud that doesn’t want to do any other work without Neil,” Sampedro says in this newly posted clip. “I just think we have something really special with Neil. We kind of diluted ourselves over the years with trying different projects. A lot of different artists want to work with us, as well. I just don’t want to do that. I think this is special.”

Crazy Horse’s initial collaboration with Young was on 1969’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. Even after all of these years, the creative spark clearly remains. Young and Crazy Horse issued two studio albums last year, before launching this new tour — one of them a traditional song-focused recording called Americana and the other a project featuring all original material.

The subsequent Psychedelic Pill, Sampedro reminds, grew out of an improvisational moment when the initial album was done.

“We recorded a song, after we did Americana, I think it was our first jam,” Sampedro says, laughing. “It lasted 26 minutes. I told Neil, if you just would have gone to a G chord, we probably could have played another half an hour.”

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