Is the end nearing for Neil Young and Crazy Horse?: ‘I don’t know how to put it in words’

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Poncho Sampedro updates Crazy Horse fans on an ailing Billy Talbot, who suffered a mild stroke last summer that kept him away from Neil Young’s remaining 2014 dates — and the prospects of a return for the bassist, who has been with Young since 1968.

“My hopes are up. I talked to Billy the other day; he said he was feeling good,” Sampedro tells Michael Bonner of Uncut. “My hopes and dreams, if you want to know those, is that Neil writes a bunch of songs and in January, February we start recording and we go our on a big tour.”

Sampedro makes a forceful argument that Neil Young and Crazy Horse were never the same in Talbot’s absence. But the nature of his situation, which unfolded as Crazy Horse had just completed rehearsals for a looming tour, meant Talbot simply couldn’t take part.

“He was walking with a cane and had just started using his hands,” Sampedro confirms. “His left foot and his left hand weren’t working so well. So, no. And then, at our age, the amount of energy it takes to sustain travelling every day and playing every other night. You’ve got to be in shape for that. We all work out before we go on tour, we all get ready. I don’t think recovering from a stroke, there was ever a thought that he might try and come back at that point.”

And if the next tour is the last for Neil Young this group, which has also recently lost occasional contributor Rick Rosas, as well?

“I always want to call it a farewell tour,” Sampedro admits, “but I don’t think Neil would ever accept that. But for me, I like to live in a perfect world: We had a farewell tour, we got to say goodbye to all the people. There’s been people listening to us and supporting us and we’ve been counting on them to buy our records and show up at gigs, and it would be nice to do something where we all were together saying goodbye, we appreciate it. I don’t know how to put it in words — like a Frank Capra movie, a big happy ending.”

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