Lofgren In, Poncho Out, for Neil Young’s Next Crazy Horse Lineup
Neil Young's upcoming stage reunion with Crazy Horse will feature a familiar face making a long-overdue return — and the absence of one of the group's longtime cornerstones.
As previously reported, Young has booked a pair of upcoming shows with his on-again, off-again compatriots in Crazy Horse, set to take place May 1 and 2 in Fresno. The unrehearsed gigs, which offer a welcome break from Young's recent absence from the stage, mark his first concerts with the group since July 2014, when they played in Iceland.
Yet as Rolling Stone reports, the Crazy Horse that take the stage in Fresno will have a different look and sound. Guitarist Nils Lofgren has announced that he'll be part of the lineup, returning to the fold more than 45 years after he contributed to the first Crazy Horse LP. Calling himself "Beyond honored," he tweeted, "Nothing like playing with old friends. A friend just reminded me, at this age you can’t coast."
As Lofgren returns, guitarist Frank "Poncho" Sampedro — a constant Crazy Horse presence since joining the band in 1975 — will be sitting these shows out. Although the reasons for Sampedro's absence are unclear, Young addressed the change in a newsletter post, saying he was "unable to join us right now" and expressing hope that he'd return at some point.
"I think," wrote Young, "it will be the beginning of another beautiful chapter in our long, enriching and life changing Crazy Horse story."
Whatever the future holds for Sampedro with Crazy Horse, he's made it clear that he's interested in going out on a high note — and his own terms. "I want to do a tour where we know it's the last one and we can really say goodbye to all the people that have always been there for us," he told Rolling Stone in 2014. "I want to share a special moment with them."