Ohkini! (Tarantura TCDNY2-1, 2)
Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan – March 4, 1976
Disc 1 (35:37): Announcement, Opening, Tell Me Why, The Star Spangled Banner, Mellow My Mind, After The Goldrush, Too Far Gone, Too Far Gone, Too Far Gone, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, A Man Needs A Maid, No One Seems To Know, Heart Of Gold, Announcement
Disc 2 (40:00): Opening Buzzer, Announcement #1, Announcement #2, Country Home, Don’t Cry No Tears, Down By The River, Lotta Love, Lotta Love, Like A Hurricane
Disc 3 (40:42): The Losing End, Band Introduction, Drive Back, Southern Man, Cinnamon Girl (encore 1), Cortez The Killer (encore 2), Announcement
Unlike many major acts and artists who made Japan a regular stop, Neil Young has been relatively scarce. Over a forty year career he’s played only eighteen shows. During his first stop in 1976 there were many different tapers capturing each show for posterity.
Several years ago a great sounding but incomplete tape surfaced and was pressed on Another Osaka (Screamer-04027). Although the tape sounded great it was missing the opening two numbers “Tell Me Why” and “Mellow My Mind” and the final track “Cortez The Killer.” It begins at the very first verse of “After The Goldrush” and cuts out the intermission and a pause before “Cinnamon Girl” for a broken string.
Ohkini! on Tarantura features the Mr. Peach recording. Tarantura utilized uncirculated Peach recordings for four other shows from Young’s 1976 tour of Japan on Wet Show (Tarantura TCDNY-1-1,2) March 3rd, We Love You (Tarantura TCDNY-6-1, 2) with the Budokan show on March 10th, Best Chaw? (Tarantura TCDNY-4-1, 2) with March 6th Osaka, and Arena Of Gold (Tarantura TCDNY-7-1, 2) with the last show of the tour in the Budokan on March 11th.
The show starts off with “Tell Me Why.” Afterwards he practices a bit on his harmonica, playing the opening notes to the “Star Spangled Banner” before playing “Mellow My Mind.” He would play “After The Goldrush” in various parts of the show throughout the year. This night it’s in the first half of the show. It’s interesting that the Japanese don’t cheer when Young sings “and I felt like getting high” as did the American audiences.
“I want to play a new song, if I can remember the words and changes” Young says before “Too Far Gone.” He stops when they audience’s banging on the floor to the rhythm becomes too loud for him. “Bring the drums laughter” he says and the audience laughs. “A Man Needs A Maid” is met with very loud applause, and Young introduces “No One Seems To Know” as “A Man Needs A Maid Part II.”
He tries to say hello in Japanese before “Heart Of Gold.” “A couple more days and I’ll know every word in the Japanese language” he jokes before closing the first half.
When he comes out for the second half, he greets the audience with “ohkini,” which is hello in the Kansai dialect of Japanese, spoken in Osaka (in contrast to the Japan spoken in Tokyo which would be “domo arigato.”)
As good as the opening solo part of the show is, the second half with Crazy Horse is much better.
There are long jams on “Down By The River” and “Like A Hurricane.” Young stops “Lotta Love” at the very beginning to tell the sound engineer “can you turn the drums down in the monitor?” He then jokes with the audience, “Pretend you didn’t hear that.”
Unlike the tape used by Screamer several years ago, Mr. Peach captured the final song of the night. A long, dark and surreal version of “Cortez The Killer” ends another unique Neil Young show in Japan. Ohkini! differs from the other four Young Tarantura titles because it is divided onto three discs instead of two and is packaged in a tri-fold cardboard sleeve. The excellent sound, performance and completeness makes this an essential release.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)