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Neil Does Christmas - 1996

Holiday Benefit Show
by Flo Hendry, a.k.a.Cowgirl In The Sand

posted to Rust at 18:00:16 PST on Sunday, 15 Dec 96
Also see the "set review" by Fins In Line^^ at bottom.

The Youngs and their two youngest children, Ben & Amber, were singing in harmony in Santa Clara at a Holiday Show benefitting PHP. They also announced the recipients of the Valley of Hearts Awards. "The candidates have affected in some positive way the lives of children with special needs and/or their families. This award is presented in appreciation of their individual efforts and in recognition of their caring."

  • Gloria Spanier - PHP Volunteer of the Year
  • Mike Gillick - Special Recognition
  • Dr. John Sum - Stanford/Medical
  • Feng Tsao - Daycare/Medically Fragile
  • B.O.K. Ranch - Community Agency
Here is the set list of the Sing-Along:
  • Frosty The Snowman
  • Silent Night
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Jingle Bells
  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Prior to the above singalong, there was a short but entertaining show based on T'was The Night Before Christmas.

It was unfortunate that flu and cold virus/illnesses prevented the usual live music by the San Jose Youth Orchestra. The director and many members were unable to do their usual pre-concert performance. In their place, was a performance by the Bell Ringers.

It was great to see some familiar faces from previous Nils & Neil shows!

After the show, kids got to climb aboard a fire engine and meet with some Holiday Superstars. And candy canes, apples and oranges were given out, as well as some stuffed toys.

Well Happy Holidays to all!

Cowgirl in the Sand

A "Review" of the Holiday Show

by Pete Fins In Line^^ T

CITS already reported the setlist at the Holiday Benefit Show. Here's what I remember, though it's a wee bit hazy from the eggnog. Whew...

> Set List:
> Frosty The Snowman
From the opening feedback, sent major chills down my spine!! The boys were looking loose. During Neil's second solo (14 min!!) Billy and Frank pelted Ralph with snowcones. At song's end Ralph retaliated by jamming a carrot (I think) right up Billy's nose!! My seat kinda sucked, can anyone in the SnowRow verify that it was a carrot?! Anyway, awesome version with Neil chanting something like, "good luck, Frosty!" while grinning up at the hot stage lights. Wow!
> Silent Night
AWESOME!!! - SOLO!!! Is this the first time since Anchorage '72?? Anyone? Shakey?? At long last, Neil played the pipe organ!!! He's GOTTA be a Christmas freak, he dragged that big beast halfway 'round the world just for this moment, Gloat Gloat.   ;^)
> Winter Wonderland
Acoustic duet, Neil on banjo! With Poncho, sitting at Neil's feet, on one of those little pianos that Schroeder plays in "Peanuts"!!! Stunningly beautiful, and as they played, Pegi and Amber came out and hung stockings for all of The Horse on the amps and drums. I was about to burst into tears of joy when the drunken a-hole behind me (who was bellowing Star of Bethlehem! all night) tossed his cookies and nog right down my back - YUCHHH! Probably I shoulda headed to the restroom, but hey, I hadn't seen Neil and the Horse for, like, a WEEK at that point, so I was NOT budging! ... and good thing, 'cause...
> Jingle Bells
Well when Neil dedicated this to "one hip drag queen, my good friend Tiny" ya knew something big was brewing ... Neil disappeared into the shadows, bitched out Larry about who knows what, and re-emerged with: ELECTRIC! ELECTRIC JINGLE!! ELECTRIC JB on UKELELE!!! Has he EVER played electric JB on uke previous to this?? Anyone? Shakey?? Whew, gotta check my Goats In The Road book, or the Sugar Cookies site setlists...

Another question: could anyone tell if this was a newer uke, or did Neil just have Larry pop some humbuckers into THE old one from Omeeme?!!? Anyone from Rusted-Ukeleles know anything 'bout this? Any info appreciated.

> Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Hilarious! Neil totally screwed up the "Comet, Cupid, Prancer..." part, looked at Poncho laughing, stopped and started over, changing the names to "Ann Margaret, Muhummad Ali,..." I couldn't make out the rest. Got to the "used to laugh and call him names" part and Poncho and Billy were screaming at Neil, "You F*#!k UP!" That got some of the Den Mothers squirming in the front rows. Well, those shoulda been OUR damned seats anyway, no offense Sheila or Lookout!   :)

At the end, Neil's voice cracked big time on "his-TOR-reeee", and Larry ran right out and stuck an oil can down his throat, just like in Wizard of OZ!!! Did ANYONE tape (video) this, PLEASE?? I would LOVE to have this; I have 298,001 hrs of Neil, Dead, Reddy to trade. Email private please, thanks.

> Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Santa kicked ASS, IMO!!! As the sonic rumblings of SCICTT began to pound our helpless bodies, I glanced over and felt the PRIDE - for the first time all night I spotted the MORE MANGER banner!! It was held up on either end by Joe and Mary from Jerusalem, great to see you guys! Sorry we didn't get to chat.   :(

Neil's solos were absolutely gorgeously transcendant, and then the wall of sound descended into glorious cacophony, as the guys laid their guitars on the stage and invited all the kiddies in the front rows to come up and jump on them and dump hot wax everywhere! Poor Black!!

Ralph was flailing his toms with the bra of a Den Mother who had achieved Rustedness right then and there, but please don't ask what THAT sounded like!   ;;;)   chortle

Neil was now wearing a magestic robe that Larry had draped around Him, and in his finest, most eerie high-pitched wailing, kept repeating "better be gooooood, better be goooooood" like he was possessed, and I swear he was looking right at the MORE MANGER banner the whole time, with that piercing glare of his!!! The walls came tumbling down, seemingly, and it was over, zip zam zowee and SWOOSH! - Wow!!!

As the lights finally came up, I was feeling a bit, ahem, crusty, and headed off to re-clothe at the t-shirt booth. All I could think was, what a way to end a great year!! Heard later that Zeke came out on stage dressed as Santa Claus and handed out HercoFlex 50s to all comers!? Is this true?!

Anyone? Shakey??   ;^)

A Very Merry Christmas to ALL Neilheads Everywhere
( apologies for any and all offenses :)

Fins in Line^^

PS: Sorry to miss y'all at the pre-show Fest at the Nog Tent, fellow rusted travellers Big Bomber Roller and Glasses of Beer were inexplicably late in picking us up, THEN they insisted on some last-minute shopping in the parking lot, JEEZ! Finally walked in just as The Yodeling Nun was wrapping up her set, Wow!

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