I’ve been hearing about Neil Young and the Ducks for decades in Santa Cruz. The details of the story were always vague enough to seem like it might just be some urban legend somebody made up: sure, everybody knows Neil Young had a connection to Santa Cruz, but did you know he actually had a band here? Yeah, it was called the Ducks, and it only existed for one summer in the ’70s. Oh, and they only played inside the city limits of Santa Cruz, because of some secret agreement he had to sign with his record company!
It sounds … ridiculous. But at some point, I got my hands on an archival copy of the 1977 GT story profiling the band, proving that it was indeed real—and as musically promising as the local legends about it suggested. Still, there were a lot of maddening questions—first and foremost, what happened to the Ducks, and why?
Geoffrey Dunn’s cover story this week explains not only how Neil Young and the Ducks came to be, and why they broke up (it turns out to be maybe the worst reason I’ve ever heard of for a band to break up, and that’s saying a lot), but also why their brief existence is remembered by those who saw them as so magical. Upside: this is the story I’ve always wanted to read about the Ducks. Downside: now I’m even more crushed that I never got to see them.
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR IN CHIEF
Letters to the Editor
Steve, I enjoyed your interview/story about the Sgt. Pepper album cover (“Lonely at the Top,” Aug. 9). But how did you manage to leave out Jann’s artist mother (and Ted’s wife), Miriam?
I own of one of Miriam’s moody mid-century serigraphs. She is also well known as a ceramicist and sculptor.
Hope you’ll find a way to mention Miriam in the next issue.
Mark Bradlyn | Aptos
Thanks, Mark, for giving me an excuse to do so. Due to space limits, I had to leave out some interesting aspects of Jann Haworth’s story, including her experimental, anti-establishment work prior to 1967, and her mother Miriam’s successful artist career. They both warrant further reading for those who’d like to know more about the artist who co-created the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ cover. — Steve Palopoli
Where We Live
I really enjoyed your cover story on the Beatles, but did you realize that there is a Yellow Submarine sing-along Aug. 19 at the Rio benefiting local nonprofit Santa Cruz Performing Arts? It’s the perfect way to support kids and celebrate the Beatles!
Nicolette Nasr | Santa Cruz
Re: Logos Closing
So sad this is happening, I buy my books there and at the library sale, never online and never from any box stores. This is the consequence of not supporting them. Everywhere I went yesterday—at Harts fabrics, at New Leaf in Felton—I heard people talking about it. This has shook up the town. Learn from this, folks. Do not support the big corporations, as this is the freaking consequence. I am glad I shopped there now more than ever.
— Ella Seneres
When our daughters were growing up, Friday nights were for visits to Bookshop Santa Cruz and Logos. Any time one of us was in a pinch and couldn’t find an older book, we always tried Logos. So sorry for the community’s loss and the employees losing their jobs, but it is understandable that Mr. Livingston has to make the right decision for himself and his family. Too bad there was no overpaid Silicon Valley “millionaire” who was not interested in keeping a treasure like Logos going.
— Bill Brigham
When I was in high school, and after, I worked at Books Universal in Livermore until I was drafted. When I returned from the Army, I moved to Santa Cruz and brought my library that I’d accumulated over the years. At one point, I gave it all to a friend because I wanted to reduce my possessions. A short time later, he came to me to apologize to me for having sold all the books to Logos so he could make his rent. This was maybe 1972 0r ’73. Until 1986, when I moved to Washington, I would occasionally buy a book that I had previously owned. Not a copy, but the copy I had owned. Marvelous place. Logos will always be a part of Santa Cruz history.
— Ron Greenman
Re: ‘What the Health’ Documentary
Many of these doctors were not doctors in the field of nutrition and intestinal care. One was an ER doctor, another a doctor in psychotherapy, and one was a creationist talking about how humans evolved. He doesn’t even believe in evolution. That is very worrisome that they are spouting what they believe is fact when they are not even experts themselves.
There were also no concessions about the other side of the argument, which is a sign of a poorly made documentary. The best documentaries in the world at least bring up the opposite opinion and how the arguments could be seen as correct. This one is blatantly one-sided.
Also please note the cigarette comparison is insanely misrepresented. Cigarettes have an 18 percent of absolute risk of causing cancer, while meat has a relative risk of causing cancer. Cigarettes cause a 2300 percent relative risk, if you are going to use that method. So, no, Americans are not feeding their children cigarettes. That is an outrageous claim and irresponsible of them to even compare the two.
I suggest reading up on more research that debunks these claims the film makes. The diabetes arguments are also horribly incorrect.