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Neil Young Used 200,000 'Comes A Time' Albums As Barn Roof Shingles

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NEIL YOUNG
Musician Neil Young performs with his band 'Crazy Horse' during a concert in Biarritz, southwestern France, Thursday, July 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Edme) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Neil Young has done a lot with his albums over the course of his career. But perhaps one of the most creative uses Young revealed for his albums was literally using them for roofing.

In an interview with Rolling Stone last week, Young was asked about his 1978 album "Comes A Time" and the story he purchased 200,000 copies of the album. Young reportedly bought the massive amount of copies because he was unhappy with the sound, buying the albums so he could do away with them.

"Oh, that was because it was a mastering error," Young said. "The tape got damaged when it went through the airport or something. I had to go back and use a copy of the master -- it was a copy, but it had better-sounding playback than the other one."

When asked if he shot up the 200,000 albums, Young replied with an answer which might have surprised many.

"No, no, I made a barn roof out of them," he said. "I used them as shingles."

The news comes after rock lore and rock historians believed Young purchased and then shot the albums so they couldn't be played. A Neil Young fan site posted an excerpt from Douglas Fetherling's Broadview Book of Canadian Anecdotes regarding the 200,000 albums and a discussion Neil had with his father, the late sportswriter Scott Young.

"Also in the room were stacks of boxes full of records," the elder Young recalled. "'You know what they are?' [Neil] asked. I didn't. ''Comes A Time' copies that were no good,' he said. 'The master tape of 'Comes A Time' had been damaged. He checked it, thinking it wasn't quite right, but not able to identify what. So he okayed it. A week or so later he found one of the tapes taken off the original master."

The anecdote added that after Neil Young contacted Reprise to demand stopping the album's production, the label said they already printed and shipped 200,000 copies. "He said it was his fault, and they must be recalled; he would pay for this personally," Scott Young said. "[Neil] said it was his fault, and they must be recalled; he would pay for this personally. They told him it would cost $200,000, at one dollar per album plus shipping back from Italy and Japan where they'd been shipped. He said he would pay that. 'I don't like throwing money around,' he said. 'But I wasn't going to have this album circulating around the world in bad quality.'"

In related news, Pitchfork reports Young will delay releasing his "Time Fades Away" vinyl box set back to November as Young is working on other projects. These projects include an upcoming book, a new album entitled "A Letter Home" to be released on Jack White's label Third Man Records as well as his new digital music payer and store, Pono.

In addition to those projects, Young will mount a solo trek beginning with a four-night stand at the Hollywood's Dolby Theatre starting March 29. Two-night stands are also confirmed for Dallas and Chicago next month. From there Young and Crazy Horse will mount a European tour this summer.

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