On the eve of what may be his most back-to-basics record in years — A Letter Home, an acoustic effort that was recorded direct to vinyl in Jack White’s 1940s recording booth — Neil Young has now closed one of Kickstarter’s most successful high-tech campaigns. Originally meant to raise $800,000, the Pono drive ended up generating more than $6 million ($6,225,354 to be exact) and 18,200 backers for the CD quality-plus digital player. That makes it the third most successful campaign in Kickstarter history, right after an “E-Paper Watch” and a video game console.
“It was not easy getting this far,” Young wrote in a thank you letter, “but you made it happen by supporting Pono’s vision for better listening. We have been working with the labels, with the artists and producers, and we will continue to do that. We go to the source to find the best and bring it to you. Pono wants to preserve the history of music, in all of its beauty and expression, for all time. Forever.
He continued, “There is a way to do this right, and we are going to do it. We will be sharing how we will do this with you over the next few months, while we build your first ever PonoPlayers. We are going to do some revolutionary things. We will make music available in a way that has never been done, a way that allows for constantly attaining the best listening experience.”
Watch an extended Pono trailer with testimonials from Eddie Vedder (“my drug of choice is now potent again,” he says), Tom Petty, Gillian Welch, David Crosby, Norah Jones and more below…