Neil Young's new album "Tuscaloosa" is now available for pre-order. Order here
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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Le Noise Sessions: Neil Young Posts New Video w/ Unseen Footage + AOTW: TTN

Le Noise Sessions
via Hearse Theater | NYA

A new Neil Young video from Le Noise Sessions has been posted to via Hearse Theater | NYA.

With a running time of 1hr, 17min, Le Noise Sessions was produced by Daniel Lanois and filmed by CK Vollick. The newly released video contains unseen footage from Le Noise recording sessions in 2010.

In other Neil news, ‘Tonight’s the Night’ is the current album of the week. There is a 12-minute ‘Tonight’s the Night’ video, as well.

The 12-minute ‘Tonight’s the Night’ video contains footage from the album completion party and consists mainly of Neil and friends shooting pool.

Rick Danko and Neil Young - 1973

Neil Young Racks Up - 1973

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

META ANALYSIS: NYA on NYT on "Neil Young’s Lonely Quest to Save Music" on TW

A rather major article "Neil Young’s Lonely Quest to Save Music" by David Samuels in New York Times has been republished with commentary by Neil Young himself on his website Times-Contrarian | NYA. (NYA on NYT on TW ... it's all just so meta.)

As we just published earlier today on his upcoming book To Feel the Music: A Songwriter's Mission to Save High-Quality Audio by Neil Young and Phil Baker, he's been on this audio movement since practically Day #1, so for many there's not too really to say here that hasn't said many, many times already.

But what makes this interview unique is how Neil provides comments directly in the article to make corrections, clarifications and praise where justified. For example, after being quoted on a mini rant against Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Neil doubles down by declaring that Facebook "is not that great for humanity."

Facebook "is not that great for humanity."
via Times-Contrarian | NYA

As regular readers know, we too here at TW have had our issues with Facebook. Or, as we've asked before: Mark Zuckerberg - Liar? Idiot? Or Both?

The interview with Samuels seems to have taken place over a considerable period of time before eventual publication, so Neil provides context here and there. Eventually, the reporter and artist meet in the middle over the subject of children with learning disabilities and the power of music. This is where many will find most interest so we encourage you to check Neil's version with commentary.

And then there are careful observations in Samuels' interview -- such as the following passage -- which Neil lets go un-commented.

Incidentally, the NYT article on NYA runs alongside a Neil Young editorial: A MESSAGE FROM NEIL: What this Newspaper Does for Me. In the editorial, Neil expounds about how the Times-Contrarian Letters to the Editor allows him to answer fan questions directly. "That works for me much better than a blog or chat area. I am not comfortable there with the bots and supposed friends, enemies.

And -- of course, naturally -- we're thrilled that Neil has found that comfort zone here on the wild west internet.

As for us? Our plan is to continue forward and to "keep on bloggin' until the power goes out and our battery's dead". Thanks to all of you who support what we do here at Thrasher's Wheat. We couldn't do it without you.

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BOOK SIGNING: To Feel the Music by Neil Young and Phil Baker - Chicago, Sept 22

"To Feel the Music"
by Neil Young and Phil Baker

Release Date: September 9, 2019 (Pre-order it here. Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link. Thank you!!!)

As noted earlier in April, an upcoming book titled "To Feel the Music" by Neil Young and Phil Baker is set for release on September 9, 2019.

A book signing event will be held on Sunday, September 22, 2019 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie Blvd., Chicago, IL 60647. Further details here.

Phil Baker coauthored with Neil Young the story of Neil’s quixoticly quirky quest to deliver high-quality audio. From an early announcement to the industry from the publisher, BenBella Books (thanks rustie Robert S. & HtH!):
Neil’s efforts to bring quality audio to his fans garnered media attention when his Kickstarter campaign for his Pono player—a revolutionary music player that would combine the highest quality possible with the portability, simplicity and affordability modern listeners crave—became the third-most successful Kickstarter campaign in the website’s history. It had raised more than $6M in pledges in 40 days. Encouraged by the enthusiastic response, Neil still had a long road ahead, and his Pono music player would not have the commercial success he’d imagined. But he remained committed to his mission, and faced with the rise of streaming services that used even lower quality audio, he was determined to rise to the challenge.

But this is also a business story of what’s involved in starting a company from scratch as well as developing, manufacturing and marketing the product. It takes the reader through the ups and downs and difficulties in turning an idea into a reality. Reminiscent of the classic “Soul of a New Machine,” the book explains the formation and workings of a small team of engineers trying to build a product to literally save music.

An eye-opening read for all fans of Neil Young, fans of great music, as well as readers interesting in going behind the scenes of a startup company and the product development process, To Feel the Music has an inspiring story at its heart: One determined artist with a groundbreaking vision and the absolute refusal to give up, despite setbacks, naysayers, and skeptics.
More details on "To Feel the Music" by Neil Young and Phil Baker (Release Date: September 9, 2019) and to pre-order here. (Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link. Thank you!!!)

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

A MESSAGE FROM NEIL YOUNG - COLORADO: "new album.. new movie.. new video..:" | NYA

In a message from Neil Young posted on A MESSAGE FROM NEIL: "new album.. new movie.. new video..".

Last month, Neil Young held a playback of the upcoming album with Crazy Horse titled COLORADO and the first track titled “Rainbow Of Colors” will be released in September. The album COLORADO will have "10 new songs ranging from around 3 minutes to over 13 minutes."

Also, Neil announces ‘Mountaintop Sessions’, a documentary film about the making of COLORADO, which will be released in over 100 theaters world-wide the week the album COLORADO debuts, in October. And in other announcements, ‘Tonight’s the Night’ will be the album of the week. There will also be a 12-minute ‘Tonight’s the Night’ video.

Neil Young posted an image of Side #1 of the upcoming album with Crazy Horse titled COLORADO, on Times-Contrarian | NYA.

COLORADO Side #1 - New Neil Young & Crazy Horse
via Times-Contrarian | NYA

The 2 tracks listed on Side #1:

1. "Think of Me" - 3:02
2. "She Showed Me Love" - 13:36

More on Neil Young & Crazy Horse recording the album COLORADO.

Billy, Neil, Nils, & Ralph - April 2019

via Neil Young Archives | Times Contrarian
photo: dhlovelife

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Woodstock @ 50: Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young + Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock
August 18, 1969

It's been 50 years since Jimi Hendrix caught up with Neil Young at Woodstock in the summer of `69.

On that helicopter day, a half-million stories were made. And here's one of our favorites -- Jimi & Neil trying to make it to the Woodstock concert along with the hordes of flower children at the dawning of the age of Aquarius.

We had long believed it to be an urban legend that Jimi and Neil stole a truck in order to make it to Woodstock. It turns out that is not too far off the mark.

Woodstock: 3 Days of Music, Peace & Love

From a radio interview program "On The Record" by Mary Turner in 1979, Neil was asked about what he remembered of Woodstock:
Young: "One of things I remember about Woodstock was trying to get there to play.

As it turns out, the charter plane I was on with Jimi Hendrix flew into the wrong airport. We were supposed to be picked by a helicopter. The roads were jammed and there was nobody at the airport, so we had no way to get to the concert.

So we're standing at the airport with Melvin Belli [an attorney] trying to figure out what to do. And Melvin Belli steals this pickup truck parked at the airport.

So it's the three of us in this stolen pickup truck trying to get to the Woodstock concert to play -- Jimi, Melvin & me.

That's what I really remember about Woodstock.
Another variation of the story appears in David Zimmer's CROSBY, STILLS & NASH: The Biography with Neil hot-wiring the truck and Elliot Roberts, Young's manager, is driving the pickup truck with Jimi Hendrix on the hood.

Elliot says: 'Jimi Hendrix was a hood ornament! It was insane.'"

As they say, if you remember Woodstock, you weren't there...

So how about the aftermath of Woodstock?

Woodstock: A "Hippie Dream"?

One of them solves the lingering mystery of the absence of Neil Young in Woodstock, the 1970 Michael Wadleigh-directed documentary. And it would seem that's Neil Young's feelings towards that "helicopter day" only seemed to harden over the years. A quote from biographer Jimmy McDonough's Shakey has been bouncing around the blogs driven by a look at the flip-side of Woodstock in The Globe and Mail:
“Woodstock was a bullshit gig. A piece of shit. We played fuckin’ awful.

No one was into the music. I think Stephen [Stills] was way overboard into the huge crowd. Everybody was on this Hollywood trip with the fuckin’ cameras. They weren’t playin’ to the audience as much as to the cameras…I could see everybody changing their performances for the fucking camera and I thought that was bullshit. All these assholes filming, everybody’s carried away with how cool they are…I wasn’t moved.”
In an interrview on Howard Stern Radio in 2014, Neil Young said about Woodstock:
“I didn’t like the fucking cameras, they didn’t have to be on stage. They’re cameras, ‘Hello! Use your zoom, dickhead!”

“Who cares? It doesn’t matter, I was there, I saw it. Who gives a shit? I couldn’t care less.”
From The Dick Cavett TV program that was filmed the day after Woodstock with Joni Mitchell and The Jefferson Airplane's Paul Kantner and Grace Slick.

And out walks David Crosby and Stephen Stills -- basically straight from Woodstock. Stills shows everyone the mud that is still caked to his jeans which everyone seems to find pretty groovy. Stephen then plays "4+20".

There are other clips from the summer and fall of 1969 including scenes from their home studio in Laurel Canyon, California. Song clips include Crosby's "Song With No Words", Stills' "Black Queen", "Find The Cost of Freedom", and Crosby's "Laughing".

Certainly there's a lot of folklore that's been built up about going down to Yasgur's Farm and joining in a rock and roll band. Like that story about Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young riding a stolen truck to Woodstock.

So it turns out that Neil Young was actually at Woodstock afterall even though he does not appear in the film.

There are a lot of stories about why Neil isn't in the film. Most commonly, it's because he didn't want to be filmed and the lights were cut during CSNY's performance.

Neil's had a lot of contradictory reflections to Woodstock over the years. He used the Woodstock stage announcements extensively during the 1978 Rust Never Sleeps tour. (Hey, if we think really hard, be the rain.)

Conversely, look closely at the desert scene in the film Journey Through the Past where there is a shot revealing The Graduate wearing a Woodstock shirt just before shooting up.

So it would seem that some of the ethos of the period didn't sit too well with Neil judging by the lyrics of 1986's "Hippie Dream" from Landing On Water

'Cause the tie-dye sails
Are the screamin' sheets
And the dusty trail
Leads to blood in the streets
And the wooden ships
Are a hippie dream
Capsized in excess

And it would seem that's Neil's feelings towards that day only seemed to harden over the years. A quote from biographer Jimmy McDonough's Shakey has been bouncing around the blogs driven by a look at the flip-side of Woodstock in The Globe and Mail:
“Woodstock was a bullshit gig. A piece of shit. We played fuckin’ awful. No one was into the music. I think Stephen [Stills] was way overboard into the huge crowd. Everybody was on this Hollywood trip with the fuckin’ cameras. They weren’t playin’ to the audience as much as to the cameras…I could see everybody changing their performances for the fucking camera and I thought that was bullshit. All these assholes filming, everybody’s carried away with how cool they are…I wasn’t moved.”

Nevertheless, a duet with Stills on "Mr. Soul" from Woodstock was used on The Archives. So maybe the hippie dream wasn't so bad afterall?

But -- for many -- Neil seemed to really drive a stake into the '60's hippie vibe of "peace, love and music" culture with his "music can't change the world" comments last year. And based on the overwhelming reaction, not everyone agreed that the spirit of the 1960's was dead.

But we still think Neil loves hippies.


On the Greendale tour in 2003, we heard Neil say just before "Carmichael" that:
"It used to be that hippies were good and the cops are bad. Nowadays, it's the cops who are good and the hippies that are bad."

Recall how last fall Neil sported that hippie button?

Nostalgia dies hard.

peace. love. music.

We still think that's what it's all about. While just singing a song won't change the world, it's a start.

More on Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at Woodstock.

Also, see Woodstock: The Day After and whether it was all just a hippie dream?

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Red Headed Wonder: Willie Nelson | NYA

Red Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson

Over on NYA, there's a regular feature called Bentley's Bandstand which covers various rock and roll musings by the Warner Music PR veteran Bill Bentley.

Bentley's pieces are always insightful and enjoyable for their insiders perspective. Incidentally, Bill Bentley handled the "Neil Young Account" at Warner Music. From Red Headed Wonder: Willie Nelson by Bill Bentley:
Wherever he performed it was like a private party for hundreds of people. There was something about Nelson's hard-won wisdom in his music that literally appealed to everyone. While beer sales went through the ceiling at the Armadillo, there were never any fights or even harsh words when Nelson appeared. He was like a musical prince of peace for all of us, pointing to that wide-open space where everyone could celebrate the commonality of being alive and grateful in a place of warm-blooded joy. Dozens and dozens of shows went by, and the wave started growing by the month.

In 1974 he held his first Fourth of July picnic, and it became official: Texas had a new cosmic leader and it was man who not only sang the truth, he lived it.
Full article at Red Headed Wonder: Willie Nelson by Bill Bentley.

More on the Red Headed Wonder: Willie Nelson and Neil Young.

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Rome, Italy - July 15, 2016
Photo by Paolo Brillo
(Click photo to enlarge)

Or, how about Willie for a Nobelfor Farm Aid and his work on alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives!

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"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

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"It's all illusion anyway."

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... and symbolism will be their downfall...

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the truth will set you free
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~~ Bob Marley

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Show Me A Sign



(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul