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Saturday, May 06, 2006

"I Sing This Song Because I Love The Man"

"One of these days, I'm going to sit down and write a long letter to all of the good friends I've known."

But -- like Neil -- I'm not even sure where to begin this letter.

The past few weeks have been unlike anything ever experienced before here at Thrasher's Wheat. Thrasher has been totally blown away by the entire fallout from the "Living With War" release and it's aftermath.

Many, many thanks to all of my good friends who have sent messages of support over the past few weeks which have gone unacknowledged. Your friendship has been so overwhelming and my family is most grateful for your love and caring. I'm OK and will be trying to respond in the coming weeks.

Now I know what it feels to be hit by a virtual tsunami.

Traffic volume to TW surged and doubled over the previous record spike during the Bob Dylan vs. Neil Young brouhaha. Comments on posts have been in excess of 200 entries. And the level of e-mail has far, far surpassed Thrasher's capacity to respond in anywhere near a timely fashion.

The most disturbing part of this whole surreal affair has been the amount of hate mail and comments. Unbelievable levels of hate and rage over freedom of expression.

At one point, TW was receiving close to 100 letters of hate a day. And that doesn't even include personal threats. Quite discouraging and frightening.

While we are quite familiar with the rage and hate of ignorance from our investigations into Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" legends and myths, we were unprepared for the fundamentalist attack machine putting Thrasher's Wheat into their cross-hairs. If anyone ever encounters the group behind the crusading propaganda machine Cold Bowl of Chili-ites, please let them know that hate is not a family value.

So how in did Thrasher's Wheat become the world's lightening rod for all those opposed to Neil's message on the "Living With War" album? Well, I might live a thousand years before I know what that means...

And the supreme irony?

Are we not "supposedly" fighting in Iraq so that Neil Young (a Canadian no less) can freely sing about whatever he wants to? So Cold Bowl of Chili and company, why do you hate freedom? Why do you not love democracy?

One of the things Thrasher is most proud of is the coverage the site has received that notes our non-partisan and apolitical stance, as Daily Kos notes:
"The definitive Neil Young site Thrasher's Wheat has done the hard work of assembling reaction from musical and political bloggers. Some of the reactions gathered on the normally apolitical Thrasher's Wheat show Bush's zombies in early meltdown."

Just moments ago I finished listening to "Living With War" for the first time. My initial impression was not unlike former president of Reprise Records Howie Klein's who blogged:
"First my biases: I'm prone to love everything Neil records. I feel he's one of the greatest songwriters and musicians of our time.

If I listen to a song of his and I don't get it, I have long learned that that is because I haven't spent enough time with it and that when I do, I will eventually see what he was trying to do and appreciate it. A second bias, just as strong-- and one regular Down With Tyranny readers are already very aware of and probably in sync with-- is my abiding mistrust for the Bush Regime and the alarm with which I view what they have done, and continue to do, to the country I love so much. The nexus of these two biases lead to an incredible hour of listening."

In the meantime, you know what needs to be done. Do something. Stand and be counted. Start a blog, start a revolution. Just don't sit there on the sidelines. We've got a job to do.

Lastly, thanks to Expecting to Fly, Mansion on the Hill, Haahnster, Bill L. and so many of my other virtual and true friends. But most of all, thanks to Thrashette for believing in me. As Sid & Susie would say, you are truly my Cinnamon Girl.

And I am very happy.


At 5/06/2006 11:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to have you back T-man!

At 5/06/2006 11:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back in action, Thrasher. And I'm glad you enjoyed the album too... great stuff.

At 5/06/2006 12:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spudkitt/Chili/Mr. Man... Can't you take a hint? Go Away. Don't just start posting with another identity, just go back to your lonely world and leave this site for good.

At 5/06/2006 01:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Thrasher, Thanks for hanging in there and weathering the storm! yer pal.......barreloflaughs

At 5/06/2006 02:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done Thrasher.I can't understand the vile comments thrown at Neil.
You get the truth from music and books,not sitting watching the evening news.
What a great album it is and thank God,he's not laid back and laughing anymore !!!
Rednecks go watch your Rambo films !

At 5/06/2006 03:15:00 PM, Blogger lazerlou said...

Do you not realize that you flamed as Chili while logged in a Spudkitt a couple posts ago? You are a sick, and you need to get help.

At 5/06/2006 04:17:00 PM, Blogger Linda said...

Thrasher, I came here just before all the new album controversy. Never got a chance to tell you how cool I think it is. Hopefully all the fuss will subside.

At 5/06/2006 07:23:00 PM, Blogger Glen Boyd said...


I had no idea that you we're virtually under siege over here otherwise I would have responded sooner. I've felt a little bit of that initial news story on Living With War for Blogcritics garnered well over 100 comments. At first the dialog was pretty civil but then this one guy started posting sometimes up to ten very nasty responses a day under various names including "Fuck Libs", and other juvenile crap.

The editors over there finally deleted the names he was using. Throughout the whole thing I by and large ignored it...with maybe one or two exceptions.

All I have to say Thrasher is keep fighting the good fight. This really is the best damn Neil Young site on the Internet and it would be a shame to see your voice silenced because of the bombs hurled your way by a couple of neanderthals.

I've got you linked on my review at Blogcritics as well as at The World Wide Glen.

As I said, keep fighting the good fight Thrasher. Because most of us...and we're the ones that really count anyway right?...really do appreciate the work you do.

Your Cyberpal,

Glen Boyd

At 5/06/2006 08:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there kiddo. I only recently discovered your site, and I absolutely love it! I'm shocked that some folks would go to so much trouble just to spew nonsense.

I have loved Neil for more than 30 years, I love the new record, and I love your site. Keep fighting the good fight.

At 5/06/2006 10:39:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...


Hopefully I can say this right. So sorry to hear of what you have been going through. I have been battling my own little battles on behalf of this record, so I have an inkling of what you mention, though just an inkling I am sure. Truth is worth fighting for; as a Christian, (that's someone who is supposed to following the teachings of a guy named Jesus), I can assure you that people attacking you or Neil haven't got a clue. I know that God smiles at our petty crap, and I know that real believers in God are supposed to be smarter than the average bear, not hibernating like one. The God I believe in loves truth, not the GWB's of the world. Real Americans, and real Christians, love when shadows are exposed to light. Neil and Thrashers Wheat is trying to do both. Keep on Rockin in the (Fucked Up)Free World! Thanks man! It matters.

At 5/06/2006 10:39:00 PM, Blogger Flop said...

While I would not normally support deleting comments, I think there's a difference between reasoned debate (a critical evaluation of "Living With War" as an album) and commentors who come here to score political points or bait readers into arguments that have little to do with Neil or his work. I think you would be well within your rights to delete such comments. They're not responsive to your site, its substance, and its mission. Some comments aren't reader responses -- they're the equivalent of harrassing phone calls. Hanging up on them doesn't make you a censor. And as frustrating as being swamped with these belligerent comments might be, imagine what Neil must be hearing!

You run a great site. Thanks for your work.

At 5/06/2006 11:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your points about fighting for our freedom are well-spoken, as usual. Thanks for taking the heat some of us are spared. I'm still "feelin' like my day had just begun..."

At 5/07/2006 08:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear mr. Trasher
I have been checking out your Blog for a while now, to learn about Neil Young and his work. Thanks so much for your info, the video's you seem to dig up and links to other sites and so on!
I live in Europe and have no clue as to what is going on with that hate thing i recently encountered on here, hell i am not even sure i know what a redneck is but i think many of them things those hate posters said are pretty much covering how we talk about Bush and the war mongers from usa, the so called conservatives, and we only talk like that when we are in a bar having to much to drink.
Funny thing is liberals are right wingers where we come from, so its all very confusing and i cant be bothered by it...
Anyway, i hope you keep up the good work Trasher, because theres so much more to learn yet from this great singer, guitarplayer, moviemaker and so on(in short: great artist) that Neil Young is. Thanks for everything so far!!!


At 5/07/2006 10:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Thrasher, for all the hard work. And especially for keeping a clear head while so many people on both sides of this story are losing theirs.

I've visited your fine site periodically in the past, but it's been a daily stop for the last few months (and especially the last few weeks), and I've always been impressed by your professionalism, but this response is especially clear and strong. Hang in there, don't let those anti-free-speech-in-the-supposed-name-of-freedom idiots get you down, and know that there are a heck of a lot of us out here who support and appreciate and greatly value what you do here.

At 5/07/2006 11:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, thrasher. This is the best Neil Young site on the web; the first web page i check every day.

Coming from Britain, I dont understand why people feel the need to shoot down a person just for speaking their mind (on a subject that is so definately wrong - a meaningless "war"). Does cold bowl of chilli-ites (or whatever the loser is called) want to live in a world where we must all think the same thoughts and not express ourselves.

Maybe he`s the one without a brain.

keep on rockin`.....

At 5/07/2006 12:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say hey Thrasher!! Your not alone. My home made "Dump Dick" car sticker has evolved into a "Be the Rain" peace symbol painted on my garage. Food for thought........
"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward"..(Franklin Roosevelt)
So my the rain...

At 5/07/2006 12:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher, glad to hear you are okay. Love your site and appreciate the work that you put into it.

At 5/07/2006 09:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for everything, Thrasher. It's a ggggGREAT time to be a Neil fan. Those Bush lickspittles? Eh, they're just pissin' in the wind. Hubris is a bitch.

At 5/07/2006 09:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I am a relatively new and young (23 years old) Neil fan. I have been gobbling up everything Neil that I could find for the last year or so. At the same time I am also someone who voted for Bush. I have not always agreed with Bush or been happy with the results of his decisions. However I look at the situations that he has been put into by events that our out of his control and I can't imagine anyone doing a perfect job. But I wanted to say that unlike some Bush "supporters" I don't agree with the blind, angry, hateful support of Bush or any political figure or party. And I support the free expression and exchange of ideas. I think Neil put it best in his CNN interview, "The great thing about this country is that people can disagree about something as important as this and still sit down and break bread together." I may not completely agree with Neil on every subject but I would gladly sit down an break bread with him or any reasonable, kind person regardless of their political persuasion. Looking forward to seeing Neil in concert for the first time this summer. Thanks.

At 5/08/2006 12:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The conservative strategy at work here. Create mayhem and destruction and spread vileness to scatter thoughtful people and stifle reasoned discussion. Thrasher, delete this idiot. He's not adding anything helpful. He's not about educating or free speech. He's about lies, intimidation, disruption and oppression. Don't give this little worm a stage from which to spew his bile. Delete him.

At 5/08/2006 02:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*I'm surpirsed [sic] that you don't show a little more respect Thrasher.*

Why should he? You're a troll. You don't deserve any more respect than you give. Anyway, it's his site. He doesn't have to show *you* respect.

At 5/08/2006 02:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep on rockin' Thrasher, and pay them no mind.

- From Brazil

At 5/08/2006 04:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Chili guy is a sick pup Thrasher ... and with those comments about "knowing where Neil lives", he's crossed the line. If you didn't feel you had justification to delete his comments before, you clearly have it now. Hell, for that matter you have justification to report this wacko to whoever it is these things are reported to.

This chili bowl is a few beans short of a meal if ya know what I mean?

At 5/08/2006 05:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is really a Neil Young music forum and not a political forum but in the current climate I feel obliged to contribute. This whole episode revolves around whether President George W Bush’s administration is guilty of invading someone else’s country on false pretences. It doesn’t get any more serious than that. If they are guilty, then the legal book should be thrown at them. If their actions were undertaken with all good intentions and they were genuinely concerned, with the information at their disposal, that the Iraqi military were in a very real position to strike out at and cause considerable damage to others, including American interests, then there is the argument that there is no case to answer. Neil Young has voiced his concerns and suspicions of this Government’s actions through his great music and he his totally within his rights (in the USA but not everywhere) to do so. The fact that some people don’t like his views is irrelevant.

At 5/08/2006 07:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stand by the two comments previously posted elsewhere on this site;

1. It is bad form for NY to call for impeach the president. He is a canadian citizen and it is wrong. I believe this to be true regardless of whether or not one agrees with the decision to invade iraq.

2. NY by his actions have shown that he is not acting from any moral position but just selling a product to the sheep will buy it. LWW is a mediocre album which he has used to provoke controversy for his own means. See the posts below.

At 5/02/2006 01:21:52 AM, Anonymous said...
I have been watching the circus revolving around Neil Young's new album for a couple of weeks now. I am saddened in the way that he chose to express himself with his new album (Calling for impeachment) though he is a Canadian citizen. Just bad form. Nyoung has been known before for heading for the ditch when he got bored. The album LWW (Living with War) is generating alot of heat and light, but it will not enable the release of Time Fades Away, or any of the other items in the archives.

At 5/06/2006 11:29:03 PM, Anonymous said...
Obviously, not everyone has burned their credit cards for fuel, gee selling living with war tshirts on the website. I get an email advertising the tshirts with LWW! ..... I liked it better when not singing for coke...etc. 

"Well, I hear that Laurel Canyon
is full of famous stars,
But I hate them worse than lepers
and I'll kill them
in their cars."....

Here is the real reason to sing LWW, I can sing about revolution, then take your money while you scourge each other over support for GWBush. The real villian in all of this is us! 

We're silly enough to believe all the hype and lies.

At 5/08/2006 09:18:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

What in HELL is going on here...some people are incredibly stupid, sorry, no other word for it. Gee, Bush did not blow up the levees?....oh, right, Neil was being sarcastic!!! Well Thrasher, you have a lot more patience than I have, I would just stop posting that sort of dumb nonsense. Reminds me of one of my favorite songs "Everybody knows the world is full of stupid people" by The Banditos. God must love idiots, He made so many of them....

At 5/08/2006 11:30:00 AM, Blogger Figgsrock2 said...


There won't be any sales figures until next week. Since it wasn't "officially" released until today in stores, Soundscan wouldn't start counting sales until today. The first week totals will be announced next Wednesday.

And I think CSNY tour reeks of "You know, we might not get another chance to do this because we're all getting old and Crosby's living on borrowed time as it is." I'm sure the CSN songs will drive me up a wall, but the Y portion will make up for it

And what's so wrong with making money off music anyways?

P.S. Great site Thrasher--been reading it almost every day for a year now.

At 5/08/2006 01:26:00 PM, Blogger Linda said...

Chilli, I mean no offense, but I don't think the exhaustion people are getting from you is about your politics as much as it is about your delivery and excess. If a liberal came along using harsh language and trying to provoke over and over, it would get old as well.
There were a few conservatives in the "Neil Young is living with war every day" thread that were very reasonable and easy to read and understand, and it was easy to consider the points they were making. That approach goes a lot farther. Quality vs quantity.

At 5/08/2006 02:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great site, one of my nicest guilty pleasures.

Though, so far and after 6 listens, LWW doesn't sound to me like the greatest NY album ever, Let's Roll required at least a full album to atune for ;-) Now, as far as I'm concerned, Neil is forgiven for what he had to do then - though the great Greendale helped too.

On the other hand, Neil's stuff always take a while to sink in and then suddenly it sounds like it's got a mainline to your soul and always had. I mean I love Trans and am even getting into Everybody's Rockin'! So One shouldn't discount the possibility of that happening with LWW too.

A quick political point to all the people who use Neil's nationality as a supreme argument as to why he can't comment on impeachment in the US and see no contradiction in US politicians taking military action in the name of regime change in some other country. Is this irony or are you so far gone you really believe you're members of some kind of über-nationality?

Oh, and I'm French by the way, so fire away! ;-)

Big love to all,


At 5/08/2006 06:20:00 PM, Blogger haahnster said...


You DA MAN!!!!

I'm glad to hear things are a-ok. I haven't been commenting as much...trying not to "feed the trolls"!!!

Keep on rockin'

At 5/08/2006 08:07:00 PM, Blogger Muskie said...

To quote another songwriter (an American even):

"Don't let the bastards get you down."
--Kris Kristofferson


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