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Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Price of Neil: When Art and Commerce Collide

lefsetz-letter-logo.jpg

Here at Thrasher's Wheat, we have a lot of respect for music industry analyst Bob Lefsetz. Mainly because Lefsetz was one of the few critics who got Greendale and passionately defended Young's artistic vision of Greendale. Here's the Lefsetz Letter on Neil Young in 2006:
I guess we love Neil Young because he seems to be beholden to no one. After all, it was HE who wrote "This Note’s For You", not Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton or even Keith Richards. He may be a prickly bastard, but he’s the last guy who hasn’t sold out. And therefore we can believe in him.

So when Lefsetz speaks, we try and listen.

After trying to counter arguments against the tour's high ticket prices recently we now have Lefsetz weighing in on Neil Young ticket prices. Lefsetz starts with a series of provactive tongue in cheek questions:
Did I miss a memo here? Or was I living under a rock? Has Neil Young not been touring for over a decade? Is he an unavailable recluse deigning to come back to society to let us hear "Heart Of Gold" one more time? Is he going to play the hits and only the hits? Giving the people what they want? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

This has gotten out of control. Does Neil have terminal cancer? Is this his last tour EVER? There is no band, so it’s not like we’ve got to see him this time for fear the original creation will never hit the road again. Actually, didn’t Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young JUST hit the road?

For starters, Neil does plan to play with a band on tour and he most definitely won't be playing just the hits. As for the cheap shot on cancer, that really doesn't dignify a response.
This guy’s been coasting on his reputation too long. Seen as a man of the people, it appears Mr. Young is only in it for himself. Furthermore, what’s this ONE CD with each PAIR of tickets? You can’t afford to give a disc to EVERYBODY? In a world where silver platters are essentially worthless, where you buy a hundred for FREE (with rebates), do costs really have to be cut here? Or is it assumed everybody going to see Neil is taking a date, whom they live with.

I suppose doing a one CD per ticket would be a better deal, but it's still ONE MORE CD than we got at the last 100 acts we've attended. Actually, we did get the Prince Musicology free CD at his show and it was cool to listen to on the way home. So with Chrome Dreams II we'll be able to listen on both the way to and from the show.
And there’s no download. Because they don’t sound fucking GOOD ENOUGH for Neil. Even though many of those who get the album will rip it to iTunes as soon as they get home, so they can transfer it to their iPod and listen in their car or in the gym… WHAT PLANET IS THIS GUY LIVING ON?

As for no download, it might be a little early to rule it out. Neil has streamed the 18 minute "Ordinary People" and may plan to stream additional tracks or the whole CD at a later date. The entire Living With War was streamed on his website on release.
You can be iconoclastic if you’re not fucking with me. But these ticket prices are an INSULT! Never mind $257 for the best seats in L.A., you’ve got to pay $132 in PORTLAND! I guess they’re richer in Seattle, with all that Microsoft money, because there the price is $157. Or if you’re really lucky, you live in Denver, where you get a break, the most expensive ducat is $104. BEFORE THE TICKETMASTER FEE!

As we said earlier, we went through all of this before. We're getting a small venue tour. Fans have good access to pre-sales for great seats. And -- maybe best of all -- those folks who usually sit behind us chattering away and swilling beer like it's a football game might just behave reasonably on this tour at these prices (or not even go).
An act’s worth depends on its fanbase. You have to nurture it, respect people, make them feel they’re along for the ride with you. At these prices, people feel like they’re being held up at gunpoint. And, NOT EVERY NEIL YOUNG FAN RAPED AND PILLAGED AND IS NOW RICH!

Only Neil is rich. But obviously, he needs more.

I don't think any serious, long time Neil fan has ever felt truly nurtured. I'm not sure I would even want to be nurtured. Yes, some fans are definitely priced out. Maybe Neil will somehow make it up to them?
Bob Dylan is a famous breadhead, but he doesn’t charge these prices, not even close. WITH Elvis Costello, the top ticket is $65.50 in Portland. And Dylan is coming off a number one album and critical kudos. For that price, you may not care that he mangles the old material. You’re privileged just to be there. And maybe, you’ll enjoy it too. (In truth, that’s Portland MAINE, not Oregon, but even in Chicago, Dylan and Costello are only charging $87, while Neil Young is charging $157! At the SAME THEATRE!)

As for Dylan's value compared to Neil's, I think the real difference is that Dylan has been touring pretty much non-stop for years. Dylan's market is tapped out. Neil's last solo acoustic tour was 1999 and aside from last year's CSNY tour he hasn't really performed that much over the past few years.
Actually, I enjoyed Neil Young’s "Greendale" album. And tour too. But it wasn’t sold out. It’s not like there’s a shortage of tickets to see the man. Hell, tickets are available EVERYWHERE for this tour.

And we noted above that Lefsetz was a maverick for supporting Greendale in the face of some fairly withering criticism of the album and tour. Of course, we've maintained all along that Greendale will eventually be recognized as one of the most important albums of 2003.
Just because everybody else is doing it, that doesn’t mean you should too. How many shows do you think people are going to go to if a couple has to drop nearly five hundred dollars to attend? Yup, you’ve got to park, you’ve got to eat, buy some merch…

Because everybody else is doing it?! How about who else can do it? Super high priced acts like McCartney, Stones, etc. are doing arena shows that are major extravaganzas. Also, not that this entirely justifies the prices or is any consolation, but there is a lower tier of pricing. Again, these are small arenas so the cheaper seats aren't necessarily terrible.
This is not Led Zeppelin. They were always into the money. And they haven’t been on tour since the SEVENTIES! They can go on the road and charge all they want, it’s a once in a lifetime event.

Thank goodness Neil isn't Led Zeppelin.
But not Neil Young. He’s still recording music. He wants us to care.

Neil, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Blame your manager, your agent, the promoter… But if you’re savvy enough to comment on the war in Iraq, you can’t really be that out of touch with the consumer. You want the buck to stop with Bush, then the buck stops here with you. Positively insane.

Ashamed? I doubt it. Neil knows a restless consumer when he sees it.

Lefsetz' rant has generated a number of comments (via dccantor on Rust) as well (but can't find complete comment thread?)

Thrasher has a feeling this is the tip of the iceberg on this topic. And this is before the first note of the tour is played. Maybe after the tour ends and folks have had a chance to hear the performances they'll be in a better position to justify the expense. Why?

Because live music is better.

Thanks govtneil on Rust!

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61 Comments:

At 9/30/2007 11:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thrasher you're just a Neil apologist. If he charged $1000 bucks you'd probably still defend him.

 
At 9/30/2007 12:28:00 PM, Anonymous George said...

"It’s not like there’s a shortage of tickets to see the man. Hell, tickets are available EVERYWHERE for this tour."

I don't quite understand this one. Is the guy just talking out of his ass, or what...? All three Toronto shows sold out in about 10 minutes. Good luck finding a ticket now for anything close to what Neil was asking.

And hell... the fact that THREE dates make up for less than half the capacity of a typical arena show should go along way in explaining why the prices are a little high on this tour.

 
At 9/30/2007 01:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word.

 
At 9/30/2007 01:38:00 PM, Anonymous on the beach said...

I've got the ticket prices blues
So you be good to me and I'll be good to you,
And in this land of conditions I'm not above suspicion
I won't attack you, but I won't back you.

 
At 9/30/2007 01:43:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

To see Neil Young and his bands in Europe alsways has been a little bit more costly than European acts. The Greendale solo shows (2003) seen from a decent seat (not front row or anything like that)were about 180 of todays dollars. Could it be that American fans have a rude awakening in a globalized music business world? The regular thing with most fans in Germany would be that they just see one show, not a whole string of them, as obviously many American fans do. Or maybe these fans seem to be somewhat overrepresented on the internet. Reading posts about this here and there one comes to the conclusion that there is a rat race going on, about who saw Neil Young the earliest and especially the most often.I guess that qualifies you for some degree, patent or rank within the various internet-forums. As if the fan could come close to his or her idol asymptotically depending on how many times he or she has seen him. I always thought that Neil Young's music was mainly for grown-ups. (Although my 13 year old son got Neil Young on heavy rotation) Anyway, Europeans have to live with a lot less Neil Young wise...

 
At 9/30/2007 01:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a smackdown!

 
At 9/30/2007 02:05:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

I think it is a little fucked to charge that much for a show, but honestly, nobody has the right to get this indignant and self-righteous about it, like Neil owes them something. Almost everyone I've heard bitch about ticket prices is still going. If you think that's too much to pay for a show, then show him that by not going. But obviously enough people think it's worth it for a show to sell out in ten minutes.

 
At 9/30/2007 02:24:00 PM, Anonymous Bored with ya said...

I haven't been able to see Neil since 97 because of the "day job" and working as a Pro Musician night's so........I'm I going to see Neil at this price? You bet your fu*@in' rights I am!! It's like these people have spent $1000 a year for Neil or something...it's one Concert that sounds like it will be a 3 Hour Neil Show where no one is so far away they could put a cardboard standup of the man on stage and nobody would know (I've been in those seats before lol). I get to see Neil from 8 seats back YEEHAW!!! See ya in Seattle!! ROCK ON NEIL!

 
At 9/30/2007 02:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that some of the complainers are the same people who see absolutely no problem with stealing..oh, I mean downloading an artist's music. All acts have to make back their losses in the sales area by touring, that's a fact. The CDs that come with the price of a ticket count as sales, and perhaps help what will probably be a niche record go a bit further in the charts than it would otherwise, though I don't know what relevance the charts have anymore. If you subtract what you would have paid for the CD in a store, if anybody even does that anymore, it makes the lowest price seats on this tour seem reasonable, especially given the size of the venues. I'm seeing him in Wallingford, where the cheap seats are about $60. Take off $15 for the CD (oh, I know, they cost nothing to make and should be free too) makes the price for the seat $45. What's the problem? And if you were bitching about the price in NYC, drive to Wallingford- it's not that far.

Tom

 
At 9/30/2007 03:08:00 PM, Anonymous cosplusisin said...

Nice post, Thrasher. the only change i would make is that I would write "live music ARE better" at the end! Just because.

People are also quoting the highest ticket prices all the time. there are cheaper seats. they're not even THAT much more than just about any arena show you could see. i got tickets for $103 (including service charges), and i get a free CD. i paid about half as much to see Wilco, but I'll tell you (no disrespect to Wilco) I enjoy Neil MORE than twice as much as Wilco. I paid just as much to see Radiohead in Copenhagen (and that's face value tickets).

Inflation is happening. concerts cost "a lot". is it worth it to you to spend that much? yes? no? ok. end of discussion.

 
At 9/30/2007 03:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

give it a rest, bored with ya. You're giving seattle a bad name. Really, folks, we're not generally a bunch of bootkissing yahoos out here.

 
At 9/30/2007 03:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How insulting to slur the folks demanding that Neil actually walk his talk by saying they'll probably steal the CD anyway. Typical bourgeois slimespeak.

 
At 9/30/2007 04:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're forgetting to count in the cost of $eeing an amazingly talented opening
act. BWAAAAAhaaahaaa. It's a family industry.

 
At 9/30/2007 04:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

used to have a treasure chest
got so heavy that I had to rest...

a name like ours never seems to grow old
we're raking in silver and gold

 
At 9/30/2007 04:42:00 PM, Anonymous Oh so Bored with ya! said...

"give it a rest, bored with ya. You're giving seattle a bad name."
LOL First off, there's some substantiation of how this guy jumps up to fume with little or no info lol...not from Seattle, as a matter of fact not from the US but...Ah the ranting of what most likely is a Failed Musician that you must be "anonymous" (that's my rebuttal to your uninformed guess about me :oP lol). Move on and we all ask that you don't show up at any Neil Concerts and ruin it for the rest of us. Get over your misguided Seethe and delusion of grandeur. Neener neener lol

 
At 9/30/2007 05:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Lefstez guy is pretty much of a blowhard known for his rants that everything is wrong in the music biz.
Which is actually the case but I don't think he's got a solution anymore than any other label exec.

The only way the music biz is going to get through this period and survive is for folks to take risks.

And maybe that's what Neil is doing. Taking another risk and letting the chips fall where they may. So what if every show isn't a sell out? SO what if giving away CDs don't bump him up on the charts? So what if folks have already ripped OP?

I'm with you Neil on taking a chance. Row EE NYC!
Shaun

 
At 9/30/2007 05:34:00 PM, Anonymous Record Company Clown said...

In many respects, Lefsetz has been ahead of the curve on music distribution issues so I wouldn't be so fast to write off his opnions.

Lefsetz was out front on raising the alarms on downloading and railing at the industry to adapt or die. So far the industry is having a terrible time adapting.

If Young can get $200 per seat he should go for it. He probably won't be making too much from CD sales. Certainly not compared to releases 10 or 20 years ago.,

 
At 9/30/2007 06:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Income inequality grew significantly in 2005, with the top 1 percent of Americans — those with incomes that year of more than $348,000 — receiving their largest share of national income since 1928, analysis of newly released tax data shows
The top 10 percent, roughly those earning more than $100,000, also reached a level of income share not seen since before the Depression.
While total reported income in the United States increased almost 9 percent in 2005, the most recent year for which such data is available, average incomes for those in the bottom 90 percent dipped slightly compared with the year before, dropping $172, or 0.6 percent.
The gains went largely to the top 1 percent, whose incomes rose to an average of more than $1.1 million each, an increase of more than $139,000, or about 14 percent.
The new data also shows that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980.
Prof. Emmanuel Saez, the University of California, Berkeley, economist who analyzed the Internal Revenue Service data with Prof. Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics, said such growing disparities were significant in terms of social and political stability.
“If the economy is growing but only a few are enjoying the benefits, it goes to our sense of fairness,” Professor Saez said. “It can have important political consequences.”

David Cay Johnston, NYT, 03/30/07

 
At 9/30/2007 06:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're not generally a bunch of bootkissing yahoos out here. But we can't speak for the visitors.

 
At 9/30/2007 06:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

careful, thrasher, you're giving away your secret identity

 
At 9/30/2007 08:04:00 PM, Anonymous Zak Claxton said...

I like Lefsetz as well, but I think he's stretching a little too far to single out Neil in the ticket price issue. Where does he lambast the Police for charging similar (or greater) prices for arena and stadium seats? For small venues like Neil is playing, I'm not seeing these tickets prices as being out of line. If fans want them, they'll get them.

Will a certain populace of true fans be left out simply because they can't afford the tix? Sure, they will, and that's too bad. But as has been mentioned, Neil doesn't OWE anyone anything. I don't see why anyone feels like they're being cheated here. If you don't feel it's worth the money, don't go! I'm sure Neil would understand.

 
At 9/30/2007 08:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you don't feel it's worth the money, don't go! I'm sure Neil would understand."

And I'm sure some of these same folks will feel justified ripping a copy of the CD, rather than buying it. Unless, upon the awful realization that their former hero is now king size rip off exploiter, they will throw out their collection of vinyl, cds, tapes, and erase him from their files. Somehow I doubt it.

Tom

 
At 10/01/2007 01:22:00 AM, Anonymous Douglas said...

Just how is he ripping people off? This marks the second time in two years that he's given his album away for free. Ticket prices, too, were roughly the same last year, from what I recall, for much worse arena seats.

Personally, I see alot of value in these intimate shows. Enough to justify buying a ticket, without regret. You, perhaps, don't, and that's okay too. No one's forcing you to buy a ticket. We just perceive the value of his work differently, I suppose.

Now, if he charged these prices and then came out to perform half hour sets every night... that would be exploitation. As it stands, we've seen nothing of the sort.

 
At 10/01/2007 03:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just passed up 3 Springsteen tickets at $130 a pop to sit at the farthest end of the arena from the stage. Hoping Neil adds more Massey Hall shows were you can get up close in one of the best concert venues around for as little as $85. Maybe if prices were higher I could have scored tickets 1st time around.

 
At 10/01/2007 06:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've expressed my disatisfaction already with ticket prices, but got my tickets anyway, as that's what I need to do......
BUT the reality of whethers it's too expensive or not will realy depend on the show Neil gives.
I saw him once in a very small venue and he seemed not into it, and played only 80-90 minutes total(including a break between sets). Everyone in the audience was furious, especialy those of us paying alot of money for good seats.And yet I've seenhim play 2 1/2-3 hours and give a great show and it was worth paying a high price for.....
so I just hope Neil doesnt think that an 80 minute show is sufficient for fans paying $ 186, like in nyc.
Just give us our monies worth Neil and everything is cool !

 
At 10/01/2007 06:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just be grateful that you have the opportunity to see this man at all, whatever the prices, some of us aren't as lucky. I don't see any plans to do a tour of England any time soon.

Also Neil Young owing us something, more like the other way around after all, look at what he has constantly given us for the past four decades.

I am still yet to hear anything of his that I genuinly don't like at all- especially Living with War, it all needed to be said and there was no better man to say it.

Just be grateful for Neil.

 
At 10/01/2007 07:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Just be grateful that you have the opportunity to see this man at all" ......

you know, some of you fanatics are off the wall. I love Neils music but if I pay for a ticket, i do expect a good effort, and a show of reasonable length. You sound like one should be grateful to just see Neil stand there and pick his nose or take a shit onstage.It realy gets stupid.
reality check ! Some of you people needs help !
"Also Neil Young owing us something, more like the other way around after all..."
Another retarded statement.If he sells tix for $ 186 to hard working ordinary people, he does owe us a good lengthy show with a solid effort.
I dont owe Neil shit.Another retarded statement.
there should be a link on this site
for psychological help online for those totaly out of touch with reality.

 
At 10/01/2007 09:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher, you make very good points about Lefsetz' article. I would only add that his comment "...raped and pillaged and is now rich..." should not go unchallenged. His implication that all rich people have "raped and pillaged" is so absurd as to cast doubt on any of his thoughts, despite my agreement that Greendale was masterful.

As for the ticket prices, it is a free world. We are all free to decide whether or not to buy the tickets, as well as whether or not to criticize the prices. We live in a wonderful time in history!

 
At 10/01/2007 10:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's put the ticket prices into context (please!). The $132 bucks I shelled out for my ticket is less than what I paid in food take-out last night for my wife and four kids.

These are NOT outrageous prices. Neil's main fan base is not college kids - it's somewhat more mature and (I hope) more financially situated.

 
At 10/01/2007 11:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Irrelevenat if you and your family eat too much !

Irrelevant if his audience is older. (and what about younger people who ARE into Neil ?).

So tiring .....everyone making excuses or justifying his prices...

Reality = 1. Neil is charging more than every other decent artist
2. Neil is charging prices based on where people live !
Conneticut is $ 100 while nyc is $ 186. That tells me he can do ok with $ 100 tix, but wants to get greedy where he thinks people are willing to pay more.
that is greed and ego.

 
At 10/01/2007 11:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YEAH! Raped and Pilleged you say NOTHING!

Just what you leftist think-"Anybody Rich Stole the money!"

YOUR WHAT'S WRONG WITH AMERICA! YOU should know that an overwhelming amount of Rich people WORK their butts off for it and take risks and PLAN and SACRIFICE to have money.

You COMMIES just think we stole it.

WHy SHOULD he lower his price for you that can't afford it? What on EARTH makes a poor person "SPECIAL"? Why are YOU more deserving to see a show than someone with money????

You Equate Neil to YOUR version of the Perfect Governemnt- ONE THAT PROVIDES "HAND-OUTS!"

GIMME GIMME GIMME! That's all you want-free stuff. WELL GO WORK FOR IT!


Chilli

 
At 10/01/2007 12:03:00 PM, Blogger Roman said...

To me this sounds like free market. There's high demand and the price goes up. It's that easy. Or would you rather have all shows sold out in no time? Oh wait, somebody said, the Toronto show sold out in 10 minutes, so he could very well charge even more it seems.

 
At 10/01/2007 12:38:00 PM, Anonymous Beatrice Bickfest said...

GAaaaaaawd ... you're still at it? I go away a for a few days and you're still fricken bickering?

There's still a lot of seats to fill up front in the orchestra pit and row B at the Ticketmaster auction for the Detroit show ... it's ending in one day ...

 
At 10/01/2007 01:04:00 PM, Anonymous Martin Lav said...

Chilli,

Getting scary, I'm coming close to agreeing with you......

Rape and pillage? What the F is this hack talking about? Music BUSINESS.
That's what it is and Neil has got to feed the machine. I'm sure he didn't make a lot of money on LWW. Not a lot on CSN&Y Freedom of Speech Tour, nothing on FarmAid, nothing on Bridge School, not a lot on Greendale, he's got to feed the families of those that support him.

Rent in NYC is higher than in CT. the UNION labor in NYC gets a lot more money too.

Bottomline is, is that it's not high-way robbery and it is supposedly a free country.

The poor are getting more and more for free and the creative top 1% who know how to get it to them are doing it and making themselves richer along the way. Neil's got a get his too. You whiners on here, get this INTERNETS for free doncha?
You are getting a lot of value for your dollar because of the changing of the guard, so don't bitch when someone else is trying to get his too.

 
At 10/01/2007 01:10:00 PM, Anonymous Zak Claxton said...

"Reality = 1. Neil is charging more than every other decent artist"

A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Wait, that was a joke, right? I'd love to see your list of imaginary "decent artists" who are charging $4.75 for tix to their shows. The reality is that time goes by, and shit gets more expensive. Gas is expensive. Milk is expensive. Jeans are expensive. And the luxury of seeing Neil Young in an intimate environment is freakin' expensive!!!

I mean, deal with it. Don't whine about it. Get another job, or sell something, or do whatever it is you gotta do if you want to see the show that badly.

If you don't think it's worth it, then don't buy the tix! Again: what does Neil owe you? Why should the prices be lower than the standard out there? Is Neil not good enough that he merits these prices? If you'd like, I'll list 20 crappier artists who are charging way more for their shows. WAY more. When's the last time you got concert or sporting event tickets?

I'm no acolyte... I did not drink the Kool-Aid. I think Neil *can* do wrong. That having been said, there's just NOTHING wrong with these ticket prices for the kinds of venues he's playing. Deal with it, folks.

 
At 10/01/2007 01:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DANG! Martin Lav and Chili Agreeing?

Well Lemme go further then! HILLARY wants to GIVE 5 Grand to EVERY baby born in the USA!

Ain't that nice of her! to give away OUR MONEY so she can win an election.

Plus, let's just think about this for a second.... The Crazy Bitch doles out 5 Grand a baby right? So I'm a crack momma needin a fix, so I'm gonna have me a BABAY and git me my 5 grand!

Now do you think she'll raise the baby in a nice loving home or throw it away?

She'll be pumpin' kids out faster than Chili using his plunger after a Taco Bell Dinner!

PLEASE people, Welfare has it's place, but it can be DETRIMENTAL to the very people one is trying to help!

Chili

 
At 10/01/2007 01:44:00 PM, Anonymous dancingacrossthewater said...

Ummm... I think the word Commie stopped being used about fifty years ago. Oh, it's a comic posting...now I get it.

Went down to my local bar and heard a full night of "Americana" music for 7 bucks. 5 Great bands. Suggest you all do the same. Support your local musicians, because Live Music is Better. Gonna sit this tour out. Enough said.

 
At 10/01/2007 01:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Not a lot on CSN&Y Freedom of Speech Tour" ......

??? How many tens of $$ millions did they make on that tour ??
They all cleaned up !
not an issue, but to infer he made nothing is absurd.

 
At 10/01/2007 01:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! It must warm Neil's heart to see the quality people his defenders are. What decent human beings. Just like Neil. W's base-type people. The haves and havemores. Lurv ya! All the rest of youns slobs , shut up and be grateful the pathetic low-paying loser jobs you still have haven't been shipped out of country too, you worthless rabble punks.

 
At 10/01/2007 02:04:00 PM, Anonymous set list thief said...

Don't like what you see on TeeVee? Turn it off.

Don't like paying to see a concert? Don't go.

 
At 10/01/2007 02:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chili, you and Martin Lav should get together with Neil on some lyrics. I'm thinkin somethin along the lines of Welfare Mothers II. It would be beauuuuutiful! That bottom 90% of so-called Americans that actually lost income in 2005 are all freakin welfare queens. Let's get that fact out there. They should move the hell out of our beautiful country to some La Paz slum or somethin. They're freakin ruinin this country. Say it loud! Say it proud!
And I, for one, am positively thrilled to be able to pay these high prices for Pegi's break-in-tour-of-small-not-so-intimidating-venues-that-will-be-able-to-be-called-sold-out-in-her-later-press-releases-by-Mr.-hype-free-zone-himself-Bill-Bentley under the pretense that Neil wants to give his true fans an intimate show of his stellar new CD that he didn't just throw together as an excuse to get Pegi out on tour before her debut CD falls off the face of the earth.. Talk about your clever marketing strategy! We rich have to look out for each other!

 
At 10/01/2007 02:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't like what you see on teevee? Speak up. Don't like Neil being a hypocrite? Speak out. Just like Neil would.

 
At 10/01/2007 03:04:00 PM, Anonymous Amazingly bored with ya said...

The funniest thing I have noticed is how the whiners talk like the whole Country/Countries are bitching about the expense of Neil's tickets, and after some research I find it's pretty much relegated to these few bitchers and no one else. Shit disturbers we usually call these lowlifes...and I use those terms because of the continual name calling used in their banter. Again....Move On, we're all simply laughing at you anyway. It only takes the 3 of you (and yeah it looks like maybe 6 at the most) to feed your own egos.

 
At 10/01/2007 03:58:00 PM, Anonymous steve said...

neil could take a shit on your plate and ask you to eat it and that brain-washed thrasher guy would still defend him, neil's shit's got special ingredients that make it not that disgusting...
lord, have mercy!

i'm sorry to say that, you stupid jerks don't understand nothing, you're just the restless consumers but you'll probably feel so sophisticated when he plays ordinary people or RITFW...

you're not fans, you're worshippers that've had their heads turned off.

i've been supporting this guy for over 20 years but that's just too damn much, i really lost a lot of respect when i saw those prices!

i mean we the fans are the only ones with the power to show him (and the industry in general) that the whole thing is moving in a wrong direction but that won't work with you complaining about ticket prices first but then still buying them.
so it'll never change and even neil young "fans" are opportunistic and make up all kinds of silly arguments just to defend a big name.

i'd rather go and see some young local redneck band that's still hungry and playing their asses off with no big ranch in california, no linc-volt and shit ten times than buying one of neil's tickets.
those guys don't just sing and pretend to "have faith in the regular kind", they ARE ordinary people...

it's your voice!
think about it...

 
At 10/01/2007 05:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Man, you're my fucking hero!

It's not nice to think, but this could easily be Neil's last tour. I'm 26 and working an unfortunately low paying job, but am more than happy to shell out $200 to see what I consider to be a personal hero of mine. To sit in a hall and experience something. To those who don't think it's worth it, buy the DVD and watch it on your new plasma.

 
At 10/01/2007 05:30:00 PM, Anonymous I'm With Yoko said...

"i've been supporting this guy for over 20 years but that's just too damn much, i really lost a lot of respect when i saw those prices"

Oh really? Is that why you buy his stuff because you think you're supporting him? So now you don't respect him because of the prices of the Chrome Dreams II Concert trixs ... oh ... I mean tickets?

So Neil is nothing but a whore to you, eh?

(Oh, hello Zak Cluxton! How'd the concert turn out on Saturday????)

XOXOXOXOXO

 
At 10/01/2007 08:28:00 PM, Anonymous in the cheap seats said...

Haven't seen anyone mention the Ticketmaster auction. Seats in NYC are going for$600. So it looks like Neil's cleaning up.

 
At 10/01/2007 08:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If any one who got stuck buying high priced seats for massey hall and are having trouble sleeping at night because of the high price they paid, I will gladly buy there tickets at cost.

 
At 10/02/2007 08:34:00 AM, Anonymous Ordinary Donna said...

Neil Young Chrome Dreams Tour will also visit: Buffalo. Date, venue and ticket information to follow ...


Also, the orch. seat tickets in Detroit are going from 410 -210 as of 3 hours before the auction closes ... Row B is still 210 ...

After reading the comments, I'm convinced it's only a handful of people complaining about the prices. When it comes to music, I think that's where the lines between the haves and havemores are little blurred ... Neil Young isn't the only artist musician that people are willing to pay big bucks. I've know quite a few people of lean means who splurged on Lou Rawls, Presley, John Lennon, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan ...

 
At 10/02/2007 12:50:00 PM, Anonymous Arthur said...

Didn't you hear? True fans are the ones who badmouth their favorite artists anonymously on the internet! And cry because they can't afford concert tickets!

 
At 10/02/2007 01:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone thinks the price of Neil's concert is too expensive, he better not to see it. Or he better go to see Bruce Springsteen Concert, but please do not compare with Neil, because Bruce is nothing.

 
At 10/02/2007 02:31:00 PM, Anonymous Martin Lav said...

You went to far Chili. Now leave us in peace.

Go pay your money to see Rush Limbaugh give a speech on the left wing media conspiracy and leave us true fans alone to figure out how we are going to get to the show.

I hope Pegi plays her entire set-list as she is really the drive in Neil's engine. Without her, we don't have him as we know him. My sources tell me there is something special "happening here" and you won't be disappointed with the show.

Will he play "Will to Love"?

Chili,
Have fun at Rush Limbaugh! We won't miss you.....

You suck.

 
At 10/02/2007 02:42:00 PM, Anonymous Zak Claxton said...

I just HAD to laugh at the ironic timing of this... yesterday I was on YouTube and came across a bunch of clips from "Journey Through The Past". And in one scene, a guy was being interviewed backstage, and he was very angry about the price of tickets to the CSNY show.

He was saying, "Where do these people get off charging $4.50, $5.50, even $6.50 for this show?"

Now, that's 1970 money, right? So that's $35 today. But still, there was outrage, man. OUTRAGE!

So, playing Devil's Advocate, I decided to breeze through some ticket agencies and see just how much that evil Neil Young was ripping you off compared to other touring artists. Hmm, let's see...

Springsteen floor seats: $704 each.
Dylan/Costello floor seats: $510 each.

Hey, wait: could this mean that something else is going on in the touring business other than the artists themselves trying to rip you off? Are you under the impression that Neil is pocketing the entirety of the ticket price that you pay?

I work in the music biz. So yeah, I'm probably a little jaded. But I'll tell you something: unless you have any idea WHY the ticket prices are higher than they ever were, you have no right to single out Neil on this topic. Sure, be angry about the whole thing. Be OUTRAGED if it helps you sleep better at night. But at least be mad in the right direction. This ain't about Neil.

Do some learning, and then come back and tell us why Neil is worse than anyone else in this regard.

 
At 10/02/2007 04:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just scored seats for the 2nd night in Boston. Pretty good seats in row MM. And I'm glad to get them because it was pretty tough even through the pre-sale site.

IMHO, it would seem that the tickets are priced about right from a market demand standpoint. If the tickets had been priced far lower the shows would being selling out in hours or close to day of. If they had been priced higher than they would not be adding venues and selling out.

Outside of hard core fans and scalpers I'm not sure how well known this tour is. Once the album is released, things will probably go more mainstream and folks will go "Oh, he's on tour" and try and get tickets.

I would not be surprised that day of the show, tickets won't be available on the street except for extortion prices.

Let's face it. The ticket scalpers are the cause of this whole problem. Not Neil. I'm sure Neil would love nothing more than his tickets to go in the hands of loyal fans at reasonable prices. But nobody's really been able to come up with a system to beat the scalpers.

And Neil's having his cake and eating it to with the ticketmaster auctions. VIP seats are being bid way up. That's probably the best indicator of true value. What's up on ebay and Stubhub aren't probably realistic. Folks just trying to make a fortune.

Can't wait for the show!

Rob in Beantown

 
At 10/02/2007 04:59:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher said...

Until further notice, posts with excessive capitalization, poor spelling, excessive exclamation points, poor grammar and any other type posts which are patently offensive will be deleted.

The Management

 
At 10/02/2007 05:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a long time, huge Neil fan. Been to probably 15 shows over the years, every album, etc.

Neil is not for the people. That's a myth. We think he's for the people b/c he writes about the heartland, about blue-collar folk, about native americans. We think he's for the people b/c he writes anti-establishment lyrics and about organic food, etc.

But, Neil has never been 'for the people' with respect to his career. He is about himself. H releases tracks via media HE likes best - not his millions of fans. He talks about the natural sound of things and then overdubs a lots - he is a walking contradiction - Perhaps a true artist, perhaps a self-centered elitist - you decide. I love him.

Neil is not a team player and never will be - read Shakey - spells it out for you. Or, ask Steve Stills during the still-young days or richie furray from the springfield days . . .the man would have no qualms about leaving his band members hanging. But, as Crosby said, (and CSN were huge prior to Neil joining them), Neil was 'just that good.' They didnt need him, but musically, he was that good.

So for us, 'The Restless Consumer' we pay in our free market (something Neil gripes about in his Anti-World Farm Trade stance) and Neil counts our dollars and I am willing to pay b/c he is truly a rare, musical genius who has provided the soundtrack to my life - priceless to me.

I always loved how Neil's lyrics and statements contradict his actions. Greendale - bashing Clear Channel but playing in arenas that are operated by them. In NYC, he played Radio City . . . owned by Madison Square Garden, Owned by the Dolans who who one of the largest Media companies in the world . . . keep on making statements, Neil, but keep on counting our dollars in the free market these companies develop and market you through. He could do like other bands do and release via his own label, play arenas not under the clearchannel name, etc - but he doesnt. He's in it for himself. He should talk to Pearl Jam for a lesson in how to treat fans.

Perhaps I'm a sucker . . . but don't let Neil fool you, he's in it for himself, not for you my Rustie comrades! So while he is a walking paradox, contradiction, etc. who when I look down on his statements and juxtapose them to his actions, it is frustrating but as mentioned, he's in my blood and that's what made me pay $100 for nosebleeds in NYC yesterday b/c all the good seats (I tried!!) were sold prior to them going on sale to the general public . . .Thanks Neil!

 
At 10/03/2007 10:35:00 AM, Anonymous Frying Pan said...

An Open Letter to Thrasher,

Hey buddy, whazzup with the "Until further notice, posts with excessive capitalization, poor spelling, excessive exclamation points, poor grammar and any other type posts which are patently offensive will be deleted?"

Isn't your insistence upon strict adherence to rules of
composition a little hypocritical? Isn't it because of the good spellers and the grammatically correct population that we find ourselves at these crossroads in history?

What happened to our benevolent and tolerant Thrasher? What happened to our "give me your bad spelling and poor grammar" Thrasher?

We've supported you all these years by reading your posts and contributing with our comments and this is how we are treated?

I cannot afford to contribute any longer for fear I will lose whatever artistic integrity I have inspite of my bad spelling and poor grammer!

Ah me. Poor, poor me.

Formerly,

Ordinary Thrasher's Wheat Reader



p.s. By the way, do you have your tickets to Chrome Dreams II yet? Where are you sitting?

 
At 10/03/2007 09:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHAT!!!???

I Cain'tBELEVE IT!

I KNEW YOU WUZ FAT!


(you are a coward for cenosring-you sir are "un-AMERICAN!!!!!!!!)

AND A COWARD!

Chili

 
At 10/03/2007 11:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone able to help a real Boston fan out? Pre-sale was a joke

 
At 10/19/2007 02:01:00 PM, Anonymous Rick A said...

I won't go because it's too expensive, and not really worth it to me. I love the guy, and I wish I could see him perform live, but not at those prices.

I do pay to download his music because I think it's only right to pay him for it. I wish I could pay him directly and cut out the record company.

Concerts are not worth these prices, though, period.

Here we are in the years.....

 
At 8/23/2008 10:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am selling genuine bags of peanuts extracted directly from Neil Young's shit. How many can I put you down for - 2, 3, 5? They're 75 each 2 for 125 or the Neil Young superpack (equivalent to 6 Ohenry bars- thats a peanutty Canadian candybar for you poor slobs south of the border) can be yours for the Neil Young fan club price of only $200.

 

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Paul McCartney and Neil Young

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John Lennon and Neil Young


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The Supergroup of the 20th Century



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Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

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Revisiting The Significance of
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Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

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Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
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Bob and Neil

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So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?


Four Dead in Ohio
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So What Really Happened at Kent State?

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Sing Truth to Power

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Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

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"Powderfinger"
What does the song mean?

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Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
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We're All On
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Neil Young's Moon Songs
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"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
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This Machine Kills Fascists


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Hey Big Brother!
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The Essence of "The Doubters"



Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky


Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
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What's So Funny About
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