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Sunday, February 08, 2009

At a Crossroads here on Thrasher's Wheat

Last week Dewey Martin died. Since then, we've received lots of comments and letters noting the fact including some chastising us for our lack of coverage.

A couple of points. First of which is that we've been away on a break. So it's not like Dewey died and we said oh let's put up a silly video about a lost dog instead. Second -- and no disrespect to Dewey -- but we can't drop everything to write an obituary for a bandmate of Neil Young's from 40 years ago.

As much as readers would like Neil Young News to be a real time original reporting source, it's just not going to happen under the present circumstances. Regular readers know they can find real time news via the feeds in the sidebar.

Also -- and let's take Dewey's death as an example -- if someone would like to write an obituary which does justice to the Buffalo Springfield drummer, than by all means feel free to get in touch and write one and we'll be glad to publish. Similar to the outstanding job that Tony did with the passing of Ahmet Ertegun.

Over the last year, we've been struggling quite a bit with how to manage this site's growth. While loyal readers have been generous with their support, it does not begin to cover all of the operating costs much less the infrastructure costs of bandwidth and storage for ramping up services further.

One of the odd misnomers of the internet and one of its dirty little secrets is that the more successful a site becomes the more expensive it is to run. The laws of economies of scale do not apply as they do in most other business models. So given the present expenses and revenues involved, it just doesn't make sense for us to do much more than we already are. This is driven primarily from our own time limitations but for the cost reasons cited above. While we'd certainly like to do a lot more given that Neil Young seems to have entered one of his most prolific phases of his career it is troubling that we can't do more to document the incredible wealth of information that is evaporating down the memory hole. But we've tried to do our best but could not. Thus, we continue to separate the wheat from the chaff at our own pace far behind Neil's prodigious output.

And loyal readers you do know how much you're appreciated for your supportive comments and contributions. Not just for clicking thru Amazon links for your purchases of CD's, books, and other stuff but in the sharing of comments, photos, links, videos and other amazing Neil experiences with fans around the world. It is those contributions which we most appreciate. On the other hand, it is abundantly clear from traffic statistics that the vast majority of this site's traffic never makes a contribution, a purchase or the submission of material, some of whom -- ironically -- still feel compelled to tell us how we should run the site.

On occasion we make a fund raising appeal and we know that many of you find this annoying like some public television station begging for a donation. But the simple fact is that reader supported blogs require contributions unless they have a solid advertising revenue stream. It has also been clear that readers do not want to be subjected to corporate advertising as well. However, we are finding it increasingly more difficult to maintain server performance without significant service upgrades.

Some of our revised thinking was spurred from reading about a similar situation at one of our favorite blogs Climate Progress and their decision to accept ads from the nuclear power industry. Rather than start a reader revolt as might be expected, readers were quite accepting of the solution to the predicament.

So what do you think? Should we supplement the donations and Amazon links program with advertising? Or try and keep Thrasher's Wheat ad-free with reader support only? Or utilize both income sources to improve content and performance?

RIP Dewey.


At 2/08/2009 06:30:00 PM, Blogger QueenslandChopper said...

Thrasher, you're doing a great job...

I would be happy if this site stayed exactly the way it is, as the best Neil Young site on the web...

Where/how do I make a donation?

At 2/08/2009 06:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dewey Martin was a key player in Neil's early career. I just don't get it 'well it's forty years ago' just doesn't cut it. What if it was Stills, would that be different? Maybe it would but Martin just wasn't a session player or one of a long line of sidemen Neil used. They were the Buffalo Springfield and that's whats important.

At 2/08/2009 07:17:00 PM, Blogger Slowpoke said...

You're doing a great job Thrasher! Let me know how I can help, seriously. I get more news about Neil here than anywhere else period!

"Half of the people can be part right all of the time, some of the people can be all right part of the time. But all the people can't be all right all the time."

I think Robert Zimmerman sang that.

I wrote this.

At 2/08/2009 07:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said all means you should sell ads here why not?Just because Neil is "Sponsored by No-one" doesn't mean that you have to take that same stand.In fact you should be able to make some bucks for your awesome site.I promise if you do ill click amazon and send you some money!I don't know what you do for a living,but it seems you could do this.

At 2/08/2009 07:46:00 PM, Blogger TomCrac said...

I have no real problem with advertising if that is what you need to keep this site running. If it is to "snazz up" the site than I think its a waste of time and money. If you do need to take on advertising (which I never click on anyhows), If there is anyway to make sure that it is not of that F'ing blinking type than so be it. There are some sites that I used to frequent but will longer simply because of those. I do the same thing on TV. If they want to run crawlers while broadcasting another message...then they are not reaching me...CLICK....Maybe its time for a few more to "Cough up the Bucks".

At 2/08/2009 08:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here ... you can use my "ignore" button. Feel free to use it anytime. You'll be surprised how well it works.

Sending all my love, peace, and wheat,

Mother Nature on the Run

At 2/08/2009 09:33:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

To 06:57:00

You missed the whole point.

If you write an obit for Dewey, I'll be glad to publish.

At 2/09/2009 08:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is an awesome site, do what you have to do.

Is there anything you know that you ain't said?

Ont., Canada

At 2/09/2009 10:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the site is great. take ads if you need to

At 2/09/2009 10:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Well stated about Dewey Martin. Over on Rust, Julie posted this:

Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay on Buffalo Springfield's
Dewey Martin

11:20 AM PT, Feb 8 2009
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Stephen Stills, Neil Young and
Richie Furay have issued a statement on their former Buffalo
Springfield band mate Dewey Martin, the group's drummer, who died
last week at age 68 at his home in Van Nuys.

"Dewey wasn't intimidated by any of us; he was the older guy in the
group and helped glue the band together," said the statement issued
Sunday and signed by all three musicians. "He had that strength. The
rest of us were all still babies, and just starting out in a band. We
had a lot to figure out. But Dewey had been around, playing on
sessions and working with a lot of great singers. Plus he was one
hell of a drummer."

The fifth original member of the band behind such '60s-rock standards
as "Mr. Soul," "For What It's Worth ("Stop, Hey What's That Sound")
and "Rock 'n' Roll Woman," bassist Bruce Palmer, died in 2004. Martin
and the other members of the group were inducted into the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

--Randy Lewis

At 2/09/2009 10:52:00 AM, Blogger Trevor L said...

I regularly visit the Wheatfield as I've found it's the best place to find out Neil news & info, and a good place to guage other fans opinions from the comments left on articles.
I've never contributed an article/item as I'm no journalist, and I've never contributed any money, simply because I can't afford it.
I'm all for ads if it helps keep the site running. At the end of the day you can quite easily ignore internet ads if you want to, and although you may want to follow Neils 'sponsorship free' approach I doubt he actually needs the extra bucks to pay the bills on the ranch.
So go for it, and maybe some day I'll have a bit of spare cash to donate (probably after I've purchased all the volumes of the Archives)

At 2/09/2009 02:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was sad to learn of another Springfield member passing on.
I always thought it was kinda shitty that Neil never took him on tour at least once.The guy (Dewey) tried and tried but never realy made it in music after Springfield. It would have been a nice gesture from his super rich former bandmates (Stills/Young)if Neil or even Stills took him on tour once or did the Springfield reunion tour that Neil has talked about in the past, and let the guy make a few bucks and have a better life.One spinfield reunion tour and he would have made millions and not had to become a car mechanic.At least Neil did one tour with Bruce Palmer,but as far as Dewey Martin, Neil you dropped the ball.

At 2/09/2009 02:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats " one Springfield reunion tour....."

At 2/09/2009 03:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I come to your site for interesting tidbits about Neil's most recent adventures. There's no better site for that, period. You're not a news wire service, or an obituary writer. If folks want that, they can simply do Google "News". The fact that anyone would give you a hard time for not mentioning something about Dewey Martin represents some type of weird self-entitlement with that person. Keep on keeping on.

Big Old Rig

At 2/09/2009 05:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher, I know it's a dilemma for you and it's brave to throw it open to digital mob :-) I think it's best you accept advertising (no pop-ups, though) but continue to ask for donations.

Too many folks think all this stuff on the internet is and should be free, but my experience is that all the valuable stuff ain't free or is supported by ads.

Oh, and anyone can donate a buck or two. No excuses.

Brand New Guy

At 2/09/2009 06:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southern Man said,
"AT the Crossroads" hey Thrasher. sounds a bit "Creamy"to me!
Just thought of starting a new blog site for all those bloggers that love suckin up to you..its called "thrashers sweet". It'll be a site where freedom of speech will be embraced without come on over!!.

At 2/09/2009 07:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher: You rock! Excellent work on this site. If people don't like it they shouldn't visit.

Thanks for everything, but one request: Can you polish up the crystal ball because I'm dying to know when and where the next tour will be!

At 2/09/2009 08:18:00 PM, Blogger Mick said...

its a bit rich for people to complain about content of a fan site such as this one. If you dont think you are getting enough Neil related content here piss off and go to another site or spend the the time building a site yourself. Remember people have a life outside of your Neil Young world and Thrasher and co are not making a dime here.

At 2/10/2009 04:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Neil is reading this...if he reads "Thrasher's Wheat," I'm sure he does...Dewey's unfortunate passing should be the wake-up call. He and Bruce Palmer left music behind a while ago. You, Steve, Richie, and Jim Messina have not. This is the time for the four of you to say "fuck the arguments of the past," live for the NOW and do a BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD REUNION, even if for just a couple of shows in LA and the Bay Area. Maybe a special hourlong acoustic reunion at this year's Bridge Benefit in honor of fallen friends. No one's gettin' younger, and people need to experience the magic that was Buffalo Springfield. Neil: put it together.

God bless Dewey Martin. A damn fine drummer. PERIOD.

At 2/10/2009 07:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's too late now for a Buffalo Springfield reunion, as unfortunately 2 memebers are gone.
I know it was considered before and close to happening, but I;m sure Neil either wasnt 100% satisfied with the sound or he just got lost on another idea/project, but he should have thought more about Bruce and Dewey and made the effort to give them one more time around while they were alive. I'm sure it would have helped Dewey alot in his later years and made those guys feel good.Neil is the only one who could have made it happen, but he chose not to make it happen.Now it's too late.

At 2/10/2009 08:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reality is that either people have to step up to contribute, or you have to go with advertising, or turn it into a subscription only site. Have you considered doing subscription? lovekaren

At 2/10/2009 01:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, as Grandpa might say about bail-outs and server upgrades:

"How can all those people
Afford so many things?
When I was young we wore
What we had on."

At 2/20/2009 08:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind ads, but if it transforms the site in to a "for profit" organization, you might have copyright problems for some of the content (graphics, videos, songs, etc. )from any number of sources. Just a thought. You might want to check with an intellectual property attorney.

Chuck N.
"I Used To Be A Fireman"


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