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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

PBS American Masters: Don't Be Denied

"A Man Needs a Maid / Heart of Gold Suite"
Neil Young performs some of his strongest work from this intimate, solo acoustic set recorded January 19, 1971 at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada.

Tonight on PBS stations across the United States, the 2008 BBC documentary "Don't Be Denied" will be broadcast. Check your local listings.

More videos from Massey Hall, including "Old Man" & "Helpless".

More on last year's Neil Young documentary by BBC: "Don't Be Denied" Preview Review.


At 6/10/2009 01:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Thrasher.. Like you, I live in the DC area - and NOW I see that this ran on PBS (WETA) last week (why wasn't I watching????), so, it's not on tonight.

Anyway, do you know if it's running on any otehr PBS stations in the DC area this week?


At 6/10/2009 02:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rock critic for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (who is quite a knowledgable Neil fan) panned it, mainly because it was too superficial (with the exception of the Neil interviews, which were insightful). He thought it would have been better if they focused closely on a shorter part of his career. I'm preparing to be disappointed.

At 6/10/2009 03:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd have to agree with the rock critic to some extent. Nils Lofgren and Stephen Stills had some cool things to add but the chronology seemed a bit off. The many long interruptions for PBS fund raising could have added to my impression.

At 6/10/2009 03:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does one do justice to such a career in an hour - hell, Neil has just devoted 10 DVD's to essentially the first 8 years out of 45.

At 6/10/2009 04:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate pledge weeks...but at least it's Neil and not Andre Reau (or Depack Whatshisname)

At 6/10/2009 05:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dont see it listed nyc area..anyone know if it will play?

At 6/10/2009 10:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Screwed in Winnipeg.

Instead of Don't Be Denied, the local PBS station is showing a show on gourds and ferrets. Go figure!!!!

At 6/10/2009 11:18:00 PM, Blogger David A. Hopkins said...

Was supposed to be on PBS here in the Bay Area...instead it seems to have been replaced with super-lame '40s pop singing. Shame on you, KQED!

At 6/10/2009 11:37:00 PM, Blogger Kurt Hegre said...

It's supposed to be on in Fresno too but they're playing the 40's music show instead.

Wonder if anyone's getting it.

At 6/11/2009 01:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just finished watching on Seattle PBS. It was OK for a 50 minute attempt, but by definition Rusties will find it dissatisfying due to lack of depth. Some good footage, but nothing really new. 1990s almost totally skipped. Too much CSNY?


At 6/11/2009 07:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This documentary was posted on Dimeadozen or a similar site within days of broadcast last year.

Dime torrents (video) are all ready to burn to DVD, and recent TV broadcasts tend to be in excellent quality (good enough for a projector). Don't Be Denied was no exception. It's likely to have been torrented again - or never died out in the first place, as Neil Young material is usually steadily downloaded - so if you have membership or know someone who has membership, you can get hold of a nice DVD of this quite easily. Not to mention a bunch of great Neil Young concerts up there.

Regarding the documentary itself, it's good for some of the footage, but it's not going to have a lot of stuff you've never seen before, so it's more appropriate for viewers who know next to nothing about him. One to have on the shelf anyway.

Incidentally, all this Dime stuff ends up being sold - it does in the country I live in, anyway. Please don't ever pay for it. You don't need to, it was put up by people who want you to have it free. The people selling it got it that way, then broke the honour code to try and make a buck. They're arseholes. If you can't get membership of these sites because they've closed out, you can still try to locate people who will trade or give you copies for nothing.

Anything NY that goes on TV will be on the torrent sites within a few days.

At 6/11/2009 11:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, I was disappointed (but prepared).

I liked the Neil interviews but they didn't really plow any new ground.

Here is what was not covered:

Freedom and it's importance in bringing Neil "back". No mention of RITFW.
No mention of the Zuma period.
No Prairie Wind.
No Ragged Glory (other than playing Farmer John over Neil's discussion of finding his voice in Thunder Bay).
No Farm Aid
No Bridges School
No Greendale
No discussion of tone or equipment.
No discussion of polio or epilepy.
No discussion of Sleeps with Angels and Nirvanna or Pearl Jam.

Way too much CSNY (like this was the zenith of his career).
Made too big a deal of the Living with War tour.

My sons watched with me - they are not big Neil fans but they learned nothing new. A casual viewer would not really understand Neil and his importance or his body of work based on this short documentary. I think he needs a mini-series.

Old Black

At 6/11/2009 11:40:00 AM, Blogger Patch of Ground Person said...

Just watched this last night here in Cincinnati. I thought they did a decent job given only an hour.

I thought Neil was super serious, giving the interview the death stare most of the time.

Good to see Nils interveiwed for this. He gave some good insight into the TNT sessions.


At 6/11/2009 11:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was super lame that WNED (PBS for Toronto and Buffalo area) did not air this. Neil was born in Toronto!!!

At 6/11/2009 12:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know if this will be available on line or DVD?

Like other here I live in a town in which the local PBS station is worse than a test pattern and they elected now to show it at all

At 6/11/2009 12:25:00 PM, Anonymous Jiff said...

I really enjoyed the program here in Seattle (no fund raising interruptions). All of the interviews and most all of the footage was new to me, and I'm a fan and know a lot about him. No doubt a comprehensive program would require a few more hours.

At 6/11/2009 01:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, not being able to watch it last night left me feeling very denied.

I'll see if I can find a torrent...
- Jim

P.S. I always wondered if "Don't be Denied" was Neil message to bootleggers

At 6/11/2009 02:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there is another television biography or documentary on Neil... I feel like I saw a somewhat lenghy one a few years ago, but I can't remember for sure.

At 6/11/2009 02:22:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

There was a 1 hour stint shown on VH-1 a while back, not 'reel' enlightening.

At 6/11/2009 04:13:00 PM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

I turned it off after the first segment because it was so boring. It was like watching a carrot grow without the benefit of time lapse photography.

Anything I ever wanted to know about Neil is right there in his music and his performances over the years.

Everything else is just a form of kooky voyeurism or hero worship and he's never been that to me.


I thought Joni's "American Masters" version came pretty close to capturing her soul, but this one about Neil Young didn't come close.

The only person who ever captured his psyche, soul, and spirit was Annie Leibovitz in the few photos she snapped. Graham Nash's photograph of that old car going down the road speaks a thousand words compared to what went on in "Don't Be Denied."

At 6/11/2009 08:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw it last week on PBS in Los Angeles. The pledge breaks really broke up the flow and turned a 60 minute show into 90 minutes. Very light at best but Neil comes across well in the interviews. Huge gaps in his career are totally ignored. Nils has some nice comments. but Stills comes across as kinda bizarre. Crosby is his usual philisophical self. Neil's 40 year career is too long and involved to adequately do it justice in only 60 minutes. Yeah, I think they should have focused on only one era or made a mini series out of it.

At 6/11/2009 10:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sent an e-mail to the Chicago PBS station (WTTW) to complain last nite that they showed David Foster instead of the Neil doc as they had promoted. They replied today saying "Thank you for your message. Unfortunately we had to pull American Masters Neil Young: Don't Be Denied from the June pledge drive, because the rights for us to offer the DVD was withdrawn at the last minute."

They did say they're airing it later in June, so if your local PBS station didn't run it last night, there's still hope...


At 6/12/2009 12:26:00 AM, Blogger Kurt Hegre said...

I received this email from the PBS station in Fresno.

"Late Wednesday afternoon we received word from PBS that Mr. Young had pulled the rights to that program, leaving every station in a very bad position. We were not told why he pulled the rights, but without them we are unable to air the program.

Our apologies,"

At 6/12/2009 11:03:00 AM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

I suppose the empathy he had for Manson didn't quite come out the way the way he imagined it would come out in the taped interview.

You can tell he was struggling there trying to explain the situation about his connection.

That the director didn't pick up on that says more about his or her unfamiliarity with Neil, his work, and his humanity.

It's like the MacDonough book, again. There are some things there that needed some interpretation, familiarity with Neil.

The more you think you get to know a person, the less you really understand him or her.

That's my mantra and I'm sticken to it.

Back to the garden,

Mother Nature on the Run

At 6/14/2009 07:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi....I've been enjoying archives tracks this week. My acquizition approach is to download the ones I'm interested in, on a gradual basis, from Amazon.Com at 79p (GBP) each. Not a bad deal (& cheaper than itunes - 99p). Only thing I'm lacking are details of the tracks e.g. recording dates & personnel. No digitial info guide is available from or itunes. It would be great if such information was to appear on thresherswheat.

Regards...Richard H


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