Neil Young's new release ""World Record" w/ Crazy Horse is now available for pre-order. Order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link or YOUR COUNTRY's FLAG. Thank you!!!)
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Neil Young Project: Vancouver Tribute by Hal Willner

UPDATE 2/28/10: Neil Young News: It is Official! Neil Young Will Play Olympics Closing Ceremonies

UPDATE: See Concert Reviews of Vancouver Olympics Tribute to Neil Young.

Hal Willner
Director of The Neil Young Project

This week, there will be another tribute to Neil Young at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Broken Social Scene, Iron & Wine, Sun Kil Moon, Ron Sexsmith, Joan As Police Woman and Lou Reed, among others, will pay tribute to Neil Young's music.

Called "The Neil Young Project" the program is being directed by Saturday Night Live's music supervisor Hal Willner. From Hal Willner's taking risks with his Neil Young Project | Vancouver, Canada | by Alexander Varty:
“We know the songs are great, and we know the artists are great,” he explains. “So the thing we can guarantee is that it's going to be something really worth seeing.”

His approach, Willner says, is a mixture of studious research and spur-of-the-moment inspiration. He begins by studying the source material, which in the case of the Neil Young Project involved listening to something like 600 songs. (“I've always loved his work,” he notes wryly, “but I wouldn't have been able to answer a Trivial Pursuit game on him before we did this.”) Once he's chosen the songs he wants to work with, he begins assigning them to the different artists.

“By the time we get on the stage, there will be a script,” he says. “And I always find if you know exactly what's going to happen next, then the artists can be loose within that. A lot of magical moments come out of that.

“It's a lot of risk,” he adds, confessing that he hasn't quite finished planning his Vancouver shows. “But what happens then is that you're guaranteed some once-in-a-lifetime, magical things, and you're guaranteed stuff that's not going to work. So what you hope for is that 95 percent of the show is the magical part, right? And usually it works out that way.”

From Olympic tribute set for Neil Young | Music | Entertainment | Winnipeg Sun By DARRYL STERDAN, QMI Agency:

“They asked me to do it two years ago,” says the 52-year-old Willner during a busy day in his New York office. “We had done a Neil Young Project in 2004, so I thought, why not. The material is really cool to work with.”

“The way I prefer to do it is to go listen to everything the composer has written,” says the veteran producer, who has also helmed tributes to Leonard Cohen (I’m Your Man), Kurt Weill (Lost in the Stars and September Songs) and others. “Then I put the show together just from the material. I want something that balances the well-known and unknown, and covers all styles and approaches.

“After that, I start approaching artists that I think would be cool. Basically, I cast it like a movie. But the trick is to have a very well-thought-out, very tight script ahead of time.”

It’s somewhat remarkable — and perhaps a testimony to the respect Willner commands — that the artists he casts are usually happy to check their egos and go along with his suggestions.

“If somebody comes in and has a particular song that they’re attached to, we’ll try to fit it in, or take out something that was similar — or sometimes we try to talk them out of it. But that doesn’t happen very often.”

Besides, surprises are welcome, he claims.

“You never know what’s going to click or not. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll see something that can never be repeated. And usually you can be guaranteed to see stuff that’s incredible and magic, and you’ll be talking forever about how you were there. Sure, there’s stuff that doesn’t work. But when it does, 90% of it is great.”

Among the stuff Willner expects to work: Broken Social Scene, who will serve as one of two house bands; avant-garde guitarist James Blood Ulmer, who will team with Reed on “some good noise”; and Canadian troubadour Sexsmith, described by Willner as a “risk-taker (who) could have written some of these songs.”

That’s high praise, Sexsmith says. But for him, just being invited is a bigger compliment.

“Neil is part of that old guard,” he says. “There’s Leonard and Gordie and Joni and Neil. They’re four of the most influential songwriters in the world. Whenever I’m writing, it’s so daunting when you think of the history you’re up against. I’m always conscious of the work that they did, and I always try to walk in their footsteps.

“I used to do a lot of Neil Young songs when I started out in the bars. I could play Neil all night and nobody could complain. That’s probably still the case."


UPDATE: See Concert Reviews of Vancouver Olympics Tribute to Neil Young.

UPDATE 2/28/10: Neil Young News: It is Official! Neil Young Will Play Olympics Closing Ceremonies


At 2/15/2010 12:49:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I recall searching in vain for many a month during the fall of 2004 and many times later for recordings of the 2004 version.

Was always amazed at the lack of a source for this show. Was it simply looking in the wrong places?

Anyone willing to steer me in the right direction?


Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.

Farm Aid

Go Farmers Markets!

"In the >field< of opportunity
It's plowin' time again."

Silverline Communications

(Home of the FarmAidians)
Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
(519) 737-7979

This blog supports free speech!

Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution

(... he didn't kill himself either...) #AaronDidntKillHimself

Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising
This Blog's For You!

The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy


Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


Neil Young Appreciation Society

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
Rust Radio


Bands Covering Neil Young songs


Official Neil Young News Site

The Bridge School

The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

The Essential Neil Young

Fans Favorite Neil Albums

Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads

Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - us.gif
Canada - canada.gif
United Kingdom - gb.gif
Germany - de.gif

Neil Young Songbook Project

In the fields of wheat

"Children of Destiny" will NOT be harvested
However, the chaff will be burned by unquenchable fire

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates

2015 Rebel Content Tour

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

Neil Young Films

2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.


"There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye"



Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield

"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV & Have A Life

"Everything Is Bullshit" +
"Turn Off The News"
Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)

Neil Young 2016 Year in Review:
The Year of The Wheat

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

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

The Four Dead in Ohio

May The FOUR Be With You #MayThe4thBeWithYou


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power!
When Neil Young Speaks Truth To Power,
The World Listens

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


The Meaning of "Sweet Home Alabama" Lyrics

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment

Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young

I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"
Full Disclousre Now

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel



Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

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

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
... and symbolism will be their downfall...

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

"Children of Destiny" - THE Part of THE Solution

(Frame from Official Music Video)

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

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

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat