Comment of the Moment: Neil Young at Olympics Closing Ceremonies
Nearly universally, Neil Young at Olympics Closing Ceremonies was considered to be the highlight based on reviews and commentaries we saw here and here.
Naturally, not everyone was on-board with yet another career highlight peak. We single this comment out specifically, not because it was representative, but because of the reaction it provoked.
I'm a big Neil Young fan and an admirer of the work and obvious dedication that goes into maintaining Thrasher's Wheat. However, there does appear to be a tendency towards uncritical hero worship on this website. Praise is a lot less meaningful when it's offered reflexively.
In that spirit, I offer a somewhat different view of Neil's recent work from the website of singer/songwriter Robbie Fulks:
"Did you see him on the Tonight Show last Friday? My 12-year-old, the handsome and brilliant Preston, watched alongside me in stunned disbelief. Preston goes for a fair range of styles and decades -- Jason Mraz, Blue Oyster Cult, Kanye West, Dead Kennedys, Eric Johnson -- but none of it bears a remote resemblance to an elderly dude in a Hawaiian shirt blinking and twitching and strumming a guitar. "Oh my God," he said, "even you're better than this, Dad!"
I don't know an awful lot about the fellow (though I know a lot of his songs well enough to play and sing them -- he's one of those high-prestige Baby Boomer artistes whose products I find I don't need to buy for pretty much the same reason I don't buy recordings of snow shovel noises to put on speakers on my front lawn)..."
This is obviously an uninformed viewpoint, but it does serve to remind us that not everybody thinks Neil is a God. Neil would probably prefer it that way.
We'll just say this. Never, ever, in all the years that we've been editing Thrasher's Wheat have we seen such a false equivalency. The very attempt to balance Neil Young's performance of "Long May You Run" at the 2010 Olympics Closing Ceremonies and a 12 year old's impression of watching Conan O'Brien, is well... just not really worth bothering to analyze.
As Glenn Greenwald would blog, "Could a false equivalency be any more trite or vapid than that?"
But boy did the comment spark a reaction. Here's Peter D. from Holland's response:
You know, the real 'problem' (if you can call it that - to me it's more of a blessing rather than a problem) is that there's a lot of people who think Neil's a rockstar, some famous artist in the music scene. And therefore they judge his output and the things he does / doesn't just like they judge any other star or artist, like (no offence in any way) Aerosmith or Michael Bublé or whoever.
But he's not. It's just the fact that Neil has kept his personal integrity (his being) in EVERYTHING he records or does / doesn't that sets him apart and puts his music in a complete different place. It's just TRUE. Nothing more. You can take it or leave it, but it will stay the same: TRUE, in every meaning of the word.
There's not many who have achieved this in a business that forces everyone that's in it to be what others want you to be and to do what others want you to do.There's a lot of 'em who died trying to cope with that…
Everybody's Rockin is one of many albums that was not recorded for the sake of selling as many copies as possible. Come to think of it, I think none of his albums were. Not even Harvest itself. Neil didn't know it was gonna be his hitalbum, and if he did, he certainly did'nt aim for it. He steered out of the MOR when he found out.
And yes, that's irritating sometimes: to see someones work judged by all the wrong measures.
But hey, you can't blame people for not seeing what seems to be so obvious to us. They just don't get it. Sorry for them.
And I'm not pointing at anyone who posted on this page, this is just a general observation. It took me quite a lot of years to learn this from Neil. I wasn't happy from the year he put out RE-ACT_OR up until the Blue Note's.
They're all out there, his records. And they all have some place where they fit in. It's a fascinating musical biography.
Peter Dees (Holland)
"Love And Only Love"
Before the chapter
where dreams unfold
A battle raged
on the open page,
Love was a winner there
Like a little girl
who couldn't wait.
Love and only love
Hate is everything
you think it is
Love and only love
will break it down
Love and only love,
will break it down
Break it down, break it down.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction." MLK
"And when the dawn breaks I see my fellow man/ and on the flat-screen we kill and we're killed again/ and when the night falls I pray for peace/ try to remember peace."