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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Force of Nature: Review of Neil Young at the Ryman, 6/2/10


Rainbow over The Ryman prior to Neil Young concert, 6/2/10
Photo by The Ryman


Force of Nature – Review of Neil Young at the Ryman
by Faith Phillips

A burning, bright day retreated suddenly at the advance of a summer squall in Nashville last Wednesday. Threatening skies churned out a torrent of rain, pouring down in sheets on the downtown area. Outside the Ryman Auditorium, an unsuspecting crowd scattered in all directions, seeking shelter beneath the awning of a parking garage and nearby buildings. For a brief moment, the streams washing down 4th Avenue were reminiscent of recent events. Barely a month has passed since three days of relentless rain sent the swollen Cumberland River coursing out of its banks, causing widespread destruction in the Nashville area.

Just before the doors opened, the waterworks shut off and hundreds of people made their way into the venue, clothes and hair dripping with rain. The drenched gathering had braved the storm to witness the Nashville stop of Neil Young’s Twisted Road tour at the Ryman.

The Ryman Auditorium itself is captivating. Originally constructed to serve as a church, its structure is quite literally that of a cathedral. Curved wooden pews surround the stage, seating a mere 2300 patrons. Giant panels of stained glass filter pale light onto the backs of the audience and upon the foot of the stage. The building was home to the Grand Ole Opry until 1974, and at one time served as the stage for The Johnny Cash Show. It is now known as The Mother Church of Country Music, and for good reason. The aesthetics of the place serve as a conductor for an experience that combines both the musical and the spiritual. It was within this context that Neil Young took the stage, accompanied by Hank Williams’ old guitar.

At the sight of him, the audience exploded into a roaring applause. The artist very calmly walked to the front of the stage and took his seat. He casually dipped his harmonica in a bucket and shook the water out upon the stage. With the crowd continuing to applaud, he began to roll up his shirt sleeves. Here was just another working man, preparing himself for the job.

The first few selections were classic Neil Young. He began with My, My, Hey, Hey (Out of the Blue), followed by Tell Me Why and Helpless. His one-of-a-kind high tenor cried out, “it’s better to burn out, cause rust never sleeps”. The solo performance beautifully met with the unique acoustics of the venue, creating an overwhelming wave of sound that flooded the entire building.

The middle part of the set was generally comprised of new material. His lyrics touched on a myriad of intensely personal subjects. You Never Call seemed to detail the lonely reality of losing an old friend. Peaceful Valley mourned a world besieged by violence and environmental ruin. In Love & War, Mr. Young seemed to question himself, singing, “I sang about justice and I hit a bad chord, but I still try to sing about love and war”.

Afterward, Young walked to the rear of the stage and returned with Old Black – his famously modified 1953 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop. The stage was at once lit completely in burning red light as the unmistakable introduction to Down By the River rang out. He next went to a golden organ to sing After the Gold Rush. A silhouette of vines fell upon the back of his flannel work shirt as he played. The lyrics, “Look at Mother Nature on the run in the 21st century” were sobering, considering he first delivered this same message some forty years ago.

Perhaps the most emotionally charged moment came when the musician went to a pink piano covered in red roses to play I Believe in You. His voice was never more vulnerable. Regarding this particular song, Mr. Young has written that it “says all there is to say”.

At its conclusion, the room fell quiet for a moment and a brash audience member yelled out, “Whatever you want, Neil!” The performer only nodded, as he turned to pick up his electric White Falcon and began Rumblin’ . The low, hard vibration of the guitar’s sound rattled a display case containing Connie Smith’s guitar with such force, that it seemed on the verge of shattering into a thousand points of glass.

Pounding versions of Cortez the Killer and Cinnamon Girl followed, as Young leaned in hard and stepped off the rhythm with his trademark stomp dance.
At the first encore, he once again held Hank’s guitar and sang Old Man. The final encore was the new song, Walk With Me. It could have been directed at his faithful fans: “I feel your love, I feel your strong love, I feel your patience, I feel your strength, I feel your faith in me, I’ll never let you down, if you’ll just walk with me”. He brought the song and the evening to a close by turning his back to the audience, walking to the amplifiers, and generating intense audio feedback that pulsated through the crowd.

As enraptured fans made their way out into the night, the lovely calm summer sky felt a bit strange, since only a few hours previous the storm had raged outside. But isn't that always our experience with a force of nature? Powerless, we have no course of action other than to look on in wonder, left in its wake to consider the implications of what we have witnessed.

- Faith Phillips
***
Thank you Faith!

More reviews on Neil Young's "Twisted Road" Concert Tour Spring 2010.

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Neil Young - Austin, 6-5-10
Photo by Alberto Martinez / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


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UPDATE: CSNY 1974 Tour Box Set News

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Stephen Stills and Neil Young
CSNY Concert: 1974-08-23, Stadium, Tampa, Florida

Photo Gallery by John Gellman Photography


Quite a reaction to the news that a CSNY 1974 Tour Box Set is in the works.

Unfortunately, it turns out the excitement might be quite premature. Archives Guy responded with:
For a bit of clarity on all of this-

This project is real and currently in production.
The release date and content are still undetermined at this time.

As some of you recall in your comments, this was very memorable tour and the outstanding mixes on this project should flood you with great memories.

It sounds GREAT!

-Archives Guy

Nevertheless, that did not damp enthusiasm for the project with lots of folks posting tour memories here on TW, Steve Hoffman Forums, Wilco's Via Chicago, our Facebook Wall | ThrashersWheatNeverSleeps and Rust.

From Steve Hoffman Forums by Yardbird:
I saw them on their reunion tour at the Capital Center in DC and it was one of the best concerts I've been to.

The DC crowd was attentive and appreciated their wooden music as much as their electric. It was like attending several concerts in one as they played together, then split up to play individually or as a duo (Crosby & Nash) and then finished together. It was a long concert, but awesome. As stated by an earlier poster, Neil Young was clearly the star of that night, when he played a solo set near the show's end. I hope they include something from the DC show.

I am definitely looking forward to this release!

Here's another recent comment:
Maybe the CSNY '74 project is another example of Neil being a good friend to his old pals.

Neil's got this whole production team set up and that probably makes the process a lot more profitable and easier. With music sales down so dramatically, musicians who have enjoyed very comfortable lives now find their annuity cash flow streams at risk. The best way to make money these days as a musician other than touring is through specialty sets like this one.

The fact is, evidenced from this thread, there's real demand for this product and perhaps Neil's helping these guys keep the cash spicket running. Neil hated the TFA tour and the album but we're begging him to bring it back and if he did I wouldn't fault him, I'd say despite his misgivings he's giving fans what they want. Its not unlike the archives MP3 download where the team broke their back to produce a Blue Ray version but some of us wanted to also have it on our ipods.

Maybe CSNY '74 is right behind the TFA tour in terms of his hated tours but he's probably trying to be a gracious friend and feed the fans what they want. Otherwise, its hard to understand why his team would focus on this project when the could fast track Archives II, toast, Truck show on blue ray, ect...

Undoubtedly, some are concerned with Neil and his team keeping the eye on the ball making new music and not going on some random journey through the past again. But it's been well established that you can't please everyone all the time...

Speaking of fantasies, here's a dream setlist for the '74 box set from a "random CSNY fan":

1 Love the One You're With
2 Wooden Ships
3 Immigration Man
4 Helpless
5 Military Madness
6 Johnny's Garden
7 Almost Cut My Hair
8 So Begins the Task
9 Walk On
10 Teach Your Children
11 Only Love Can Break Your Heart
12 Leeshore
13 Time After Time

1 Southbound Train
2 Lady of the Island
3 Simple Man
4 Another Sleep Song
5 Our House
6 Hawaiian Sunrise
7 Long May You Run
8 Ambulance Blues
8 Star of Bethlehem
10 Homefires
11 the Old Homestead
12 Love Art Blues
13 Old Man
14 Blackbird
15 Change Partners
16 Myth of Sisyphus
17 As I Come of Age
18 Word Game
19 Suite Judy Blue Eyes

1 Deja Vu
2 Don't be Denied
3 Pre Road Downs
4 On the Beach
5 Black Queen
6 Revolution Blues
7 Carry Me
8 Pushed it Over the End
9 Carry On
10 Chicago
11 Ohio

Nice. That would've been some show. We'd be down with that setlist any day. Open the vaults!


Crosby Stills Nash Young & Mitchell - Helpless (1974)

Nick Dagan | MySpace Video

CSNY w/ Joni Mitchell - "Helpless", 1974-09-14, Wembley Stadium, London, England

More on CSNY 1974 Tour Box Set.


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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Concert Review of the Moment: Neil Young in Austin, TX, June 5, 2010


Neil Young - Austin, 6-5-10
Photo by Alberto Martinez / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


The Neil Young Concert Review of the Moment is from Austin, TX, June 5, 2010 by swansong:
My wife and I were at the Austin show on June 5th. We drove 1200 miles from Sedona AZ. just to see Neil in concert. This was my wife's very first Neil show, and my eighth.

Of all the shows I've seen from Neil, this was the most personal. Each song sounded as if it had just been written; new and old, the emotions still raw, the pictures still vivid, the moment still fresh. Songs almost too personal to share with strangers.

As always, the sound was beyond perfection, and the audience was completely immersed in each and every note. There were moments when you could have heard a pin drop. The new songs were so personal, so authentic, so raw. We were both completely mesmerized throughout the whole concert.

Our round trip was 2451 miles, we spent close to $2000.00, and did it all in four days. Was it worth it? You better believe it was. Neil Young is a true artist, one totally committed to his craft, and he just keeps getting better with age. His performance at Bass Auditorium in Austin Texas on June 5, 2010 will hold up as one of our most cherished memories.

Thanks Neil, for always keeping it real.

Thanks swansong!

More Neil Young Concert Reviews from Austin, TX, June 5, 2010 and the Twisted Road tour.


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German Neil Young Tribute Festival in August

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Fans in Germany are planning a big Neil Young open air festival tribute this summer.

On August 20 and 21, 10 bands will party and pay tribute in Pößneck (Thuringa). Some of the finest Neil tribute bands in Germany like Eric Rust & The Never Sleeps band, Change Partners, Tino Standhaft, Andreas Schirneck, Helpless and Bozz Rockband (over 4 years in the top 10 of Neils "Songs Of The Time") will play. Also the legendary Monokel from East Germany and Neil Young's support band from the last year in Germany Wolfgang Michels. There will be a place to camp beside the festival for free.

All information about the festival (also with "bad English translations") on www.rock-the-garden.de. You can also listen to radiostream about the festival with music and small interviews from all bands.

If you have any questions contact: jensseverin@neil-young.info

Also, see the German Neil Young site: www.neil-young.info.

Thanks Jens! Prost!


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Monday, June 28, 2010

CSNY 1974 Tour Box Set Coming

UPDATE: This post is making the rounds and casuing some waves in various places like Steve Hoffman Forums, our Facebook Wall | ThrashersWheatNeverSleeps and other scattered tweets, etc.

But, it seems that there are some inaccuracies in the original post. It's not clear what the state of the project is or its details. Unsure whether Crosby or The Columbian reporter is mistaken. We do know tapes of the shows exist and they are excellent. Everything else, consider the source (s). Also, the poster for Summer Jam West has been removed. The concert never took place. Thanks Tom on Sugar Mountain! We regret the errors.

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
1974-08-23, Stadium, Tampa, Florida

Photo Gallery by John Gellman Photography


Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's 1974 summer tour was unprecedented in many ways -- not the least of which was a pioneering mega huge sound system able to blast tens of thousands at outdoor stadiums. The Bill Graham produced spectacle went on to usher in the massive rock and roll extravaganzas that so many other acts would later follow.

Now comes word that a box set of CSNY's historic 1974 tour will be released by the end of the year. Planned as a three CD and a DVD set, the box is being put together by Joel Bernstein and Stanley Johnston from eight full shows from that tour.

From The Columbian by Alan Sculley:

“This CSNY thing is going to eclipse almost everything else,” David Crosby said. “I think it’s going to be just pretty much beyond belief. What I’ve heard, I was just stunned.”

“When you really hear them now, it’s just astounding,” he said. “The stuff that they’ve played me, I can’t even believe how … good it is.”

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Rolling Stone - August 15th, 1974

More on the reunion tour of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1974.

(Thanks Matt!)


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Concert Review of the Moment: Neil Young - Dallas, TX , June 7, 2010

The Neil Young Concert Review of the Moment is from Dallas, TX , June 7, 2010 by Stephen:
I went to this show with my dad, who has seen him five or six times including at the Myriad in Oklahoma City for the Time Fades Away tour, and with my younger brother who had never seen him. Two years ago I saw Neil for the first time in San Diego, so we all went into it with different experience.

My brother and me went to see if we could meet Neil about four hours before the show. After waiting about an hour he came out and signed something for all of us waiting. I got "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" and my brother got "Live Rust" signed. The whole time I just keep thinking this doesn't seem real, I'm standing right next to Neil. All I could manage to say was that my copy of EKTN was the first album my dad bought of his.

I couldn't tell what he thought about that but as I was walking away, I turned back around and he finally broke his stern demeanor and smiled at me and waved.

The show was amazing and blew me away. It was much different from the show in San Diego that seemed more like a greatest hits tour. All the songs, including the old ones, seemed almost sad and mournful; the only exception being Leia. Almost like he knows he's getting old but life goes on, a new generation is just starting.

When he sang Old Man, I felt like he was singing it just for me. I could swear he looked straight at me or maybe I just wanted to believe he was.

It may not mean that much to him that he means so much to me but at 24, with so much more, and he an old man of 64, I feel a strong bond with him through his songs and the emotions he passes through them.

Thanks Stephen!

More concert reviews of Neil Young in Dallas, TX , June 7, 2010.


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Saturday, June 26, 2010

3rd Leg of Twisted Road Goes to Gulf of Mexico



A 3rd leg of Neil Young's "Twisted Road" concert tour has been announced.

Only one date listed so far on Hollywood, Florida on September 23.

From N Y Times:
HARD ROCK SHOW ANCHORS GULF COAST TOUR

September 23 at the HARD ROCK in Hollywood Florida is now confirmed. Tickets are already on sale. Other dates will be announced that are surrounding this show in Florida and on the Gulf Coast. Theaters in cities on the Gulf Coast are being checked for availability. We will be announcing these tour dates as they are officially confirmed. I am looking forward to playing Florida and the Gulf Coast.

This leg of the tour may well prove to be most fascinating.

Neil has already indicated that "Vampire Blues" may be part of the setlist. With mother nature on the run in the 21st century, maybe it's time to listen. As Sun Green would say, "we've got a job to do, we've got to save the Gulf of Mexico."

More on Leg #1 & #2 of Neil Young's "Twisted Road" concert tour.

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"Look At Mother Nature On The Run In The 21st Century"


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Social Networking With Neil Young

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Last year, we blogged about how Neil Young was being recognized as a social marketing genius. OK, so it was a little tongue in cheek.

But lo & behold, it looks like Neil got off that couch and posted on Facebook:
"i have been thinking about adding vampire blues to my show. but i would rather do it with a band. this is my first posting. thanks for being there."

Fascinating.

Vampire Blues. So timely. So awesome.

We "Liked" it. And so did about 10,000 others with thousands of comments.

Vampire Blues has only been played live once, when Young guested with Eagles on March 26th, 1974.

Neil's FB posting even made news in Rolling Stone, which relayed a rant from Chicago in 1999, about his "internet fans" fromHyperRust:
"One thing I found out on this tour is that the Internet has really changed things a lot. They got this list of all the songs I play. We try and play new songs all the time. I don't ever look at it. I just heard of it. Every night, whatever you do, it's there. I'll probably never look at the damn thing. I might use it for something else. I don't need to keep track of myself. I don't want to keep track of anyone else whose keeping track of me, either. A couple of weeks ago somebody was talking and I went, 'Shut up asshole!' I'm sure it went right up there. That's the Shut Up Asshole show! People in Zimbabwe are finding out what I said. I don't know what to make of all that. Here's another new song for this tour. It's probably only been played once before, maybe three days ago. It'll show up on the graph. They keep track of how many new songs I did, how many old songs I did in a different way. It's just a stupid song."

Welcome Neil! Good to see you. What's next. Start using Twitter?!

More on Neil Young's On The Beach infamous "blues trilogy": "Revolution Blues", "Vampire Blues", and "Ambulance Blues".

Sucking blood from the Gulf of Mexico...


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Friday, June 25, 2010

Norah Jones Covers Neil Young's "Barstool Blues"


Norah Jones performs Neil Young's "Barstool Blues" in Prospect Park, Brooklyn on 06.09.10.

From Entertainment Weekly, Norah Jones reveals her current listening: "But I’m, like, obsessed with Neil Young. I’m listening to Zuma and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere a lot. He seems like someone that just does whatever the hell he wants. And God love him for that!"

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Norah Jones performs "Tell Me Why"
MusiCares Person Of The Year Tribute To Neil Young at the Los Angeles Convention Center on January 29, 2010 in Los Angeles, California


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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Irony While Rockin’ in the Free World

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Neil Young and Crazy Horse
Greendale at Radio City Music Hall, New York City - March 18, 2004
Photo by Thrasher


Over the years, we've written quite extensively how Neil Young's song “Rockin’ in the Free World” has been used and abused for a variety of purposes.

Now comes an in-depth look at the irony and aftermath of RITFW from The Umpteenth Times by Kevin Egan:
To borrow a phrase from the mathematicians, people seem to enjoy things broken down to it’s lowest common denominator. In the case of “Rockin’ in the Free World,” Young experiences what Springsteen has with “Born in the USA,” which is an audience clueless to the ideas expressed in his song.

The masses only seem to recall the chorus to this song, when the chorus is only a summing up of what the verses had articulated with more specific concepts and detailed images. It’s quite possible that Young may have been inspired by Springsteen (Springsteen’s song was written years before Young’s) when he created his own “anti-anthem,” a song in which a chorus is sung ironically, juxtaposed against gloomy, hopeless lyrics.

Though some may argue differently, this is far from an elitist tactic, particularly since both Young and Springsteen sing their verses quite clearly and include the lyrics to the songs on their albums. The information is there for the listener to absorb if they are interested. Unfortunately, in both these cases, many people still don’t get the joke and they ultimately and sadly become part of the joke. They sing proudly and patriotically to these “anti-anthems” that point out the hardships and inequalities of a system and government that has failed their people. It is only to those who have been listening attentively that the irony of these pieces comes across clearly enough.

Thanks Kevin!

More from NO SERIOUSLY: “Rockin’ in the Free World:” The Irony Continues | theumpteenthtimes.com.

Also, see lyrics analysis of Neil Young's “Rockin’ in the Free World”.


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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In Search of International Harvesters Material

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International Harvesters Tour, Costa Mesa, CA - 10/24/84
Photo by Robert Matheu


Well, it looks like the folks over at Shakey Pictures are looking for some Neil Young archival material from the International Harvesters era.

Hi Thrasher,
The Neil Young Archives team is looking for any rare film or video footage that collectors and fans may have of the International Harvesters band.

In our library we already have their performances on Austin City Limits, Live Aid, Farm Aid and Nashville Now.

Now we are reaching out to the community for contributions.

If you or someone you know has Harvesters footage that isn't what is listed above, they can send the details to me.

I will get you in contact with the appropriate person in the Shakey Pictures production crew to send it to.

Thanks for your help and the great dedication to the community on Thrashers Wheat.

-Archives Guy
nyv1archive@yahoo.com

So, if you can help out, we're sure the Shakey Pix guys would love to hear from you.

The International Harvesters era -- which ran from roughly ~1984 - 1985 -- produced some wonderful country twang moments in Neil Young's career. The band consisted of 2 band lineups:

International Harvesters Band #1
Ben Keith
Anthony Crawford
Rufus Thibodeaux
Spooner Oldham
Tim Drummond
Karl T. Himmel
Larry Cragg
Joel Bernstein

International Harvesters Band #2
Ben Keith
Anthony Crawford
Rufus Thibodeaux
Hargus Pig Robbins
Joe Allen
Karl T. Himmel
Matraca Berg
Tracy Nelson
Larry Cragg
Joel Bernstein

(Bonus points for correctly identifying each player's instrument.)

From a Funhouse album review of Old Ways by Steve Peck:
The International Harvesters were a swinging band that added a lot to the quality of Old Ways, and this is Neil's most realized country effort to date. One enjoyable aspect of the album is his use of Waylon Jennings for vocal harmonies. Waylon and Neil's voices blend well together, and Jennings is one of the best harmonizers around. Willie Nelson shows up to duet on "Are There Any More Real Cowboys?," adding further to the record's country credentials. This period of Neil's career is even more significant if you look past the Old Ways album, and take into account the subsequent International Harvesters tour, with its performances of several exceptional, unreleased songs, "Interstate" and "Grey Riders."



YouTube - Neil Young w/ International Harvesters & Nicolette Larson - "Homegrown" at Farm Aid II

Some more International Harvesters video:

YouTube - NEIL YOUNG SOUTHERN PACIFIC 8/17/85 - 1985-08-17, Canadian National Exhibition Grandstand, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

YouTube - Neil Young & Waylon Jennings 1984 - Neil Young & Waylon Jennings Sept 20 1984 'Nashville Now' TV show Are You Ready For the Country?

YouTube - Neil Young - Nashville Now tv show pt 1 - Neil Young on the tv show Nashville Now on Sept 20 1984. Part 1 includes intro, Field of Opportunity and the first part of the interview.

YouTube - Neil Young - Nashville Now tv show pt 3 - Neil Young on the tv show Nashville Now on Sept 20 1984. Part 3 - Amber Jean, band intro's and the closing moments of the show."


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Jewel and Neil Young

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Jewel


During Neil Young's 1996 tour, singer-songwriter Jewel performed as the opening act in her first performances before large audiences. Certainly, a challenge for any act to open solo acoustic before an electric Crazy Horse set.

In discussing her new album, "Sweet and Wild", she recalls sage advice from Neil Young. From Winnipeg Free Press by Victoria Ahearn:
Jewel says the theme of her new album, "Sweet and Wild," is finding your inner truth and defending it.

It's a lesson Canadian music legend Neil Young taught her in the mid-1990s when she was touring with him and promoting her debut album, "Pieces of You," she explained in a recent interview.

At the time, her single "Who Will Save Your Soul" was "starting to have some baby success," she said, but the rest of the album was "struggling" to get off the ground and her label wanted her to give up on it and focus on a sophomore effort.

Desperate for a hit to avoid having to live in her car again, she agreed.

"I started writing kind of bad, hooky material that I thought would do well on radio but it just wasn't very me," the three-time Grammy-nominated artist, born Jewel Kilcher, said from her Texas ranch.

"I remember Neil kind of talking to me about it and I told him my dilemma. I was like, 'I wrote a song that the label loves and I just feel horrible about it, I think it's a crappy song but I really want a hit and I don't want to get dropped from my label,' and I was kind of in this terrible position.

"And Neil was like, 'Don't worry about it. Don't care about radio, don't think about radio, just keep writing what you write and stick to touring,' which kind of gave me the strength to try and keep doing that."

Later, as the album took off (it eventually sold over 12 million copies in the U.S.), Young offered her more sage advice as she walked off stage from a sound check at Madison Square Garden.

"I must have looked green because he goes, 'You look nervous,' and I was like, 'I am nervous,' and he's like, 'Why?' and I'm like, 'Because you're Neil Young and you have Crazy Horse and I'm going to die out there, they're going to murder me, solo acoustic!'" she said.

"And he looked at me, got real serious and he put his finger in my face and he goes: 'This is just another hash house on the road to success. You show them no respect,' which I thought was the coolest line ever!"

More on Neil Young's influence on other artists.


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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Neil Young Print by Shepard Fairey

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A graphic print of Neil Young photo by the artist Shepard Fairey went on sale last week. The limited edition sold out in 3 minutes.

The print is based on the photography by Henry Diltz of Neil Young and his White Falcon guitar at Balboa Stadium, San Diego, before a CSNY concert in 1969.


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Monday, June 21, 2010

"Needle of Death" by Bert Jansch


Bert Jansch performs "Needle of Death" 6/15/10 in Felton, CA.

Bert Jansch recenty performed "Needle of Death" while on tour with Pegi Young.

"Needle of Death" has been cited by Neil Young as an inspiration for the song "Ambulance Blues". Neil Young told Rolling Stone back in 1992:
"I was especially taken by Needle Of Death, such a beautiful and angry song. That guy was so good… And years later, on On The Beach, I wrote the melody of Ambulance Blues by styling the guitar part completely on Needle Of Death. I wasn’t even aware of it, and someone else drew my attention to it."

And here's review of a recent concert of Pegi Young Goes and Bert Jansch by
Daniel in Portland:
"Behind every great guy there's a great gal."

I don't know who said that but it's more than true when it comes to Neil Young.

I attended the Bert Jansch/Pegi Young Band show on June 12. The venue holds less than 200 and we had seats up front. I think the smaller the venue the better for two artists' like these. And without elaborating, all I'm going to say here is that Pegi's set was a heck of a lot of FUN! The crowd was movin' and groovin'!

Bert Jansch is a whole different trip. Same crowd, totally different reaction. We were sitting no more than ten feet from the stage and we were fixated, for lack of a better term. Compared to Pegi's set that had folks whistling and yahooing, the crowd settled in to hear every nuance and follow every tuning and capo setting of the guitar (he changed it every song). At one point, he said, "You're very quiet."

Nobody said nothin'. Like I said, we were enamored with his...playing and presence.
So, it was like two completely different shows in one. But both having one common thread and that is being associated with Neil. It blows my mind some people think there is something wrong with that.

"Behind every great guy there's a great gal."

You bet your ass there is!

It was nice meeting you, Pegi.

- Daniel in Portland

More on Pegi Young and Bert Jansch tour and Bert Jansch and Neil Young.


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Don’t Spook The Horse Upcoming Gigs

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The Neil Young Tribute Band Don’t Spook The Horse has a few upcoming warmup gigs in preparation for the 2010 NYAS convention:

  • 30th June 2010, Royal Norfolk Show
  • 2nd July 2010, The Corner House, Wells-next-the-Sea.
  • 17th July 2010, Blakeney Harbour Rooms, NR25 7NU
  • 29th August 2010, Darby’s. Elsing Road, Swanton Morley, Dereham, Norfolk, NR20 4NY
  • 18th September 2010, Neil Young Appreciation Society convention, London

nyas convention
NYAS convention set for the weekend 17th / 19th September 2010 in Brixton

See NYAS conventions for details.


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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Inside The Making of Neil Young’s Greendale Graphic Novel

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Neil Young’s Greendale
Written by Joshua Dysart, Illustrated by Cliff Chiang


Back in 2003, Neil Young released Greendale.

Critics and fans were of divided opinion on the album with reactions ranging from it being a baffling, liberal 101, eco-hippie rant to being hailed as a groundbreaking concept album similar to The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Who's Tommy or Pink Floyd's 'The Wall'.

At the time, we felt Greendale was "the most important album released in 2003 and the musical equivalent of Silent Spring".

greendale_cover_lgA 10-song concept album, Greendale is set in a fictional California seaside town. Based on the saga of the Green family, the "audio novel" has been compared to the literary classics of John Steinbeck's work, Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" and Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio" for its complexity and emotional depth in exploring tragedy in a small town in America.

greendale-graphic-novel-sun-green-back.jpg


Some critics went as far as saying that Young had broken new ground by creating an entirely unique art form -- the "audio novel". The New York Times said:
"Mr. Young has always been remarkable for his creative resilience, and this time he really has done something new, rendering into this combination of print and audio a novel that is surprisingly sophisticated and satisfyingly complete."

It's now been over seven years since the Greendale songs' debut and today, the album is finally being recognized as Young's best work thus far of 21st Century and one of the greatest in his career.

Simply put, Greendale is "Neil Young's Avatar".

greendale-graphic-novel-cheerleader-crop.jpg


It's been a CD, a concert/stage play, a film, a book and a DVD. And now Greendale is now a graphic novelization of the album. Over four years in the making, it has been called by Wired Magazine an "enviropocalyptic comic".

It is a stunning work and it's timing could not be more fortuitous now that Mother Nature is in full gallop mode in the 21st century.

oil-spill-pelican
"Look At Mother Nature On The Run In The 21st Century"


The graphic novel's plot line focuses primarily around the character of Sun Green and her awakening as she comes into her own as an environmental and political activist, choosing an unconventional life as economic and political turmoil exploit both people and natural resources. Says Young in an interview with New York Times By GEORGE GENE GUSTINES: "I’m happy the story is getting around; I think it’s empowering for young women.”

greendale-graphic-novel-cover-characters.jpg


In an interview with publisher Vertigo's editor Karen Berger:
Neil approached us over four years ago with the idea of taking his acclaimed concept album and realizing it as a graphic novel. The original album was conceived as a musical novel of sorts, a 10-song rock opera that tells the story of the restless characters in the sleepy, seaside California town of Greendale, with a teenage girl, Sun Green, at its center. It has also been a live rock opera, a film that Neil directed as ‘Bernard Shakey’, which would lead to a companion book, plus an off-Broadway musical.

Joshua Dysart was the first writer who leapt to mind to handle the writing. Josh’s sheer talent and sensibility as a writer and his longtime political activism made him perfect for this book, and growing up on Neil Young’s music certainly made him a slam dunk. Neil immediately responded to Josh’s first thoughts on the adaptation and a great collaborative process between the two of them followed. And, while I always knew that Josh would do a great job, I was wowed by his ability to convey this rambling rock and roll feeling to the graphic novel form and to create an atmosphere that felt very much like Neil’s music.

Trying to find the right artist wasn’t anywhere as easy. I had sent Neil samples of many different artists but he had a particular look in mind and wasn’t satisfied. But then he saw Cliff Chiang’s art and immediately fell in love with it. Not surprising, as Cliff’s clean, modern style has an organic, natural feel to it. He is a fluid and accessible storyteller, which worked perfectly to transform this rich family saga into a graphic novel. There is something about his work on GREENDALE that takes his art to another level. His wonderful ability to capture the details and nuances of a very large cast of characters, while impressing us with the towering and majestic landscapes, made him the perfect choice (You were right to wait, Neil!).

greendale-graphic-novel-devil-sun-green.jpg


In an interview with the graphic novel's author Joshua Dysart from Huffington Post by Bryan Young:
Originally, Greendale was a bit of a rock opera in that the songs were loosely related to the Green family who lived in this fictional Northern California town of Greendale. And they're all very much grounded in activism and it's all very much Neil's frustration and anger over choices the Bush Administration was making in 2003 regarding our energy policy in particular. It's an activist album. He went on to direct a film by himself, which was sort of an accumulation of music videos, and a rock opera, and they put out an art book. And all of these further illuminated the narrative of Greendale. So when it came time for us to attack it, we sort of felt like the narrative had been wrung out from that angle, so we wanted to do something different, but firmly entrenched in the Greendale mythos. We got into the mystical aspect of the women of the Green family. And so what we tried to do was to tell a story that both had human elements that Neil Young had, but really use comics to their great strength.

greendale-graphic-novel-sun-green-be-the-rain.jpg


In an interview with the graphic novel's author Joshua Dysart from Blog@Newsarama by Michael C. Lorah:
Suffused with magical realism, Dysart conjures forth imagery only suggested by Young’s grooving guitar solos. Sun Green’s comforting connection to mother Earth plays nicely against the chaos erupting around her, in both her family and the outside world. For Young fans, Dysart moves a few pieces around to make the story flow more elegantly – Sun’s war protest comes early, for example, leading to a touching scene of one young girl perhaps moved by Sun’s field art – but he also gives new insight into the Green family and effectively samples several of Young’s better lyrics throughout the dialogue. Crossing paths with her grandparents, parents, cousin Jed, granduncle and officer Carmichael (oh, and the devil himself), Sun comes into contact with all the major characters from the album, as Dysart weaves their stories into Sun’s awakening social consciousness.

greendale-graphic-novel-devil-sun-green-2.jpg


In an interview with the graphic novel's author Joshua Dysart from Newsarama.com By Michael Lorah:
Neil is a real human being who produces real music about real people, and cares immensely about what his name is on, and about what he is a part of and what he projects. He is not the center of some great marketing machine. And that was very, very rewarding to see, because I had been a fan of his my whole life. To have him meet with me again and again and again, and do phone calls, and give elaborate notes throughout the process; to really, really care – it didn’t do anything but solidify my love for his art and for him as a person and as a human being.

greendale-graphic-novel-grandma.jpg


In an interview with the graphic novel's artist Cliff Chiang from
Newsarama.com by Chris Arrant:
QUESTION: You said earlier that when you sat down to draw it, you had both the “Greendale” music album and the film Neil did to help inspire you.. but was there anything else that either directly or indirectly influenced the work you did on this book?

Chiang: There were a lot of things I was thinking about when working on the book. I knew based on the album and the art book that came out with it, that our Greendale graphic novel didn’t need to be glossy and slick; it needed to feel organic, old and warm – like an old t-shirt. I thought it would be great if we could print it so it looks kind of old – with no real black & white – so I asked our colorist Dave Stewart to knock back stuff to make that happen. I also asked to add coffee stains and spatters, like you’d find in an old book. As you’ll see from the interior of the cover, we wanted to evoke an old family photo album feel. I didn’t it to have a dustjacket – I wanted something more traditional and weathered.

greendale-graphic-novel-alaska-oil.jpg
(Note timeliness of headline in top panel)


Greendale continues to be timely in its demonizing of the oil companies and expressing Young's constant themes of love and war.

greendale-graphic-novel-sun-green-panels.jpg


In an interview with the graphic novel's author Joshua Dysart from Comic Book Resources by Kevin Mahadeo:
QUESTION: What can you say about the character of Sun? There's this aspect in the comic and in the art book that, while not necessarily religious, is based on the ideology of Mother Nature and the Mother Goddess from folk and myth.

DYSART: In the art book, there is this vague suggestion that all the women along the Green line have this relationship to nature. This was really interesting to me because Neil was consciously or unconsciously writing it only in the women. To me, that immediately lent itself to the mythologies of the Green Woman. I was really into and am still interested in the magical history of the United States. There's a very, very strong thread of folk superstition that is part of the very fabric of this country. The most easily explained example of that is horseshoes above doors and things like that. I've always been really, really interested in that. At the time I was asked to pitch this, I was reading exerts from European witch trials and was interested in a lot of the information I was getting from that stuff. So, I pooled all this together. This is sort of my own interest - the place of the female inside of perceived culture and their relationship with nature. It very easily fell into place inside of the stuff that Neil was talking about.

greendale-graphics-art-book.jpg


From Vertigo | Comics:
Sun's always been different. There's been talk that the women in her family have all had a preternatural communion with nature. And when a Stranger comes to town – a character whose presence causes Greendale to, well, go to hell – she'll find herself on a journey both mystical and mythical. To face the Stranger, she'll unearth the secrets of her family in a political coming-of-age story infused with its own special magic.

sun-green-graphic-novel.jpg


From interview with Dysart in Wired.com By Scott Thill:
“I’m a huge fan of Neil,” said. “He comes from an era when music was considered an instrument of social change. To ask him to be something different would be asking a bird to take a bus south for the winter. But his work speaks to the humanist arc. First and foremost, his songs are about the politics of being human.”

greendale-devil.jpg


From Vertigo: Graphic Content » Blog Archive » Josh Dysart talks NEIL YOUNG’S GREENDALE:
When I was ten my mom bought me my first record player. That night I started digging through her stacks of vinyl that lay scattered around the living room. I wasn’t discerning. I had no idea of what I was looking for. What was on top was what got played. And that’s how Neil Young’s Harvest came to be the first album I remember dropping my needle on.

The songs on that album were a glimpse into the loving, suffering, and complexity at the heart of the adult inner-life. I was fascinated and awakened. So it was a wonderful twist of fate when 25 years later I found myself on the phone with Karen Berger saying, emphatically, “yes!” to the Greendale project.

Neil Young’s Greendale, a concept album about a young political activist and her family in a small northern California town, has been a rock opera, a movie directed by Neil himself, and an art book. It captures his feelings about the war, the news media, the environment, the role of family and small-town America and the inherent power of youth. It’s sprawling, rocking, down home, sad and hopeful.

But our book’s also different from the album. With Neil’s notes and approval at every stage of the process, we were able to avoid simply copying a work that already existed in several iterations. We wanted to find something new inside of it. And so our GREENDALE is more of an American fable than a rock ballad. But hopefully, when you read it, you’ll still hear in your head the music that drives it and feel the loving, suffering, and complexity that Neil Young’s work has communicated to generation after generation of music fans… just like me.

The inconvenient truth of Greendale is that Sun Green was right. Just be the rain.



Printed on 100% recycled paper (40% post-consumer waste), the book itself strives to be green along with its earthy tones. Available on Amazon.com. (Thanks! You'll be supporting Thrasher's Wheat!)

greendale-graphic-novel-town.jpg
Greendale:
Everyone's Hometown


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Contest Winners - Long May You Run: The Illustrated History of Neil Young Books

Neil Young cover image.jpg


Here are the winners of the contest to win a free copy of the book Long May You Run: The Illustrated History of Neil Young.

The book winners correctly answered the following question: "Which 3 albums comprise Neil Young's "Ditch Trilogy"?

Times Fades Away
Tonight's The Night
On The Beach


The winners also correctly answered the tie breaker question: "What is the specific derivation of the phrase "Ditch Trilogy"? The phrase "Ditch Trilogy" is derived from the liner notes of "Decade", where Neil wrote:
"'Heart of Gold' put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch."

Here are the 5 winners:

Joe T., Toronto, Canada
Matt S., East Sussex, England
Steven K., Victoria, Australia
Ragnar A., Oslo, Norway
Paulette W., Scottsdale, U.S.A.

Congratulations! Your books are on the way.

Thanks to the 100's and hundreds who entered. And thanks to Voyageur Press! LMYR!


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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Concert Review of the Moment: Neil Young in Austin, TX, June 5, 2010


Neil Young - Austin, 6-5-10
Photo by Alberto Martinez / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


The Neil Young concert review of the moment is from Austin, TX, June 5, 2010 by Cheryl:
The concert in Austin was my first opportunity to see Neil live.

I am a member of the fifty plus age group and I saw fans ranging in age from young teens to seventy plus years of age. Neil’s music spans the generations and the proof was in attendance Saturday night in Austin.

Unlike one of the previous posters, I did not think that the audience was obnoxious. I heard a few fans shout out requests, but I heard more fans shouting: “Thank you, Neil” and “I love you, Neil”. I felt that the audience let Neil know that he was truly loved and appreciated. I was completely entranced during Neil’s performance.

The set list was similar to the other concerts on this tour, a mix of old and new material. I felt that Neil played and sang each song with deep passion and emotion, and it was a pleasure to just watch his movements on stage as he swayed back and forth, creating some of the most beautiful and unique sounds with his various musical instruments. His vocal range is absolutely phenomenal. His performance of “I Believe In You” will forever be ingrained in my memory.

I loved all of the songs that Neil performed and the new material contained some of the most beautiful and haunting melodies. “Cinnamon Girl”, “Down By The River”, and “Cortez” were most definitely crowd pleasers-Powerful Performance. Encore consisted of “Old Man” and “Walk With Me”. Thank you, Neil, for the invitation to walk with you and thank you for coming to Texas.

This Fifty Something Fan had the thrill of a lifetime in Austin! Come back soon!

Cheryl
Big Neil Fan in Texas
NYAS #6083

Thanks Cheryl!

Neil Young's "Twisted Road" Concert Tour Reviews


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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Broken Arrow Magazine: May 2010 - Win a Copy

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Neil Young, 1999 Farm Aid
Photo by Cliff Zelinski

Cover scan by Purple Words on a Grey Background


The latest issue of Broken Arrow Magazine, published by the Neil Young Appreciation Society just arrived and we're now finishing up reading the issue. As always a nice read -- especially as we look back while looking ahead.

And -- thanks to the generous support of NYAS and editor Scott Sandie -- we're pleased to be able to offer a copy of the latest issue of Broken Arrow Magazine to a Thrasher's Wheat reader. Details follow below.

Issue #118 (May 2010) of Broken Arrow Magazine - as usual - has some fine articles, commentary and nice photos.

In particular, Part #2 of a very, very detailed research project on Neil Young's early formal education by Rustie extraordinaire Sharry Wilson (NYAS #1063). "A Shakey Education" with over 30 pages, rare, unpublished, exclusive photos and artifacts with five pages of footnotes and comments is beyond definitive. A very educational read and -- without a doubt -- the most thorough examination of Neil's early years ever assembled. (See below for an excerpt from Chapter #1)

Also in the issue:
  • NYA BD Live Updates by Omar "Lone Red Rider" Zia
  • Gig News, Reviews & Other Scmooze
  • Time Fades Away Updates - "36 years Done Gone" by John Ridley and "How Time Fades Away" by Jack M. Clark
  • More TFA via Uncut Magazine via NYAS & TW (thanks Scott & Alan!)
  • Linc-Volt:"Peoetry in Motion" by Karen Barry
And as usual, a news section edited by Guy Haslam, with lots of innarestin' items.

nyas convention
NYAS convention set for the weekend 17th / 19th September 2010 in Brixton

See NYAS conventions for details.

So check out the Neil Young Appreciation Society page for more info on how to join.

Don't be denied!

Thanks Scott and everyone who is supporting the NYAS & BA!

Thrasher - NYAS#2476
broken-arrow logo

More on back issues of Broken Arrow magazine.


broken-arrow-cover-117-feb-2010.jpg
Neil Young, May 1955
Mayfair - Rosedale park, Toronto, Canada

Photo by Mary Ellen Blanch

Cover scan by Purple Words on a Grey Background

From Introduction to Part 1 (from Broken Arrow #117 - Feb 2010) "A Shakey Education" by Sharry Wilson (NYAS #1063):
The words “academic” and “scholar” are not usually associated with Neil Young. “High school dropout,” “class clown” and “underachiever” would seem more appropriate. Despite his academic shortcomings, however, it was during these years that Neil’s musical talents first surfaced and his real ambitions began to take shape.

By all accounts Neil was a well-liked student who enjoyed playing jokes and pranks on classmates and teachers alike. He stood up to bullies when he was picked on for being “the new kid” or, later on, because of the stigma of his parents’ divorce. Other preyed-upon students had his sympathy, support and understanding. He used his sense of humour and his dry wit as a defence, but they also served to attract new friends and admirers. He was often perceived as a loner, and group sports held no more appeal for him than classroom activities. But all these things took second place to his growing fascination with music. At school he was merely going through the motions, biding his time until he could make his escape. But at exactly what schools? While reading the primary biographies and source materials I noticed a great deal of conflicting information regarding the years he attended certain schools. This information was usually mentioned in passing, and no in-depth study of the subject was readily available, although one exception was John Einarson’s detailed research in regard to Neil’s early years in Winnipeg, published in Don’t Be Denied.

I saw the opportunity “to set things straight” by creating a timeline of Neil’s schooling that would be as airtight and seamless as possible. The Young family had moved frequently, sometimes only living in a certain location for one or two years, and as a result Neil attended many different schools in Ontario and Manitoba. After encountering numerous inconsistencies regarding this period, I began by trying to establish a chronology with solid “anchors” supported by reliable witnesses. This proved to be quite problematic in itself, as people I thought were reliable witnesses turned out to have made errors in reporting or unintentionally omitted certain dates and events. But eventually I was able to insert additional “markers” at points where specific time periods were mentioned, and then fill in the details. I found I needed a good instinct for separating the wheat from the chaff, and this skill came more naturally as I spent additional time researching and getting more deeply involved. I also learned to read between the lines in order to better evaluate the significance of certain pieces of crucial information and I certainly enjoyed the mental exercise involved in bringing it all together.

A number of factors worked in my favour. I’m familiar with the Ontario public school system and the geography of Ontario as I was born and raised in Toronto and still make my home in the area. I’m reasonably well-versed in the primary Neil Young source materials, enjoy doing linear and detailed research work, and hoped that I would be able to connect all the dots. For these and other reasons, it was a project I was eager to undertake. Of course it was inevitable that I would hit some bumps along the road, but it was all part and parcel of the entire “journey through the past.” Many times I thought I was on the right track, only to be led down a blind alley. But a few crucial pieces of the puzzle were eventually obtained and I was able, more or less, to finally put things together in a logical fashion and navigate through the murky depths of Neil’s childhood. Some of the finer details are still missing, however, and these omissions are noted. I’ve also included (somewhat curtailed!) endnotes, but for those wishing to really delve into the minutiae, fully detailed endnotes can be provided. Much of my research draws on original material and I hope these fully documented notes might prove useful to future researchers.

It wasn’t my intention to cover Neil’s musical career – this has been done much more capably by others – and I’ll mention it only to illustrate certain points. The emphasis is on the schools Neil attended and the corresponding dates; the locations where the Young family lived during these periods; brief physical descriptions of their various homes and the surrounding neighbourhoods; some descriptive details about the schools and friends Neil met there; the subjects (if any) at which he excelled; and the names of teachers and other details of school life. However, it’s also important to consider his informal education outside the school system. One could argue that his informal education has been more important in his life than his formal one.

During the course of my research I came in contact with many interesting and helpful people, including members of local historical societies, school alumni associations, librarians, archivists, former students and classmates. I also received assistance from some fellow members of the NYAS and the Neil Young online community. I’m indebted to them for the invaluable information and for the patience they showed with my repeated queries and requests.

Author's Comments: I am currently expanding my initial research and am interested in receiving any additional information Neil Young fans can provide in regard to his school years and childhood in general. I'm particularly interested in receiving comments that Neil made himself about his childhood in anecdotal form at his live shows in between songs. I'm also searching for any other photos from his childhood and school years that have never been seen before.

If you think you can be of assistance, please contact sharry@interlog.com . Thank you very much.

My sincere thanks also goes to Thrasher for kindly offering to post my request as well as mention the publication of Part 2 of "A Shakey Education" in issue 118 of Broken Arrow.


HOW TO WIN A COPY OF LATEST ISSUE OF BROKEN ARROW MAGAZINE

One lucky Thrasher's Wheat supporter will win a free copy of the latest Broken Arrow Magazine. We truly appreciate being able to what we do here at TW, and we love being able to give something back in return.

All Thrasher's Wheat supporters between now and the end of the month will be automatically entered into the Broken Arrow Magazine drawing. (If you donated in the last 30 days you are automatically eligible and no further action is necessary).

Click below to send support now via Visa or Mastercard — or send support via Paypal.







If you're unable to send any support at this time, we understand. You can also enter the drawing by emailing thrasher@thrasherswheat.org with SUBJECT line of this blog post. Click here for other support options and why we need your support to continue operating Thrasher's Wheat.

Thanks and Good Luck to everyone!


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Thursday, June 10, 2010

TOUR WRAP-UP: Neil Young's Twisted Road Concert Tour Leg #1

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Neil Young - Austin, 6-5-10
Photo by Alberto Martinez / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


Well, we've come to the end of Leg #1 on Neil Young's Twisted Road concert tour. While Leg #2 is a few weeks away from resuming, this might be a good time to collect our thoughts and reflect on what we just experienced.

It would seem that the obvious take away from the tour thus far is that Neil seems to be bearing a very heavy load with the loss of his long time associate LA Johnson (1947-2010). The tribute to L.A. in the new song "You Never Call" -- with a mention of his son Ben -- is quite heartbreaking.




Neil Young at Constitution Hall
Photo by Tracy Woodward/TWP


"You Never Call" really encapsulates the mood and tone of the concerts. The ghost of L.A. fills the room and seems to hover over the stage. One can only imagine how hard it must be to sing a song about a dear friend -- who you have known and worked with nearly your entire professional life -- suddenly dies taking your son to a hockey game.

"And I know Ben is with you
'Cause you take him everywhere
He brain-to-brained me
He told me you are still there."


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"I said solo...they said acoustic"
Neil Young - Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN - 6-1-10

Photo Gallery by Ed Rode for Rolling Stone


In our review of the tour thus far -- Expecting to See Neil Young (or Man Without A Net) -- we evoked an image of "Man On A Wire", a documentary film of a trapeze artist who walks a tightrope between the twin towers of the World Trade Center, in New York City in 1974. And somehow that image reminded us of Neil Young up there.



Up on the stage. Alone. Without a net. Trying to stay balanced between the two twin towers. One side acoustic. The other electric.

Which way to go?

It was a nearly perfect balancing act between love and war. Electric and acoustic. Hey Hey My My. My My Hey Hey. Into the blue. Out of the black.


Neil Young - Worcester, MA, May 21, 2010
Photo by Steve Babineau/Sports Action Images


And seven (7) news songs debuted?!

Can anyone point to another artist from the '60's or '70's that is still touring and playing new songs? If so, drop a comment below.

A comment by setlistthief :
The trilogy of “You Never Call,” “Peaceful Valley,” and “Love and War” is among the most powerful imagery and singing about loss and death I’ve ever heard from Neil. And unlike TTN, this imagery is fueled by cold stark reality, not tequila and dope.

Neil’s reached an age where the finality of death is informing his work in ways it never has before. Indeed, though he’s been surrounded by death and loss his whole life, it is somehow different now. To watch and hear a man struggling with that so eloquently is extraordinary. A privilege.

And for those of us who aren’t far behind, it will help us navigate that Twisted Road.

Thanks setlistthief!

So while the Twisted Road Tour may not compare with TTN or TFA or Greendale tours in terms of audience expectations, it has certainly caught many off guard as summed up on the official concert t-shirt "I said solo...they said acoustic".


"I said solo...they said acoustic" T-Shirt
Photo by Simpson!


Yes, the Twisted Road is indeed twisted. And it was good to see everyone on that twisted road!

And thanks for supporting TW and walking with us.


Rainbow over The Ryman prior to Neil Young concert, 6/2/10
Photo by The Ryman


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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Pegi Young Goes On Tour with Bert Jansch

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Pegi Young


Pegi Young will begin her tour with Bert Jansch tomorrow. Pegi's band includes Anthony Crawford on guitars and harmony vocals, Ben Keith on pedal steel, dobro and Hammond B3, Rick Rosas on bass, Phil Jones on drums with Spooner Oldham playing keyboards.

Tour dates are as follows:

6/10 Seattle, WA Triple Door
6/12 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
6/15 Santa Cruz, CA Don Quixote's
6/17 Oakland, CA The New Parish
6/20 Los Angeles, CA Largo
6/22 San Francisco, CA Amoeba Records

Pegi's new album Foul Deeds -- she says laughingly -- "is full of dark themes... divorce, debauchery, disillusionment and despair. So the title 'Foul Deeds' summed it up". The CD includes tracks such as "Pleasing to Me," "Broken Vows," Lucinda Williams' "Side of the Road" and Devendra Banhart's "Body Breaks".


"Foul Deeds" by Pegi Young
(Zoom Cover)


From an interview in American Songwriter by Skip Matheny:
Q: You’ve been witness to and participated in so many important recordings in the past few decades, both as a creator and an observer. You’ve worked with, or been in close quarters with, several of the more influential artists and musicians I can think of. From the position of trying to make good music or good art, is there anything you have learned or observed that seems to work across most all situations?

PEGI: Be true. Just stay true. That’s the best advice I’ve ever gotten from Neil, in particular, but many others around me as well. All the wonderful musicians I’ve gotten to work with. Anthony and I were just taking a walk here the other day, and I was nervous ’cause we hadn’t done a show and he said, “We’re going out there to groove, not prove.” But, for real, you know, don’t try to fake it — just follow your muse. Just follow where your artistry takes you. And don’t try to be “something” cause — I mean well look at American Idol; there’s some talented people in there, but there’s a lot of people who I think are just trying so hard to get something and they don’t even know what it is.

From CD review of Pegi Young: Foul Deeds on Jambands.com by Brian Robbins:
Ben Keith’s relationship with the Young family goes all the way back to the Harvest sessions when (as a member of Neil’s Stray Gators) he helped define and sculpt that album’s sound with his beautiful pedal steel work. On Foul Deeds, Keith’s contributions are just right: tasty touches of steel here (the Memphis-flavored “Pleasing To Me” and a lovely waltz with Pegi’s vocals on “Broken Vows”); Saturday-night dobro there (“Who Knew” and “Starting Over”); and a bit of B3 organ as needed. Other players on Foul Deeds include six-string vet Anthony Crawford, bassist Rick Rosas, drummers Phil Jones and Karl Himmel – and a Wurlitzer cameo by Spooner Oldham.

bert-jansch-2010
Bert Jansch


Bert Jansch, the acclaimed Scottish guitarist with Pentangle, has just completed the 1st Leg of Neil Young's "Twisted Road" Concert Tour. Reviews have been warmly received.

From Telegram: Jansch happy to be touring By Richard Duckett:
When the legendary Scottish-born folk singer-songwriter and guitarist Bert Jansch got a call asking if he was interested in opening for a legend known as Neil Young on his solo “Twisted Road Tour” beginning this week, it came “out of the blue.”

He had met Young two years ago at an event, where Young unexpectedly brought him out to play, “which was a bit of a shock.” Now, there was the invitation. “Do you fancy doing it? ” Jansch’s manager asked.

The answer was emphatic. All of the above are good things to have happen to Jansch, who over a long and varied career may best be known as a co-founder of the folk-based group Pentangle.

At 66, Jansch still relishes the prospect of performing. “It’s the only thing I know how to do,” he said.

From interview with Bert Jansch in American Songwriter by Davis Inman:
How did you first meet Neil Young?

It all started through Devendra [Banhart]. I was over doing a few shows in 2006. Devendra asked me if I would play on a few gigs he had lined up, which also included The Bridge School Benefit. That’s how I met all of Devendra’s retinue and everything. [laughs] We did some great shows. And then we went off to do The Bridge School and I was part of Devendra’s band at the time. Neil actually surprised me by asking me to play a number with him. He said it was derivative of me. When we did it, it was the first number of the day. I had five minutes to learn it.

What song was it?

“Ambulance Blues.” He said it was derivative of me, but I don’t think it’s got anything at all to do with it. It’s a very different song. Anyway, that’s how we got involved.

How has your presence on the tour—and style of playing—affected Neil?

Well, the show he’s playing at the moment is fantastic. Although—as much musicians are—he doesn’t always come off the stage thinking, “Oh, that was wonderful.” But the actual music that I hear is incredible. And it’s all just him. He starts acoustically and goes through quite a few old numbers and then he picks up electric and when he does it certainly explodes. It’s more that he’s influencing me than the other way around.

The Foul Deeds tour meets the Twisted Road tour.

Live music is better.

Also, see Thrasher's Blog: Bert Jansch and Neil Young.


UPDATE 6/11/10: Concert Review: Bert Jansch and Pegi Young At The Triple Door, Seattle, WA, 6/20/10 - Blogcritics Music by Glen Boyd.


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2015 Rebel Content Tour


Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
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Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

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Neil Young Films

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2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

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

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Paul McCartney and Neil Young

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

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John Lennon and Neil Young


"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

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



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

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Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

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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



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"

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Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

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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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dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power

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Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

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Wilco and Neil Young

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Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young

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Elton John and Neil Young

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Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


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

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"Powderfinger"
What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment
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Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young

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I'm Proud to Be A Union Man

UNITED WE STAND/DIVIDED WE FALL


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up


Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...
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A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage WE WON'T BACK DOWN. NEVER STAND DOWN.

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"


"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize



John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel

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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)

Freedom:
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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
NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

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the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists


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

"greed is NOT good"
Occupy the Music

Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
#NullifyNSA
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
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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
,
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
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And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

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Namaste