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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Broken Arrow Magazine: May 2010 - Win a Copy

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 "A Shakey Education" with over 30 pages, rare, unpublished, exclusive photos and artifacts with five pages of footnotes and comments is beyond definitive.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
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More on back issues of Broken Arrow magazine.

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 . 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.


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 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!


At 6/14/2010 03:49:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

I recall some discussion on prior threads/posts relative to Neil's education, formal and not. While chronicalizing the where and when and with whom can shed light on some things, I think the combination of his own God given intellect, his folks and the road, twisted and otherwise, have shaped most of what we recognize in him today.

I can identify with a homestead of extremely guided and motivated parents to shape, form, mold and imprint "thoughts and actions" in formative years, as well as the strong personalities and character of a mom and dad 'in tune' with many things and exposures to the world. Neils folks were certainly not sheltered from 'media' exposure in dad's writing and in mom's' showbiz' which I would think had impression on how things were seen and explained, as well as providing an arena and environment for 'self-expression' along the way. I also find Neils focus to projects commendable, for the most part, though there is the 'flight' risk when he changes his mind.

Plus the travels along the way during very formitive years of the rock and roll industry, and his perserverance to his own muse, have provided the staying power he's enjoyed and architected so well. He is among a handfull of truley gifted artists who also have learned and earned their degrees in one of the most cut-throat businesses to ever grace the planet.

This of course, one outsider's opinion only.


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