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Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Charitable Mr. Neil Young Keeps On Giving & Giving & Giving

Neil Young
MusiCares 2010 Person of the Year

Rarely -- if ever -- has a single artist supported so many causes, for such a sustained period, raising considerable funds and awareness while reaching out to millions and millions around the world.

Earlier this year, Neil Young was honored as the 2010 MusiCares Person of the Year in Los Angeles, two days before the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards. An impressive roster of musicians lined up to honor Young which included Booker T. Jones, Jack Black, Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Everest, Patty Griffin, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Emmylou Harris, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, k.d. lang, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Ozomatli, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Leon Russell, James Taylor, Wilco, and Lucinda Williams.

Recently, we started to update a list of benefit concerts that Neil Young has played over the years that we posted on the Rust list back in 1994. And the diversity of causes is particularly striking. Of course, the two primary beneficiaries of Neil's generosity have been the Bridge School Benefit Concerts and Farm AID. The Bridge School concerts began in 1987 and are to benefit the school for children with severe speech and physical impairments. The Farm Aid concerts began in 1985 and benefit the small American family farm. Farm Aid is the longest running event of its type in music history.

Neil has performed annually at both the Bridge and Farm AID shows and has raised considerable sums for these causes. The performances at these two annual benefits are well documented.

The Farm Aid 4
Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Neil Young

But what about the other benefits and causes of the charitable Mr. Young?

Here's what we've found from perusing the indispensable Ghosts On The Road - Neil Young In Concert by Pete Long.

  • Operation Challenge/ACLU Kent State Project, Cleveland, OH 11/14/70

  • Prisoners Welfare Fund Benefit Concert, San Francisco, CA, 3/26/72

  • Red Wind Foundation Benefit Concert, San Luis Obispo, CA 3/16/74

    Bob Dylan, Rick Danko & Neil Young

  • S.N.A.C.K. Benefit, Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, CA w/ Bob Dylan & The Band, 3/23/75

  • Mike Bloomfield Benefit, The Ritz, NYC, NY, 3/82

  • Tears Are Not Enough - Canadian Artists Band AID video, benefit African famine victims 2/85

  • Live AID w/CSNY - Philadelphia, PA, 7/13/85

  • Greenpeace Benefit - Arlington Theater, Santa Barbara, CA w/ CSNY, 2/6/86

  • Vietnam Vets Benefit Forum, Los Angeles, CA w/ G. Nash, 2/24/86

  • Greenpeace Benefit - Auckland, New Zealand, 4/5/86

    Neil Young at 2006 Farm Aid Press Conference
    Photo by Kim Buchheit

  • Get Tough on Toxics Benefit, Long Beach Arena, CA, 6/28/86

  • Greenpeace Benefit Concert, Santa Barbara, CA 2/6/87

  • Shakin' All Over - Winnipeg Band Reunion - benefited the Variety Club of Manitoba - charity for handicapped children, 6/28/87

  • Saragaso Tornado Benefit, Manor Downs, Austin, TX, 8/16/87

  • Hungerthon - Palace Theater, Los Angeles, CA w/ CSNY, 11/12/88

  • Nordoff Robins Music Therapy Benefit Concert - NYC, NY, 11/17/88

    Paul McCartney and Neil Young
    "Only Love Can Break Your Heart"
    Bridge School Benefit Concert - October 23, 2004
    Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA
    Photo by Kim Komenich of San Francisco Chronicle

  • Friends of Parents Helping Parents - Santa Clara, CA, 12/88

  • Earthquake Aid - Cow Palace, San Francisco, CA, 11/26/89

  • Dallas Taylor Benefit - Santa Monica, CA benefit former CSNY drummer, 3/31/90

  • California Environment Benefit Concert, Santa Monica, CA, 4/1/90

  • Nelson Mandela Benefit, Wembley Stadium, London, 4/16/90

  • Bill Graham Tribute w/ CSNY, San Francisco, CA, 11/1/91

  • Walden Woods Benefit - Los Angeles, CA, 4/1/92

  • Children's Health Benefit, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, LA, CA w/ Simon & Garfunkel, 3/1/93

  • Save Old Growth Forests - Portland, OR, 4/1/93

    photo by Buzz Person

  • Native American Scholarship Fund Concert - Verde Valley School, Sedona, AZ, - 10/22/93

  • Voters For Choice Benefit, January 14 & 15, 1995

  • Walden Woods Benefit concert - NYC, NY, 10/1/95

  • Multiple Schlerosis Benefit concert - NYC, NY, 10/29/96

  • BAMA Works Benefit concert - Charlottesville, VA, 4/21/01

    Neil Young Performs "Imagine" on 9/11 Tribute

  • "America: A Tribute to Heroes" 9/11 Telethon, 9/2001


  • Clean Air Benefit, Vancouver Island Clean-air Benefit, Canada, 9/2004

    St. Paul, MN - October 5, 2004
    photo by Muriël Kleisterlee and Jos Westenberg

  • Vote for Change Concert Tour, 10/2004

  • Adopt-A-Minefield Benefit, Los Angeles w/ Paul McCartney, 10/2004

    Hurricane Katrina Telethon: React Now - 9/2005

  • Hurricane Katrina Telethon: React Now - 9/2005

    Neil Young and Fisk University Jubilee Choir

  • Hurricane Katrina Benefit: "Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast", 9/2005

    Neil Young, Buckcherry's Josh Todd & Gordon Lightfoot

  • Live 8 - End Global Poverty, 9/2005

  • Benefit For Museum Of Natural History in New York City on 16 November, 2005.

    photo by Evan Agostini

  • AIDS Foundation's fifth annual benefit at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Elton John and Neil Young performed together at the October 3, 2006

  • Cinnamon Girl Benefit: Women Artists Cover Neil Young for Breast Cancer, 2008

  • Sarah McLachlan Foundation Benefit, Vancouver, Canada, 9/2009

    Dave Matthews and Neil Young
    Covering Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken”
    Hope For Haiti Telethon

    Screen Grab by Patricia

  • Hope For Haiti Telethon, 1/2010


  • Gulf Coast Benefit Concert Tour 2010

    Certainly this is only a partial listing as there are surely many undocumented causes and performances that Neil has supported over the years. But you get the idea. He's got a heart of gold.

    Pegi & Neil Young at Bridge 2005 Concert
    photo by Craig Abaya

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    At 10/17/2010 12:11:00 PM, Blogger asg said...

    all the more reason why Neil should (at the very least) share the Nobel with Willie, right? NOTHING against Willie...but why not Neil? what am I missing?

    At 10/17/2010 03:31:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

    What a great selection of photos with so many influential musicians
    hey , there's only one reason these photos exist... a deep respect for the artist, his music AND his causes...

    long may you fund Neil, long may you fund


    At 10/17/2010 06:15:00 PM, Blogger michael said...

    I know this is not the correct thread but does anyone know when and if Trunk Show will be released? btw thrash the threads are so much better without all bogus posts. the site is better than ever!

    At 10/17/2010 08:26:00 PM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

    Wow. I had no idea he's been so involved and supportive over the years. I mean, I know he's generous and a humanitarian, but the list is incredible.

    That picture of Neil, Dylan and Danko is awesome - I need a high-res of that!!

    Btw, on a completely unrelated note, has anyone ever heard of this album Neil was supposed to release in the 1980's called "Meadow Dusk"?

    At 10/17/2010 10:52:00 PM, Blogger Sandy Horne said...

    Matt there is a chapter in Shakey called "Meadow Dusk". A sound concept album that used synthesizer and acoustic new age instrumentals. It came to a halt when he was dropped by his label.

    At 10/18/2010 01:03:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

    Things are running pretty smooth here since Thrasher's new policy! Great job here, Thrasher!

    At 10/18/2010 08:51:00 AM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

    @Sandy: Oh man!! It would have been another of those awesome, crazy Geffen albums!!

    I'm going to have to flip open my copy of Shakey and read up on it. Another weird, lost masterpiece...

    At 10/18/2010 04:15:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

    "In the meadow dusk,He parks his arrowstar".....

    I'll always be a dreamin man!!...
    He'll know its alright!


    At 10/18/2010 04:21:00 PM, Blogger Old Black said...

    Yea, but with a loaded gun and dreams of youth? Sounds like a bad ending to that one.

    At 10/19/2010 04:38:00 AM, Blogger Jill said...

    Hi Mother Nature on the Run, good to see you again!

    At 10/19/2010 08:37:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

    @Old Black - that's one of the coolest lyrics from Neil but i thought it's "with a loaded gun and sweet dreams of you". At the very beginning of Dreamin' Man Live '92 we catch a brief spoken intro of the song where Neil says "just the feelin' behind it...there's nothin' literal in here..."

    I fucking love that song.


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