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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Comment of the Moment: Buffalo Springfield 2012 Tour Postponed Yet Again

Buffalo Springfield
2010 Bridge School Concert - 10/23/10

Photo gallery by Nan Philpot | Facebook

The news last week that the Buffalo Springfield 2012 Reunion Tour was off again brought about the expected fan outcry of disappointment, bewilderment and false hopes.

So who's putting sponge in the bells we once rang?

First of all, it would seem that Stephen Stills radio interview needs to be listened to very carefully. Some sense that Stephen was just deflecting the question about the reunion tour being off because Neil Young is "writing a book" as only his opinion for the reason.

Stills direct quote, is "Neil [Young] started a book and said, 'Don't mess with the muse, man.'"

Later Rolling Stone Music quoted Richie Furay's manager David Spero saying:
"This delay happened for a multitude of reasons.

The plan is still to tour next year. There's not a timeline at this point. Buffalo Springfield is at the top of Neil's list of priorities. It's just a matter of finding a time that works for everybody."

So what's really going on here?

As an aside, it should not go unnoticed that ever since the Buffalo Springfield announced their reunion for the 2010 Bridge School Concert it has almost always exclusively been Richie Furay who has been quoted in the press about the reunion. Richie's enthusiasm for the reunion is sincerely genuine and heartfelt which has been characterized as "The Unfinished Business of Buffalo Springfield".

On the other hand, Neil's statements on the reunion have been conspicuously absent which has led some to feel that while it was Richie's chance to finally be back in the spotlight, maybe Neil was less than 100% totally enthusiastic about taking the reunion on an extended tour.

As we tried to come to grips with the latest in the seemingly never ending on again/off again drama, we heard some humor tinged bitterness, most frequently taking the form of "Eat a peach" in reference to Neil's infamous telegram to Stephen during the 1976 Long May You Run tour.

Again, much chatter on the subject, which leads us to the Comment of the Moment on Buffalo Springfield 2012 Tour: Not Going Down by Dan1:
Just saw this news and can't help but feel initially disappointed ...

we've been blessed for a number of years now to have Neil almost constantly touring and putting out new (and old material) it has truly been a worldwind for Neil fans for the past number of years ... it seems of late that things have slowed down a bit ...

can't help but wonder if the loss of Ben Keith plays into this somewhat ...

it seems that he was really lovin' that band for the past number of years and it just opened up his whole canon and brought a vibrancy to the shows and to what was possible for Neil to play. That along with Archives I with all its warts marked at least a multi year peak of being a Neil fan IMHO ... with Ben's passing he moved on the Le Noise, which in my mind was an epic master piece easily the best studio album in 10 years ...

Le Noise exposed how alone Neil was/is in terms of the options out there for pushing forward .. basically he was saying he'll just keep pushing forward alone because there isn't a great band option to inspire him ...

The Horse always had its limitations in terms of testing Neil's impatience and one can only think it gets harder not easier as everyone gets older and perhaps rustier (no pun intended) ...

Seems Neil always wanted the Springfield reunion and it happened but my guess is his enthusiasm, after a pause, waned as he realized it happened, now what, not sure Neil could stay that enthused for a whole tour and he's not a faker as we all know ...

I wonder if the book was as much the muse saying no to Springfield as it was saying yes to a book (just a theory) ... seems like maybe Neil will stay on the sidelines until the music starts pounding (or strumming) in his head and then he'll be back with vigor and passion which is what we all expect and love about him ...

the lack of band options at this stage is a big question mark and in retrospect, even though we all knew it, we were blessed with his previous band which without Ben is clearly no longer ...

the good news is that we all know Neil can't stay on the sidelines for too long and the break, as hard as it is to accept, will be the bridge to renewal and the next chapter in his live performances which is bound to be fabulous. In the interim, we fortunately have a vast canon of live and studio music to rediscover until Neil comes around again.


Thanks, as always, Dan1!

Lastly, this sort of situation was a long running frustration joke with the incessantly on again/off again drama of the Neil Young Archives release date always being pushed off to "next June". ;)

So we leave you with a little YouTube clip below...

Charlie Brown & Lucy - "The Football Scene" on YouTube

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At 9/04/2011 08:29:00 PM, Anonymous Zot said...

Maybe we've seen the last of the Buffalo, and maybe not. As someone on FB mentioned, there's probably a lot more going on than made public. The thing about the Buffalo was that it was totally Neil's baby. Although it was Stephen who first suggested a reunion, it was Neil who took the ball and ran with it. It was Neil's people who put the whole tour together right up to and including stage setting, logistics, venues and selecting Gilliam Welch as the opener. I can't totally believe that he would turn his back on all that.

BTW, did you notice that there never was a word from him in any of the interviews? Still, we learned a lot just from what Stephen, Richie, Joe, Rusty Young, and others had to say.

As I posted elsewhere, I saw them, got the videos, and a T-shirt. I'm set, but I really would like to see more from them. Record a modern day CD of the better 'demo' songs from the Box Set, and maybe new material from all of them.

As for the Buffalo, from what I've read, it's been on Neil's and Stephen's mind for a long time. It was those two and not Richie who felt there was some unfinished business to be taken care of. As to why it didn't happen sooner, that is something we may never know. Richie and Stephen have always said that it was up to Neil as to whether the Buffalo roams or not. Personally, I don't think that we've seen the last of them, but we also all know that time is running out. An example of that are the posts from those who have medical and health issues who are hoping for one last look at the Buffalo, and time may be running out for them.


At 9/05/2011 12:31:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

Thanks for the honor!
Just to clarify a point regarding my post -- No disrespect meant to the Horse. I'm a huge fan of the Horse, love that band, I was just pointing out the challenge Neil seems to have with them and the seemingly unfortunate dynamic that time in this case is unlikely to make that situation better. That said, I'm hoping as much as the next fan to see Neil and the Horse back in action ... who else will Neil Rock with? Pearl Jam? Buffalo? Le Noise style? So count me in with the fans hoping for the return of the Horse.

At 9/05/2011 10:57:00 AM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

I love Neil and Stephen and Richie, and I'm really happy they're all still with us. I'm also really happy that we're in a position here where we can even speculate about what any of them are doing. They're all way past the retirement age for your average musician, so anything they do is just the cherry on top of the cornucopia of great art that all of them have produced over the past half-century.

It's how I've grown to feel about the constant flow of new releases from Neil. They're all Treasures that we'd never expect from anyone else at this stage in their career.

So, to me it's just great that we still have the opportunity to speculate about "what's next" and debate things like the Horse, Neil solo, Buffalo Springfield etc. etc. It's truly incredible that they even have the passion to do the things they do.

I find it incredible that all these people are on solo tours and planning (or not) future events together, working on projects, etc. etc.

It's truly a gift, and not one that you'd generally expect from most other artists.

So basically I'm saying that we shouldn't be disappointed should they decide not to tour; we ought to be grateful that they got back together at all.

At 9/05/2011 01:55:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

I can't add anything of substance here on top of the well thought out and perfectly presented comments from Dan and Matthew here. I'm 38 and I realized several years ago - maybe after the 2007 tour with Ralphie on drums that I've been blessed to see some absolutely fantastic Neil shows 'going back' to 1995 at Constitution Hall in D.C. when I first as a young punk literally sat up in my seat and was awestruck by Cortez the Killer. Hell I was there to see Pearl Jam and that night changed everything for me as a guitar player and a fan of good songwriting.

Even though we found out in 'Shakey' that those D.C. shows were troublesome to the Horse, for me - they were beyond significant. I dove into all things Neil Young from that point forward.

It's still so exciting to ponder what he may do next. For two years in a row being in the pit for the 'Le Noise' shows is something I'll never forget. Yes Ben is irreplaceable but I believe he would have wanted Neil to continue on.

What's going on now is likely Neil - as a well worn & loved legend - is trying to find his place amidst life's ever changing scenery all around him.

At 9/05/2011 03:52:00 PM, Anonymous Don Rico said...

Nailed it bro.

At 9/05/2011 04:22:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher said...

@Zot - thanks for great comment! Yes, re-recording some of the 'demo' BS songs and any new material would be fabulous.

It would seem that wouldn't even be a far a stretch of expectations as the live concerts themselves. But who knows? maybe the risk of going into the studio itself is too much.

There was some talk of all the Buff stuff getting re-released on vinyl.

@Dan - yeah, evryone seems to see this as yet another opp for the Horse. dunno tho whether we'll ever see...

But another attempt at recording & touring with PJ would be great. The Walk with me @ Bridge last year was stellar.

@Matthew - "cherry on top of the cornucopia of great art" :)

@Jonathan - NY & CH & PJ in 1995 @ Constitution Hall in D.C. we were there too and it was an incendiary night welded into our frontal lobes.

Does anyone here see a connection through the years??

And it still is exciting to ponder...

At 9/05/2011 09:53:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

Stains like water
It will soon be gone
--Tim Giovanniello

Some really great comments and observations going on around this. I think Neil might enjoy the discussions and theories; in fact, maybe he is right now. Makes me think back to his response last year to the big meltdown, saying that it's okay to move on and do something else if that's what you really need.

Good insights from Thrasher, Dan1 and Zot. And I love Big Chief's comment about "the irony of being a Neil Young fan"...tension and release is how the universe works. But as often happens, it's Matthew who comes closest to how I feel about this. Maybe it's that "I'm getting older too" in the words of Stevie Nicks, and I continue to be amazed at the staying power of so many of my favorite musicians and artists, thankful and also a bit amazed that they continue to perform and make great music. I've said before that I believe we're in a golden age for music, and that we all are truly blessed to be a part of it. But even though I'd like to think that "life goes on forever and the party never ends" (thanks Robert Earl Keen), I know that's not really the case. So you just keep your eyes wide open and enjoy everything you can, and be very thankful for all that came before.

Yesterday I drove out to Wellfleet to see The Incredible Casuals do their traditional season ending show. Beautiful day and just about everyone on the Cape seemed to be there--anarchy barely under control for the first hour or so. Must have been 110 degrees inside and it took at least twenty minutes to get to the bar. But as soon as The Casuals came on, all of that just faded away. After thirty years doing Sunday shows throughout the summer, this year they cut back in order to focus on numerous other bands and side efforts.

At one point during the second set, Chandler Travis told the crowd how much love he and the band have for their fans, and how much he missed everyone on the Sundays when they weren't playing. Usually a very funny guy and not too serious, he was totally sincere and rather emotional at that point. They reached way back for some of their songs yesterday, and there was a distinct feeling that time was moving on. And of course they totally rocked the house, which was so crowded during the first set that people couldn't even dance, just happily bounce in place. A great time was had by all, but it did seem like many folks there were thinking to themselves "this can't last forever".

Last Monday night, I was in Boston and got to hear the first hour of Stevie Nicks' set at the BOA Pavilion from the roof deck of the building next door. Her voice still sounds amazing (maybe now more than ever), and her show was a great combination of old and new songs. Couldn't stay for the end, which was too bad--I've heard that she's closing with an incredible version of Edge of Seventeen. But I'm still so lucky to be able to hear this music.

"We never thought we were gonna run out of time."
--Tom Petty (remembering George Harrison in the current Rolling Stone cover article)


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