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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks for Your 15 Years of Support to Thrasher's Wheat!

Logo design by
Geoff Moore - Silver Moon Graphics
(Details on how to receive a Thrasher's Wheat 15th anniversary button below)

As we continue to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Thrasher's Wheat founding in 1996, we just want to say "Thank You" to all of our loyal, dear readers who have so generously supported our endeavors.

So as we celebrate Thrasher's Wheat's 15th anniversary, thanks again everybody for your support.

We've watched our beloved little internet bloggie thing evolve from a small operation to the rather sprawling enterprise portal platform of today. Serving up over 500,000 page views per month during peak periods, we’ve come a long way from the days when we got really excited when we got two comments on a post. The hidden path’s been an exciting one, and we’ve made an impact: we helped answer nearly every imaginable type question on The Archives as well as helped make dreams come true.

Zuma Album Artist James Mazzeo with Sarah C.
(& TW Anniversary Button below her cheek)
Bridge 2011 - International Rust Festival
On The Beach in Santa Cruz, CA

Button Design and Production by Rusties Dee & Tim A.
(details on how to receive a Thrasher's Wheat 15th Anniversary button below)

In response to our semi-irregular begging fund-raising effort we occasionally receive some nice notes from our beloved readership. And -- as we are fond of saying in these tough times -- it is your words which really keep us going with our little Neil Young blog thing.

Words, such as these, by the oh-so delightfully handled ShittyHorse:
Thrasher, what you provide to us Neil Fanatics is truly invaluable.

I visit other "Neil Sites", and Thrasher's Wheat is by far my favorite, not to diminish others, just my personal preference. You've created a strong community here, where Neil fans can talk everything Neil- from news and events to albums, songs, concerts, personal experiences and feelings, band members and other musicians, but most of all you give us a place to gather, to show our numbers, and be with others who truly understand why Neil's music touches us in such a profound and meaningful way.

I think it's safe to say that we all, even the most critical fans, appreciate the hard work and dedication that you and Thrashette put into this site. Times are tough, which is why your site and others like it become more and more important- it provides a much needed escape at times, entertainment, information and always puts a smile on my face. Even Neil Young himself has recognized the importance of Thrasher's Wheat.

You are part of Neil history and, in turn, Rock n' Roll History.

From here on I'd say any definitive book written on Neil's life and career would be lacking if missing a Thrasher's Wheat reference- you've been a liaison between the fans and the man himself. What you do is important and appreciated. Never loose heart.

I've made a large purchase this morning on Amazon through this site, as I always try to do, which I hope helps out. Of course it is a small thing, but if all your readers did this same, one small thing I'm sure it would help out a lot.

Again, thank you for your hard work, and devotion, not only to Neil but also his fans.

Happy Holidays to you and Thrashette!

We truly appreciate our dear readers kind words of support. Always and sincerely.

We’ve helped influence decisions on release formats and availability, we think, through our writing and your activism in response to it. We’ve exposed the hypocrisy of professional music critics and tried to speak out against the madness, fear and greed. All the while trying to find some hope in the future and have a little fun along the way!

Your supportive and kind words during last year's blog meltdown and subsequent reaction truly demonstrated our reader's faith in what we're trying to do here at TW.

We should also mention that our efforts with the Gigs For The Gulf | Facebook and Nobel Peace Prize for Willie Nelson | Facebook keep us pretty busy, as well. We appreciate everyone's support of these efforts as well and in some ways find these efforts to be in some ways even more gratifying than covering just the Neil news.

Lastly, this is a good problem. We are truly lucky to be following such a vibrant artist that we simply can not even keep up with the flood of daily Neil news.

But the basic underpinnings of our financial model haven’t changed: we’re often only one blog post away from pulling the plugs at any given moment.

Partially, this is vastly accelerated by the whole rapid evolution of the internet's real time hyper-social networking culture.

Facebook Interaction Trend Insights
Thrasher's Wheat Never Sleeps | Facebook

Witness our recent trends on Facebook over just the past years as our Facebook feed traffic skyrocketed.

Not so surprisingly, as our Facebook traffic scales up, our TW blog commenting and page views have begun to level off. What this means is that Facebook is able to monetize and profit from TW readers and sell ads directly off of scraped TW content, returning absolutely zero back to us to reinvest in our services.

But pulling the plug on TW simply cannot happen. After all, we've been implored to "Keep on bloggin' til the power goes out."

Operating a paradigm-shifting independent blogger enterprise out of our pocketbook and a few generous supporters doesn’t do the blog the justice, quite frankly. It’s no way to run a music fan blog. There must be a better way.

Those of you who read Thrasher's Wheat and enjoy, count on, contribute to, and recognize the impact of this blog are now advised: Please Help. And you’re an integral part of that change.

Aren’t you?

We need you to join us in this venture: Support the blog, engage with us, make your repeated participation formal. Find a level that suits you and slip into it.

We need your financial support, at least at the most basic level of a $5 per year.

At less two cents a day, it’s less than your daily newspaper, cable television, subscription package or internet service. Less than a 6-pack of decent beer, even?! And you very well know the high quality of independent blogging, informed opinion, thoughtful commentary, bizarre comments and warped humor you get here for that minimal contribution. Is there any other blog you read anywhere that provides you this much fun?

Donations are the only model we can see as we look ahead on the media landscape that faces us. Without a corporate sell-out (that would limit our independence) and without a mega patron (ahem... who would likely impose opinions and views while probably also staking out No-Go areas of speech) we simply cannot continue onwards toward the New Media Paradigm we’ve become. In addition to this blog, we also have Twitter and Facebook stream feeds, as well as an email list all requiring daily maintenance.

So TW competes in the area of blogging and opinion, providing knowledge-based and life-expert commentary, against hybrid journalism operations with deep enough pockets to actually pay their editors a salary (Rolling Stone Online).

As the people-powered, irreverent blog that Thrasher's Wheat is, we can only remain this way with your help. Your support will let us continue to do what Thrasher's Wheat tries to do as well as possible. Won’t you please donate now? (securely, safely, privately)

Walk with us.

Support us now, please. It’s really easy, almost painless. Your support matters: it’s the only way we can see our way into the future.

Which we plan to continue, with your help. Today. Now. C'mon just 5 bucks. Thank you!

(NOTE: All supporters donating at least $20 will receive a free Thrasher's Wheat 15th Anniversary button similar to that pictured above. If you can't donate now, see further below on how to receive a complimentary anniversary button.)

Only your credit card necessary to apply directly & securely. No PayPal account setup necessary. (NOTE: A portion of ALL donations also help The Bridge School, Farm Aid, Musicares, and other worthy causes.)

Sponsored by Nobody:
This Blog's For You!

As you may know by now, each of these types of mega-Neil events like tours, albums, archives, tributes, etc. causes traffic to soar resulting in ever greater bandwidth expenses. And costs continue to rise, just as Neil Young's star shines ever brighter and brighter.

Again, this would all be well and good except that we fund this based on several sources. Primarily -- as many of you may know -- out of our own pocket. This is something we find to be really fun and meaningful and rewarding. We love what we do here in our very, very spare time as we ride into town on the train each morning or back again at night.

The second source of funding is you -- our dear readers. First we tried the route which generates relatively small returns which continue to dwindle. You see, folks just don't buy CDs, books, DVDs, etc. like they used to. Physical media sales are falling off a cliff. And those commission that we do get from Amazon are quite nominal. Think about 2% on a $13 CD. That's about $0.26. We'd need to sell about 100,000 units on this site to make a go of things. ha!

Site Traffic on March 1, 2010
Day Following Neil Young's Olympics Performance

And we've tried selling ads as well. First of all, most of the "ads" over there on the right do not generate revenue. The banner ad across the top generates about $1 for every 10,000 impressions. Again, we would need a lot of traffic to generate anything substantial.

And we tried fund raising with PayPal. This is the preferred method but also the least successful. It seems it's very hard to get folks to drop $5 a year on Thrasher's Wheat -- even if they visit the site daily. It seems so many want everything for free these days. We realize there's a global recession and all but we do think that $5 a year isn't too much to ask.

Believe us we when begin to say how distasteful this whole process is. We hate to whine or beg.

Just to reiterate, we want to say how much we appreciate all of the support we do receive. Your comments and letters are greatly appreciated and keep us going. So if you're writing comments, sending videos and photos, buying off Amazon, making PayPal donations, clicking ads, re-tweeting or sharing on Facebook your help is deeply appreciated.

It is this sharing that really makes what we do here so rewarding and satisfying to be part of our little global Neil village.

With record traffic levels which stressed the Thrasher's Wheat Platform leading to increasing bandwidth fees we either take TW to another level or we struggle to stay afloat.

For loyal, regular supporters of TW, this post is not directed at you whatsoever. For those of you who come here frequently but do not comment, contribute or offer other support, please continue to read.

By going the reader-supported route, there are two ways in which you can support Thrasher's Wheat.

The first option is to make a donation using PayPal. Just click on the link below to make a donation. If you do not have a PayPal account, you can use a credit card to make a donation via the button below (see lower left of PayPal screen).

Only your credit card is necessary to apply directly & securely. No PayPal account setup necessary.

The second option is to do all your Amazon shopping here by clicking through the logo link below. It's also always in the right side bar so any time you buy on Amazon, think about going through Thrashers Wheat first. Thrasher's Wheat will receive a small commission.

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(Please note: International Amazon orders (non-U.S.A., non-Canada, non-U.K., non-Germany) do not credit to Thrasher's Wheat unfortunately. Other international readers are asked to please use PayPal account or credit card to support Thrasher's Wheat.)

You have proven that Thrasher's Wheat matters to you, and that you support our mission: to bring free Neil Young knowledge to the planet, free of charge and as free as possible of advertising. You've helped make and keep Thrasher's Wheat available for the whole world. If you find this site helpful as a reference or news source, please help us continue to help all Neil Young fans. Hopefully, this will continue to work to help defray the costs of running Thrasher's Wheat. Any excess funds generated above and beyond operating expenses will be donated to The Bridge School.


Please don't give out of guilt; just give if you place value on what we do and are in a position to donate a little.

We'll also be giving away a Bridge t-shirt to a random TW supporter.

So Why Bother To Support Neil Young News on TW?

Our goal is simple: we create the best Neil Young blog we possibly can, refrain from contaminating it with nasty, evil corporate advertising, and then ask you to donate to us what you think it's worth. So far it seems to be working out sort of. We're not likely to break even on bandwidth and storage expenses (much less donated labor) this way, but that's not our goal.

Here at TW we're not just non-commercial. We're anti-commercial. We feel that quality blogs and corporate advertising just cannot co-exist. We also choose to refrain from forcibly extracting money from you by charging subscription fees.

We leave it up to you to decide what our service is worth to you.

Send support now via Visa or Mastercard — or use Paypal — or scroll down for other options.

Your voluntary support enables us to devote all of our time and energy to making TW the best blog possible - and pays for the bandwidth, equipment and services required to keep the blog online.

The amount of your contribution is up to you - based on your opinion of how much you enjoy TW & what you can afford. A number of reader's have adopted the "one hour's wages per month" formula - some can afford to send even more than that (thanks!), others can afford only $5.

We particularly appreciate automatic monthly, quarterly or annual support payments. The more regular ongoing support we receive in that fashion the less we have to bug you on the blog. Please consider choosing that option of support.

We want to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed so generously over the past few years. We quite literally couldn't do it without you.

And, as always, we understand that contributing money is just not an option for some of you. That's fine. All posts, feeds and services at TW are open to everyone, and we will do everything in our power to keep it that way.

Send support now via Visa or Mastercard — or use Paypal — or scroll down for other options.
Safety & Security Concerns:

When sending & receiving your credit card information online we use the standard https protocol that all online commerce sites (Amazon, banks, brokerage houses, etc) use. We do not know -- much less store your credit card number. We have no way to access that data ourselves, even if we wanted to.

We do not ever, under any circumstances, share your email address or any other information about you with any third party - nor do we engage in any kind of email or direct-mail marketing. We will send occasional (2-3 times per year) email to readers, which you can opt out of by unsubscribing.

Other Ways to Help:

Use the Neil Young Amazon Shopping Store :


When shopping for your CDs, DVDs, books and other merchandise (Neil & Non-Neil) use the Amazon link above (it's always in the lower right sidebar, too). Each time you purchase an item on Amazon by clicking through the logo link above, Thrasher's Wheat will receive a small commission.

(Please note: International orders (non-U.S.A., Canada, & UK) do not credit to Thrasher's Wheat unfortunately. Please use PayPal account or credit card to support Thrasher's Wheat.)

Spread the Neil Love:

If you're unable to send any support at this time, we understand. But we'd still like for you to be able to obtain a free 15th Anniversary Thrasher's Wheat button as pictured above. Here's how.

We'll send out free buttons to folks who either LIKE us on Facebook , follow us on Twitter and/or subscribe to our email list. Just send us your name, mailing address, and which communication method you signed up for.

It's that simple.

Just spreading the word about Thrasher's Wheat is a huge help. If you have friends that you think might enjoy TW - please take a moment to drop them a note. Postings about TW on appropriate web forums are also a great way to spread the word. As a matter of fact, we have folks using our Thrasher's Wheat logo on their blogs!

So LIKE us on Facebook , follow us on Twitter and/or subscribe to our email list. (On occasion we pick random folks on the mailing list for little Neil treats. And no spam. We promise.)

Again, thanks everyone for their contributions. But mostly thanks for all the reviews, photos, links, videos, and comments. And your kind and supportive words, especially. We truly enjoy sharing the Neil love around the world. We've been doing this on & off for 18 years on Rust/HH/RH and 15 years on TW and we'd really like to continue -- readers willing.

So by helping us out, you'll also help out to spread the Neil love around the world. And -- maybe in some small way -- it all helps the Bridge School, Farm Aid, Musicares, and the LincVolt project. Because we all want to light a candle, make a difference, be the rain, and be the change.

Be the wheat.
peace and love,

thrasher & thrashette

"Keep on bloggin'
`Til the power goes out
The batteries dead
Twist and shout"

- "Fork In the Road"

ps - it keeps us searchin' for a vista and a muse.

(REMEMBER: All supporters donating at least $20 will receive a free Thrasher's Wheat 15th Anniversary button similar to that pictured above. If you can't donate now, see details in section above on how to receive a complimentary anniversary button.)

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At 11/24/2011 08:30:00 AM, Blogger tuned4life said...

The contribution I just made is small compared to My gratitude. I first discovered your site when frantically searching for any details on Neil's hospitalization during the Prairie Wind era. I have visited your site most every day since. One of My favorite spiritual sayings is "It takes a little rain and a little sun to make a Rainbow". Never was that more obviously true than when I got Neil's autograph 13 days after My wife's passing. That would have never happened if not for Thrashers Wheat. If not for Thrashers Wheat I wouldn't have gotten to walk down A Kingston Ontario street with Ben Keith and Larry Cragg, or chatted with Rick Rosas outside a grocery store. And if you believe in coincidence, having a seat next to you at the Tower Theater in Philly. I prefer to believe it is GOD moving anonymously. You gave Me a Thrashers Wheat button, and when I thought I had lost, you gave Me another one. Yes to say that I am grateful to you and Thrashers Wheat is an understatement. Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. Doug S. Warsaw N.Y.

At 11/24/2011 08:40:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

Thrashers Wheat brings joy to the Neil at heart.

Thanks T, your site is the best.

At 11/24/2011 08:54:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

... and I'll be wearing that pin on my guitar strap with those of Neil and John Lennon

At 11/24/2011 07:13:00 PM, Anonymous Youngtown Museum said...

Thrashers Wheat is a major source for news on all things Neil. A very professional site, up to date info, and clearly, a driving force of passion behind the wheel...and hey, THANKS! My best wishes for another 15 years. Trevor - Youngtown Rock and Roll Museum, Omemee

At 11/25/2011 05:25:00 AM, Anonymous Matt said...

You are the best. Many thanks for this site.

Matt and other NY fans from Italy

At 11/25/2011 11:04:00 AM, Blogger TOM said...

Rock on,Thrasher! ALWAYS!

While I disagree with your political observations,
Your NY blog is unparalleled and an obvious labor of GREAT love , and , as such , GREATLY appreciated!

Don't be Denied!

At 11/25/2011 01:40:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher said...

Thanks to all of you for your support over the years.

We truly appreciate it.
We'll be getting notes & buttons out soon.

At 11/25/2011 01:51:00 PM, Blogger Jill said...

I can`t thank you enough, Thrasher and Thrashette, for this wonderful site. Your work in bringing us a constant stream of new and relevant topics is priceless - there is something here for everyone who loves Neil, his music, and what he stands for, and I feel proud to be a part of this community. And you should be very proud of what you have accomplished.

To have had recognition from Neil himself says it all, to have had him thank you personally and describe TW as “the most respected site on the net for this type of activity” shows that what you`ve got going here is something pretty special.

Your total dedication and commitment in building this blog site up to what it is today is astounding and I wish you the very best of luck for the next 15 years!

Happy Anniversary and Keep on Bloggin`!

At 11/27/2011 11:57:00 AM, Blogger Mason Flint said...

Great site. After many years of reading Thrashers Wheat I finally got around to making a donation. Only $20 but hope it helps keep things afloat.

At 11/29/2011 10:49:00 AM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

I think it's great we can all come together inspite of our ideological differences and political agendas.

One thing that separates this blog from the rest of the vanity fair is that it goes beyond that made-up "Oh, I'm just the messenger" crap fed through spin and hero-worship.

In your blog, I see an honest-to-God "real person" emerging. Neil is not perfect. He's flawed like the rest of us. He's an ordinary person just like us.

I'm sure he appreciates the validation he gets from the people who visit frequently. I'm sure he gets a little extra mojo from some of the things he reads here.

He owes you big time, Thrasher. I know you do this because you love the music and this mission of love and peace, but this website here is the real deal. And for that, he should be very appreciative, grateful, and thankful for all that you do!


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And in the end, the love you take
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