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Sunday, October 07, 2012

Comment of the Moment: "They just don't know The Way"


Neil Young
Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday Sept. 29, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Photos: Bakersfield Now
(Click photo to enlarge)

Lots of chatter thus far on the Neil Young & Crazy Horse tour on a familiar riff we've heard over the decades.

"Why didn't Neil play his hits?"

"I wanted to hear 'Old Man'"

"Too much feedback"

Over and over again, my friend.

To which many responded by saying, essentially, "Get a clue. It's a Neil Young concert. Expect the unexpected. Embrace it. Savor it."

Which brings us to the Comment of the Moment on Concert Reviews: Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Kingston, Ontario, Oct. 5 by Sandy H.:
I saw people walking out at Red Rocks. Not a lot, but some. One kid (well, to me he was a kid) stood up about 5 minutes into the feedback ending of WLAG, flipped off the band, and walked out. But I seriously doubt that he was someone who would come to this site.

I get that not everyone is into what Neil does. For some reason, that has never bothered me. To each his own I supposed. I have also never felt the need to try to convince someone they are wrong about what they think. Is that even possible??

It would be about as futile as someone trying to convince me that I am wrong for practically worshiping the man, his humanity, and his music.

If we all felt the same thing and believed the same way, what a bland and uninteresting world it would be. So, I really have no issues with folks of differing opinions, as long as they are respectful of the other point of view. And that goes both ways.

SO, Happy Saturday to my brothers and sisters who share the spirit.

Peace, Sandy

Oh, and in response to a comment posted recently, I would love to see a thread in which we could write/see comments about the book. I have read many reviews, but have not heard much from "us" yet. I'm thinking not everyone has had a chance to read it yet.
Thanks Sandy. Nicely put. We get it. Glad you and so many others do as well.

(And, yes, we'll have more on Neil's book Waging Heavy Peace in the near future. But as for us? We're on the road again...)

And so we leave with just a quote...

"When faceless and anonymous
Come to beat down your door
And say you're all washed up and done
You can just say they have nothing in store

To touch this soul
Because they just don't know
They just don't know
The way
The way
The way"

ny


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19 Comments:

At 10/07/2012 08:33:00 PM, Blogger asg said...

Do people NOT have Internet access? Do people NOT read newspapers or magazines? "I'm going to see Neil Young, I don't know what he's doing these days..."

 
At 10/08/2012 02:21:00 AM, Anonymous Sultan said...

I am personally hoping for some extra long feedback endings, but I am a big Sonic Youth fan, so there you go...

SUPER excited to see the Hollywood Bowl show, hoping the opening band doesn't eat into the headliner's time as the venue's curfew policy is pretty strict. It is 2012, we are very lucky to be able to rock thusly.

 
At 10/08/2012 02:25:00 AM, Anonymous Sultan said...

Oh yeah, it looks like from pictures and videos that Old Black is losing a little more black paint and showing a bit more gold from underneath than most of the pictures I've seen. The result of heroic and furious attacks!

 
At 10/08/2012 05:10:00 AM, Anonymous mike glueck said...

Hi - I have a nice little anecdote, concerning this topic. I flew over from europe to see red rocks and lake tahoe. in red rocks i was there with a friend living in the usa at the moment, and he had no idea what was about to happen. so I prepared him and also told him, that after one or two songs he surely will see a few people leaving. he asked how I knew. and I said: "I know it from a bob dylan show last year - there were people absolutely disappointed, because, they wanted to enjoy "a nice evening of folk songs" :-)) I talked with a few of them after the show and only said: you haven't heard too much of dylan's work from the last 40 years - have you?" and exactly that's what happens here ... never mind. by the way - my friend stood in awe, enjoyed the show tremendously and we had a good portion of laughter, wenn after love and only love, the first people were on their way! hoping for the horse to trample down europe next year - and thanx for your tremendous work, which is highly appreciated. mike

 
At 10/08/2012 08:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning Sandy,
Let me tell you, heading in to work on Monday morning is not usually such a joyous occasion. Garcia plays Dylan was quietly flowing though my vehicle. Looking in my rearview mirror, streaks of silver blue contrasted with wisps of pink in the pre-dawn hour. The colors in the sky were looming larger and larger as the sun was reaching up to the horizon. When pulling into the Chemical Plant at which I am employed the pink, silver and blue was now taking up half of the sky. Smoke stacks, steam, scrubber columns and tanks now stood tall before the pink and silver-blue spectacle. What an awesome sight to start the week! Tonight will be my first sighting of the spectacle that is ALCHEMY, Crazy Horse raging over Cleveland, Ohio. Yes, Monday mornings are not usually this exciting.
Peace,
William C.

 
At 10/08/2012 11:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm baffled why people pay good money to go to a show by someone whose work they clearly haven't followed for years, perhaps decades. Worse, I've missed out on NY tickets in the past to these people. Leave the tickets for the true Rusties!

 
At 10/08/2012 12:10:00 PM, Anonymous pieceofcrap said...

Well, we seem to be back on the same old track here, alas... Hard core Neil-heads bashing up on whining "trolls" and urging them to shut up or get lost...
You know, I've been a hard core, heavy metal, deep hippie, card carrying Neil Young fan ever since 1976 (first saw him live that year too, yeah, with The Horse, fucking great show), but the thing is, I never got to understand why some people on this site insist on celebrating him because he's supposed to be so "unpredictable". I mean, "Expect the unexpected", seems to be the motto among you pundits to praise anything Neil does, and, by the way, to make anybody who doesn't like something he puts out shut up. I mean, are some of you guys the Neil Young Gestapo or what?
And excuse me, "unpredictable"??
Come on! Is that supposed to be a joke? Please stop me laughing.
Neil's been doing the EXACT same thing over and over again ever since 1969, rockin' back and forth between acoustic folk and electric rock. Yeah, he WAS unpredictable when he started out way back in the seventies, pissing away his commercial success and making some great, experimental records (the "Ditch Trilogy" comes to mind, but also "Comes A Time", apparently one of his own favorites).
But face it, people, ever since then, it's been a reworking of the same old grounds - sometimes surprising ("Trans"), sometimes exciting ("Ragged Glory", "Sleeps with Angels") but also often just dull ("ReAcTor", "Life", "Broken Arrow") or juist plain stupid ("ReAcTor", "Everybody's Rockin'", 'Landing on Water" - remember that one?).
Luckily, the last years he's on something of a roll again("Silver and Gold", "Greendale", "Prairie Wind"). Bit it's still THE SAME THING. Nothing "unpredictable" about it, folks!
If you want unpredictable, get some shares in Greece!

 
At 10/08/2012 12:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dateline: October 2012 (Part I)

During a pre-show meal with a handful of friends before the NY&CH show on Saturday--some of whom I've known for thirty years and some others I'd only just met thirty minutes earlier--the topic was raised of what to expect from the night to follow. Having salivated for this particular NY&CH treatment since watching Youtube clips of Red Rocks etc I posed a good natured response/question: what do you hope he'll play tonight?

"Well," replied one of my new Guinness-fueled friends, "he'll definitely play Harvest Moon; how could he NOT play "Harvest Moon"?

Wow. Oh Oh. Hmmm. Insert pita bread and chew silently while desperately trying not to appear like an insider trader. So went the three stages of my polite bewilderment. It dawned on me, though, that I've asked this same question of dinner guests before nearly thirty years' worth of Neil shows and received a similar answer to which I provided some variation of my familiar W.O-O.H response. I think my pre-Greendale response was likely Wow. Hmmm. Oh-Oh (W.H.O-O). I enjoy a little artistic freedom at times.

My relatively new friend--who presumably enjoys internet access--had seemed to this point genuinely excited for the show, and I wrestled over what next I might offer to the idle chatter. On the one hand, I'm never inclined to put my skewed stamp on anyone else's concert-going preconceptions or expectations. Gosh no. The first rule of concert club is never to speak of concert club, no?

On the other hand, I've experienced firsthand the disappointment of unfulfilled Neil-going expectations. I first caught Neil in '84 with the International Harvesters at the CNE Grandstand in Toronto, and I went with naive yet firmly entrenched (more like mythologized) expectations of hearing every song from "Sugar Mountain" to "Cortez The Killer" and--in the more exacting reaches of my mind--an acoustic version of "Don't Be Denied." After all, a friend caught the Trans tour at Maple Leaf Gardens and raved about "Don't Be Denied," complete with the triggered electronic drum rolls. I simply figured: "Well, he'll play Don't Be Denied; how could he NOT play Don't Be Denied"? I was seventeen, the world lacked the internet, and Sam the Record Man and Peter Dunn's Vinyl Museum were Santa Claus incarnate. Needless to say, as Neil and the Harvesters closed that gig in '84, I was a crestfallen seventeen year old with a three hour drive ahead of me. I've known for some time now that my chagrin was not Neil's doing; I'd put myself in a sticky situation of my own device. I'd absolutely love to see that show today. And I've yet to catch a version of "Don't Be Denied." A man needs a whale, no?

 
At 10/08/2012 12:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dateline: October 2012 (Part II)

So, with this in mind, I shared with the table (at the risk of seeming flakey or stuffy 'cause I like to think I have neither of these traits in excess) that the best way for me to personally acclimatize myself for a Neil show is to try--as difficult if not as impossible as it might be--to abandon any expectations/preconceptions and simply allow the sonics to resonate (literally and figuratively). The exchange of money for goods/services only compounds the already sketchy scenario of expectations. (As I proofread read this paragraph for spelling errors, I'm saddened by the dangerously stuffy tone of my writing. Apologies for the pitfalls of my work.) But simply put, I'm pretty sure a few folks at the London dinner table were having their own Wow. Oh-Oh. Hmmm moments as I spoke like an acid casualty about my expectations for the night. (Note to self: citing the Grateful Dead's performative ethos in support of an approach to NY&CH in 2012 might not be as wise as anticipated given the audience). I'm not patient by design (thanks a lot Dad) and I'm about the farthest thing from inherently calm (sorry Mum). Those at that dinner table in London who know me can attest to my formidable character flaws! But I'm convinced that having my expectations dashed and thrashed in '84, and calmly accepting my role in their painful demise, was a difficult yet mostly positive happenstance for me. I tried to never again approach a Neil show, or most any other show or public event for that matter, with self-designed constraints. For better or for worse. Mostly better. I'm not too sure NY&CH 2012 will impact others the way I was impacted by my International Harvesters experience, but I'd like to think it's possible, especially in an era of commodified and highly regulated tastes and conventions.

But get this: I found myself disappointed that NY&CH didn't play "Cortez the Killer" in London on October 6. WTF?! Me? Mr. W.O-O-H!! And I think I shared my gentle gripe with my lifelong friend even before we'd left the floor of Budweiser Gardens. No kidding. After my dinner chat contributions, and after years of pondering my '84 experience/epiphany with the Harvesters, I nonetheless found myself critiquing the show for its omission of "Cortez," a tune I've heard with acceptable regularity in one form or another since '86 (Cobo Arena RIP). For the record: I truly enjoyed the London show and think the band is firing on all cylinders. I can't wait for Toronto and Kitchener. I also think I saw my ideal Neil show in '92 but haven't missed a tour since then. And, if truth be told, the "it" moment for me on this tour is "Love And Only Love," so any blather from critics about things going 'downhill' from any point in the basic set list is moot. I'll gladly take 'downhill' for nearly two hours from the lofty perch occupied by "Love And Only Love." Downhill seems like the ditch to me!

What was the question again?

Cheers

 
At 10/08/2012 03:00:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@poc - all duly noted.

You know, often times here @ TW, comments leave us utterly speechless. Fortunately, the vast majority of comments are in the ballpark, so to speak.

But it seems when a new album or tour starts to crank up, all sorts of characters show up.

Your "NY Gestapo" really strikes a raw nerve. We do try very hard to make this a fun place for all NY fans -- beginners to the veterans. As you might imagine, we can't moderate this 24/7 or respond to everything.

IOHO, it would seem that some might toss off an incendiary comment for the reaction.

To which we say -- in essence -- the title of this post "They just don't know The Way."

Lastly, in these sorts of circumstances, we always come back to this comment which was left here on TW many years back. It was from someone about to attend their final Neil concert before they succumbed to their disease.

So next time, before hitting the post button, try and remember this comment on For The Turnstiles Yet Again.

enjoy the show.
peace

 
At 10/08/2012 03:30:00 PM, Anonymous pieceofcrap said...

No probs, Thrasher, just had to get it off my chest, tryin' to do my best ( never shot four men in a cocaine deal, though...). You're doing a great job and a fine service to all us rusted out rusties... so keep it up!

 
At 10/08/2012 03:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with piece of crap 100%. btw, like him, 1976 was the beginning of seeing Neil live for me. Bought Harvest when I was in 6th grade. Neil, unpredictable? That is a joke. I wonder if he wrote Stills (and Furay too) a letter this time after he predictably pulled the plug on the BS reunion tour. (Dear Stephen & Richie, funny how some things that I start spontaneously I end that way. Eat a peach. Neil) I don't think people have an issue with the set list, it's what he's doing. Been there, done that ... now, many times before. Happy for the Horse though; Poncho cracks me up and R&B could use the cash. Fine if you want to call it art NY suckups and yup, Neil's a true artist. That doesn't mean I'm buying, doesn't mean it's good, doesn't mean it's anything. And frankly, at those ticket prices, Young does have an obligation and fans should have their expectations. Elliot Roberts is right, many of you freaks out there need to get a life. And btw, wake me up when the distortion ends & the 10-minute song endings are over and Neil returns to greatness. This tour has been a bore. God forbid he ever changes up his setlist. Just once. Let's hope CSN reunion is next on his bucket list. On that note, I'm all for some serious feedback that silences out Graham Nash. Keep hard Rusties.

 
At 10/08/2012 04:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Alchemy tour sounds right. No matter how hard he tries, no matter how many times he regurgitates the same melody or lyrics or bar chords, no can turn crap into gold.

 
At 10/08/2012 05:55:00 PM, Blogger Matthew L. said...

I was going to call Anonymous 3:53 an idiot for not giving any real thought to what he's talking about prior to posting.

But I won't.

I will, however, say that it's packed with lies.

"Been there, done that ... now, many times before."

You mean Walk Like a Giant, Psychedelic Pill and the other new original material he's playing on the tour? Yep, been there done that, I guess, if you're from the future.

"And frankly, at those ticket prices, Young does have an obligation and fans should have their expectations."

The ticket prices are right in the same range as most other popular artists playing in arenas. Young is obligated to nobody, and it's certainly okay to have expectations, but to whine and complain about your petty expectations because you're so self-involved that all you care about it your ignorant ego? Well, that just makes you a child, really.

And here's the kicker - the part that brings the validity of any "I've been a Neil fan for..." or "I saw Neil in 1901" comments he makes into serious question:

"wake me up when the distortion ends & the 10-minute song endings are over and Neil returns to greatness."

Okay, so Neil has been playing with distortion since the dawn of Crazy Horse. Neil has been doing the (not 10 minute by a longshot) long song endings since who knows when.

So Anon, you must have hated Neil these past 35 years. Why are you even posting on here if you haven't liked Neil since he went "distortion" way back when I was a kid?

I mean, seriously.

If people want to express valid criticism, fine. But this critique is invalid, as it's filled with inaccuracies, outright lies, exaggerations, and some anonymous dude's utterly bloated ego.

 
At 10/08/2012 06:43:00 PM, Anonymous pieceofcrap said...

Turn it up, Matthew, my friend! Guess in your mind all criticism of Neil is valid except the kind you don't like, which is, I guess, any criticism of Neil.
Well, that's too bad...
By the way, "1901"? Heck, I saw old Neil and the Horse for the first time pumping it up in Deadwood in 1876, churning out "Clementine" and "Pocahontas" while the children sang, way back when they were getting started.
Let me tell you, man, that was a great show! Calamity and me smoked a pipe with the Horse afterwards. And you know what? All the songs ended exactly at 4;35! Only distortion was the dust blowing through Neil's harp!
But seriously, as you say, let's get back to the business at hand, which is the tour and, of course, the book. Read it? How dit that strike you?

 
At 10/08/2012 08:00:00 PM, Anonymous SD said...

@pieceofcrap

I personally take them to task if their comments on the shows are uninformed or wrong, or basically not intelligent. If I'm reading someone come on here and say "he didn't play any hits" when I can clearly see the songs he played in his set list, then I'll tell them. Or if they say "he needs to play more of his hits!" it shows a fundamental lack of knowledge of what you're getting yourself into.

In the end it's not meant to be personal, though.

 
At 10/08/2012 09:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does it pain some people so very much that others take pleasure in something that they find incomprehensible?! Jelousy? Envy? It's comical. All that waste of time and energy and brain cells thinking about something that you don't get or even care about. What gives? No one cares what you think. Not at all. You can't diminish others joy with your yack, yack, yack. Sorry, you just can't.

I personally am reveling in something that's been with me going on 5 decades now. Is that the problem? You weren't born soon enough? I feel like that too sometimes. Crazy Horse doesn't get out much. People are going to get excited. Get over it! Peace.

SJ

 
At 10/09/2012 07:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with pieceofcrap that Neil is far less unpredictable than we some times like to give him credit for. But that just makes the walkouts even more incomprehensible. Crazy Horse (a rock band who have been playing noisy extended feedback jams for forty-odd years) have opened every show this tour with "Love And Only Love", a 22-year-old song from one of their best loved albums. It was ten minutes long in its studio form! How big is they rock these people have been under!
We're not dealing with a cabaret artist here. Neil never phones it in, whether he's playing the hits (which he sometimes does - he treated us to most of "Harvest" in Hyde Park a couple of years ago) or a bunch of new songs no-one's heard yet. I'd rather see an artist with Neil's passion playing something new than a hoary old supperclub reject running through their 60s classics for the thousandth one-last-time.

 
At 10/11/2012 11:49:00 PM, Anonymous SandCowgirl said...

Who among us is the same person we were 40 years ago...or even a year ago? We all change and grow. Who wants to do the same thing night after night? It's grossly unfair for people to expect that from Neil. Over the years, he has produced some of the most interesting, beautiful, and provocative music ever made. Neil has done blues, rockabilly, electronic music, country, acoustic, and rock. The Crazy Horse experience is a fiery, passionate, electric voyage to an other-worldly place. For those of us who love to take that ride, this year's albums and tour are a long-awaited gift.

 

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