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Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's an Angry World So Where Do We Go Now Neil Young?

Neil Young: "Where Do We Go Now"
Charles Theater, Baltimore, MD
December 2012

Photo by Stacey B.
(Note: Photo not Photoshopped)

We posted this photo earlier this year and it seems appropriate in light of recent developments.

The photo is the marquee at the Charles Theater in Baltimore, MD in December 2012 when the Neil Young film Journeys was playing. Another film being featured is titled "Where Do We Go Now". (Thanks Stacey B.!)

As both Billy Talbot & Ralph Molina have written, Crazy Horse is a team, a unit, a band of brothers.

So, when asking "Where Do We Go Now?", consider that when Poncho injures his hand, it's almost like Neil has injured his own hand. He can't play a Crazy Horse show without the whole team.

Here's a comment on ThrashersWheatNeverSleeps | Facebook by Len M.:
The Horse can't run on just 3 legs.

And if all you want is the head the horse, watch The Godfather. I get it why they cancelled. And yes, it sucks, I know, had front row tickets to a Neil concert in the 90's that he cancelled.

Heal quickly Poncho.
The negative, hostile reaction to all of this has been disheartening on a number of levels. First, just to be on the record, we ourselves are missing out on The Capitol Theater concert and pre-paid reservations. So we're just as bummed (or "gutted" as the Brits say) as many of you. That said, as with everything, you put your money down and you takes your chances.

But some of the comments that we're reading surprise us here given that the hard core fans must certainly appreciate all of the dynamics of what's going down yet are making comments like "rip off". What gives?

But even more disturbing for us is the amount of near rage and hatred that some are expressing in various forums over a concert cancellation. We say this because if only this outrage and energy could be channeled into some truly consequential matters like say war, environment or poverty to name a few.

Seriously. Do folks who have acted like they have experienced a massive injustice take the same approach with their local elected officials whenever they feel wronged? Let's hope so.

It's an "Angry World", indeed.

The show must not go on, sadly. "Some see life as a broken promise Some see life as an endless fight They think they live in the age of darkness They think they live in the age of fright It's an angry world And everything is gonna be alright"

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At 8/22/2013 08:47:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

I'm with you! Don't be a hater. If Neil could replace Poncho so easily, would the band be as great? No. I support Neil's decision to cancel shows over this injury! Ease up. Don't let the greed for ear candy from Neil drag you down! Thanks TW. Alan G, Seattle

At 8/22/2013 09:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Do folks who have acted like they have experienced a massive injustice take the same approach with their local elected officials whenever they feel wronged?"

I hope so, they just elect them out of office. Just like we can all choose not to buy any product such as music. Perhaps corrupt politicians and multi-millionaire musicians will do well to remember that.

At 8/22/2013 09:43:00 AM, Blogger SJ said...

It's okay to be sad about missed shows but Thrasher is right. There are more important things to get worked up about than a missed concert or lost money.

That said, I would be pissed too if I bought festival tickets and wasn't offered a full refund. Especially a festival that could only justify its high ticket price because Crazy Horse was playing. So I get the anger. I'd be angry too but I sure wouldn't have any expectations that Neil's going to slap together a whole different show at this late stage. I don't think the festival promoters are feeling good about any of this either but I do think they're trying to make it better without cancelling the whole event. Crap happens! Get over it.

And it's almost comical all of the people who expect Neil to make some kind of statement or apology. I think he already did. Or that he should simply "replace" Poncho. That's ludicrous. If they expect that, then they're not really fans.

I can also sympathize with everyone who simply had a burning desire to see Neil Young with Crazy Horse and came oh so close. That would make my soul ache. But I wouldn't blame Neil or Poncho. For what?

Take Thrashers advice and channel that energy into something positive. Neil will be back. It's what he does. Thanks again to Neil and Crazy Horse for a hell of a ride!! We got a whole year of the Horse people!! And a lot of it is sitting out there on YouTube. What great times we live in. I feel like I traveled the world with Thrasher Radio and everyone else because I got to watch along!! It was awesome. Thanks Thrasher and everyone involved for your great coverage and passion for all things Neil!! Get well Poncho. See ya next time!

At 8/22/2013 09:52:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Thanks SJ.

We really liked the comment "The Horse can't run on just 3 legs. "

That said, please take my advice, don't listen to me.

At 8/22/2013 09:57:00 AM, Anonymous SandCowgirl (Tami C) said...

Thank you for addressing this issue, Thrasher. The tour cancellation was very disappointing, but some the statements made by people who were supposed to be lovers of Neil/Crazy Horse were shocking and disrespectful, to say the very least. Stuff happens...we move forward...Hoping those who were so angry will "throw their hatred down" and channel their energies into something more useful.

At 8/22/2013 10:03:00 AM, Anonymous Luc said...

Imagine Neil Young would have broken his hand...

Would any of the "haters" have been as critical ???

Or would there be more compassion, more understanding...

So, sit back, put on your favourite Neil Young album, enjoy and relax.

And above all : wish Poncho all the best in his healing.

All the rest is...well, thrash...

At 8/22/2013 10:23:00 AM, Blogger TomCrac said...

Secretly wondreing if I click my heels together will the Capital theater show be rescheduled?... Heal up Ponch, looking forward to the next time.

At 8/22/2013 10:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm glad they pulled the brought the whole thing down to earth a's only amplifiers and guitars....i know what it means...been there many times..and walked out a few times.
hope to see neil and the horse ride again...soon

mitch from brooklyn ny

At 8/22/2013 11:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has there been any reliable source out there as to which hand it is that Poncho injured? Right or left? Just curious as a guitar player...

At 8/22/2013 11:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im not a hater.. I'm a lover... that said I am a little pissed off. Y because I bought my ticket to Ottawa's Hog Back Park through Neil's pre sale site. True fan would right? haven t missed an Ontario show in 30 years. so I send an email to get my 700 buck back... no problem so far... email return has a gun to my head saying I have to return the tickets to New York by Aug. 27 2 pm. or there would be no refund.... problem.... why did I need to spend $24 bucks getting the tickets back there?? waist of $24 bucks I d say and what if they done t make it how much cash is this group going to rake in on the people that doen t get there tickets back... Neil man you should look into this... pre sale... that's your core group of fans. treated like shit.

At 8/22/2013 11:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alchemy was bound to end in some such way - - - it was a good ride

"then the weather changed and the white got stained and it FELL APART"

Time to see what's next !

At 8/22/2013 12:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What fan doesn't want to know what's next for Neil? What songs has he been writing?

Toward the end of the Alchemy show that I saw in 2012, Neil was visibly tired to my eyes...deep breaths, etc. I don't know what it feels like to be 66-67 but my guess is your energy begins to give out more often than not...

Btw - I wonder if the fool who was just banned yesterday just may have been Graham Nash?? just a thought...

At 8/22/2013 01:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, people have a right to express their opinion. If everybody shared the same opinion the comment-section of this website could be closed.

However, I do find it strange that the owners of Thrasher's Wheat seem to share Neil Youngs opinion, no matter what. I've rarely seen comments like 'I don't know if that would be such a good idea, Neil' or expressing criticism. Neil Young fucks up too, you know.

There is nothing wrong in giving an honest opinion. It doesn't make you more of a fan if you cheer for everything Neil Young does.

At 8/22/2013 02:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The powers to be just keep missing the point. Neil could have gone on
with at least the North American leg of the tour by calling it a Neil Young show. And if he did some
people would still be pissed. There's no way crazy horse can play without Poncho but Neil could
have chosen to do the 4 NA shows by doing a solo show, putting together a back up band ( Maybe Pegi young and the survivors) or doing a half solo half electric
with pegi and company. He chose not
to go that route ad just cancel. m
not mad at Neil or the horse shit happens and none of us have control
over it. A few people have snickered about another backing band but in Pegis band you have a bunch of professional musicians including Rick rosas who could have easily learned enough songs
to put on a great performance

To say this is not realistic is ridiculous. Professional musicians are brought in all the time to replace sick musicians. Chuck Berry used to tour by himself and he contracted with every venue and the local musicians union to have 5 or 6 people play in the band. He would give them the Keys to play in each song and the chords if they were lucky they would get to run thru a song or two backstage before the show.

So the show could have gone on but Neil chose not to and people burn.

At 8/22/2013 02:06:00 PM, Anonymous Ruby said...

@SJ Why is it so wrong to expect a note from Neil himself? Not an apology - but after this sudden end of a long tour with so many loyal fans following the bands path and in combination with these circumstances now - what about a simple Thank You and a short statement about what exactly happened? I've been to many shows during this tour (and many before) and I really loved it and I'll be a fan forever. But I would expect a note from Neil (and I mean more than that simple statement placed by his management). I see it is a matter of respect.

At 8/22/2013 02:13:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@01:00:00 PM - it's called unconditional love.

try it sometime.

At 8/22/2013 02:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's really the worst statement I've read here.So you really mean he should have turned his back on the european fans only? Thank you very much!

At 8/22/2013 03:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm always amazed by the audiences of Neil Young and many of my other favorite artists when the performer for a variety of reasons has to cancel dates. The outrage in this case is nuts.

Neil has pulled some stunts over the years in suddenly canceling gigs or tours (I once had tix to see him with Stephen Stills years ago and he pulled the plug on the tour suddenly in Detroit...never made it to Chicago) without a reasonable explanation.

But let's face reality here. Neil has given far more of his life that brought joy to his fans than just about any performer in the rock era. Far more of his life and time than any fan has given, I would say. So if you're inconvenienced or out some money and you don't like that I get it. But to vilify him is pretty ridiculous.

Be thankful he's still willing to leave a piece of himself on the stage every time he performs and be grateful he shared it with you — whether you agree with his set lists or not. This experience isn't just about you, it's about his journey as an artist and following his muse. Anyone who doesn't get that will never get Neil Young or other originals like him.

Rock on Neil. With or without Crazy Horse you're always worth seeing.

At 8/22/2013 03:23:00 PM, Blogger SJ said...

@Ruby - Neil Young doesn't owe me anything. His music has been such a constant in my life, for well over 40 years now... I can't even put it into words what he means to me. My thanks go to him.

At 8/22/2013 04:42:00 PM, Blogger Raincheck said...

So if the tour continued, Neil would have taken flack for the types of shows Crazy Horse was putting on. And now he is taking flack for NOT putting on those shows.

I understand cancelling. Neil and CH were doing something very specific on this tour. When the Horse broke a leg, Neil had to take it out back and shoot it? End of story. No replacing Poncho. It would be like replacing Stills on a Springfield tour. This was Neil going to a very specific CH place in his mind.

Could he run out the tour with solo acoustic sets? Yes. Maybe he even should have. But he is Neil, for better and worse.

But it is equally unfair to be hard on those who didn't like these shows or who are upset at Neil not playing one way or another. To most fans, Neil Young is Neil Young regardless of the band. The Horse? Whatever. He is not the center of their lives.

Fans are like Neil. They are what they are and it ain't gonna change. Neil's gonna play what he wants, and they are gonna like it or not.

Neil's gonna cancel and they are gonna be pissed because they live across the ocean from him, and this was their one time in their lives to see him. Or whatever. Neil is a legend they want to experience, Poncho isn't, and so why should they miss Neil because of Poncho?

So it's a bunch of drama. Nobody'/s right when everybody's wrong. Neil wants what he wants. A fan wants what he wants and right now nobody is getting what they want.

OK. So what is next for Neil?

At 8/22/2013 04:46:00 PM, Anonymous Dennis said...


This part of the Crazy Horse journey is complete. The biggest part of the journey for each of us who have been on the ride for any length of time, has been the suspenseful angst that accompanies the question, "what's next?"

Our ranting about expected behavior on Neil's part does nothing to get us to the next destination, and, perhaps delays arrival.

So, let's hold on tight. Whatever the great artist brings next promises to be good. History suggests as much.

-Speedy healing for Poncho.
-Regrets for those missing out and all the disappointment and hassle that goes with it.
-Enjoy the anticipation of what lies around the next bend.
-Spin some Neil and enjoy what his art gives you.
-Never forsake the gift of Neil Young and our opportunity to be on the ride, even in the rumble seat.
-Best wishes to all and much Peace.

At 8/22/2013 07:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing that Neil and the promoters are obliged to do is refund the full amount paid for tickets. That's not asking a lot. You don't put down your money and take your chances. You buy an advertised product. I think a lot of the rage comes down to being financially ripped off. No two ways about it. These were NYCH or NYCH and Others concerts. When the headliner pulls out, the $ is returned in a timely and not overly demanding way. Simple as that. Lanois has really f'ed people over on this one and they won't forget. Some of us earn our money cents at a time, and spend it with care.

At 8/22/2013 07:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil and Pearl Jam .


why not?

At 8/22/2013 10:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see a lot of haters in this particular thread. Comparing it to politics is dumb though. Sorry. Maybe we should all be spending this part of our day emailing our representatives and asking them to do whatever. (and maybe some of us are) Different issue. Neil could have played the shows with others or by himself and he chose not to. This is certainly a reasonably debatable position, some will agree, some won't, both have pretty good reasons, but ultimately it wasn't our decision. I'm ok with that.

At 8/23/2013 01:56:00 AM, Anonymous Ruby said...

Thanks for your reply SJ. Just to make sure that nobody's getting me wrong. I AM THANKFUL TO NEIL for the joy he brought to my husbands and my life through his music. But I don't think that this has to be a one-way-street. We, the fans are part of the deal -it's just about respecting that - when I'm saying that a simple Thanks from him would be appretiated - this has nothing to do with owing me something. Anyway I think we're close together about our admiration for Neil and his musical artwork. And I think it's wonderful that we can exchange our opinians about that here.

At 8/23/2013 03:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Croz in new RollingStone talk:

"I just talked to Neil yesterday," says Crosby. "He feels real bad for Poncho . . . I have so much respect for Neil because he always follows his muse. It's often counter to what I want, because I want to work with him. But I also want him to follow his muse. I want him playing music that excites him right that minute. And if that includes me, that's wonderful. If it doesn't, that's wonderful too. He's still making great music and still tries to push the envelope. Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he makes Trans."

At 8/23/2013 04:11:00 AM, Blogger nicospilmont said...

We all have been disappointed previously (e.g. an album that we did not like, a tour that did not come in our country,...) and, therefore, we all already expressed criticisms towards Neil (& Co). However, most, if not all, Rusties were always respectful. This was not the case with some comments I read on this blog, or even on FB, even after explanations given by Ralph and Billy...Some requested a note from Neil but I think they won't be satisfied anyway. It has already been discussed, but why do some 'fans' (should I call them 'fans'...?) understand that Neil Young and Crazy Horse can't be without Crazy Horse (cos without Poncho, Crazy Horse is not Crazy Horse)?! CH is not a band which changes with circumstances, like say Queens Of The Stone Age (which I like, btw)...
Wanting Neil to be on stage either alone or with a CH ersatz is the expression of the egoism of 'fans' who are not able to understand the art, the alchemy, behind the men.
Remember that we thought that the 2008 tour was a 'farewell tour'! So, why do not just enjoy seeing Neil still recording, touring and fuckin' up?


PS: Thank you very, very much Thrasher for keeping this blog the way you do

At 8/23/2013 07:25:00 AM, Blogger asg said...

I don't understand the people who have a "Plan B"--go out and play solo acoustic shows? Yeah that's the same thing as seeing Neil with Crazy Horse...OK, ya spent money for tickets and /or traveling, I get THAT...But YOU shoulda had a "Plan B" in case something happened...maybe you dunno how Neil does things...maybe you didn't know his History...But if yer as much of a fan as you say you are, you oughta know those things...just my 5 cents...

At 8/23/2013 07:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Thrasher's Wheat:

They say that love makes blind. It's nothing personal and I really appreciate this tremendous website, but Neil isn't the one who provides the immanent truth. We all have our own.

Altough Neil is certainly right most of the times. ;)

At 8/23/2013 08:13:00 AM, Anonymous nemouse said...

Nice post Thrasher. Just don't get the anger. Like you, I was really pumped for the Cap Theatre show, thought it could really be something special. Much as I would have happily attended a solo Neil performance, honestly that would have been a let down. I also just don't think it's where he is at right now. This has been all about the Horse, in the studio and then on tour. The reason Neil is so much different than the long list of nostalgia acts is because his heart is still in it. He's far from a music playing machine that you can point in the right direction and say play. Maybe that comes with some risks as a fan, but the rewards a far greater. So happy I caught the shows at MSG and Barclays. Really bummed about the Cap, but as we all know, only love can break your heart.

At 8/23/2013 05:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand why they cancelled. Since I paid for a concert where the headliner cancelled I expect to be refunded. The festival is providing a $40 refund (of $150) when I have no intention of going now. I am confused that people are mad with Neil, but I think the promoter of the Greenbelt Picnic is ripping people off.


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