Friday, August 09, 2013

Neil Young and Crazy Horse Europe Tour Cancellation Reverberates

Köln, Germany - July 12, 2013
Photo by Roel van Dijk's
(Click photo to enlarge)

Yesterday's news that Neil Young and Crazy Horse's remaining Europe tour dates are canceled hit the rusty world quite hard.

It was was no pleasure for us here at Thrashers Wheat to break the news just hours before the band was to hit the stage for the big Way Out West Festival in Göteborg, Sweden. Reaction here and here was swift, ranging from concern, anguish, to outright bitterness.

Of course, the main concern is that Poncho's injury is relatively minor and he makes a full recovery.

There were many cries of "The show must go on!".

Neil should have just played an acoustic set.

Crazy Horse should've played as a trio.

Since it was a festival, there must have been some guitarist around who could step in and replace Poncho.

And over and over again, my friends.


We completely understand everyone's disappointment. Especially those who had been standing on the rail at last night's Way Out West Festival for hours in anticipation. So sorry for all who were excited about seeing Crazy Horse. And for those that traveled long distances or had plans to, our heart goes out and hope there's a next ride on the Horse for you someday.

But -- and you know this is coming -- you can't put yourself in Neil's shoes and just say here's what I think is best. I know what's best for Neil. It doesn't work that way. Never has. Never will.

Down on pain street, disappointment lurks.

So how bout a little ▶ "Depression Blues to cheer everyone up? :)

Get well soon Poncho! We need you back to ride that crazy horse one more round.

Poncho Fuckin' Up
Australia 2013
Photo by Gary "Old Man Emu" Carter
(Click photo to enlarge)
Hey, if we think really hard.... No Rain/More Horse, No Rain/More Horse, No Rain/More Horse!


  1. We're all just pissing in the wind you don't know but you are...Neil Young has always done as he pleases which is just fine by me. We shouldn't be surprised by the outpouring of views - personally I think he should of salvaged something for the fans who have travelled from afar.

  2. How can anyone ask why someone couldn't replace Poncho ... DON'T TALK DAFT

    This is NY & CRAZY HORSE. There are indeed a billion technically better guitarists out there that could step in (and drummers, bass players ...) but that would defeat the whole point. Crazy Horse is unique becaus eof the feel/groove they have. Non of Neil's other bands ever come close to capturing what the Horse do.

    I've lost my money too, i wont get my London hotel/train fare back either. But shit happens. I certainly wouldn't want to go and see some half cocked replacement line up

    Get a grip

  3. Well, Neil does what Neil does. We all know that. The Liverpool gig was a wedding present to me from the lovely lady who I will marry only 2 weeks later. But apart from missing out on seeing Crazy Horse (and we'll never see them on these shores again) we're now left many pounds out of pocket having had to cancel a 2 night hotel stay and travel. Well pissed off.

  4. what a bunch of whiners...

    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." -John Lennon

  5. What are you talking about with that Lennon quote? Not whiners just expressing disappointment and these are the repercussions for HIS fans.

    Half cocked replacement -what about an hour solo show? Surely that was a possibility....just to salvage something for HIS fans.

    Wheel out a piano and play some of the vintage stuff and not this overhyped over played turgid mess of a record that is PP.

  6. It's been said before. No Poncho means no horse. That's how the Horse works. Here's hoping for a recovery and a rescheduled Liverpool date. Get well soon.

  7. It's easy to understand the dissapointment of those with tickets, air tickets and hotel reservation. But, well, the money issue you talk about - an ordinary travel insurance would have solved that problem.

  8. Yeah, the people whining/doubting/complaining about the whiners/doubters/complainers are even more irritating than the whiners/doubters/complainers themselves.

    Of course, I am now whining/doubting/complaining about the people whining/doubting/complaining about the whiners/doubters/complainers, which is worse still. But who will be next to whine/doubt/complain about me whining/doubting/complaining about those whining/doubting/complaining about those whiners/doubters/complainers?

  9. Well said w/d/c-er!

  10. Not even NY can replace a Poncho. May be loyalty or just plain tired. i'm 62 and I was amazed at these guys energy at Red Rocks. They just had a grueling schedule and may need a rest. true fans will understand. Peace and Love

  11. I think it might have been nice for Neil to play an acoustic show for the last show considering everyone seemed to be at the festival and it was late notice ... but then it opens up a can of worms ... everyone would expect him to finish the tour like that.

    And what about the rest of Crazy Horse? He might not want to just ditch them to play solo gigs. And he doesn't want to play with 2 out of the other 3 ... they probably don't want to either. They are a team ... all or none. Sure, they could find a guitarist to "replace" Poncho, but it just isn't the same and none of the others left standing would want to do that.

    I have tickets to the Port Chester show. I'm really hoping they are up and running by that time, maybe even refreshed and rejuvenated with some time off. But if not, then so be it. I'll survive.

  12. He surely could have improvised rather than disappoint loads of loyal fans who will have lost money on hotels, travel etc.......

  13. Been a fan for years and bought loads of albums....surely he could have improvised rather than disappoint fans who may have spent hard earned cash on travel, hotels etc...............thanks Neil....

  14. Some good news at least .David Lynch the venerable film director put up one of NY,s tunes as one of his 5 outstanding pieces that reach that "deep level of being it " In my mind the choice not only is one I agree with but also how refreshing that one of NY,s contemporary songs is chosen ! Love and war is as Lynch says I thrills you your soul .
    I would also put Bandit up there as another contemporary tune that's stunning

  15. My fellow rusties,

    Sadness exists today, knowing the castle in Bergen will be void of the Horse on Saturday. Yet, there is no replacement for Poncho. Crazy Horse without Poncho is a feckless endeavor.

    My brother and I are on a Scandivanian sojourn for the Horse, and tonight we suffer with the news of his broken hand. But, last night in Oslo was GIGANTIC!!

    May he heal and ride again,

    We are in Bergen, regardless. and are planning to drink, eat, and play the Horse on the lawn at the fortress where he was to play. Any and all rusties are welcome to join us during the time the set was to take place.

    Re-Actor fans are especially welcome.

    We caught the big one, but have to let it go.


  16. @Rust - a wonderful attitude & perspective.

    May the Horse be with you.

  17. By not playing at all, you get a refund. I'd rather have that than a half arsed quickly stuck together filler set.

    Imagine if they'd done that as a trio or acoustic and then folks demanding a refund afterwards. Can't be done

    I wanted to see the Horse, if that's not possible so be it


  18. There's more to the picture than meets the eye (out of the blue)
    Why do you ride that crazy horse enquires the shadow with little remorse (the old homestead)
    I got bored and left them there, they were just deadweight to me. Better off that road without that load (thrasher)

  19. Me too, I'm disappointed. I invited my youngest son to see him with me at Pukkelpop.
    I saw The Horse at Vorst Nationaal, and left there excited, full of adrenalin, and very happy, after a blistering evening.
    For us Europeans, Crazy Horse is becoming almost "mythical". They visited us in 1996, 2001 and then we waited for 12 long years.
    The Alchemy Tour on itself is already a legendary tour, as it might well be the last one of Crazy Horse. So seeing it to come to an end, without any warning, is pretty shocking; and I understand the disappointment, cause for me too, thursday 08/08/2013 will always be in my memories.
    BUT, who am I to judge Neil, or the band on that ? Who am I to doubt the fact of an accident ? I believe Poncho really hurt his hand, and I do hope he fully recovers, and still be able to follow Neil, to accompany him, to complete him in that weird ensemble, named "Crazy Horse".
    Replace him ??? Makes me laugh. No member of the Horse can be replaced. That's what makes them so Unique. OK, technically, you'll find much better, no doubt about that. But : emotionally ???? Feeling, feeding, responding, hearing, talking,...each other ????
    NO ONE, NO ONE can do. PERIOD.
    Maybe, and pure personal hypothesis : You could think of Ben Keith. But, Ben left us much too early.
    So, yes, we have every right to be disappointed. But that's it. All other speculations are just based on pure egoism.

    And as an afterthought this too must be told : maybe Neil let down Buffalo Springfield (again), maybe Neil wasn't that correct with CSNY. Did he ever quit on Crazy Horse ???
    Right, on every announcement it is "Neil Young & Crazy Horse". Well, just watch Year of the Horse, where Neil clearly states himself as singer and Guitarplayer. NOT as the Leader of The Band !!!

  20. "So, yes, we have every right to be disappointed. But that's it. All other speculations are just based on pure egoism".

    ...Or, more plausibly, lessons learned from past events. 'Egoism' is a strange word to use in this context?

    But I agree with everything else you say 100%. Replacing Poncho would be ridiculous, in my opinion. Without Poncho, there's no Crazy Horse. He is my favourite of Neil's sidemen.

  21. @ La Johnson

    The real La Johnson would have been supportive on Neil, regarding the songs played on tour, recording music ...

    Who ever you are, you bring no respect to the name La Johnson, all you do is criticize.

  22. It's an angry world...
    but every thing's gonna be all right

    yeah it's an angry world!

    Disappointment I can understand

    "I'm Pissed Off" and all that anger...well,

    sometimes you're the louisville slugger
    sometimes you're the ball

    sometimes it all comes together baby
    sometimes you're going to lose it all
    Peace and Love to you all.

  23. If he did an abbreviated solo set he would be booed by those who expected a Crazy Horse audio assault. "I paid for this but you give me that?"

    Sure, it sucks. But tickets can be refunded. If I had a hotel I'd still go, have a good time on the town and use the money I'd be getting back from the tickets to go to a really nice restaurant.

    Sh#t happens. Be glad it wasn't a heart attack or a broken hip for any of the guys. I'm kind of surprised by the vitriol by some who consider themselves fans. Fair weather at best, I'd say. Hey, you know what Briggs said, ".... eat it or starve!

  24. What is ...........IS.

  25. that's an awesome pic of poncho at the top. lost in the moment. get well soon dude.

  26. Old Mother Goose is on the skids so all you critics...not being critical but offering a balance to the 'Horse spiritual journey' and all that tosh that goes with that.

  27. I still think Neil could have made a better choice in Gothenburg. I understand that the rest of the tour is cancelled (I had tickets to both Copenhagen and London) but he could have played a few acoustic songs in Gothenburg. He was there, right behind the stage (a 30 second walk) and we all know what he can do alone with his voice and his guitar. A Three piece Crazy Horse is and was not an option.

    Neil is a pro and he could have come up with a better solution instead of just sneaking away..... A lot of sad and angry people left behind in Sweden..... Believe me, I saw them and I heard them

    I have been to a lot of concerts during the last four decades and seen other artists improvise in unexpected situations. It is a matter of what you want and your own free will and that goes for Neil as well.

    Jonas Dahlgren NYAS(1072)

  28. Neil will do the right thing. He is a grown up man-- Not like when he was a kid with Buffalo Springfield and not the craziness with CSNY. And my guess is he would be the first to acknowledge that. We love and trust the music, so I say, let's trust the man. Besides, as he said, it's all illusion anyway.

  29. As a general rule fractures in the hand take 6-8 weeks to unite. The strength in the hand takes approximately 3-4 months to return to near normal levels. Yet Poncho's playing again in 3 weeks time??? I wonder what a good lawyer would make of this!

  30. Yep, somethings goin on here that ain't exactly clear.

  31. ...Hopefully it's part of a master-plan to justify another European tour next year! ;-)

  32. A three piece Crazy Horse was definitely an option for Greendale the album

  33. Anon 19:00 PM: Yeah, but there's no point just hastily putting a replacement show together. What would they play - Greendale? In the instance of a band member being injured, I'd MUCH rather the shows were just rescheduled. Unfortunately that also seems unlikely! For now, anyway...

    I do agree that the "expected to make full recovery in 3 weeks" bit should send eyebrows through the roof.

  34. ...It's obvious that Neil and the band have enjoyed this tour a lot. I don't think this is an "eat a peach" incident for a second. That doesn't make sense!

    A full recovery in time for the American tour isn't much less extraordinary, though. What's he done, cut himself whilst clipping his nails? I won't be convinced of this "mild fracture" story until I've personally shaken Poncho by the hand!

  35. No money back for as in Gothenburg,
    thanks for that Neil and FUCK Off!!
    No more spending here!

  36. Yes, I'm personally out of pocket by quite a few quid (like £175)for hotel and travel costs following the cancellation of the Liverpool gig. And yes, Neil on his own doing an acoustic set would have been great. But I wanted to see Crazy Horse (with Poncho of course). That's what I paid £109 for 2 tickets for. OK, he's fractured his hand. Fair enough, shit happens. As apparently do miracles it would now seem.

  37. Lookin forward to the Sept 4th show .
    Ottawa Ontario Canada @ the so called Folk Festival
    A country Neil recently called shame on .
    Idle threats are fer hooligans .
    Accountability for ones words , is held in high regard , and especially so for those that pretend to be citizens of the world .
    Up here in Canada , we laugh and sing Vampire Blues , as we sell the oil to turncoat Yankee jet setting Rock Stars that continue to burn the hole in the sky , while trying to preach Lincvolt .
    Shame on you Mr Young , and expect a peaceful response .
    From the land of the True North Strong and Free .
    Hold on to yer hat lad !

  38. Re: the “No Poncho means no horse” comment, well I guess Neil didn’t get that memo for Greendale!

  39. I love Neil in all his incarnations. He is into each one deep when he is deep into them. No way he could do anything but cancel as Neil. If he put the audience first, which he does not ever do (we are welcomed observers) he would have gone on the night in Sweden as a three piece and cancelled the rest. A practical man would have done this. This is not Neil.

  40. 'Welcomed Observers' what on earth are you claiming Neil is? Next you'll be telling us he walks on water? He's a musician that has lasted remarkably well, made some truly superb records and some dross - we're not doing him a favour by being there - get a grip!

  41. As this was my first chance to see the Horse I was terribly disappointed. Neil says that he is sorry. Well I hope that he shows that he really is sorry by rescheduling the missed gigs after the American tour ends. Come on Neil, do the right thing.


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