Broken Arrow Magazine To Cease Publishing - The Final Issue for NYAS?
Photo by Uwe Grahl | Facebook
Much to our dismay -- and many others, as well -- the latest issue of Broken Arrow Magazine, published by the Neil Young Appreciation Society seems to be the final issue.
Longtime Broken Arrow editor Scott Sandie has included a letter to readers in the latest issue which reflects his current thinking on the publication after 13 years and 52 issues (of 134 total) at the helm. Scott and his wife Jo have put in countless hours into the labor love we know as "BA" and they are to be humbly thanked. We can certainly understand the toll it takes to produce content year after year for "only the joy and satisfaction of sharing Neil appreciation with our fellow fans".
So enjoy the break Scott & Jo! To quote, as someone once to wrote us: "It is alright to say goodbye. You have done some folks a great service for a long long time and we appreciate the effort you have shown. Whether you choose to continue or just hang it up and get on with your life is up to you. Just know that we have appreciated your efforts. As for us? We still see the vista. We still hear the muse. We continue. Godspeed. Thank you. Mahalo."
From another Society member, Bernie B. Shakey:
"....I just want to thank youGreat tribute Bernie B.! Thanks!
For all of the things you've done
I'm thinking about you
I just want to send my love
I send my best to you
That's my message of love
For all the things you did
I can never thank you enough
Feel like I'm falling
Falling off the face of the earth
Falling off the face of the earth...."
Prior to the Internet age, being a Neil Young news junkie was one tough slog. If you desired to discover something, you couldn't simply turn on the computer, pull up Google and type in a few key words - "Neil Young / Tour Dates / Boston"
There was really no World Wide Web to speak of in the 1980s and early 90s; sure it existed, but it was mostly beyond the grasp of many of us. And even if you did happen to use it, there was very little tangible Neil content in the early days of the Internet.
So how did you learn what Neil was up to? Not easily, that's for sure. Maybe a magazine like Rolling Stone or Musician would profile Sir Shakey, or the Village Voice, or perhaps MTV might air a brief news clip, offering a small taste, but always yearning for me. Other than that, well, there was word-of-mouth, assuming you were connected with others who actually cared about Neil (I wasn't).
That's pretty much it.
Well, not quite. There was one other new source, quite clearly the best of them all, by far - Broken Arrow Magazine, a fanzine published by the Neil Young Appreciation Society, delivering its first issue long ago, in 1981 when Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were both in office, providing 1000 points of light for the free world (invoke sarcasm meter).
For diehard fans like me, Broken Arrow, jam-packed with Neil tidbits galore, was a lifesaver. The magazine came out on a quarterly basis, usually a few days (or weeks) later than expected, but who complained? We finally had a Neil Young news source that was fresh, topical, offering a connection to like-minded fanatics across the globe. It was Nirvana before anyone ever heard of Kurt Cobain.
From that very first issue in 1981, through all of Neil's frenetic musical changes, Broken Arrow has been like an old, dependable pair of slippers, providing indispensable Neil news over 134 issues.
And now, just like that, the run is over.
It's been announced with the release of this June's issue, #134, that the magazine's publishing days have come to an end (you can see the many reasons why in the attached letter from BA Publisher Scott Sandie). While this news hurts many, it hardly comes as a shocker. The Internet has changed everything for the publishing industry and a relic from the distant past, even something as lovable as Broken Arrow, couldn't compete with the instantaneous flow of content the digital age provides.
But while this news has been expected for awhile, it still hurts, it hurts plenty. It's very hard to describe with words what it felt like to be a subscriber to this magazine in the late 1980s and through the '90s. While only published four times per year, you waited for every issue with the anticipation of a head-over-heels-in-love schoolboy going on his first date. The wait would often be longer than expected, but once that little manilla envelope finally arrived, postmarked United Kingdom, you entered Neil Heaven for a few hours, page after enjoyable page. Please remember - this was the MAIN way we got our most in-depth Neil news, four times a year. There was nothing better, nothing even close to Broken Arrow.
But then, in the mid-1990s, everything changed. The Internet stepped to the forefront and while the digital revolution has brought so much good to the world (and plenty of awful awfulness), it's truly devastated print media, Broken Arrow being yet another casualty. Over the last 12 years or so, Scott Sandie has done yeoman's work publishing Broken Arrow, taking the reigns from Alan Jenkins, who lasted in the role an incredible 17 years. Two publishers, 29 years - Unreal! Iron Men!!
On a personal note, I've gotten to know Scott a little bit over the last two years; in 2013 he published my "Bottom Line 1974" story; ironically, I also have a story featured in the final issue. If this truly is the end, I'm very honored to be included in Broken Arrow's Swan Song issue. Scott is a true gentleman in every sense of the word, an ultimate Neil fanatic and he has our undying respect for what he's been able to accomplish.
This magazine has meant so much to so many, and the end is never easy. But what can you say other than......Thank You Scott Sandie and the incredible Neil Young Appreciation Society!!
Peace & Love
Bernie B. Shakey
For more information and subscription information visit the Neil Young Appreciation Society or directly contact NYAS editor Scott Sandie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't be denied!
Thanks Scott and everyone who has been supporting the NYAS & BA!
Thrasher - NYAS#2476
More on back issues of Broken Arrow magazine.
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Don't Be Denied!