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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Comment of the Moment: "Thrasher" - Neil Young, Philadelphia - October 8, 2014

Neil Young, Philadelphia - October 8, 2014

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The Comment of the Moment is from 36 Years Since Our Last "Thrasher": Neil Young, Philadelphia - October 8, 2014 by TopangaDaze:
In my opinion, Thrasher is without question Neil's lyrical masterpiece (followed closely by Ambulance Blues).

To me, most of Neil's songs are incredibly "meaningful" but they're also "meaningless" when looking for clarity of intent. Lyrically, most of them lack directness (until his more recent literal works beginning with Prairie Wind). That is to say, they are very cryptic and mean different things to everyone (including Neil I believe). At his best, his songs just flew out of him in clever image couplets. To this day, no one has ever explained to me what a Cinnamon Girl is or a Cowgirl in the Sand. I could go on and on, but I know what they mean to me and that's the beauty of his writing.

As for playing Thrasher at his recent shows, it seems pretty clear to me. Thrasher is one of the few songs he's written that while beautifully poetic, also contains some pretty direct feelings about loss and age.

To me, his playing it now is his expression of brutally honest fear. Fear of potential dementia (like his father), fear of irrelevance in an ever changing world, fear of leaving something left unsaid and/or undone. There's no time left to wait (for us or for him)..

A truly beautiful song, by an incredibly moving artist facing his mortality. He's taking stock of what really matters and is opening up much of himself for us all. We are seeing and hearing what matters most to him now, and I feel at the same time he's encouraging us all to take action. With ourselves first, and then with the people and the things that matter most to us.

"How I lost my friends, I still don't understand"...
Thanks TopangaDaze! So fear? hmm. We always like to think of Neil as a pretty fearless character. Maybe his way of recognizing the fear but his way of pushing beyond the fear?

Because, as everyone knows, there is no point in living in fear.

Still livin' with fear? Check this... no fear... just be.

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At 10/13/2014 03:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real reason Thrasher is back seems obvious to me given the events of the last few days. It's a song about CSNY. They are the friends he lost when he wrote it, and they are the friends he has lost again. It's a pity because Crosby just said what a lot of people were thinking anyway.

At 10/13/2014 09:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not think the "events of of the last few days" has anything to do with him playing Thrasher, since it has been on his 2014 solo turn set list starting with the March 23th Hollywood show. I saw him play it twice in Chicago during the April shows. Thrasher has always been one of my favorite songs.

At 10/13/2014 01:02:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

First of all, absolutely no one knows the real reason Mr. Young does anything. That being said, he was indeed playing Thrasher before Crosby's recent comments.

This solo acoustic tour in select major cities is his long awaited greatest hits "dream" set list, sprinkled in with a few covers and rarities that have special meaning to him. Thrasher's from one of his most popular albums and contains most (if not all) of Neil's recurring themes.

It's a treat for us to get to hear it. I really think it's Neil realizing the truth and power of the song, and with his career in overtime/extra innings (choose your sport) he's trying to provide us (and him) with a sense of closure, while still searching...
"But I'll know the time has come to give what's mine"...

At 10/14/2014 12:39:00 AM, Blogger forest rph said...

Even though Neil's been playing Thrasher before Crosby's comments, it's well known that Neil decided not to tour with CSN this year in supprot of the CSNY 1974 box set. The seeds of dissention have been seething a long time.

At 10/14/2014 04:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great shows in Phila. Especially Wednesday the Night of the full moon. In 32 years and 60+ shows, that was the happiest I've ever seen Neil. It was great to meet you there also. Thanks for all you do

-Down by the Delaware River

At 10/14/2014 04:11:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Down by the Delaware River - good meeting you too! So nice to chat. Thanks for kind words.

Yes, Neil solo on a full moon, small theater and a thrasher encore.

beyond priceless


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