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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Tonight: No Bridge School Benefit Concert for 1st Time in 30 Years


Earlier this year, official statements by Neil Young and Pegi Young announced that there will be no Bridge School Benefit Concert this year.

A sad day indeed for so many, but much to cherish from the memories of past and all that has been accomplished these past 30 years.

More on last year's 2016 Bridge School Benefit Concert (reviews, photos, videos, etc.).

Also, see The Essence of Bridge School Benefit Concerts. (Incidentally, FWIW, this is why we do what we do here @ TW.)

Also, see our Memories & Reflections on Our 2015 Bridge School Benefit Concerts Weekend.

Neil, Pegi & Ben say "Good Night. Thanks for coming. 
We love you all."
Photo by thrasher
(Click images to enlarge)

Because -- as everyone knows -- the annual pilgrimage to the Bridge School Benefit Concerts was a life altering and transcendental experience.

Welcome to the 2010 Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert by Bridge Kids

In memory of all of the Bridge School Benefit Concerts we've attended over the years, here's a modified posting of our thoughts on the 2010 Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert.

Dedicated to Pegi, Neil, The Parents & all of the Bridge Kids.

A comment by Dan1 that sums it all up so well on "It's Official: No Bridge School Benefit Concert in 2017":
As Joni said so eloquently, "don't know what you've got till its gone"

... a sudden change brings much perspective - some thoughts ...

1) Neil and Pegi are incredible people for doing this year after year for 30 years into their 70s
2) The kids were blessed as were all of us to be part of this incredible institution
3) Neil and Pegi's marriage was a pillar of strength, 30 years is forever in show biz, it was seemingly so solid we all probably took that for granted
4) Big reminder to appreciate that Neil is still creating cause that won't last forever either, I'm going to try to bitch less (even about this seemingly endless break from touring) and appreciate more
5) Looking back, what an incredible event they created a who's who of the best musicians donating their time and talents to play unplugged for us ... only a very, very determined and mission driven artist could twist so many famous arms to pull this off and for so long
6) The fans made it possible by supporting it and building such an incredible community around the event ...

for those who made it a pilgrimage and for the kids so so sad to see it all wind down ...

Neil and Pegi, thank you for your big hearts and for your unconditional giving for decades!!
Thanks Dan! Nice words ... and who said numbers add up to nothing? Or maybe numbers really do add up to SOMEthing?

Over the years here at Thrasher's Wheat, we've spent a considerable amount of blogging on trying to convey what we experienced at a Bridge School Benefit Concert.

Probably nothing really captures the spirit of the Bridge Concerts than this tribute video to the late Larry "L.A." Johnson (1947 - 2010), Neil Young's long time film maker and producer.

While the above YouTube version is silent, during the concerts the video was accompanied by "Dancing in the Streets" during which Neil & Pegi Young danced about the stage. It was the Young's tribute and celebration of L.A.'s impact on the Bridge School legacy.

Neil and Pegi Dancing in the Streets for L.A.

And while there was a celebration of L.A. Johnson's passing, there was more of a somber tone of the late Ben Keith (1937 - 2010), Neil Young's long time band mate and dear friend. Ben is included in the tribute to the artists who have donated their time and talents to perform at the Bridge School Benefit Concerts for the past 24 years.

"One Of These Days" - Bridge School Benefit Concert 2010

Neil & Pegi - 2010
Photo by John Green - San Jose Mercury/Bay Area News Group

Buffalo Springfield - 10/23/10
Photo gallery by Nan Philpot | Facebook

Over the years, the Bridge School Benefit concerts have seen some of the most diverse and eclectic lineups of musicians ever assembled on an annual basis. For 25 years now, Neil and Pegi Young have hosted the concert series which marks the official end of the season for the benefits home venue -- The Shoreline Amphitheater just outside San Francisco, CA.

2010's Buffalo Springfield reunion for their first performance in 42 years certainly was one of the most satisfying concert going experiences we've ever had the pleasure of attending.

Paul McCartney and Neil Young
"Only Love Can Break Your Heart"
Bridge School Benefit Concert - October 23, 2004
Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA
Photo by Kim Komenich of San Francisco Chronicle

While there have been some pretty amazing acts and collaborations since the first benefit in 1986, the year 2004 probably ranks right up there at the top of the scale of concert memories. The 2004 Bridge School Benefit Concert featured Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Eddie Vedder, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tegan & Sara, Los Lonely Boys, Sonic Youth, and Ben Harper along with Neil Young.

The concert's finale with Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett and other musicians left many with literally tears in their eyes.

"Only Love Can Break Your Heart" - Paul McCartney and Neil Young - October 23, 2004

Neil Young
2009 Bridge School Benefit Concert
Photo by John Shearer/WireImage

"Powderfinger" - Adam Sandler and Neil Young
2009 Bridge School Benefit Concert
Photo by Christopher Victorio

"Comes A Time" - All Bridge Performers Finale:
Neil Young, No Doubt, Jimmy Buffett, Chris Martin, Sheryl Crow, Fleet Foxes, Monsters of Folk, Wolfmother, Gavin Rossdale
2009 Bridge School Benefit Concert

Pegi & Neil Young
Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage
Cat Power and Neil Young on "Fortunate Son"
2008 Bridge School Benefit Concert

2008 Bridge School Benefit Concert

Neil Young - Photos by Inside Bay Area
2008 Bridge School Benefit Concert

Neil & Pegi Say "Goodnight"
Bridge School Benefit Concert 2007
Photo by Roel van Dijk - Rust Radio

Dave Matthews Band & Neil Young
Bridge 2006 Concert
photo by Craig Abaya
Gillian Welch, David Rawlins & Neil Young
Bridge 2006 Concert
photo by Craig Abaya
Eddie Vedder & Neil Young
Bridge 2006 Concert
photo by Craig Abaya
irf 2004
2004 International Rust Fest
Miron's Photo Gallery
San Francisco Chronicle: Young sings to family of 20,000 at 20th Bridge School concert:
"The Bridge concerts, among many others things, have served to humanize Young and bring out the family side of his life into the public eye. With their son at the bottom of all this and his wife's tireless dedication to creating and building this pioneering school, Young has drawn back the curtain at these Bridge shows on a private life he has otherwise not been disposed to reveal."

Pegi & Neil Young at Bridge 2006 Concert
photo by Craig Abaya

Neil, Pegi & Ben say "Good Night. Thanks for coming. We love you all."
(Click images to enlarge)

For those of you who have made the annual pilgrimage to the Bridge School Benefit Concerts, you know that it can be a life altering and transcendental experience.

And 2015's 29th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concerts, was -- once again - a "life altering and transcendental experience" to be savoured and shared with old and new friends from around the world.

So here are just a few of our memories and rusted reflections on the 2015 Bridge Concerts Weekend - our last Bridge that we attended.  And we're thankful and blessed for the opportunity.  enjoy

Rusties Descend Upon The Shoreline

The Great Bridge Pumpkin

Neil Young w/ Wisdom Dancers

"After The Gold Rush"

"Human Highway"

Nils Lofgren

Nils Lofgren w/ Neil Young - "Believe"

Ben Harper w/ Pegi Young

Sheryl Crow w/ Gary Clark Jr.

Dixie Chicks w/ St. Vincent & Sheryl Crow

Stage Plot: Getting Ready to Get REAL

Neil Young + Promise of the Real w/ Nils Lofgren

"Mother Earth" w/ Nils Lofgren

Finale Day #2: Who's Gonna Stand Up?

Neil, Ben & Pegi Young

So many fond memories and dear rustie friends. Someday, we're gonna sit down and write a long letter...

Rusties @ The Healing Pole & Medicine Teepee

19th Annual International RustFest - October 23, 2015
Saratoga Springs, CA

(Click image to enlarge)

Rusties After The Show

Rusties Jammin'

w/ Jay Blakesberg, Rolling Stone Photographer

"Deju Blue"
w/ James Mazzeo, ZUMA & Greendale Album Cover Artist

w/ King of Rust, Hounds That Howell & The Holy Grail "More Barn" Mirror

w/ Micah Nelson

w/ Zeke Young

w/ Bridge Kid Colin

And -- as always -- it's all about the Bridge Kids. Really. The Bridge Kids ... the real, true children of the wheat. (when we say "children of the wheat" we make no claims other than that they represent the best of human nature and symbolize that which each of us can only aspire to. The Kids are the teachers, as Eddie says. We are but mere students.)

We recall the year when Eddie Vedder said at the Bridge concert: "The kids are the teachers. We are the students."

Great to see everyone over the years at Bridge and hope to see you again down the road ... wherever the road leads...

peace & love,

PHOTO BY Misha Vladimirskiy |
Also, see:

- Bridge School Benefit Concert Reviews, Photos, Videos, etc.
- The Charitable Mr. Neil Young Keeps On Giving & Giving & Giving

More Bridge Memories highlights:

One Of These Days - Remembering Rusties

Thanks HarryO. A mighty fine tribute to so many fine rustie folks.

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