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Sunday, January 14, 2018

"Rust Subscription TBA": Possibilities For Neil Young's Online Archives

"Rust Subscription TBA"
Neil Young's Online Archives

Last week, we posted Roxy Live: Next Release From Neil Young's Online Archives?, about an album tentatively titled "CRAZY HOSS ROXY LIVE" that is in "production". "Roxy Live" will supposedly be live recordings of six shows from The Roxy, Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA when Neil Young played with the "Santa Monica Flyers" (CRAZY HOSS) from 20 to 22 September 1973.

In addition to this "Roxy Live" announcement, a post-it note on the Filing Cabinet on Neil Young's Online Archives is labeled "Rust Subscription TBA". This has already generated a fair amount of speculation on what this "Rust Subscription TBA" might be all about.

From a comment on Neil Young's Online Archives, Lone Red Rider posted:
Whatever Rust Subscription is, I'm in for a month to check it out. There are a couple of possibilities:

1)A means to fund the licensing of the Geffen, Atlantic, Rhino and other released materials for which Neil hasn't negotiated a streaming license yet. So maybe only the Rust Subscribers can play this content in a beta version of the website before it fully opens up in July.

2)A way to start monetizing the website by making limited new Reprise archival releases available to a paying public, before June 2nd and before probably CD releases of such material. Note that Neil is teasing Roxy and the Rust subscription at the same time. I'd like to think that EVERYONE would get ROXY as a taste of how NYA would grow (since it was teased to everyone), but only the Rust Subscribers would get other serious upgrades before July.

It seems to essentially be a financial bridge between now and July when I'd expect the Rust Subscription would transfer to a regular subscription and the whole site becomes a pay site. If it gets me into new material before July, I'm in!

I'm sure all of the "unreleased albums" on the NYA site will make their way onto CD eventually. Hopefully sooner rather than later. But there will still be many odd tracks, videos, films, photos, etc that will ONLY be accessible on the site. I believe the idea is that the website replaces any future Blu-Ray and DVD versions of albums that used to be released over the last 15 years to sell the high res copies.

CD and itunes will still be the main way any of Neil's music reaches the public.

Maybe "rust subscription" grants you some earlier access.

@ Lone Red Rider - thanks for thoughts here.

Well, it sure would be nice for the RUST community to have the opp to get in on the ground floor. Either @ discount or in advance.

It would be nice as well if the community could provide input on release prefs.

That made the NYA run-up pretty exciting when Archives Guy was participating in the community prior to release.

But we sure would be dismayed if this had a financial angle as you suggest. Really can't see enough nickels to make it worth the effort.

Now if the subscriptions accepted BitCoin, now that would be interesting.... ;)

Also, see:



At 1/14/2018 03:50:00 PM, Blogger Lone Red Rider said...

It's also possible that the RUST subscription is nothing more than the general subscription which all accounts could be converted to, come "July". Maybe I'm just inclined to look for a deeper or more interesting explanation...

At 1/15/2018 06:55:00 AM, Blogger rv2512 said...

Could it be that the tracks that were available thru download in 2009 for Blue-ray customers only will be back again for a subscription mode?

At 1/15/2018 09:55:00 AM, Blogger Art Carey said...

Capitalism never sleeps. The subscription will just be "pay to click." No special access.

At 1/15/2018 02:10:00 PM, Blogger Lee Shuff said...

One item that I am really hoping for is an app/way to listen to NYA via a mobile device (iPhone, etc.). I do most of my music listening in the car would love to be able to crank up NYA as I drive regardless of the resolution. I contacted the Archivist about this (just go to "Contact Us" on NYA) and was told the more demand they get for an app, the harder/faster they will work on developing one, so if you are interested, definitely let them know. :)

At 1/15/2018 06:09:00 PM, Blogger Lone Red Rider said...

@Lee. As one of my friends who works at google once said: "If you're not mobile friendly, you're not friendly..." I do not see the Archives as ever being a money maker. There just isn't much demand for what is presented and how it is presented. Granted, it has the potential of being a much better archive than what he could have done on Blue-Ray. But who really wants that? Music Historians, Some Rusties...

If Neil wants to fund the Archives, he needs to do what he said he would do years ago. Just put out a series of 4-disk box sets every couple of years focusing on the best unreleased materials. And maybe a DVD or two. The 90s would have been the best time for that. That's when most of us cared. It would have made a ton. Then he could have used that money to build out the archive.

But to use this on-line archive as a means of introducing the material really limits his audience. And, in the end, it might cause the whole enterprise to die a premature death...

gloomy today, huh?

At 1/15/2018 07:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, please, please....release a Blu-Ray box of all this material instead of an online subscription. NY has lost touch of what his fans want...I'm sure we all would have liked to get Pono, but how many wanted to buy the system and buy all that music again for the umpteenth time? People who love this stuff loved the PHYSICAL BOX. I think I'm not alone in wanting the second volume of the PHYSICAL BOX. It really isn't much to ask for from a "so-called Legacy artist". Kids want downloads, some adults do too - but all of the people I know around my age 45-55 years old want a physical release w/ a download card. We wan THE BOOK and we WANT TO LOAD THE DISCS like we did w/ LP's before they became so over=priced it is just ridicules. Also, the High Quality NY always talks about is n the Blu Ray what is the F@#$ing problem?????????????

Don't get me wrong, I love NY, but I am not loving something I am plunking down my hard-earned cash for something that might/will disappear when my iMac crashes. I want the Blu Ray box as promised!!!!!

Is there anybody out there?


At 1/16/2018 05:45:00 AM, Blogger José from Paris said...

It does not matter.As long as the real news is good, the fake ones will not stay and this site Neil Young's ART Chives is great
despite the cuts ..... KOR
Merci Trasher's

At 1/16/2018 12:26:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

My take from reading Thrasher's play by play (Thank You Thrasher for your amazing, prolific content yet again!) and from years of anticipation is that Neil approaches this as an artist and not as a business man ... he's left millions on the table over the years while obsessing on doing this right ... his vision is a 21st Century digital Tome that expresses his 50+ years of art in its most comprehensive format practicality be dambed ... ironically accessibility to the listener takes a back seat here (not a complaint but a hallucination/observation). Hopefully once this structure is in place we'll see much of his buried treasure surface and get posted but will never hold my breath for this ... yes this has been a clusterfxck of a journey and if there was a Briggs equivalent in this department we might have seen vast amounts released years ago however this is probably one of the most complex efforts and have to hat tip to Neil and his team for staying with this to finally deliver the goods, Neil has been funding this team for 20 years my guess is that this is a labor of love, one that Neil could never hope to ever recover his investment from. Those that bitch about paying and repaying for the same content are missing the point here -- its about art not business ... I gave up on archives years ago so with no expectations I'm pleasantly surprised when anything is released and am willing to throw some nickels towards this project if a subscription fee is necessary .. that said, always felt that I'd rather have Neil focus on new material and touring something I'm hoping we'll see soon ...

At 1/16/2018 01:02:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

As a reference point here I would like to use The Grateful Dead, Dead & Company, and Pearl Jam as examples of what Neil Young is missing out on.

Each of these bands have released most if not every concert ever recorded for sale to their fans on CD. In some cases the entire tours of a specific year. I have spent thousands of dollars to enjoy these bands and their music for years and intend to continue doing so as long as they release their music.

I would be grateful for Neil to do the same thing and he would be getting much of my income as these other bands have been getting. As time passes more rapidly for me and Neil, the opportunity for me to hear all the superb music he has been responsible for is becoming less likely to be heard by me and many of his original fans as we continue to get older.

My point here is that time is fading away and it’s clear that Neil has been distracted by the technology and missed the boat that has already left the dock, and I must surrender to the fact that I will be long gone before most of his unreleased music is available.

The three bands I listed above are only three examples but there are many other artists I could have used, but they have been at the forefront of making the music available NOW. I only wish Neil would have been one of them.

The argument goes on over the best possible way to hear this brilliant artist and his music, but by the time he decides, something NEW will come along and he will change his mind yet again.

To quote a Robert Hunter lyric... “Comes a time when a blind man takes you by the hand, says can’t you see”.


At 1/16/2018 02:10:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

In my opinion, the archives website is brutally bad. At best, it looks like a relic from the 90s and at worst, after navigating around a bit, you realize there's virtually nothing there expect for much of his basic music catalogue with index cards providing very little information.

The timeline is basically useless, and again, offers very little detailed information. Nothing is arranged, explained or titled clearly as you have to click on various "unlabeled buttons" to see what information is being shared. And then, most if not all of the information just says when and where a song was recorded.

There's no real detailed archival information outlining each tour and show and there's no context at all for what was happening at any given time. The website looks like it could have been created over a weekend. I understand Neil likes the concept of a tactile filing cabinet (as do I), but again, there's really nothing in the cabinet other than his basic music catalogue. There's very little that's immersive or unique or insightful.

I assume that leading up to the pay period and slightly thereafter, there will be some new music added and a few nuggets of delight. But sadly, I think that virtually no one will sign up for the site, and I'm even more confident that over a short period of time, the site will go unmaintained and then will go dark. If it was to initially have had any success, first and foremost it needed to be delivered as a mobile app, but Neil doesn't seem to see that very obvious fact, etc...

As of now, I still get more information and enjoyment from than I do from the archives site. provides real detailed information logically presented, while the archives site does not, and it is basically just a poor imitation of Spotify for one artist purporting to be an archive.

It's not an archive, it's just Neil's music presented clunkily and frustratingly. As mentioned, there are already many models out there showing how to provide a wealth of music to fans, but Neil has chosen to be decades behind, much like his PONO interface, etc...

I'll always love Neil and his music, but to me, this archives site is a real slap in the face, both in its execution and content. It was fine as a bluray for archives 1, but why didn't he try to improve it instead of just transferring it to a website while trying to tell us it's something new and unique?

"Take my advice
don't listen to me"

At 1/16/2018 11:01:00 PM, Blogger Lone Red Rider said...

@Dan1 - Totally agree. And that's why pretty much all of his ventures have failed. Not that failure is a bad thing. We just have to get used to the idea that it will go away and be replaced by the next thing. That's the reality. When the money runs out, things end. But we can be cool with that. Or not.

@TopangaDaze - Just like you said. Those unlabeled toe tags are frustrating, among other things.

@Michael1984 - There will be no more Blu-Ray music from Neil. He has moved on and we are stuck in time like the dinosaurs enshrined.

@Dan Swan - Neil is too much of a control freak to let someone else do this for him.

Good discussion.....

At 1/17/2018 01:16:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

Dan Swan, totally agree and to add to your comment, as you know Deadco now provides a couch tour option, which means you can watch virtually every live show in an HD format ... even more they should be recording every show in VR so in the future fans can be there ... this seems like a win/win fans get to see the shows they can't travel to and the artists make some extra money ...

Topanga's review is hard to refute ... I have to keep redirecting myself toward gratitude because I can go to cynicism so easily on this topic.

I have to remind myself, its his trip, its his music, its his vision, I'm just a passenger on his trip. Its been an, epic, multi decade, mind-blowing ride, he's given me so much, yes this feels like a massive opportunity that's been slipping though his/our fingers, time is quickly fading away ... but those are just my expectations and why let them color this epic ride.

At 1/17/2018 05:16:00 AM, Blogger joe lookout said...

Neil will never change, he will always do/undo whatever he wants, he acts under impulses and we have to accept that no matter how much we criticize him, dislike what he says/sings/promises, HE WON'T GIVE A SHIT!!!


At 1/17/2018 12:25:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Dan1 said: "Topanga's review is hard to refute ... I have to keep redirecting myself toward gratitude because I can go to cynicism so easily on this topic."

"Redirecting towards gratitude" should be all of our default positions when it comes to Neil. Thanks for that thoughtful turn of phrase and I will certainly try to improve my skills of redirection. Neil has given me (and us) so much joy and comfort over the decades that it really disturbs me when I write something so critical.

At a minimum, after re-reading what I wrote, I could have used a few less emphatic critical words and found a few more silver linings about the archives website. It's Neil's music, so regardless of how it's presented, the goods are still there to be found.

I'm grateful Neil is still searching and creating, while also looking back. Those other days are gone, but new days are still stretching out like healthy veins...

Thanks Dan Swan, LRR, Joe Lookout for your thoughts. It's always reassuring hearing from other Neil fanatics, even when we sometimes voice critical opinions.

And of course thanks to Thrasher (and Thrashette) for your continued commitment and engagement in providing this site. Your loyalty and hard work are greatly appreciated!

"Take my advice
Don't listen to me"

At 1/17/2018 12:46:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ All - thanks for thoughts on this intriguing possibility for the Rust Community.

@Topanga D. - thanks for followup here.

When your original comment landed, our 1st impulse was to jump in. But we refrained to allow more reflection.

So we'll say this about the web design. The BluRay & PlayStation remote control was what is known as a "Non-intuitive interface". Clearly, lots of folks who weren't gamers were baffled and frustrated by the whole NYA#1 experience. And that is super unfortunate.

We'd surmise that The Archives Team learned a lesson the hard way on that.

So now they've gone the other way with an extremely clean, easy to use interface. And we in no way see that as bad thing.

The design follows neil's retro sensibilities and while it may "appear clunky" it is is an extremely simple way to go from 1966 to 2018 in a flash. Just browsing around on the site it would seem that the Team got a lot of important factors right in the user experience department.

less is more and we're ok with that.

Also, we think that new functionality will be gradually introduced over time. If they dropped all the bells and whistles at once, it may have been overwhelming. Not that anyone needs any reminders here, but the Neil fan base isn't getting any younger.

As much as we don't like it, let's face facts ... this is designed for Senior Citizens. (Of which we are a proud member, now that AARP mails memberships when you hit 50?!)

... new days are still stretching out like healthy veins...

At 1/17/2018 02:24:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Good points Thrash.

Upon reflection, more so than my complaints about the web design, I think my biggest frustration is the lack of detailed contextual information on the site and the lack of unique "archival" ephemera, etc...

To me, a true archive focuses much more on the historical creation and evolution of the music and ideas, and less so about the actual official music itself (if that makes sense). We all already have the music or can easily get it, what we don't have is a good repository for original lyrics, album concepts, recording sessions and those aborted/modified, Band formations and changes, relationships, pictures, tours and performance information, tickets sold, albums sold, fan interaction, mass media reviews and interviews, promotions, sound checks and live shows, outtakes, aborted songs and projects, business deals and decisions, insightful and immersive biographical details, etc, etc. I want to feel like I can almost re-live the times year by year with Neil. What was going on in his mind and around him which led him to record and release certain albums, and why he chose to abandon others, and who and what mattered to him musically, personally and spiritually at specific times.

As a fan for 40+ years, I'm more interested in feeling like I'm truly being invited into the "vault" and Neil's mindset over time to see and hear and learn about what we haven't known or understood. Instead, I feel like we're "just" getting the music without any new insight.

But again, "redirecting towards gratitude" I realize the current version of the archives website is phase one, with more refinements and insights to follow. I'll call phase one a success because it exists and we can access it. I'm looking forward to phase two and the true opening of the vault (and heart and soul)...

"Take my advice
Don't listen to me"

At 1/17/2018 02:50:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Topanga D. - thanks again for all of the followups here.

As you mention, "redirecting towards gratitude", this is just Phase #1.

We think that in the coming years, much, much greater detail will be added.

By the time Monsanto Years hits the Archives, there will be so much info packed into the albums folks will probably complain for the Express/Reader's Digest version (yes, we are so old we remember Reader's Digest.)

heart and soul is here ... with trunks of memories to spare ...

At 1/17/2018 11:29:00 PM, Blogger Lone Red Rider said...

Archives Guy has gone. Long Live the Archivist! The Archivist lives in the aether and communicates through copper wires and glass tubes. The Archivist has shared that there is a lot more to come! The Geffen titles should appear very soon. Physical releases for the unreleased titles in the NYA are planned. An NYA mobile app is on the wish list but will only be worked on if there is enough demand for it. The Archivist takes inputs and makes changes.

I would encourage anyone who finds any errors, typos, inconsistencies, difficulties, with NYA to contact the Archivist and provide feedback. It will make a difference in how the NYA evolves. It will energize the Archives team. The Archivist is not hard to find. Just explore the NYA and look for a "Contact Us" link. Then select "Questions for the Archivist". The Archivist will communicate through the NYA site itself!

At 1/18/2018 09:11:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I"m not actively involved in social media, I don't have a Facebook account, Twitter, Snapchat, or any other new options I may not be aware of. With only one exception, and that is here on Thrashers Wheat. This particular post is a fine example of why I participate on this site. Real humans interacting with each other on a common subject matter (Neil Young) with passion, reason, and respect for the artist and each other. Yes we do occasionally have our sporadic outbursts and negativity, yet we always seem to find our way back to the love we all share in the output of the artist we all seem so connected to.

It can be extremely frustrating when Neil changes direction with anything he's up to, at any point, for no particular reason and follows his muse. We all have our agendas as to what we would like from him at any given moment, yet we all know Neil. And that means we will be disappointed at some point no matter what we want individually. I guess that is part of what makes him so appealing as a musician and artist. I personally have always embraced the unpredictability with Neil throughout the years and that has always kept it interesting regardless of my opinions of the outcome.

I will continue to stay with him as long as he is here with us in this realm regardless of my agendas. Change is the one constant in life and it's the one thing we humans seem to resist the most. So the Archive Web site is just the latest chapter in Neil's search. Where he goes with it from here is up to him...... Time will tell.



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