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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Neil Young's 74th Birthday Today, November 12 - Happy Birthday Neil, oh ye of Fine Moral Character, sir!

Neil Young
Lost Planet Editorial, Santa Monica, CA - Sept. 9, 2019
Photo by Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP

First off, Neil Young is 74 years young today, Tuesday, November 12. So Happy Birthday Neil!!!

2nd, this was to be a momentous day for Neil Young as he expected to take an oath of citizenship to become a U.S. citizen. Unfortunately, that has not happened because his application has been delayed due to "possible lack of GMC (Good Moral Character)".

Things have gotten a bit surreal lately in Neil world -- which is saying something as that is the normal status quo situation: weirdness ensues.

Backing up slightly here, last month, in response to the news that Neil Young will become an American citizen, US President Trump tweeted that he will be building a wall around the interior state of Colorado. (Kiddingly or not?) In the meantime, Neil Young began streaming his new album "COLORADO". (Not kiddingly.)

Neil Young

In the meantime, President Donald J. Trump continues to use Neil Young's song "Rockin' in the Free World" at his campaign rallies as.

Neil Young's song "Rockin' in the Free World" starts @ ~1:50 - ~6:30

President Trump used Young's song "Rockin' in the Free World" at a campaign rally in Lexington, KY on Nov. 4, 2019.

So maybe we could Make America Great Again (#MAGA) by letting Neil in??? Although, as Neil sings, America is "Already Great".

Politics aside, this delay due to "possible lack of GMC (Good Moral Character)" has really struck a chord. For example, Crazy Horse's Nils Lofgren is not pleased with the news either tweeting at us @ThrashersWheat : "This is outright, utter bullshit. Fucking outrageous."

Many, many others have rushed to attest to Neil Young's moral character citing his efforts for The Bridge School (USA) and Farm Aid (USA), as just two example (more below).

Neil Young & Bridge Kids
@ Bridge School Benefit Concert 2011
Photo Gallery by By Jay Blakesberg Photography

Farm Aid: The Music Industry’s Longest-Running Philanthropic Concert
Farm Aid executive director CAROLYN MUGAR (center), w/ DAVE MATTHEWS, JOHN MELLENCAMP, WILLIE NELSON and NEIL YOUNG (from left).
2008 - Mansfield, Mass., Photo by Mark O'Stow

As has been pointed out put by others, this situation is like what President Richard Nixon tried to do to Beatle's John Lennon. But John became bigger than ever. And Nixon became disgraced. Here's praying that's where analogy ends.

We know that Neil Young is a humanitarian rebel with causes.

Neil Young
MusiCares Person Of The Year - 2010
In 2011, Neil Young was honored with the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award at Canada's Juno Awards. The award honors a Canadian artist whose humanitarian contributions have positively enhanced the social fabric of Canada and recognizes Young's compassionate legacy behind events such as Farm Aid, Live 8, and Bridge School Concerts.

As we have noted previously, rarely -- if ever -- has a single artist supported so many causes, for such a sustained period, raising considerable funds and awareness while reaching out to millions and millions around the world. When reviewing a listing of benefit concerts that Neil Young has played over the years, one is struck by the sheer diversity of causes he has supported over his 45+ year career.

One could contend that no other artist has made such an impact on causes involving social justice -- or a better moral character. As we documented in 2010, The Charitable Mr. Neil Young Keeps On Giving & Giving & Giving.

Neil Young
MusiCares 2010 Person of the Year

Rarely -- if ever -- has a single artist supported so many causes, for such a sustained period, raising considerable funds and awareness while reaching out to millions and millions around the world.

In 2010, Neil Young was honored as the 2010 MusiCares Person of the Year in Los Angeles, two days before the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards. An impressive roster of musicians lined up to honor Young which included Booker T. Jones, Jack Black, Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Everest, Patty Griffin, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Emmylou Harris, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, k.d. lang, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Ozomatli, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Leon Russell, James Taylor, Wilco, and Lucinda Williams.

Here is just a partial list of benefit concerts that Neil Young has played over the years that we posted on the Rust list back in 1994. And the diversity of causes is particularly striking. Of course, the two primary beneficiaries of Neil's generosity have been the Bridge School Benefit Concerts and Farm AID. The Bridge School concerts began in 1987 and are to benefit the school for children with severe speech and physical impairments. The Farm Aid concerts began in 1985 and benefit the small American family farm. Farm Aid is the longest running event of its type in music history.

Neil has performed annually at both the Bridge and Farm AID shows and has raised considerable sums for these causes. The performances at these two annual benefits are well documented.

The Farm Aid 4
Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Neil Young

But what about the other benefits and causes of the charitable Mr. Young?

Here's what we've found from perusing the indispensable Ghosts On The Road - Neil Young In Concert by Pete Long.

  • Operation Challenge/ACLU Kent State Project, Cleveland, OH 11/14/70

  • Prisoners Welfare Fund Benefit Concert, San Francisco, CA, 3/26/72

  • Red Wind Foundation Benefit Concert, San Luis Obispo, CA 3/16/74

    Bob Dylan, Rick Danko & Neil Young

  • S.N.A.C.K. Benefit, Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, CA w/ Bob Dylan & The Band, 3/23/75

  • Mike Bloomfield Benefit, The Ritz, NYC, NY, 3/82

  • Tears Are Not Enough - Canadian Artists Band AID video, benefit African famine victims 2/85

  • Live AID w/CSNY - Philadelphia, PA, 7/13/85

  • Greenpeace Benefit - Arlington Theater, Santa Barbara, CA w/ CSNY, 2/6/86

  • Vietnam Vets Benefit Forum, Los Angeles, CA w/ G. Nash, 2/24/86

  • Greenpeace Benefit - Auckland, New Zealand, 4/5/86

    Neil Young at 2006 Farm Aid Press Conference
    Photo by Kim Buchheit

  • Get Tough on Toxics Benefit, Long Beach Arena, CA, 6/28/86

  • Greenpeace Benefit Concert, Santa Barbara, CA 2/6/87

  • Shakin' All Over - Winnipeg Band Reunion - benefited the Variety Club of Manitoba - charity for handicapped children, 6/28/87

  • Saragaso Tornado Benefit, Manor Downs, Austin, TX, 8/16/87

  • Hungerthon - Palace Theater, Los Angeles, CA w/ CSNY, 11/12/88

  • Nordoff Robins Music Therapy Benefit Concert - NYC, NY, 11/17/88

    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

  • Friends of Parents Helping Parents - Santa Clara, CA, 12/88

  • Earthquake Aid - Cow Palace, San Francisco, CA, 11/26/89

  • Dallas Taylor Benefit - Santa Monica, CA benefit former CSNY drummer, 3/31/90

  • California Environment Benefit Concert, Santa Monica, CA, 4/1/90

  • Nelson Mandela Benefit, Wembley Stadium, London, 4/16/90

  • Bill Graham Tribute w/ CSNY, San Francisco, CA, 11/1/91

  • Walden Woods Benefit - Los Angeles, CA, 4/1/92

  • Children's Health Benefit, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, LA, CA w/ Simon & Garfunkel, 3/1/93

  • Save Old Growth Forests - Portland, OR, 4/1/93

    photo by Buzz Person

  • Native American Scholarship Fund Concert - Verde Valley School, Sedona, AZ, - 10/22/93

  • Voters For Choice Benefit, January 14 & 15, 1995

  • Walden Woods Benefit concert - NYC, NY, 10/1/95

  • Multiple Schlerosis Benefit concert - NYC, NY, 10/29/96

  • BAMA Works Benefit concert - Charlottesville, VA, 4/21/01

    Neil Young Performs "Imagine" on 9/11 Tribute

  • "America: A Tribute to Heroes" 9/11 Telethon, 9/2001


  • Clean Air Benefit, Vancouver Island Clean-air Benefit, Canada, 9/2004

    St. Paul, MN - October 5, 2004
    photo by Muriël Kleisterlee and Jos Westenberg

  • Vote for Change Concert Tour, 10/2004

  • Adopt-A-Minefield Benefit, Los Angeles w/ Paul McCartney, 10/2004

    Hurricane Katrina Telethon: React Now - 9/2005

  • Hurricane Katrina Telethon: React Now - 9/2005

    Neil Young and Fisk University Jubilee Choir

  • Hurricane Katrina Benefit: "Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast", 9/2005

    Neil Young, Buckcherry's Josh Todd & Gordon Lightfoot

  • Live 8 - End Global Poverty, 9/2005

  • Benefit For Museum Of Natural History in New York City on 16 November, 2005.

    photo by Evan Agostini

  • AIDS Foundation's fifth annual benefit at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Elton John and Neil Young performed together at the October 3, 2006

  • Cinnamon Girl Benefit: Women Artists Cover Neil Young for Breast Cancer, 2008

  • Sarah McLachlan Foundation Benefit, Vancouver, Canada, 9/2009

    Dave Matthews and Neil Young
    Covering Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken”
    Hope For Haiti Telethon

    Screen Grab by Patricia

  • Hope For Haiti Telethon, 1/2010


  • Gulf Coast Benefit Concert Tour 2010

    Certainly this is only a partial listing as there are surely many undocumented causes and performances that Neil has supported over the years. But you get the idea. He's got a heart of gold.

    Pegi & Neil Young at Bridge 2005 Concert
    photo by Craig Abaya

    Neil Young Night - Tuesday, November 12
    Tonight's The Night Because Every Night is Neil Night

    Happy 74th Birthday Neil Young!!! Long May You Continue To Run & Run.

    "Happiness is the valuable commodity and that's what makes life good."
    ~~Neil Young

    Photo by Matt Furman for The Wall Street Journal
    (Click photo to enlarge)

    Here's a birthday message by Neil Young to fans from 2018.

    Time Flies! A Birthday Thanks
    via NYA Times-Contrarian

    From 2015's celebration, we have an exclusive interview with author Harvey Kubernik on his new book "Neil Young - Heart of Gold". Details @ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Author Harvey Kubernik on "Neil Young - Heart of Gold" Book on

    Audience sings Neil Young Happy Birthday at end of Vancouver concert, 11/11/2012. Band gives Neil birthday scarf gift.

    So Happy Birthday Neil!

    Long may you run. It's all just a magical ride. enjoy.

    A Neil Young Birthday Tribute
    by Ian

    Labels: ,


    At 11/12/2019 06:26:00 AM, Blogger The FarmAidians said...

    Hi, Well if all Neil has done throughout his career doesn't entitle himself the designation of "GOOD FUCKING MORAL CHARACTER" I don't understand what possibly could. Having followed his career since 1970 there are very few public figures who have contributed in the many ways he has. Thrasher, you have listed the many benefits etc that he has been involved with. No more needs to be said. If the United States does not want to share his citizenship we will gladly keep him to our Canadian selves. Oh, by the way who is your president again? His impeachment proceedings are under way and he continues to use Neil's music. A person could not make this clown show up. Thanks, Paul

    At 11/12/2019 12:15:00 PM, Blogger GuillerMusico said...

    Wish you a happy birthday from Madrid.


    At 11/12/2019 12:28:00 PM, Blogger Blind-Mikey said...

    Happy Birthday Neil. I would be very proud to refer to you as a fellow American. Your “GMC” is off the charts, and we all know it. If those “*#%~<&-holes” don’t let you in, maybe I’ll join you up north as a fellow Canadian! Again, very Happy Birthday!

    At 11/12/2019 12:58:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

    Happy Birthday Neil!
    Keep On Rockin' in the Free World!!

    At 11/12/2019 01:58:00 PM, Blogger nick said...

    At 11/12/2019 06:16:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    At 11/12/2019 06:32:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

    I think it's been a great year for Neil (musically speaking). A year with a lot of loss, but a lot to celebrate and appreciate as well. Here's to many more of them! The road goes on.


    At 11/12/2019 07:48:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

    Nobel peace prize please!

    At 11/13/2019 08:02:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

    Dear Neil,

    I am so glad I was introduced to your music back in 1988 @ the age of 19. 22-23 live shows later, I eagerly enjoy your art. I love damn near all of it. The others I only “like.” You have made my life so much more interesting and enjoyable. I sent a message to you at NYA recently so I won’t go on and on. Just wanted to say Happy Birthday! I am just another Environmentalist who hates Roundup and loves your music. Got to get a DAC and hang up my phone! But I still love the Blu rays too. Peace! ✌️Alan in Seattle

    Ps- In my time zone I am a bit close to this being a belated greeting. I must email Thrasher and he posts it for me. Big Tech decided I don’t get to post on his blog directly. The cyber cops or whatever. 👮‍♀️

    Alan in Seattle

    At 11/13/2019 05:14:00 PM, Blogger Jim said...

    Hope Neil had a fine birthday yesterday.

    When I went to see the Shocking Pinks for the first time at Pine Knob Music Theater, outside Detroit, I had some great seats. Brought along by brother-in-law and we were having a great time. We were in the center section on the aisle so when I'd turn to him there was this guy who looked just like the image at the top of this thread on Thrasher's Wheat. I'd just see him out of the corner of my eye.

    We were there about 45 minutes early so after about ten minutes I asked the person behind us if he was related to Neil Young?

    "Yes, I'm his dad, Scott Young, and this is his brother Bob," was the response I got and we shook hands. After that we'd see each other at shows and talk about journalism in general and sort of became pen pals, too.

    Some of this ended up in "Neil & Me" and since I wrote for Variety he didn't print my name which was kind of a cool respect. After someone got shot in the early 1900's they didn't do bylines there at Variety in New York. Giving a Toastmaster speech next week and I'm going to include this story along with the lyrics to Ben Billington's "Born In '55" as my ice breaker speech.

    Yeah, after we get rid of the lawyers we are going after the critics, right?


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