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Friday, January 17, 2020

COMING SOON: Goin' To Greendale | Neil Young Archives | BENTLEY’S BANDSTAND


A preview of the upcoming concert film of the Greendale Tour by Neil Young & Crazy Horse is featured on Goin' To Greendale | BENTLEY’S BANDSTAND | NYA.

Music industry veteran Bill Bentley writes about his Greendale experience and seeing the film of the 2003 Toronto concert: ‘And that, dear listeners, is when the bells start ringing, the lights start flashing and the thrillometer heats up all the way to the top of the tube.'

Sun Green (Sara White) and Grandpa (Ben Keith)

Neil Young calls "Greendale" on Times-Contrarian | NYA "one of the biggest highlights of my filming life".

Making Greendale
Neil Young Filming Greendale Actors Grandpa & Jed

But back in 2003, "Greendale" was one of the most controversial and divisive albums and concert tours of Neil Young's career. The importance of "Greendale" can not be understated - either in terms of Neil Young's body of work, nor its impact on his fan base. This is how we memorialized "Greendale" on Thrasher's Wheat Home Page in June 2003:
With the arrival of Greendale in 2003 -- for us -- Greendale was like a sledgehammer to the anvil of truth and awakened this blog from it's post-9/11 dormancy. Because when Neil Young Sings Truth To Power, The World Listens.
So let that soak in for a moment.

This website was launched in 1996 -- about 24 years ago. It sort of languished with periodic updates until 2003. Then, with the theme of the "Greendale" songs coming into focus, we here were inspired to begin daily blog updates. At the time we said we would update the blog daily until the concert tours "Greendale" ended. But the tour kept going and going and going around the world, well into 2004, along with all the ancillary books, videos, films, etc.

So we can safely say that Thrasher's Wheat would not exist today if it had not been for "Greendale". Period. Full stop.



'She was welded to the eagle's beak
sun green leaned into that megaphone
and said, "truth is all i seek" '
"Sun Green"
by Neil Young

As many of our long time readers here at Thrasher's Wheat know, we have long since declared: "The Inconvenient Truth of Greendale".

Mainly this observation centered on the album's environmental call to action and it's plea to respect Mother Nature and all of her creations. But environmentalism is but just one of the many themes of Neil Young's 2003 album Greendale, which we once boldly declared "the most important album of 2003, the musical equivalent of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring".

greendale-graphic-novel-sun-green-be-the-rain.jpg
Greendale Graphic Novel
By Joshua Dysart/Cliff Chiang

The inconvenient truth of Neil Young's Greendale is that he was right -- and his message is even more relevant today than upon Greendale's original release.

greendale flag

For some, 2003's Greendale was an incomprehensible disaster. From The Washington Post's critic David Segal on Year 2003 CDs, who labeled Greendale as the year's "most baffling critical swoon", Segal writes: "Neil Young's 'Greendale' is "a droning mess of a concept album inexplicably hailed as ingenious" and "a vanity project gone stupefyingly wrong".

For others though, Greendale was hailed as a groundbreaking concept album similar to The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Who's Tommy or Pink Floyd's 'The Wall'.

Some critics went as far as saying that Young had broken new ground by creating an entirely unique art form -- the "audio novel". From New York Times article 'Have You Heard the New Neil Young Novel?' by Madison Smartt Bell:
"Mr. Young has always been remarkable for his creative resilience, and this time he really has done something new, rendering into this combination of print and audio a novel that is surprisingly sophisticated and satisfyingly complete."

rcmh2004_carmflag
Greendale @ Radio City Music Hall, New York City, March 18, 2004
Photo by thrashette

The inconvenient truth of Greendale is its uncomfortable confrontation with themes such as the power of mass media and global corporations, loss of personal freedoms and privacy, destruction of the environment, rampant fraud and corruption, an out of balance government and breakdown of the family. All of which we've detailed before here, here, and here.


"Everything You're Looking For" - Bandit



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4 Comments:

At 1/17/2020 10:16:00 AM, Blogger Lloyd Walton said...

Seeing that Toronto show live in its ingenuity appeared to me as impressive as any Broadway spectacle I'd seen. Crazy Horse came back after the intermission to replay the Rust Never Sleeps show.

 
At 1/18/2020 03:57:00 PM, Blogger Tamara in Montana said...

Thanks for this discussion on Greendale, Thrasher. It's a momentous album and I agree with Lloyd's comment. Seeing the Greendale tour for the first time at the Greek in L.A. was a seminal moment for me in several regards. I had just left the TV news business, fed up with its exploitation. I was just a bit too young to have made it to the Rust Never Sleeps concert tour, so seeing Neil and Crazy Horse revisit the show after the intermission of Greendale was unbelievable. But it also helped facilitate my divorce from my first husband. He was attending the show with me, but was tired and went to go sleep in the car. He was outraged that i hadn't left at intermission to take him home and called me a 'bad wife.' Our marriage dissolved not long after the Greendale tour. Unlike the themes in Greendale, which in my opinion are sadly and dangerously so much worse today, I am now married to a man who happily helps plan our vacations around seeing Neil in concert. Greendale is one of the most consequential albums ever. BE THE RAIN!

 
At 1/19/2020 11:14:00 AM, Blogger Soldier Steve said...

Neil played Toronto twice in 2003. I wonder which show is the film?

2003-06-23
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
w/ Crazy Horse
1. Falling From Above
2. Double E
3. Devil's Sidewalk
4. Leave The Driving
5. Carmichael
6. Bandit
7. Grandpa's Interview
8. Bringin' Down Dinner
9. Sun Green
10. Be The Rain
---
11. Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)
12. Like A Hurricane
---
13. Love And Only Love
14. Powderfinger
15. Roll Another Number (For The Road)
............

2003-09-04
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
w/ Crazy Horse
1. Falling From Above
2. Double E
3. Devil's Sidewalk
4. Leave The Driving
5. Carmichael
6. Bandit
7. Grandpa's Interview
8. Bringin' Down Dinner
9. Sun Green
10. Be The Rain
---
11. Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)
12. Sedan Delivery
13. Down By The River
14. Powderfinger
15. Prisoners Of Rock 'n' Roll
---
16. Cinnamon Girl
17. F*!#in' Up

I wonder what happened with the Scranton,Pennsylvania Greendale show that was talked about at the time.A live DVD was rumored to be released.

Will the non Greendale songs from Toronto be included in the film?

 
At 1/19/2020 06:20:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Lloyd - impressive, indeed. Spectacle with a purpose, as well.

@ Tamara in Montana - thanks. yes, definitely momentous and consequential.

it warms our heart that so many understood what was happening at the time way back in 2003. Hopefully more folks get onboard the greendale train next arounf when the film is screened/streamed.

Great Greendale stories! Thanks for sharing. thrashette definitely got a chuckle out of the former husband sleeping in the car during a Neil concert. BE THE RAIN!

@ Soldier Steve - thanks on the setlists. Maybe the film will be a blend of the 2 nights?

Regarding the Scranton Greendale show, we were there and vaguely recall talk of a concert film. Might need to Ask The Archivist?!

We would hope and guess that non-Greendale songs will be included.

 

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