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Monday, December 21, 2020

Neil Young 2020 Year in Review: The Year That Was NOT Rockin' in the Free World

Neil Young's Fireside Sessions | NYA 
Unlike those years of Neil Young past -- 2020 was not as "newsworthy" as ever -- both in terms of quantity and quality. 
While 2020 was a year of global madness and sadness, Neil did manage to make the most of it and tried to make it memorable. Between the heartwarming intimacy of the  Neil Young's Fireside Sessions | NYA and the blowout sellout of the long awaited Neil Young Archives Volume II (1972 - 1976) Boxset, 2020 was a year that was definitely NOT Rockin' in the Free World, sadly.

  Neil Young: "I'm Happy To Report In. Vote Your Conscience."

Once again, we ponder that age old question: Is Neil burning out or fading away? 

We argue that he is neither. Neil Young is the quintessential survivor.  So we here at Thrasher's Wheat say thank you so much for all of the love and support over the past decades from the rustie fan communities.

  Coronation Hall in Omemee Ontario


As for us? Well, Thrasher's Wheat will continue to celebrate Neil Young, his music and the fan community. So stay tuned for some hopefully exciting announcements in the months ahead as we celebrate our remarkable little milestone as the longest running music blog on the internet. Our work is far from done.  So we'll see you down the road in 2021.

peace & love,
thrasher & thrashette

pss - Again, thank you so much for reading our articles, sharing them throughout the web, and contributing your own thoughts through comments and messages. Today, more than ever, we need independent thinkers like you folks out there in the rustie-village that rely on a solid moral compass – not a pre-determined agenda – to understand this circus, to  stand up, to speak up, and to fight for what is right.


Our little box at the top of the stairs 

thrashers @ TW HQ w/ NYA Vol#2

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At 12/21/2020 05:15:00 PM, Blogger Old Black said...

Thank you Thrasher and all who help you, for sorting the wheat from the chaff for our benefit, and for being there. It is appreciated. Long may you run! Merry Christmas, let's hope for a better, much much better, 2021.

At 12/21/2020 06:39:00 PM, Blogger Be The Rain said...

Long time lurker here (but a huge NY fan since Buffalo Springfield days) - Just want to thank you for all you do hosting this blog and providing all the news/gossip etc. related to Neil! All the best for the New Year. Keep on Rockin' - and - Long May YOU Run!

At 12/22/2020 02:45:00 PM, Blogger said...

Always with you Thrasher! Love and only love to you, Thrashette and those you love!

At 12/23/2020 09:24:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Thrasher for the excellent work that you do. Merry Christmas and Happy New year from the great white North. Mark and Laura
Needle and the Damage Done.

At 12/23/2020 09:49:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12/23/2020 10:49:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I just finished reading Bill Bentley’s thoughts on the 50th anniversary edition of After the Gold Rush that was posted on NYA yesterday. Bill has a beautiful way of writing, and his observations reveal the emotional impact of this album in a remarkably gifted fashion. It is certainly difficult to communicate emotion with words, yet Bill seems to have a remarkable gift for doing just that.

This album has had an enormous impact on me ever since I first heard it over 50 years ago, and I have always struggled with any coherent explanation as to why this record is so important. Fortunately, Bill has come to my rescue, and delivered the appropriate words to help connect all the clues together and I encourage everyone to make a point of reading his observations.

This album is a profound entry into the NY universe and I would have thought it deserved a more compelling anniversary edition than the one we’ve been offered. But Bill’s thoughts have illustrated that the record is so powerful that to include a collection of additional material would simply muddy the water. This record stands alone as a beacon to what is possible when art transcends momentary boundaries to create a lasting, deep, and emotional relationship with those who connect with its intent. The true power of music is to communicate and reflect the human experience in a way that transports the listener, allowing a communion of the spirit.

This is one of those albums.

Peace 🙏


At 12/23/2020 12:43:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks to all for being here with us to enjoy, celebrate and honor the music.

It has brought us together and will keep us together. All the best for 2021.

@ Dan - thanks for note on Bentley & ATGR. We'll work to highlight soon.

Good points on why clutter perfection? exactly

At 12/23/2020 02:49:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

From my perspective, an incredible year for Neil Young. A lot of truly great moments. I simply cannot stop listening to "Vacancy." There is a profundity to the anger. But the object of his anger also becomes the object for a shocking simplicity of overt pain. Only Neil could have written that song. He is gone past the point where an artist can "burn out." He has created too much. Thrasher, thank you for this blog. Dan, I feel the same way about Gold Rush.

At 12/24/2020 06:00:00 PM, Blogger Mark Johnson said...

2020 has been an interesting year. I am still working my way through the Archives Vol 2 and really enjoying it a lot. Despite quibbling with certain exclusions and decisions (as a fan is apt to do), it is a wonderful set.

Even if all that happens on the Neil front in 2021 is the cleaned up bootlegs, that would be more than enough to tide me over a while while I still absorb the latest Archives set.

Have a happy holiday and hopefully 2021 is a better year all around!

Mark J.

At 12/25/2020 07:49:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

To thrasher & thrashette:

Merry Christmas to you both and to your families. May we all feel the season in our own way and make our way towards a new year with hope and love in our hearts....... And to all the rusties out there who take the time to visit this wonderful site. Be the rain.

Peace & Love to all.

At 12/26/2020 04:27:00 AM, Blogger Hambone said...

Happy Festivities everyone and thanks to Thrasher and Thrashette for keeping everything running during 2020. Here's to 2021 letting us out of the barn.

@Mark Johnson 2021 might be more interesting than you think. Buried down in the latest letters column on NYA, in the section titled Through My Sails Solo - a comment on how good a solo acoustic version can be - is the cryptic answer "I have started a new album. its solo. I've been waiting a long time. N"

Is this a hint of a Neil Lockdown album?!

Hambone UK

At 12/26/2020 09:40:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hoi Thrasher and Thrasherette.Good health,much happiness,loads of good music and lots of love from us in the Netherlands Europe,Cees Mostert and Els Jochems.

At 12/26/2020 10:18:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

2020 brought some great surprises from Neil with the barnyard series as well
as the treasure trove of new additions to the Archives timeline, Vol II of the
Archives, bootlegs, etc...seems like a never ending highway of ideas and output.
He hasn't slowed down too much for being 75. The Restless Consumer Supplier he is.
Here's to 2021 and all of us being able to get out of this funk virus pandemic and
able to get back together with our families, friends and on the road to shows and
celebrations of life. Unite America and all! Love Thy Neighbor and Thy Stranger alike!
C'mon people now, smile on your brothers...and sisters....try to love one another
RIGHT NOW! and always!


At 12/26/2020 11:48:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Re NYA2: “Neil Young killed the 70’s” is a quote I enjoyed. Homegrown is fascinating and wonderful.
Neil had songs pouring out of him during this time period. And the songs are so compelling. The TFA material is fascinating. All of it is a great gift to the fans, despite hiccups in the supply chain.

I look forward to the CD release, but still I think that the Blu Ray should be released. Record company clowns don’t want to Harvest that cash source somehow. Perhaps they will change their minds after the Deluxe NYA2 Product sold out in minutes! And the 2nd series also was snapped up instantly by hungry fans. Neil has more classic and crucial stuff he has never released than most artists have in their whole catalog!

One question worth asking is, “Did Neil Young invent Punk Rock?” Just being the “Godfather of Grunge” is an impressive title. But dig deeper and it may be so.

Neil’s Barnyard sessions are a wonderful and generous act on his part. He could have held out for money. Instead he threw us a lifeline during the times of Pandemic. The Artist came through again.

I appreciate very much that Neil Young is an Environmentalist / Activist. In his music he fought against the horrid ugliness that is Donald Trump. Trump’s policies are unjust, hastening the demise of Earth’s creatures. Neil weighs in and fights to keep his music from being used during Trump’s campaign rallies. The Hateful Simpletons in Trumps crowd don’t even understand the song.

Thank you Thrasher & Thrashette for giving us a place to meet on line! Thank you Neil Young & DH for giving us all the Art and intimate performances by our Hero, Neil Young. These times are rough, but We are immensely fortunate to receive these crucial creations, Old & New! Thank you so much! I hope for a better 2021. Biden & the Democrats will need to get Progressive to be worthy of our votes. Save Earth! Save the creatures & the humans! Our planet is in grave peril. And we have a rousing NY soundtrack to cheer us on. Come Along and Say You Will join in the fight for what is right! Alan in Seattle

At 12/26/2020 11:57:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

My Thank you to Thrasher & Thrashette should have been more broad and specific: Thank you for tirelessly separating the wheat from the chaff, and for feeding the Neil Young fan community valuable and insightful content! We are so thankful for your dedication and continuous Shepparding of the blog and it’s followers. You come up with so many great ideas, far more crucial than just providing a “place for us to meet.” We soak up the content like sentient sponges for the good news of Neil Young & his Art. Again, thank you. Alan in Seattle

At 12/27/2020 08:36:00 AM, Blogger Greying Rider said...

Thank you Thrasher for all the work you put into this blog. It's been a vintage year for Neil Young fans and, what with not being on any social media, your blog is very much appreciated for the reaction, news and views on all things Neil. Long may you run!

At 12/27/2020 04:19:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I want to add thanks for the people who comment on this blog. I feel like I have some new friends. Thanks Thrasher.

At 12/28/2020 04:26:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

You do Abner. And we do too. Have a better new year ahead. It’s time to flush the big toilet in DC and send Trump down the sewer pipe. (Bring on) Equal Rights and Justice, to quote Peter Tosh. As white guys set off bombs and other white guys commit mass shootings. And the Idiot in Chief says “Antifa are terrorists.” What a joke. What a clown. Alan In Seattle

At 12/28/2020 05:59:00 AM, Blogger Hbheel said...

Thank you so much guys are amazing. Peace and love to you all and THANK YOU Neil!!!!!

At 12/28/2020 09:50:00 AM, Blogger Jim said...

Happy Holidays to everyone! What a year to be a Neil Young fan. Just finished watching the his career from the perspective of the Woody and really enjoyed "Timeless Orpheum." Understand "Orpheum" refers to theatrical venues and entertainment venues. The film had a lot of the same qualities of "Solo/Trans" in terms of an emotional wallop but the version(s) of "Southern Man" were too intense for me. Had to watch "Southern Man" in two parts. The "Ohio" video was also very intense.

Liked that he sang verses three times in "Broken Arrow" which when that happens in a Native American story means it is the truth.

What an amazing time to be alive here on earth. Don't pass up an opportunity to get out in nature, sit with your back to the biggest tree you can find or if the weather permits rocking on your porch in a swing for an hour just thinking. Don't let the media do the thinking for you as that historically has been a double edged sword to be sure.

At 12/28/2020 10:39:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Alan, you are so right, white supremacy is the problem and it is present everywhere. Can you believe Trump's pardons? Criminals, but white collar criminals and people think they do not do violence, but they do and often.

At 12/28/2020 12:58:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Yes, there have been over 50 incidents in which white guys crashed their cars into BLM protesters but one would never know it from the media, it seems. Southern Man....

At 12/29/2020 01:40:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

The financial crimes are violent in a sense- they ruin many lives.

At 12/30/2020 11:30:00 AM, Blogger Peacelover Doc said...

Just a quick THANK YOU to the Thrashers for another year covering all things Neil. I'm not working so I'm rarely online these days. Everyone have a safe new year


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