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Friday, February 16, 2024

Comment of the Moment: Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse* 2024 Love Earth Concert Tour

Crazy Horse w/ Micah Nelson
(replacing Nils Lofgren)
image via Rusted Moon


For the turnstiles ... yet again.

Whenever Neil Young goes on tour, there always seems to be a hitch somewhere along the line for the fans. (See "I said solo...they said acoustic")

"I said solo... they said acoustic" - 2011 T-Shirt
(see Neil Young News)  


So who will be the "new" Poncho on the 2024 “Love Earth Tour” of Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse?

Our Comment of the Moment on  2024 “Love Earth Tour” of Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse by Jim asks some questions on the subject of Crazy Horse band members:

Somebody's gotta sit down with Springsteen and just be like “Listen man...the *10-piece* E-Street Band will be fine without Nils for a brief Crazy Horse tour! 

These guys have a rich history together and haven't had a chance to hit their stride on the road yet with Nils! Unshackle the chains for a bit, will ya?”

I got my hopes up when Billy & Nils did a Livestream interview shortly after “World Record” was released. Both of the guys were so proud of the new album. And they both agreed that “Chevrolet” in particular was a new plateau for this lineup...a moment when everything came together like magic. And Nils went on about how he was super excited to get into a big groove with it on a tour with the really sprawl out and experiment with it and let it take on new life, as it's clearly an incredible jam vehicle!

I'm reminded of when Max Weinberg would occasionally take a hiatus as drummer for The Max Weinberg 7 on “Late Night with Conan O'Brien” to go out on tour with Bruce. He would probably rather get out there and make the big Bruce was counting on him. That said, his time on “Late Night” really allowed him to get a chance to shine and get real creative...and frankly, his playing was much more interesting as Conan's bandleader. I feel the same with Nils...that he's given much more freedom in Crazy Horse and room for experimentation.

I wonder which gig he really prefers when it comes down to it. Either way, the upcoming tour won't be the same without him and I'm disappointed that I had to find out he wouldn't be a part of it by randomly stumbling across a comment from Ralph Molina on Facebook that was left the day after the pre-sale!

I don't know about the rest of you all...but Nils not being on the tour seems like a critical piece of information to include in the official tour announcement email that Neil Young Archives sent out. An email that also included direct links to the pre-sale! How a simple statement in the introduction letting us know definitively that an official Crazy Horse band member with roots going back 50+ years won't be a part of the tour you're announcing at that moment wasn't a priority is beyond my comprehension. It lacks decency. I hopped onto the pre-sale without a second thought because one would have to assume an official tour announcement would address this sort of personell change. A lot of fans will be arriving to these concerts still expecting to see the great Nils Lofgren in the fold.

The response I received from certain fans on Facebook was that I need to “keep up” better. Bullshit. Judging by the number of reactions to Ralph's comment saying Nils was out, I was clearly not the only one surprised (and of course, disappointed).

Let's be honest....this could've and should've been handled a little better. A simple clarification was all it took.

With that said, I hope Micah surprises me (and that he lets Neil handle the bulk of the guitar solos.) 😎

We hear you Jim. The upcoming album FU has both Micah and Nils from the Toronto stealth gig. So actually would love to have both Micah and Nils on the 2024 Love Earth Concert Tour.

So who's going to talk to Bruce?? 

More on  “Love Earth Tour”: Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse Concert Dates.

“Love Earth Tour”: Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse Concert Dates

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


At 2/16/2024 07:43:00 PM, Blogger Old Black said...

Yes, I'm kind of 50/50 in agreement here with the issue of clarity. Another "legacy act", AC/DC, are touring Europe this summer. They have had the foreward thinking to announce that in effect only Angus Young and Brian Johnson are going to be appearing, and that Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams (other long term and essential members for the unaware) are not. The flip side of course is that people are getting the opportunity to see the band on what must surely be their final outing. Nils not being in CH is a blow, no doubt, but would people rather see Neil and CH without Nils , or no Neil and CH shows at all? Given the choice I imagine that most people could accept a stand in rather than no tour at all. I do appreciate that the dynamic may be slightly different though. I just think that really we should be grateful that Neil is hitting the road at all....there's no sign of any european shows, so enjoy yourselves over there across the pond!! Love to all from the UK

At 2/16/2024 08:16:00 PM, Blogger edtide said...

"A lot of fans will be arriving to these concerts still expecting to see the great Nils Lofgren in the fold."

I imagine a good half of them will be expecting Poncho

At 2/16/2024 08:22:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Nils is a remarkable talent, but Micah Nelson brings a unique energy with Neil that I find remarkable. So for those lucky enough to see any of these shows are in for wonderful surprise. I hope Alan is right about a second leg up here in the northwest. Outlaw Field would be an amazing, and intimate venue for this tour.

Peace 🙏

At 2/16/2024 11:23:00 PM, Blogger mshare said...

The Horse with Neil, Billy and Ralph is plenty Horse enough for me!

At 2/17/2024 02:41:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Back in the day, when all of us were still listening to the Rockets this Canadian guy showed up, tore the band apart, left half of the original members behind, I heard, and dubbed the remainder to be Crazy Horse. Later on, sadly with an important member short, the remainder of the remainder of the Rockets was called the Santa Monica Flyers, with two side men added, but then with yet another replacement it miraculously was called Crazy Horse again. In 1982 there were three major characters of the Band that used to be Crazy Horse but the band was called the Trans Band, because they had a different bass player and some percussionist. The full Crazy Horse went on tour as the Blue Notes Line-up 1 in 1987, with a horn section that also included a famous guitar technician and a world class musician from Nashville. With all four core members active the band called Crazy Horse at one point in 1996 had to be a racket called The Echos, because the Canadian guy, yes, still the same one mentioned above, did not want to have that much publicity. When on tour in 2014 the bass player had to be replaced by the bass player (Rick) they ran under the name Crazy Horse again. To the delight of the audiences all of these bands played Mr Soul, whose head was and still is the event of the season.

At 2/17/2024 03:03:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Scotzman, I too find the promotional blurb curious, if not outright ponderous. The first sentence—“Why do these old songs live so vividly now?” would be intriguing and somewhat provocative on its own. It’s the rest that comes across clumsy and flat-footed in print. I like questions as a rhetorical device; they tend to inspire curiosity and open-ended thought. But then you have to let the audience do some of the mental work, rather than trying to fill in the gaps with platitudes. Silence is often better for insight than insubstantial words. The seed of the idea or emotion is meant to feed the vacuum of the reader/listener/viewer’s mind.

Not that we are vacuous; far from it. But it seems to me that art, including music, is to meant to fill holes that sometimes open in the spirit. Just as if one’s soul were a sponge, absorbing the emotions and sensations, with a danger of drying out if separated from
for too long from the replenishing source. The spiritual gaps aren’t black holes after all; under the right conditions, we can suck in substance and generate, out of the void (or the deep well) something new and worthwhile.

To a seasoned fan, though, press blurbs are trivially ephemeral, especially since few things are more platitudinous and pandering than today’s media, so much of which is made to order for Musks and Murdocks. Pontifications aside, I look forward to the new album. I am a little behind, though. I haven’t listened to the preview track and, in fact, still need to order Dume vinyl. It’s looking like spring will be a season of Neil and the Horse.

I hope my thoughts are more inspiring than gloomy.

At 2/17/2024 05:15:00 PM, Blogger Jim said...

@Flyingscotzman - Yep, I also thought that not announcing Nils' absence seemed like a way to ensure more ticket sales.

I appreciate the open mindedness of everyone's responses here! I don't get on Thrasher's Wheat as often as I used to but this is a nice reminder to bookmark the page again! Talk about a nice break from the vacuum of social media. Plus, I enjoy the more thorough and often more thoughtful replies here.

I thank you for highlighting my perspective on the Springsteen angle, Thrasher!

The last Horse show I caught was in Philadelphia - 11/29/2012! An unforgettable night (with a Ramada Inn for the ages)!

My brother and I will be headed to Toronto this time around. It's bound to be a special tour either way! Crazy how time flies too, isn't it?? Yet the Horse rides on!

At 2/18/2024 01:07:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Old Black - we hear you and everyone here on the sentiments.

Frankly, the main thing that we're baffled by is the lack of commentary on what appears to be a major re-do on NYCH.

1st, check the logo. No more rider on the horse.

2nd, check the name. No more "crazy" in the horse. Only The Horse.

why rebrand, we wonder ...

and yes on some European shows!

@ edtide - ha, probably 2/3rds! can we get a 3/4ths??

@ Dan - there is definitely Micah / Neil chemistry.But the Micah/Nils/neil chemistry would definitely bring it for large outdoor venues.

And hoping Alan is right also. Looking fwd to buying you guys some beers on the rail this summer.

@ mshare - going to have to work for all of us Mr Share! :)

@ Scotsman - thanks for the drop by and comments on PR.

Music PR. As Frank Zappa would say "what an oxymoron"

agree, we can't say we've ever heard anyone acquire neil music based on PR. Really its just awareness marketing.

@ Dionys - delightful! that was the event of the season.

@ Meta Rocker - no gloom, but inspiring nonetheless. you're over the target on words and music.

some emotions just can't be captured in words. many valiant attempts are made. some succeed, most fail.

which brings us to the challenge of Thrasher's Wheat.

We can never do justice to the music and experience. What goes on here is only a mere fraction of the magic that happens on the rail w/ Neil & The Horse.

anyone who was with us the ride thru Europe in 2013 will know that for all of the ink we spilled, frames we shot, interviews we conducted, will never match some of the precious moments.

we still have no words for The Magic Love of A Very Hot Night in Paris over 10 years later with the music still vibrating thru our bodies...

"Living in castles a bit at a time
The King started laughing and talking in rhyme.

Singing words, words between the lines of age."

@ Jim - thanks again for the CotM.

yes, you're overdue ... but so is everyone.

See you on the road this Spring!

At 2/18/2024 04:51:00 PM, Blogger Old Dan said...

I don't know if Nila will be there or not but as long as Neil is there that's what matters the most. I also checked Springsteen's tour dates and there just happens to be nothing scheduled for the entire time NYCH will be on the road. Maybe Nils and Micah will both be playing.

At 2/19/2024 12:18:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

I don’t care what Neil wants to call the band. Crazy Horse and the logo is, whether I like it or not, “cultural appropriation.” I was about to get a tattoo finally about a year ago, and it was the Crazy Horse logo. My kids informed me that it was no longer cool to do that. Many of you may not agree with that fact, but it remains a fact. I still have my T-shirts and I am not giving them up.

Maybe Neil thought he could stop some of the bitching & moaning from us and keep the band membership fluid with the new name.
Micah Nelson is no slouch. I have seen him play with Neil and Promise of the Real 3x so far, and he played very well.

Nils is available for the whole tour, someone said, in between Boss dates. Cool. Either way.

As I said, I got a pair of tickets to San Diego 2nd night. And then I felt too poor to go, decided to sit this one out.

Re : My plans to sit this tour out until a 2nd leg, this evening I got back up on the fence…

As Thrasher & Neil said, “Don’t Be Denied.” I gotta go to that show.

@ Thrasher @ Dan : I hope we get to do our International TW Rusted-out Rondezvous in Boise this late spring or summer!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 2/19/2024 12:29:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

PS- Dionys, Hoping for European dates,& a show in Boise at the idyllic “Outlaw Field” (former Penitentiary, now an excellent grassy venue with room for all, General Admission. Includes bleacher seating in back. This venue is also same location as the Boise Botanical Garden. Carbon is a problem…. No private jets please!

I promise I will never fly anywhere again after this show, most likely.

Your Brother Alan formerly of San Diego, home of the fish taco!

PS- the venue @ SDSU used to be the OAT, Open Air Theater. I mis-spoke when I said “Ampitheater.”

At 2/19/2024 03:40:00 AM, Blogger Hambone said...

Old Dan / Alan,

Although the US leg of the Springsteen tour ends on 21st April, the European leg starts in Cardiff Wales on 5th May and runs through to July.

So unless Nils has a "get out of Europe" free card from Springsteen's management there's only an outside chance me might drop in with the Horse at San Diego or Phoenix on his way to the airport. And he's energetic and dedicated enough to do that.

Of course he could always STAY in Europe over the summer in time to meet Neil.... (but that's a speculation tooooo far!)

Hambone in the UK

At 2/19/2024 12:54:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Neil Young rides a Horse with No Name! It’s All One Horse!

Just a reminder that anyone who is too upset about the band membership can quickly off-load their tickets at face value.

There may be a complaint threshold when you should sell your ticket. And then more people who want go to the show can go!

It’s all gonna work out.

Your Brother Alan in Seattle, formerly of Santa Monica.

At 2/19/2024 02:31:00 PM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

Does anyone know if it's actually impossible for scalpers to sell these tickets ? I'm in a dispute because I accidentally bought a scalped ticket. But if I can prove somehow they have no ability to provide me a valid ticket I think Chase can help me. Yes I seen the pop up message on TM. And why are so many listed for sale on these sites

At 2/20/2024 11:39:00 AM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

Thanks Doug. And sorry I know this is non sequetir. I have zero problems w Ticketmaster. It's all about Tickets Center. This is the site that came up first after Googling TM and is a very near replica of TM so much so I bought from them thinking I was on Ticketmaster. I'm trying to sic Chase on Tickets Center only for the $185 lawn. I'm going to just buy another lawn from TM as I know for a fact I'll need to 2 legitimate tickets. I could still be out the $185 if Chase sides w Tickets Center. That kills me to waste that money especially to such rotten ppl who routinely gouge their customers.

At 2/20/2024 11:48:00 AM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

Agreed. NY does seem rather remiss in not making a point of notifying his fans of the band shake up. Until Micah proves me wrong I trust everything will turn out fine.

At 2/20/2024 01:02:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Scotzman, agreed: the blurb doesn't tell us much. Worse, it doesn't particularly leave us wanting to know more. I think that's really the cardinal sin marketing/advertising. You have very limited time and space to make an exciting impression, so that people A) Don't forget about the thing you're promoting and B)have their curiosity piqued to. It's all about seizing--and maintaining--audience attention.

As I say, though, this is relatively ephemeral to me; I wouldn't want it to be misconstrued as negativity, whinging, or apathy about the album itself. It's more of a conundrum for the geniuses at Warner/Reprise to mull over.

Same goes for the band's name and emblem change. To my knowledge, we've been referring to Neil's most important band as "The Horse" for decades ("don't spook the Horse!" "smell the Horse!", etc.), so that alteration almost didn't register with me. It does lead to the interesting topic of NY's music and art in relation to Native American cultures. It seems to come from a place of genuine interest and even spiritual connection, but at the same time, Neil's understandings will have been informed by what he learned in Canadian schools in the 1950s, "cowboys and Indians" movies, and so on.

In other words, white folks probably have a different, "outsider's" view of what Native American is and means, as compared to the lived experiences of First Nations people. It's too easy for these ideas to turn into pastiches and caricatures, which may get ingrained as stereotypes. These can be either highly negative or over-romanticized (think of the "noble savage" trope). In either case, the result is objectification and othering. It's probably related to the empiricist tendency to sort everything--and everyone--into discrete groupings, as opposed to a more holistic worldview, but I'm getting too deep in the weeds now.

I do think NY is cognizant of these ambiguities, to some extent. An eco-protest song titled "Indian Givers" is fairly self-aware. I remember my grandmother casually using that expression. It likely became a habit because it made us laugh as very young children, insofar as we'd never heard it anywhere else: one of those weird "old people" sayings, where you understand from context what they mean but it makes so little sense as to seem goofy. I can't remember her using any other racialized language (does "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!" count?), but it does go to show how these images and ideas get embedded through cultural transmission.

At 2/20/2024 04:38:00 PM, Blogger Jesse said...

Micah Nelson says he doesn't think there will be NYCH shows in the PNW this year. Wondering what Neil meant when he referred to 'be out your way soon' to a question on NYA about coming to BC. NY solo? Or not at all, as his plans have changed?

At 2/20/2024 06:27:00 PM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

What about openers ? Nothing on that front?

At 2/21/2024 07:54:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Aspirationally, it would be fitting if a tour entitled “Love Earth” could span the entire earth. There’s a certain irony when sustainability problems make it harder to have global awareness, but travel is likely both an ecological and economic issue. I know there are Rusties in many places, but I’ve never tried to systematically measure NY’s worldwide following, say, in terms of how much return on investment a world tour would provide today.

Plus Neil is undeniably older. Unless he’s working with PotR, so are his bandmates. There’s health concerns, violent unrest in parts of the world. I’d just like to encourage Neil, and all artists, to do what they can where and when they can. We need their regenerative spirit.

At 2/22/2024 10:52:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Meta Rocker - thanks for the comment on the Crazy Horse rebranding.

We really weren't quite sure what was going on with logo and name.

Our musings on your comment are posted @
Neil Young Rebrands Crazy Horse?! + Comment of the Moment

At 3/03/2024 07:58:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Lots of intriguing discussion (both here and elsewhere) about band names, what it means to be “Crazy Horse”, does it matter, etc.

Here’s my perspective:

Let’s imagine a parallel universe where Bob Dylan really was killed in the legendary 1966 motorcycle accident.

(Or, if we want to be less morbid, let’s say he decided to retire from the music biz immediately after.)

The record company decide Bob is worth more to them alive than dead. And so they replace him with another singer/songwriter who strongly resembles him.

He wears a black wig, speaks in the drawl, writes compelling songs….

Nobody notices the difference.

(If this sounds incredible, consider the story of how Andy Warhol once sent an actor to replace himself on a speaking tour. Consider also how, in 2024, AI allows us to convincingly play with what is “real”. And of course, there’s the famous anecdote about Charlie Chaplin once entering a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest and winning the prize for third place!).

More than 50 years later, this actor is still making Bob Dylan records and touring as a Bob Dylan.

The question is this:

Is he *really* Bob Dylan or not?

My answer is no…

and yes.

No, because it’s clearly not the Bob Dylan who made those classic '60s records for which the original was most famous.

And yes, because it *is* the guy who we’ve accepted as Bob Dylan for the last 5+ decades.

When we think of Bob Dylan, we think of the guy we’ve been listening to for most of our lives. At some point, the name “Bob Dylan” (essentially a brand name) came to stand for the persistent actor, not the fleeting original.

Back to the real world. Is it still Crazy Horse if one of the fundamental members of the group (“the glue… without him, it falls apart” as Niko Bolas once said about Poncho) is missing in action?

YES IT IS. Because clearly, Crazy Horse was around before Poncho Sampedro joined. And if the band can change line-ups once, it can do so again.

And NO, it isn’t. Because the Crazy Horse name is valuable because it stands for something magical — for the unique musical and psychological chemistry that has been nurtured between Neil, Poncho, Ralph and Billy for so many years. To deny that would be to deny the very thing that makes the band special.

If you drop a marshmallow into water, nothing much will happen. If you drop sodium into water, it will explode.

In music, as in chemistry, the specifics *matter*.

But of course, it’s not only sodium that reacts explosively with water. So do other alkali metals.

So the best way to view the 2024 version of Crazy Horse, I think, is as a band that is both separate *and* apart from the classic, longest-running Poncho lineup.

It’s still Crazy Horse, but at the same time, it’s a different Crazy Horse. With at least a partially-different dynamic, and very different chemistry.

Now, will it explode like sodium, or fizzle out? We don’t know until we try.

Seeing the 2024 version of the band as a new Crazy Horse (or at least, a musical cousin of previous versions) isn’t demeaning, but liberating. Because it stops unhelpful comparison with the past.

Listening to the new version of Over and Over, there surely might be the temptation to think “well, it’s pretty good, but obviously it’s not in the same league as earlier versions”. It needs to be heard in the context of 2024, not 1990 or 2012.

(An aside: The story of the new album, as far as one has so far been presented, isn't massively compelling. Perhaps that’s because the fundamentals are inherently less interesting. “Neil Young and Crazy Horse re-tread Ragged Glory at private gig for billionaire” is less compelling than “Neil Young and Crazy Horse play small bar in California and sell tickets at the door.”).

But a 2024 version of, say, Chevrolet? There’s no in-concert precedent to compare that to. So there’s the opportunity to define what it is while it is still growing, still finding its place in the world.

(Rant continued below)

At 3/03/2024 07:59:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

(continued from above)

To sum up:

Why is seeing a band like Crazy Horse particularly special? Because the name stands for something. It stands for a very unique musical chemistry that has proved its worthiness on countless albums and countless tours. I don’t think we should gloss over that. And when Neil and Elliot speak in Year of the Horse about how special the relationship is between the four members of the band, they are doing so sincerely.

If these relationships don’t matter, if it’s just a bunch of guys backing Neil Young, then the band name would stand for nothing. To imply it’s the exact same band without Ralph Molina would be ridiculous, and the same applies to Poncho Sampedro — probably the most musically proficient member of the 1976-2013 lineup, as evidenced by his ability to thrive in various non-Crazy-Horse projects with Neil.

So thank you, Poncho Sampedro, for your contributions. You are missed, and the biggest compliment any of us can give is to truthfully say it clearly won’t be the same without you.

At the same time, life goes on. Previous masterpieces (or, more humbly, special moments) have already happened, and their legacy is assured.

But there are still new ones waiting to happen. And that’s both refreshing and inspiring, isn’t it?



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This Machine Kills Fascists

"Children of Destiny" - THE Part of THE Solution

(Frame from Official Music Video)

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat