Neil Young's new release ""World Record" w/ Crazy Horse is now available for pre-order. Order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link or YOUR COUNTRY's FLAG. Thank you!!!)
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Comment of the Moment: Neil Young Rebrands Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse Monument
Black Hills, Custer County, South Dakota
 (Click photo to enlarge)

As we noted here recently, it seems that Neil Young has "rebranded" his band Crazy Horse with a new logo and name change.

"Fu##n' Up" Album
Neil & the Horse
 (Click photo to enlarge)


"The Rider" no longer appears on horse back in the iconic logo.  And "Crazy" has been dropped to simply "The Horse".


Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour - 2012


Which brings us to our Comment of the Moment on Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse 2024 Love Earth Concert Tour by Scotsman:

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.

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?


Thanks for the CotM here Scots.  Your expansive musings are always welcomed here @ TW. As mentioned originally,  we fear that historical revisionism has gotten completely out of control as the gatekeepers become increasingly desperate while The #BigShift  gathers momentum.

All this said however, if we look at the marketing for the 2024 “Love Earth Tour” of Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse, it would seem that the Crazy Horse name is still intact, but the horse is riderless. 

So the inconsistency remains consistent.

 Love Earth Tour
Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse


If we take the "crazy" out of the "The Horse", will there be any spook left?

Long live Crazy Horse! And never Spook The Horse.



More on “Love Earth 2024 Tour”: Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse Concert Dates.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


At 3/05/2024 11:09:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3/05/2024 11:16:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

So I’m not sure why people are talking about Crazy Horse being rebranded as The Horse. After all , when Jerry Garcia died the original members toured under several different names….The Other Ones , The Dead, Further, Dead & Company…. They Started out as The Warlocks. The Beatles started out as The Quarry Men, before becoming The Beatles. Credence Clearwater Revival started out as The Golliwogs.

There are countless bands that have lost original members yet continue to record and tour under their original names. No one can deny that Pete Best was a member of The Beatles, or Brian Jones was a Rolling Stone. After all; U2 just played the Sphere in Vegas without Larry Mullen Jr. and still called themselves U2.

This whole rebranding seems to be much to do about nothing really, and to quote Shakespeare…. “a rose by any other name, would still smell as sweet”.


P. S. A wonderfully written piece by Scotsman regardless of my opinion of the subject matter.

At 3/05/2024 12:01:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Dan. And thanks again Scotsman.

Well, yes, much ado about something ... or nothing.

Obviously, for us, this is all highly significant.

We'll just start w/ the most mundane aspect. After reporting and writing about CH for several decades, we have tagged literally 100's of post w/ #CrazyHorse.

So when anything changes - names, spellings, punctuation, etc it impacts search history and results. We all know the impact of mis-dialing a phone number by just a single digit, etc.

Then there is the consistency issue. Touring under name of Crazy Horse while releasing an album by The Horse.

Totally get the Grateful Dead example. That applies here as well.

Things just aren't the same anymore and this acknowledges that fact.

Frankly, we think there's an element here that Neil isn't being candid about but we'll let his silence speak for itself.

All that said, we've got our tix for the tour and will be there on the rail regardless of what ever name. of course.

So back to Shakespeare. Always nice to see references to the classics.

Much ado about something ...

@Scots - you mention discussion elsewhere? where? what is being said?

As far as we can see, TW is the only publication that has covered or noted the change.


At 3/05/2024 12:02:00 PM, Blogger Kevin D. said...

Interesting thread and discussion - just to add another wrinkle to this "The Horse" is not unprecedented. Some years ago Billy and Ralph were the rhythm section for Phil Lee on his album "Phil Lee and The Horse he rode in on". Maybe this is where the idea came from?

A great record I might add more details here -

Kevin D. in Morro Bay

At 3/05/2024 12:19:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Does anyone know the ship of Theseus problem from Aristotle?

At 3/05/2024 12:38:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

I've got a simple rule that I live by, if Billy and Ralphie are there, it's Crazy Horse. If they aren't there, it isn't.

Sums it up nicely, I do believe.

At 3/05/2024 12:55:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Of course I do, and also that recent novel by "V.M.Straka". The Lakota are the Lakota, although they do not dress like Crazy Horse anymore. In my apartment are three mosaics made of Greek, Roman and Punian shards which somehow found me during my travels. They are something else now and yet they remain relics of antique garbage dumps, no matter what shape I have designed for them, it's the same matter. Identity was not invented for bookkeepers, I guess.

At 3/05/2024 01:45:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Thanks Thrasher!

Re: other discussions as mentioned above, I've chatted with a few fans from the Hoffman forums about Crazy Horse. Less about a rebranding, from my perspective, and more just generalised chat about what makes Crazy Horse special, what the name stands for, etc. Tried to capture some of the gist of the discussion in the above piece. Thanks for sharing it.

Dan: Please note I didn't write anything about rebranding Crazy Horse. The discussion on this is Thrasher's — mine is merely one selected point-of-view from that discussion on a previous page. I agree bands can change with time, and I cover that in the piece above. Glad you liked the writing, thank you.

(Enjoying all the perspectives on this, but just don't want it turn into one of those discussions where we're all disagreeing with each other over assumed differences, rather than actual ones!).


At 3/05/2024 02:52:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

The Danny Whitten Crazy Horse was fairly short lived, as was the Nils Lofgren Crazy Horse (that is up until Colorado was released). So for me; and many others, the Poncho Crazy Horse is the essence of the band’s history. That is the period when the vast majority of fans were hypnotized by the magic of those four men. Chemistry is the key ingredient, and those four had it in spades. During those magical years many of us simply referred to the band as ’The Horse’. For some reason I never associated the name with the legendary indigenous leader, I just thought of those four people who made such extraordinary music together.

All the different lineups were extraordinary, but also very different. The chemistry between them was unique within each grouping, but for myself, the true Crazy Horse was Neil, Ralph, Poncho, and Billy. I’m sure I’m not the exception here, and this takes nothing away from the other individuals who played under the banner of The Horse.

If this lineup were called anything other than Crazy Horse, it wouldn’t change anything in my opinion. It’s the chemistry that separates them from everyone else.

Peace 🙏

At 3/05/2024 03:53:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Abner - we don't. please enlighten us. while we can certainly look it uo, would be interested in how that fits into the context.

@ Richie - likewise here

@ Dionys - similar to Abner, "The Lakota are the Lakota." Might need a bit more context if you care to share.

@ Scots - your welcome.

a bit puzzled by this being a "nothing".

recall when Drive By Truckers rebranded to DBT? Patterson Hood agonized over the name and the personal investment.In the end Hood wrote a lengthy explanation of the band's name change.

@ Dan - hmm, never associated the native American?

now that's interesting. anyways.

we once heard someone say the band was NOT named after the legendary indigenous leader,

Horse was a slang for heroin. Not sure how the crazy fit into the heroin slang.

Of course, it makes no sense that the rebranding is to disassociate w/ heroin.

a different kind of chemistry.

At 3/05/2024 05:50:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@Thrasher : I was just getting ready to start high school when Everybody Knows this is Nowhere came out, so I had no knowledge at that time about the famous indigenous leader until I was in college. At thirteen, I just thought it was a cool name for a band. So even after I learned about the indigenous history, I just never put two and two together. I guess I was either slow, or just ignorant of the connection between the two.

Peace 🙏

At 3/05/2024 08:02:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

As far as where the name actually came from, I've never been really sure. You'd like to think it was after the famous Native American warrior, but has Neil ever come out and said that?
Dan was right about horse being a term used for heroin, but in 68-69, I don't think anyone was using that stuff at that point. I don't think Danny got into it until later.

I'm assuming Neil was aware of the warrior Crazy Horse, but then again maybe not. Honestly, I heard of the band Crazy Horse before I knew of the famous warrior. It's possible they thought it was just a cool name to use for a band, which I completely agree with, the name Crazy Horse just sounds cool.

At 3/06/2024 12:11:00 AM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

This raises questions about the idea of authenticity. Or to put it another way, we're deconstructing the binary of real vs. fake. A great deal of post-modern philosophy is preoccupied with this, much of it stemming from anxieties around mass production (Walter Benjamin, writing on art and reproduction, was an important forerunner). Digital media has pushed these concerns into overdrive, with the internet "disembodying" so many aspects of life (here I'm a name on a screen, rather than a man in the street), dramatically reducing the presence of tangible objects.

What Scotzman directly touches on is related: a famous person, e.g. Neil Young, may become just as much a brand name or an image as an actual person. What happens when someone's identity is conflated with a marketing entity? All these problems can be traced back to industrialization, commercialization--in this case, that of art as commodity.

The good news (for me) is that as soon as I hear Neil Young's voice, I know which human being is singing. The authenticity of the experience is rooted in that sound (also, to a considerable extent, in the uniqueness of NY's guitar sound). It helps to have the kind of voice you'd know anywhere! Conversely, certain recordings attributed to Michael Jackson were released after his death. Yet many listeners don't believe the voice on the tracks is Jackson's--precisely because it sounded different from anything they recognize as MJ.

I'm not saying the sound of MJ is necessarily artificial compared to that of NY. This is to illustrate the importance of the *voice* we hear on a record. The human voice is produced by physical processes of the body. Even a musical instrument can be seen as an extension of the body: the sounds Neil gets from Old Black have a lot to do with his fingers and his nervous system. Recorded media (audio or video) gives us indirect access to, and evidence of, something that was at one point created by a body or bodies in space.

Authenticity is often related to body experiences at this level, but this again embodied dimension can be obscured by technology and mass media, leading to what Jean Baudrillard called hyper-reality.Today we can read all about the simulacrum and the cyborg (Donna Haraway). In this ever-moving world populated by real people who may be phonies, and copies that may be the "real thing", one way to live in the present may be to stay consciously connected with the body.

At 3/06/2024 12:12:00 AM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3/06/2024 01:54:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Alan: certainly no dismissal of Micah in my post, implied or direct. My point is it's a different band, not an inferior one.

To say any one member of the 1976-2013 lineup somehow isn't that important would be absurd... which is why I'm not entirely onboard with the "it's still Crazy Horse as long as so-and-so is there" point of view.

Seeing the various lineups of Crazy Horse as distinct-but-connected bands is more helpful than pretending the nuances don't exist, or don't matter.

Ian: I'm not sure how authentic Neil is, and I'm not sure it matters. Perhaps the authentic thing to do was become a bank manager or lawyer, and instead he decided it was more interesting to go against the grain and make music instead.

So perhaps making decisions is more important than being authentic?

I think artists often do their best work when they are being inauthentic. No doubt there are times when Neil probably didn't feel like getting up on stage at 8pm sharp, but he did it anyway. That's what makes him a pro.
(And of course, the moment Neil gets on stage, magic happens.)

Re: album covers, band names, cultural appropriation:

There is the risk here that we are collectively putting more feeling and significance into this than the artist did.

(Though Thrasher makes very pertinent point about wider implications of changing names — affecting search results, etc.)

My original post above is kind of separate from all this, though, because it's not so much about the name as the band itself.

If I invented a new band called the Anti-Social Bananas, the name wouldn't stand for much. Not yet. It's only after years and years together that Crazy Horse has a reputation that precede them.

Likewise, if we go to see the Dylan tour and he doesn't sing any songs, we'd probably feel ripped off. The same if we go into Starbucks and they say "we don't sell coffee".

Meanwhile, which song title makes you more excited: Cortez the Killer, or one I just made up called "Barry the Plumber"?

The latter one might be a great track. But it doesn't excite us, because we don't know anything about it.

In 1971, *before* it was a hit, Heart Of Gold was met with only modest applause on the concert stage.

Names matter because of what they come to stand for, not vice versa.


At 3/06/2024 10:00:00 AM, Blogger Hambone said...

We haven't quite covered a full breakdown of this question.
I submit from tours I've seen (checked on Sugar Mountain):

1996 Broken Arrow tour: Neil Young, Frank Sampedro, Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina

2001 Eurotour (Toast era): Neil Young, Frank Sampedro, Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina,
Pegi Young, Astrid Young.

2014 Alchemy Eurotour: Neil Young, Frank Sampedro, Ralph Molina, Rick Rosas , Dorene "Sweetie" Carter, YaDonna West

All tickets described as Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

So which of the above here is the "real" Horse? For some it would seem that only the first iteration is authentic.

How much of the Horse magic was "lost" with the additional of extra backing vocals? Might we need a conversation about the overlook/dismissed/forgotten women of rock?

@Scotsman another famous instance of live show standins was Little Richard becoming doublebooked in 1955 on the back of the success of Tutti Frutti. For a couple of weeks the smaller shows were covered by a young replacement by the name of James Brown. Apparently nobody noticed.

The Theseus problem: originally a Greek philosphical thought experiment. The hero Theseus's ship was preserved as a monument. Over time as the ship's planks decay they are replaced. The question - is this still the same ship?

The same quesion is true of (the real) British wooden warship HMS Victory, active from 1758 - 1822 - and then preserved to varying degrees in Portsmouth dockyard to date. There have been several major refits and running repairs so that now only about 20% of the current vessel is original. Still a major visitor attraction.

I just hope that when the tour starts it actually meets most of your expectations and some kind of magic happens. Meantime I'll be waiting for the possibility of a Euro leg sometime.

Tony Hambone in the UK

At 3/06/2024 01:22:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Ship of Theseus is great for undergrads. The ship loses a board, and then another board, etc.. and boards are replaced. The question is "does the ship remain the same ship".... after the removal of 1, 2, 3, etc.. boards. Aristotle was trying to generate a criteria for identity over time (with respect to a material object- although an inanimate object is not a substance). The problem then gets applied to animate things, persons and so forth.

A band is not a something but it is not a nothing either. There is no definite criteria for identity, although with Dylan there is!

At 3/06/2024 01:24:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Scotsman- decisions and authenticity conflate?

At 3/06/2024 01:27:00 PM, Blogger Ron said...

For me I think who plays, what they play, and how well they play matters much more than what they call the group or how they brand it. And much as it would be great to see and hear Poncho play with them again at least with Neil, Ralph and Billy those who are lucky enough to be going to the gigs will be getting three of the original members.

Having said that I do find some of the 'branding' intriguing. My immediate reaction to the rider being removed from the horse logo was that he has probably just gone the same way as Woody who no longer seems to be part of the stage setup. The renaming of the Ragged Glory songs and attributing the new album to The Horse could just be marketing to distinguish it from the original and imply something new.

But maybe there is more to it... We never did really get an explanation for why Poncho was edited out of the Greendale film did we?

At 3/06/2024 02:23:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

I had a lengthy comment that was swallowed by the system. Too bad. But you guys sorted out Plutarchy's Ship of Theseus problem already. By the way: Theseus did not loose his ship, but he lost Ariadne to Dionysos on his return from Crete when stopping over at Naxos Island. He then also got the Atheneans all confused with hoisting the wrong sails. Felling a lot like Theseus today...

At 3/06/2024 02:23:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Feeeling, damnit

At 3/06/2024 03:12:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Perhaps this is more about our personal perception rather than what is actually happening. Ron makes a good point about the riderless horse, and the renaming of the Ragged Glory songs associated with this new live recording. If this whole album is just a branding scheme for one specific record, then maybe we’re taking it all too seriously.

One could argue (I suppose) that Neil is mysteriously reacting directly to the onslaught of AI on the whole music industry. That the missing rider on the Horse could symbolically represent the elimination of the human element in music, and the loosing of the word Crazy is indicating that only humans can be crazy, not computers. Frankly, I think this is a pretty big stretch, but we’re talking about Neil Young, so who knows.

Or maybe Neil is just removing boards and replacing them with new ones.

Peace 🙏

At 3/06/2024 04:26:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

To be fair much, much of my pontificating is tangential to Scotzman’s comments. And I now realize I’ve been fairly elliptical on the “authenticity” aspect—or maybe just inarticulate. Forget my litany of philosophers and cultural critics. In everyday life, I suspect all of us are partly authentic and partly artificial at various times and places. In other words, the two can’t always be teased apart. Especially in art.

It seems generally accepted that there’s some element of artifice involved in creating art, such as music. A less cynical word for this artifice would be craft. Usually, however, there’s an assumption that the artist’s craft is being used to show or illustrate a more fundamental truth. If truth is stranger than fiction, the flip side is that we can use fiction to illuminate truth(s).

In case it’s still obscure, I’m intimating that the search for authenticity can be something of a red herring or, better yet, a wild goose chase! Any problem without a clear solution easily becomes a source of anxiety, especially when questions about the nature, value, or discoverability of truth seem to be on the line. Ultimately, for better and worse, personal experience seems the most powerful barometer of authenticity and truth for most people. This could be a deeply felt spiritual experience or a physical experience of the “outside” world.

I’d argue for placing more value, intellectually and socially, on embodied experiences—as long we’re aware that our senses aren’t necessarily reliable at all times. At the least, being aware of what our bodies are perceiving and feeling at any particular moment can provide focus— helping to generate insight from experience, simultaneously lessening the need to rely on speculative, slippery thinking about spirit or essence.

At 3/06/2024 07:45:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

@ Scotsman : I enjoy your writing & I don’t disagree.

I miss Poncho & I am hoping it will be great. There is cause for optimism. Could Micah blow us all away? He is up to the job.

Woody went away because times have changed. It’s no longer cool, might cause some pain to the natives who have been victimized in so many ways for so many centuries by the white folks. I knew Crazy Horse was a native historical leader before I got interested in Neil Young & Crazy Horse. But where I grew up was kind of radical at the time, so that may have given me a head start.

@ Hambone : Good point about the backing vocals from female singers; that was also the (Crazy) Horse, right?

Some of the re-branding is enlightened. It’s not really up to the Americans & Canadians to decide what is insulting or harmful in our cultural appropriation. We should stay out of it by not doing it. I am still going to keep my Crazy Horse T-shirts, albums, & framed 1993 Booker T Dreamcatcher poster. But I am glad I didn’t get the rider on horseback tattoo I was intending to get.

A better tattoo idea is one of my Dad’s harmonicas.

I wonder if Neil will ever play Pocahontas again. Hey Neil, how about Surfer Joe?

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 3/07/2024 07:07:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I think we could simplify all this stuff about authenticity.

At 3/07/2024 09:38:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Ab, MR: I guess it all depends what we mean by authenticity! My feeling is that what most folks perceive as "authenticity" is a person who lives up to her own public image.

That's why Steve Earle is seen as authentic but KFC isn't. Because we know that KFC is all branding and advertising, whereas Steve is seen as a hard-working singer/songwriter... and he lives the life of a hard-working singer/songwriter.

For that reason, if I tell you I'm going to use AI to write a blog post and then follow through on that, then I think I'm being authentic. Not so, if I promise a human-written blog and then get AI to do the work for me.

Bob Dylan's reputation can survive the "scandal" over the selling of auto-penned signatures on the paintings being sold in his name — a seemingly inauthentic act. (I suspect the same will be true if it turns out he didn't actually paint the paintings, either.) Why? because he has a reputation for being a trickster. The reality matches the public image.

This definition of authenticity gives us all a lot of freedom. We don't need to be born in poverty to sing blues songs, nor do we need to feel particularly inspired to stand on-stage and sing. We just need to decide who we want to be seen as, and then live up to it.


At 3/07/2024 10:22:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

The last sentence seems entirely right to me. Set some solid aesthetic standards and then endeavor to live up to them. This looks like authenticity to me, but if and only if those standards can be defended. And then add into this: "the only thing that matters is the work" (Faulkner).

At 3/07/2024 10:28:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

wow, you folks are impressive.

such a wide ranging discussion across genres, fields, and centuries.

another footnote for the saga of Crazy Horse ...

another story lost in the mists of time goes something like this.

The pre-CH band The Rockets were rehearsing and hanging out. Someone is joking about a night spent w/ a bunch of "crazy whores".

Neil walks in and *hears* "Crazy Horse" and everyone laughs.

Another version is that Neil wants to "rebrand" The Rockets. Someone suggests "Crazy Whores". Knowing that won't work w/ the record labels, they decide on "Crazy Horse" as an inside joke.

At 3/07/2024 11:54:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

and here's Dionys comment that got swallowed somehow...

Ship of Theseus Addenda

@Hambone, thanks for giving a bit of naval insight. "The Lakota are the Lakota." is an example that some entities, such as real persons, peoples, or languages, constantly have to change in order to remain in existence as such. Neil Young in his row during the Geffen years is a prime example: he was sued for creating music which the record company deemed to be uncharacteristic of Neil Young. Neil Young's reply was something in the vein of that from then on he would exclusively create country music, so that nobody could qualify his output to be "uncharacteristic" of Neil Young. Authenticity is established by moving (creating). A band exhibited in a glass case is like dinosaurs in shrines, i.e. it is the original but reeking dead somehow. That certainly was not intended when the audience was addressed "to smell the Horse".
If one were to replace every rivet, crossbeam or tie-rod of the Eiffel-Tower to preserve it, would it still be the (awful) structure that became a symbol for Paris or not?

Which brings us to "Crazy Horse". I recall something like an interview with Frank Sampedro in which he (jokingly?) brought up the idea that Crazy Horse was named after the famous cabaret club in Paris, well known for their presentation of nude women, comparable to the even more famous "Moulin Rouge", also in Paris. American imitations of this club existed for instance in Las Vegas, San Francisco (!) and Myrtle Beach, SC. After protests by the great chief's descendants in 2004 the French establishment's name was changed into "Forever Crazy".

Of course the band in their earlier years never had anything to do with such frivolous activities, with the exception of certain boots, b/w pictures right beside "blow job machines" or the occasional caricature of naked women on their album covers.

Now that we have entered a new puritan age with everybody constantly being offended by something it's hard to imagine that bad taste once was accepted as being a joke.


At 3/07/2024 03:18:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Now that's innaresting. Where did come that from? And why was I not able to post it in the first place? It's late to the party now, but it contains the additional Crazy Horse musings, that somehow appear to relate to later comments.

At 3/07/2024 04:47:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Dionys, I’m having similar problems lately: things vanishing and resurfacing. Whatever the glitch, it’s discombobulating.

Abner: Lately I’m finding the field of performance studies a useful lens.. This seems especially relevant to music or any performing art. However, re: simplicity, it’s possible to get “stuck in the loop” of theorizing, or to over-complicate the writing itself. When I “hail up” a specific writer, I hope others will be inspired to do their own research. Yet there’s a risk of losing the reader in a labyrinth of unfamiliar references, which is not my intention.

I’m skimming over good points in the replies, mainly due to space and time. I’m not trying to talk past anyone, but to clarify my thinking without discarding anyone else’s.

At 3/07/2024 05:49:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Dionys - sorry, not sure what happened when you originally submitted comment. A definite glitch, so had to manually re-publish your comment.

@ Meta Rocker - your comments were on another thread that flipped to moderation. So those 2 comments were published @

At 3/08/2024 05:37:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Dionys- authenticity in artistic endeavors- done so by "creating" (changing) and the underlying entity that changes, the person doing the art, remains "the same." This is the only way we can make sense of change. So are we that surprised that it was Neil Young who screwed around with the banality of Geffen? I was surprised by the whole situation not by how Neil handled it. My favorite Neil line of all time is his response to MTV censorship. He called them "spineless twerps." How beautifully precise. Out of all Neil's chaos comes a central and determined focus. I believe this is called "character."

At 3/08/2024 11:46:00 AM, Blogger Setz said...

He took a Native American symbol off his stage and off the horse. He has supported Natives, had them proudly play on his stage. Could be he simply feels different about the way it looks to him. The Indians are now the Gaurdians. If I change my name on my comments do they mean something different?

At 3/08/2024 03:46:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

@Thrasher, not to worry—no shade-throwing intended!

Abner and Dionys: well-said. Many could contributions here. In a context of performativity, there’s much emphasis on the power of repeated actions consolidating a sense of self—but also, that each repetition has differences embedded in it. Basically, no two concerts sound exactly the same, as people don’t do machine-like reproduction. There’s a lot to be said on a balance betweeen repetition and spontaneity. Spontaneity, unpredictable mutation or change, is a sign of both living and authenticity. Time doesn’t stand still, and one might go so far as to say music is time measured out in rhythm and harmony.

At 3/08/2024 03:53:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

I think I quoted this before, a snippet out of Bertolt Brechts parabolic "Keuner Tales":

Meeting again

A man who had not seen Mr. K. for a long time greeted him with the words: “You haven’t changed a bit.” “Oh!” said Mr. K. and turned pale.

(Bertolt Brecht, Stories of Mr. Keuner)

In being true to himself Neil Young has been changing all the time and being the chameleon he is he won me as a life long fan. Camels also have character, but they stay the same and become ornery, mischievous and stubborn, so at one point it's about time to cut the rope. That is to say that having a character (with a central and determined focus) or being one is a pre-rogative but not a sufficient one to maintain authenticity. If art (music, literature etc.) even transcends the limits of time and takes on a character of its own without the need of constantly having to get its authenticity certified we approach the realms of immortality. Fortunately we are not there yet. I am ready for any Neil Young tour and would go for it even if he toured with Philbert's War Pony (Powwow Highway).

At 3/08/2024 04:27:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I am thinking that camels don't quite have a "character" in the way human beings or persons have a character! A chameleon with respect to character is close to impossible and probably bound to be as boring as a camel. Constant change for the sake of change is close to the definition of banality.

At 3/08/2024 04:56:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

The chameleon is popular as a metaphor for mutability. “Protean”, though, may be more apropos here, since chameleonic implies change of appearance as a survival adaptation—e.g. camouflage. I hesitate to assign moral value to change in itself, as it’s really an inevitability or fact of life. Change vs. constancy is potentially a problematic idea in its own right. Neither extreme bodes well. The point, I think, is that the "new" inevitably carries some imprint or influence of the "old" within it, so you're never dealing with purely one or the other.

At 3/08/2024 05:02:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Also, appreciate Dionys’s Brechtian example. Brecht, as a playwright, was all about using changes from the expected, or aesthetic clashes, to hoist audiences out of complacency. Related in a sense to surrealism, Dada, readymades. Shock value is helpful when there’s something worth being shocked by.

At 3/09/2024 01:59:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

I am afraid that banality is part of the deal. Prior to the radical shifts in the early 80's Neil Young put out tracks like "T-Bone" or "Rapid Transit". While the hardcore fan still gets a kick out of these the repetitiveness to me signals a stand still while underneath these shifts already were doing their work. In a way I see ARC as another example where banality or even exhausted boredom is a precondition to creative outbursts. And yes, "protean" is a much better word.

At 3/09/2024 07:10:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I wish we could meet at the pub and sort this out.

I was first of all making a basic ontological point that goes back to Scotsman's post. What "remains the same" (for change to be possible) is the person Neil Young. From the transcendental deduction (Kant), we must presuppose a unity of consciousness for human experience to be possible. The second point, about character, is very basically empirical. After a certain point, a change of character is very unlikely (Aristotle's Ethics): the stone has been thrown. This point is supported by empirical psychology.

Changing then becomes an issue within artistic endeavor. I believe that it might be better, all things considered, for there to be a reason for changing (from the standpoint of the person). "The middle of the road became a bore." etc....

Lastly, people who constantly "morph" ate boring and not likely moral. The moral disposition requires constancy and diligence of purpose. To remain "foursquare and blameless."

At 3/09/2024 12:26:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

With temperatures on the rise I rather suggest a beergarden with a lakeview than a pub. Also there is a Scotsman item over on his very own site in defense of T-Bone lyrics. All you guys are really funny, but you knew that.

At 3/09/2024 01:36:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Abner, I don’t think there’s all that much to sort! Part may be that we each have different interests or fields of study, with enough overlap to recognize broadly what the other one is referring to. Yet we’re not all deeply familiar with the same discourses. If one is committed to a particular school(s) of thought, unspoken assumptions may creep in. For instance, my interest in Buddhist and Hindu philosophy creates an emphasis on non-binary thinking. Add a preoccupation with theatre and performance, and it’s not hard to wind up focused on mind/body dualism. If I’m understanding correctly, analytic philosophy would share some interest in questions about body and self.

Also, my tendency to leapfrog between ideas may be adding chaos to this discussion, for which I accept culpability! As before, the intent is to be positively stimulating, not confounding.

(Acknowledgement: thanks to Scotzman, Dan, and Dionys for other germane points above.)

At 3/10/2024 06:04:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

My fault, I have spent my life clarifying and sorting.

At 3/10/2024 10:45:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

To summarize at the end of this babylonian thread with 11 persons participating, we have been mentioning, referring to, quoting:
Neil Young
Crazy Horse (individual members and various incarnations)
The Rockets
The Grateful Dead (and various incarnations)
The Beatles
Creedence Clearwater Revival
The Rolling Stones
Phil Lee
Nils Lofgren
Danny Whitten
Drive By Truckers
Michael Jackson
Bob Dylan
Little Richard
James Brown
Booker T. & The MGs
Steve Earle

Las Vegas
San Francisco
Myrtle Beach, SC

William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (drama)
V.M. Straka “Ship of Theseus” (novel)
William Faulkner
Bertolt Brecht, Tales of Mr. Keuner (parables)

Theseus (Mythology)
Ship of Theseus (Plutarchy / Aristotle)
Greeks, Romans, Punians
HMS Victory
Crazy Horse (Lakota Chief)
Walter Benjamin
Jean Baudrillard
Donna Haraway
Woody (Wooden cigar Indian)
Philbert Bono (Powwow Highway)
Immanuel Kant


At 3/12/2024 08:42:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

@ Abner & all : Yes, we should sort this out at a pub, in Boise, right after the next leg gets announced. Our International Rusted Out TW meetup can get on the calendar!

@ Dionys & Thrasher : Quite the list of topics in our thread! Truly, a symposium should happen at the meetup, to be adjourned & moved to the rail well before showtime.

Thrasher’s Wheat, the finest in Neil Youngian philosophical sorting!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 5/09/2024 09:46:00 AM, Blogger forest rph said...

Does anybody know why the statue of the indigenous person is not on stage for these concerts?


Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.

Farm Aid

Go Farmers Markets!

"In the >field< of opportunity
It's plowin' time again."

Silverline Communications

(Home of the FarmAidians)
Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
(519) 737-7979

This blog supports free speech!

Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution

(... he didn't kill himself either...) #AaronDidntKillHimself

Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising
This Blog's For You!

The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy


Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


Neil Young Appreciation Society

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
Rust Radio


Bands Covering Neil Young songs


Official Neil Young News Site

The Bridge School

The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

The Essential Neil Young

Fans Favorite Neil Albums

Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads

Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - us.gif
Canada - canada.gif
United Kingdom - gb.gif
Germany - de.gif

Neil Young Songbook Project

In the fields of wheat

"Children of Destiny" will NOT be harvested
However, the chaff will be burned by unquenchable fire

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates

2015 Rebel Content Tour

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

Neil Young Films

2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.


"There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye"



Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield

"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV & Have A Life

"Everything Is Bullshit" +
"Turn Off The News"
Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)

Neil Young 2016 Year in Review:
The Year of The Wheat

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?

The Four Dead in Ohio

May The FOUR Be With You #MayThe4thBeWithYou


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power!
When Neil Young Speaks Truth To Power,
The World Listens

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


The Meaning of "Sweet Home Alabama" Lyrics

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment

Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young

I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"
Full Disclousre Now

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel



Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
... and symbolism will be their downfall...

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
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