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Friday, October 18, 2019

Maybe The Best Neil Young Concert Review EVER - Dallas 2014


Neil Young
Dallas 18 Apr 2014
photo by Sten Thorborg
(Click photo to enlarge)

From the Editor's Desk, yesterday, on Times-Contrarian | Neil Young Archives, on the Road Stories page, Neil posted a 2014 concert review. As we read the review, we said, gee, this is very familiar?! It turns out that this review was originally published here on Thrasher's Wheat and we are now re-posting.

Curiously, the synchronicity here is that we just wrote about repurposing archival TW material. Probably just a coincidence...

enjoy ... again


By now, we must have read a million Neil Young concert reviews -- or at least it feels like it.

So when we come across a review that really strikes us, we like to share it with our friends who "get Neil". So it is with great pleasure that we bring to you one of the finest Neil Young concert reviews we've ever read.

So sit back and enjoy this review of Neil Young at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas on April 18, 2014 by Bucks Burnett. Thanks for sharing Bucks. Straight from the heart -- out to the people.

Essay On Neil Young Performance
Meyerson Symphony Center
Dallas, Texas
April 18, 2014
by Bucks Burnett

Last night was not a concert. It was a congregation being blessed by snake oil from a traveling salesman. But this guy carries the real stuff because we are healed from our earthly concerns. This was a very rare example of paying $200 for a four million dollar show. He took us away and we are not coming back. I do not want to hear music today or talk to people today. Or be seen. I want to be alone with this vibration in my soul.

By the standards of most hardcore Neil Young fans, I am a complete lightweight. Have seen him less than ten times, don't own a single bootleg. Pathetic. But he means what he means to me, which is a lot. Millions are influenced and inspired by him, so it's not unique to be a big fan. But where the uniqueness sets in is in the heart; he holds a very high place in my heart and soul and mind. Those feelings are unique to me, as they are to anyone else who holds him dear. It's a very personal thing to like Neil Young. It's a bit unfair to Neil, all of us focusing on him so much, so I cast my love lightly.

I saw him a few times from the mid 80's to the late 90's, and then stopped going, for no particular reason. Like I said, no follower status for me. But to me it's serious, because of how it feels. I met him in 1987 by his tour bus and we had a nice chat. Does that count for anything? When I worked at Warner Bros. Records in Burbank in 1985, I wrote the Billboard Magazine trade ad for Old Ways. It just said 'The New Neil Young.' Kind of ironic and my boss loved it. I was at a party in L.A. and two guys next to me were having a conversation about the ad. I told them I had written it and they said it was genius. Now that was a funny moment, and it was at that point I decided to quit my job at Warners and go back to Texas, because I decided I did not want to live in a town where people talk about the fucking trade ad more than the record. So I gave notice, and during my last week there a young guy from Slash records was introduced as my replacement. Bill Bentley and I were already friends, so I was glad that Bill would inherit my office. Bill worked at WB for many years, and eventually became Neil's publicist for awhile, so go figure skate. We always joke that by quitting my fancy job, I changed two lives - his and mine. My fork in the road became his table setting. Bill is from Texas like me and we will be best friends forever. I always like to say that if I had been born Bill Bentley I might be somebody someday.

So, a handful of gigs, a meeting by the bus, and a trade ad. That's all I got for ya, people.

Because of my lightweight status, I did not buy tickets to Neil's two gigs at the big fancy Meyerson Symphony Center. The prices were scary. I'm 55, slowing down on all this. I thought about it. Then Thursday night, April 17th, my friend Hubert, who is not a lightweight, called me from the Meyerson. He sounded shaken. He told me I had to go Friday. It was the best Neil show he had ever seen. Coming from Hubert, that meant a lot. I emailed Bill. He told me to get my ass to that gig no matter what. When Bill says jump I look for a trampoline. My online ticket search brought only bad news. Sky high prices. I wrote Neil's manager asking for help, which was a ridiculous thing to do. I ended up just driving to the Meyerson and they had a few tickets so I was actually relieved by the time I was breaking up forever with $215. Lower balcony by the soundboard. I was in. That was all that mattered by that point.

This is not a review of the show; this is a review of my experience. This is how it made me feel and what it made me think. This is my mind on Neil.
The first half was great, solo acoustic, with piano and organ, and carved Indian. I want to be his Indian roadie. A very powerful set marred by idiots talking through many of the songs no matter how many times we scolded them. At one point a guy started actually interviewing Neil in a loud voice from the audience. Neil just laughed it off and started the next song. You can go on about how people behave at a concert like this, but in the end you gotta remember that even when a genius is playing, a dumbass will always be talking. That's not a Neil problem, that's an Earth problem. Humans will never get it together. Maybe we're not meant to. But when you are a human opening your second set with "Cortez The Killer" on acoustic guitar, you might be considered a human who may have gotten it together.

The second set arced up, and it was during "Man Needs A Maid" that I realized something was happening that had not been advertised; we were all being kidnapped. Neil was taking us somewhere new. As he wandered the stage telling funny stories about buying Hank Williams' guitar, and decided which guitar to play, or the piano, or the pipe organ, I started not caring which song was playing or how well it was played. My soul was being changed. He told us that the Meyerson was in the top 2 or 3 venues that he had ever played in America. Big news from the man who hates bad sound.

Near the end he played the pipe organ, which was elevated. I was thinking, 'There he is on top of the mountain. An older man who wrote "Old Man," taking a look at himself cause he's a lot like him.' Gratitude welled in me; that he is still here, that I can still hear. What a sight to see such a cool guy surrounded by guitars he loves in a hall he loves playing to people in awe. I thought, 'He has made it to the future and taken us with him. I can film him with my telephone but I won't, and he can charge way too much money but it's not. Holy fuck, I'm having a Moment.

Near the end of the show, and I can't tell you why, or how it felt, I started realizing this was the best Neil show I had ever seen. Scratch that, the best show by anybody I had ever seen. That was astounding.

Forget the setlist. Images play in my head two days later. The vibrations continue within. His album covers float in my head. Here's what I decided about that night.

Neil Young is a traveling snake oil salesman. But he gets his oil from real snakes. Exotic snakes undocumented by National Geographic. He wanders the planet in his amazing tour bus, which I briefly stood in once. He's charging a fortune and telling fortunes, changing misfortune into wine in places that charge wine prices for water.

At home after the show I was too in awe of my experience to listen to music. I laid in bed typing comments on facebook about the show, which is beyond lame, but that is what we do these days. But I decided that this snake oil salesman is in fact a magic hobo, driving around in his ancient bus, playing halls. But what he's doing is illogical but not illegal, not yet. He is stealing souls.

That night in Dallas, as we cheered and stared, all of our souls were flying straight into the hole of Hank Williams' guitar. He finally figured out how to really help us. It's not about his songs healing us anymore, that is not enough. He knows he's mortal, on a train that will go over the cliff at some point. When Neil Young dies, everyone will freak out over the loss, and lament the passing of a great man, and be sad that he cannot ever sing or write again, and that his likes will not be seen again. And that's fair.

But it's only half true. Something amazing is happening on this tour. He's giving the shows of his life, but that's not even the good part. The good thing is that he is stealing souls. He's a very clever man, and he has figured out that if he outdoes himself just greatly enough, our souls will all fly into Hank's guitar. He's got the guitar on the tourbus, and the bus is following the miniature Lionel train locomotive, unseen on the silvery tracks of Time. When the train and the bus reach the end of the tracks, Neil will disappear. That will be funny to Neil, as he takes one last look back, and the train and the bus pull up into the Dark Vast Beyond, into the stars beyond this world.

Where he is going we do not know. And I don't care. He's never led me wrong. He takes the scenic path but he gets there. He is grinning already because he knows he is rescuing us in the only way he knows. He blasts us with Martin vibrations, and we echo back to him, into Hank's guitar. Into Hank's magic guitar, where part of us will live until the guitar itself is handed back to Hank in the Celestial Whatever. At least two worlds exist by my count; This One and That One. Now that I'm in the guitar, I'm connected to both. Where Neil goes, I go, with all the vibrations of all the people who went in with me, before me, after me.

So the day after the gig, I was contemplating if I could even drive to work at my record store. i was kind of in a trance. I decided I was right; that was the best concert I had ever seen. And I realized that I am no longer here, not completely. Part of my soul is with Neil, in the guitar in the case on the bus, headed wherever he is going, here, there, Eterniwhere.

Not a morning person. But today I woke up in awe, in love, in joy, from last night's show. Still stand by it; the best concert I have ever seen. Holy water to the masses from a universal hobo. In a stupid state of wordless bliss. Too sacred. Neil Young took us all away. Not coming back to earth for awhile. Floating. Can someone drive me to work? Because I may be in a trance.

The vibrations of sound and soul linger and mingle, passing and joining each other. We are all dissolving into Time as it fades away. I will never be fully Here again because part of me is There, ahead of schedule. My ticket to Infinity was $215. Plus gratuity for the Porter, once I arrive. And they say you can't get a bargain these days.

Our species, The Humans, are not always on top of our game. It can get embarrassing. But tonight, Neil Young demonstrated why People were invented; to do many many magnificent things, things that inspire People to be more wonderful. Tonight I am proud of our species, because of what one of us has done for so many of us. Thank you Neil, for the greatest concert I have ever seen, a heroic and inspiring night beyond description or comprehension. If you ever need another Martin guitar, you can have mine. I surrender.

PS: If I leave sooner than expected, I will be replaced by Bill Bentley.

Bucks Burnett
Blurred Visionary
Dallas, Texas
April 20, 2014
Thanks Bucks! Really is an honor and privilege to share so much with our fellow Neil fans. Long May You Run, sir. We'll see you, Neil, Hank & Bill in the Celestial Whatever, someday, when smog turns to stars.

Neil Young
Dallas 18 Apr 2014
photo by Sten Thorborg
(Click photo to enlarge)

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VIDEO: A Protest Song for Canada: "Politician Man" by Adrian Sutherland,

Earlier this year, we posted a cover of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" by the Canadian band Midnight Shine.

As we said at the time, while many may argue that the world really didn't need yet another cover of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold", we begged to differ. Because we say that the world really DOES need another cover of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold". Actually many, many more would be a thing of beauty. And if you watched their beautifully, wonderful video cover featuring Cree Indian children in Northern Ontario, you understood.

"It's these expressions I never give
That keep me searching for a heart of gold"

Video frame via "Heart of Gold" by Midnight Shine

(Yes -- it really is all about The Kids, The Children of Destiny.)

The video above is titled "Politician Man", the debut single from Adrian Sutherland, a protest song for Canada. The seeds were planted in July, when his Cree community of Attawapiskat declared a state of emergency over contaminated water. At the same moment, insensitive comments from a politician in Ottawa sparked massive public outcry, a spontaneous response from Sutherland himself, and national media coverage.

Call it uncanny circumstances that lead to the release of a song from Adrian Sutherland (of Midnight Shine). Uncanny timing, too, considering the song’s name, and the fact there’s a federal election just around the corner. Jump ahead to August, when co-writing sessions with musical brothers sparked a song that was important, timely, and totally kickass. One day in September, that song came to life in a recording studio. By the first week of October, a filmmaker was adding his keen artistic eye to the message behind the music.

The result… is Politician Man, released October 17 with accompanying video by Justin Stephenson (director of animation and editor, The Secret Path).

Politician Man was written by Adrian Sutherland, Chris Gormley (The Trews, Daylight for Deadeyes), and Matt Gormley (Daylight for Deadeyes). It was produced and engineered by Carl Jennings at Westmoreland Recording in Hamilton, mastered by João Carvalho in Toronto, and released independently on Sutherland’s record label, Midnight Shine Music.

Politician Man speaks to Canada’s troubled relationship with First Nations. Growing up in an isolated place like Attawapiskat has given Sutherland a unique perspective, while his growing profile as an artist is now giving him a voice. This is his way of taking action, doing something, about the ongoing struggle that Indigenous people face in Canada, while the country takes growing steps toward reconciliation.

“Sometimes reconciliation sounds like an empty word, and it’s frustrating. You keep trying to get ahead, but there are ongoing challenges, one obstacle after another. I have to wonder what I’m doing still living in Attawapiskat, and if anything is ever going to make a difference,” says Sutherland.

“The relationship between Canada and First Nations has been difficult for a long time, and in many ways it still is. Politician Man is about this relationship, and the need for all of us – politicians, chiefs, Indigenous people, all Canadians – to start listening to each other, and take steps together. Let’s move past the blaming and do something. We all need to do our part. That’s what reconciliation is, and the message behind Politician Man.”

When it came time to think about something visual to go with the audio, only one person came to mind. Sutherland’s team approached Justin Stephenson, who saw the vision right away. Stephenson came up with a video treatment that, quite literally, makes Politician Man a song about a country done in a style that pays homage to country songs, while honouring Sutherland’s Cree culture.

"I love the song and believe in the message. I really wanted to do this. Adrian is a real talent and powerful storyteller. He’s the kind of person that makes you want to do something about this difficult history, and makes me, personally, want to be a better ally. In this song, I feel he really speaks to non-Indigenous people in a way that makes you want to step up. My respect for him grows with each pass of the video I make,” says Stephenson, who had only two weeks from concept to completion.

“I knew we’d have footage of Adrian in the studio and used this as the starting point. We wanted to combine his performance with images of Canada, and sought permission from Canadian Geographic to use their Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada. It's a beautiful and important map that shows Indigenous territories and communities without provincial boundaries.”

Adrian's family did a translation of the title into Cree syllabics, explains Stephenson: “I was struck by Adrian’s description of the Cree term for ‘Politician Man’ – which he said translates into ‘okimaw-khan’ or ‘voted big boss’. I found this interesting as it takes into account the system of governance imposed by the Indian Act.”

“I added song lyrics using a treatment reminiscent of the rich and inviting visual language of old Nashville music posters, with design embellishments that draw inspiration from Cree floral patterns like those found on the beading on moccasins and mitts.”


Politician Man is being released at the start of Secret Path Week, a national movement commemorating the legacies of Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack, and calling on all Canadians to “Do Something.” Adrian Sutherland will be taking part in several events in the Toronto area:

Ø October 16 – Legacy: A Tribute to Gord Downie (Rose Theatre, Brampton)

Ø October 17 – Artist Ambassador school visit (Toronto)

Ø October 17 – Indie Week media event (Toronto)

Ø October 17 – Legacy: A Tribute to Gord Downie (Burlington Centre for the Performing Arts)

Ø October 18 – Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants online classroom (streaming from Toronto)

Ø October 18 – Gord’s Legacy Concert: The Path of Reconciliation (First Ontario PAC, St. Catharines)

mahalo, pono

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Comment of the Moment: NOW PLAYING: "Greendale" on Neil Young Archives

Officer Carmichael Pulling Over Jed
' "Carmichael you asshole,"
the new widow sobbed beneath her veil,
"shot down in the line of duty
is this how justice never fails?" '

via frame from "Greendale" | NYA

The Comment of the Moment is from post "NOW PLAYING: "Greendale" on Neil Young Archives" by Scotsman:
If I were picking my 5 albums for my trip to the WiFi-less desert island (and you can stop celebrating - I'm not actually going), there are several of Neil's seventies albums that wouldn't be able to make the cut. But Greendale would be in there. There's just so much packed into those 10 songs that it would be impossible to leave them behind.

Hopefully you can all sense my enthusiasm every time I start rambling about this album. And it doesn't need to be seen as an "environmental" record: I know that label turns some people off before they even give it a chance. Part of the album's success is that it approaches the (I think, compelling) environmental subject from an angle.

It's really just an album about life, about people, and Neil has stuck with the writing long enough to come up with a progression of songs that are dripping with life themselves. It's a real gem in his collection. It's emotional. It's very relatable. It's a lot of fun. Its packed full of feeling and observations and off-hand insights.

The somewhat scrappy, idiosyncratic performances turn some people off, too; I think the songs and performances have a lot of charm, a lot of attitude, and are robust enough to tolerate the more-than-occasional bum note.

When Neil is inspired, sits down with pen and paper and writes until something great flows out of him (and when he resists the temptation to skip that last bit, the bit that takes some maintained focus), everything instantly gets easier; because he's building on a solid foundation.

I use the "mining" analogy a lot. You need to mine for gold, and Neil needs to mine for great songs, too. The best ones arent sitting there on the surface, and take a little presistance and patience to gain access to. Greendale goes beneath the surface.

This is an album you need to sit with for a while; there are layers to it that are not going to become apparent to you on first listen. I think most people who dislike Greendale have given up on it too early. It's too weird, too different. And it needs to be listened to as a complete piece. But greatness always comes in a form that mentally moves us, and it's not always an instant process.

To get the best out of Greendale you need to relate it not to Neil's life but to your own. It's a story about you. You can find yourself in there if you want to. And I think this album is made for the Sun Greens of this world, but there's so much of life captured here that I think we can all find plenty to relate to. We can see something of ourselves and our fellow humans in these songs.

So as fun and as personal as Neil's Greendale film is, I'd be tempted to bypass it in favour of the wonderful 'Inside Greendale' sessions film. Or just listen to the album. Why skip the film? Neil has used his imagination a lot in making this album: now it's time for us to follow his lead and go to town with ours.

Scotsman - as always, thanks for your insightful contributions. Once again demonstrating that Neil fans/rusties are some of the most knowledgeable and articulate music fans out there.

Yeah, Greendale. We've literally written a book here on the subject. Greendale has been compared to the literary classics of John Steinbeck's work, Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" and Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio" for its complexity and emotional depth in exploring tragedy in a small town in America.

Simply put, Greendale is "Neil Young's Avatar".

Neil Young’s Greendale
Written by Joshua Dysart, Illustrated by Cliff Chiang

Inside The Making of Neil Young’s Greendale Graphic Novel

Greendale: Everyone's Hometown.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

NOW PLAYING: "Greendale" on Neil Young Archives

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

The film "Greendale" is now playing on Neil Young Archives in the Hearse Theater.

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 23 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
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."


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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Monday, October 14, 2019

A Note To Thrasher's Wheat Readers

Rebels With Causes
Phil Ochs and Neil Young

Hello Thrasher's Wheat Readers!

From the Editor's Desk, as folks may have noticed, yesterday's post on "Phil Ochs and Neil Young" was originally posted back in 2011, updated and re-posted.

Folks may have also noticed the extended discussion in Comments which was from back in the days of rather robust, spirited, rather polite discussions here on TW.

And while we did some time travel here on a journey through the past, we just so happened to have stumbled upon yet another blog approach. We had never been quite able to figure out the best approach to updating old posts aside from pulling content fwd with a new time/date stamp. The problem was that we lost all of the original post's comments.

So what we discovered with the "Phil Ochs and Neil Young" updated posting was a way to update the original post, put a new current time/date stamp while preserving all of the old comments. So win/win.

Lastly, some may be curious as to why we might have updated an 8 year old post on Phil Ochs?

One word: "Changes"...

peace & love,

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Phil Ochs and Neil Young


Phil Ochs: 1940 - 1976

Phil Ochs and Neil Young have a somewhat tangential, but critical relationship.

If we look at the 1977 Decade box album, Neil's hand written note about the song "Cinnamon Girl" says:
"Wrote this for a city girl on peeling pavement coming at me thru Phil Ochs eyes playing finger cymbals.

It was hard to explain to my wife."
We still have no idea what "Phil Ochs eyes" means but it indicates that Neil and Phil connected back in the 1960's.

In a 1969 interview on KSAN radio with Neil Young, he is asked about Dylan's music and admits that he didn't even own a Bob Dylan album for fear of being influenced by it. Young then goes on to site Phil Ochs as a major influence. Young adds that he considered Ochs and Dylan on the same level.

living with war cover art

Upon the release of Neil Young's 2006 Living With War, Neil described the album as "metal folk protest like Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan."

Which leads us to today's times of turmoil and change and the new film Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune (preview clip above). The film is rather timely and relevant tribute to an unlikely hero. Over the course of a meteoric music career that spanned two turbulent decades, Phil Ochs sought the bright lights of fame and social justice in equal measure - a contradiction that eventually tore him apart. From youthful idealism to rage to pessimism, the arch of Ochs' life paralleled that of the times, and the anger, satire and righteous indignation that drove his music also drove him to dark despair.

From AlterNet | Phil Ochs, a Musical American Hero by Julianne Escobedo Shepherd:
During the idealistic youth movement of the 1960s, the political folk singer Phil Ochs was a kind of pied piper. Reflecting the era’s idealism, he set out very earnestly to change the world with his music, viewing himself less as a songwriter and more of a reporter, his incisive, sardonic lyrics mining the tumult of the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, the Nixon era, and the Chilean coup.

Beginning his career in New York’s Greenwich Village as a compatriot to Bob Dylan, over the course of 15 years he became a hero-troubador to the peace movement, and quite possibly the most important American activist/musician of all time.
Ochs loved Elvis Presley and John Wayne as American archetypes writ large, and eventually he became an archetype himself. But stricken by bipolar disorder and alcoholism, coupled with the disillusionment of the era, Ochs died by his own hand in 1976. And while his story hasn’t been entirely lost, like much of leftist history his achievements have been buried.

Until now. Director/producer Kenneth Bowser has been working on Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune for the better part of 20 years.
Speaking of answers blowin' in the wind, also see more on metal folk protest music.

Above, "Changes" written by Phil Ochs, performed by Neil Young at Farm Aid 2013.

Listen carefully to the song's introduction. One of Neil's more stunning stage chats -- ever.

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain

(Neil Young's Influence on Kurt Cobain)

Before playing a cover of "Changes" by Phil Ochs at Farm Aid 2013, Neil Young commented that just earlier Pete Seeger talked of regret about Phil Ochs suicide and not doing more to help. Neil then remembers reaching out to Kurt Cobain (unmentioned) but being unable to make contact. Neil has only made mention of this tragedy once before on the record.

Neil Young played a four-show run at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2014 and played Phil Ochs' song "Changes" each of the four nights in concert.

From Album Cover of Phil Ochs - Greatest Hits

In another one of those eerie Neil synchronicities, Phil Ochs infamously once decided to commission a gold lamé suit because he needed to be "part Elvis Presley and part Che Guevara"["There But for Fortune: The Life of Phil Ochs" by Michael Schumacher ]. Phil Ochs performed at Carnegie Hall wearing gold lamé suit, much to dismay of his audience. Neil Young -- of course -- played "Heart of Gold" each of the four nights in concert of the four-show run at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2014. (See "Must a performer be that obligated to fulfilling the image his fans have of him?" -

Neil Young Recording "Changes" for A Letter Home Album in Soundbooth @ 3rd Man Records, Nashville, TN
(note Jack White in background)
via video Neil Young Archives

Neil Young's 2014 album A Letter Home opening track #1 is a cover of Phil Ochs song "Changes".

PHIL OCHS: THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE (2010) - Official Trailer
As our country continues to embroil itself in foreign wars and pins its hopes on a new leader's promise for change, Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune is a timely and relevant tribute to an unlikely American hero. Over the course of a meteoric music career that spanned two turbulent decades, Phil Ochs sought the bright lights of fame and social justice in equal measure - a contradiction that eventually tore him apart. From youthful idealism to rage to pessimism, the arch of Ochs' life paralleled that of the times, and the anger, satire and righteous indignation that drove his music also drove him to dark despair. In this brilliantly constructed film, interview and performance footage of Ochs is illuminated by the ruminations of Joan Baez, Tom Hayden, Pete Seeger, Sean Penn, Peter Yarrow, Christopher Hitchens, Ed Sanders, and others.

More on Rebels With Causes. Or, When Neil Young Speaks Truth To Power, The World Listens. As in, Sing Truth to Power!

Also, see Neil Young's Musical Influences.

Bob Dylan, Neil Young & Eric Clapton,
Madison Square Garden, New York City - 1992

Influences and Musical Collaborations of Neil Young

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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:
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Neil Young Songbook Project

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


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

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"
Occupy the Music

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



(Between the lines of age)

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

~~ John & Paul