Thursday, January 27, 2005

Albums in Order Review Series

buffalo springfield album cover greendale_cover album
Over on the Rust list, Expecting To Fly has been posting his thoughts on listening to the entire Neil Young catalog in chronological order. Certainly an ambitious enterprise for a noble cause which we're all for the better.

Starting with the first Buffalo Springfield album all the way through to 2003's Greendale, a total of 44 albums were reviewed. Expecting To Fly's reviews generated dozens of comments on Rust and a great deal of discussion on the merits of Neil's gems and those less than gems.

Now e2f's reviews have been archived here on Thrasher's Wheat, so check'em out! It's the latest Neil Page of the Moment.

Thrasher very much enjoyed posting the entire series of Albums In Order reviews today.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Neil at the Juno Awards?


UPDATE April 5, 2005: k. d. lang Sings "Helpless" for Neil Young at Juno Awards and Neil Young Suffers Brain Aneurysm - Health Update and Juno Impact.

UPDATE March 1, 2005: The Juno Awards has confirmed in a press release that Neil Young will attend the ceremony.
One of the big questions about this year's Canadian Juno Awards show is whether Neil Young will participate?

A source close to author John Einarson tells Thrasher that Neil looks to be pretty much a definite for the 34th annual Juno Awards show on April 3 in Winnipeg.

According to the Winnipeg Sun, the following acts are definite:

- Tragically Hip
- Randy Bachman
- Sum 41
- k.d. lang
- Matt Dusk

More on Neil Young's hometown Winnipeg, Canada.
Thanks Bill for the tip!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Old Black Guitar Reproduction

old-black-guitar modification

Some amazing photos of a reproduction of Neil's Gibson Custom Shop Historic R6 Les Paul Goldtop electric guitar over on TeleModders: The Telecasters Modification Discussion Group. Some beautiful photos and details of the job posted by Jeff Levenson of FabGear.
"- Gibson Custom Shop Historic R6 Les Paul Goldtop, finished by me in black nitro ("amateur" job replicated, no clear overcoat)
- hand fabricated truss rod cover, jackplate, bridge pickup trim ring, control cavity covers and pickguard to match his made out of polished aluminum.
- SD Antiquity 4 conductor Firebird pickup in bridge position wired to a coil tap mini switch
- chrome P90 neck pickup cover
- Schallers tuners
- inlay added to headstock then painted over like his
- modified Bigsby added (stop tailpiece holes plugged and levelled)
- all aging and wear matches Neil's original exactly."

More on the Ragged Glory sound of Neil's guitar Old Black and photos.

UPDATE: This post has been corrected from previous info posted in error stating this was Neil's actual guitar. As comments below indicate, this is an exact replica of Neil Young's guitar Old Black. Thrasher does like to get things right the first time and when this link was forwarded it seemed to indicate this was the real deal. Sorry for confusion and apologies. Thanks to TJ & Bob for correction comments below!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Neil Young Lands On Moon .... Not


A big week for Neil being in the Washington Post. Yesterday, Neil's song "Hey Hey, My My" was quoted in the Post in an article on the decline of rock and roll.

Today, the Post has Neil landing on the moon in a Reliable Source item titled "Hey Hey, My My: The Florida Crowd Gets a Little Spacey". Yeah, things have gotten pretty crazy around here this week for Bush's inauguration party:
"They promised us "beautiful people" with sequins, cleavage, suntans, blond hair and cowboy hats, so how could we resist partying with those fun-loving Florida Republicans?"

At an inaugural party, emcee Rep. Tom Feeney, was praising guests including Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
"Feeney lauded Aldrin as the second man to walk on the moon, following "Neil Young." Huh? Certainly he meant Neil Armstrong?
"We have an official position: I did not intend to say that it was Buzz Aldrin and Neil Young who were the first two men on the moon," Feeney told us yesterday. "Number two, we are printing a full retraction. And number three, it was David Crosby who I intended to say was one of the first men on the moon."

Feeney, 46, a fan of Young's earlier albums, explained the gaffe this way: "Some of his later work leads me to believe he spent some time on the moon."

Gee, a Republican Neil fan? How odd? Could Rep. Feeny have been referring to those "lost Geffen years"?! Maybe they need to be re-named to the "lunar years"?

And speaking of lunacy, here are a few of Neil's moon songs.

Happy Inaugural Day no matter whichever side of the aisle you may be on! Comment below (please keep it polite and clean) because it's the music that matters.

Thanks Lou for the tip!

Randomly Blogged: Tsunami Aid Concert, Arcade Fire, Tragically Hip

Arcade Fire on Fire

Wilco MP3 Download: 2004-05-20 at Otto's in DeKalb, IL

Tragically Hip Podcast

Tsunami Aid Concert - Madonna sings Lennon's "Imagine"

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Rock-and-Roll Can Never Die

neil at farm aid
Neil Young at Farm Aid 2004
photo by Patrick Hagerty - King County Journal

An article with a nice big Neil photo in today's Washington Post titled "Rock, Rolling Over" by Paul Farhi on the decline of rock-n-roll due to pressure from other music formats and distribution methods:
"Way back in 1979, when rock still ruled the radio, Neil Young offered this confident lyrical couplet in a popular tune of the day: "Hey hey, my my / Rock-and-roll can never die."

Young may still be right, but the radio stations that once played the Canadian rocker's music are showing clear signs of mortality. With baby boomers switching to other formats and younger listeners increasingly bypassing radio altogether, once-dominant rock stations are withering and in some cities dying.

Neil Young sang that "rock-and-roll can never die." But the radio audience for rock is fading as baby boomers switch to other formats and younger listeners increasingly bypass radio altogether.

The latest casualty turned up last week. WHFS-FM, the "alternative" station that pioneered free-form rock radio in Washington in the 1960s and '70s, abruptly pulled the plug on rock and began carrying Spanish-language pop. The move by WHFS's owner, Infinity Broadcasting, left the Washington region -- a radio market of more than 4 million people -- with just one area-wide station, DC-101 (WWDC-FM), playing contemporary rock. "

More on why Rock-and-Roll Can Never Die and the decline of radio and the demise of Washington's pioneer radio station WHFS.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Academy Awards Axes "Greendale" Oscar Nomination

Here's some news from last month that Thrasher never got around to digging into and posting. And this is pretty outrageous.

Neil Young's Greendale film has been denied the opportunity to compete in the Original Musical category because the entire category has been eliminated this year.

In a blow to independent filmmaking, according to a Hollywood Reporter article by Martin A. Grove, the Academy's Board of Governors voted to eliminate the Original Musical category despite the fact that there were the requisite number of eligible films according to the Academy's own rules. This decision was based on the Academy's arbitrary assessment that the films were not up to Academy standards of quality.
"It's an outrage," said filmmaker and Slamdance Film Festival co-founder Dan Mirvish, who would have been a potential nominee for two of the five eligible films. "I have a great deal of respect for the Academy, but this decision was disingenuous at best, and arbitrary and capricious at worst. The Academy is a huge stickler for the rules when it comes to filmmakers following them, but it's clearly disregarded the spirit and letter of its own rules because it suited them. You can't score if the ref keeps moving the goalpost."

The five eligible films were "Home on the Range", "Team America," "Greendale" (directed by Neil Young), "Open House" (directed, co-written, and co-produced by Mirvish), and "Big in Germany" (co-written and co-produced by Mirvish, with director Robert Peters). According to the Academy's rules, three of these five films would have received nominations.

Dan Mirvish continues:

"And then they tried to eliminate 'Greendale' by saying it's based on previously existing material, which was simply factually incorrect. If they had simply been curious about which came first, the album or the movie, they could have just called the filmmaker. But they didn't. So we kind of allied together with the 'Greendale' folks and (very quickly) they had a whole package together saying exactly what came first (and) what Neil's intents were. I think they even said, 'Hey, Neil will come and sing at the board meeting, if you really want it.' I mean, he felt that strongly about it. And Neil's an Oscar nominee, himself, for 'Philadelphia.'"

Subsequently, there was a Board of Governors meeting, Mirvish continued, "and they realized, 'Okay, I guess we have to say that 'Greendale' really is eligible and so then there's five films. Now how do we get out of this?' And that's when they came up with this very fractured language, which they literally spent two hours trying to come up with on Wednesday morning (Dec. 15). Basically, they were then, I think, at their meeting saying, 'Okay, let's look at this slate. We've got five films. We've got a Disney (animated movie). We've got the vulgar puppet movie with the guys who show up in dresses. We've got a Neil Young Super 8 movie.' Apparently there's some bad blood because Neil didn't show up at the Oscars the last time he was nominated (with) a best song nomination for 'Philadelphia.'"

This last bit about "bad blood" between the Academy and Young over Philadelphia is an error because Neil actually attended the Oscar's and performed the song "Philadelphia". Bruce Springsteen went on to win the Best Song Oscar for "Streets of Philadelphia".

The snubbing of small independent filmmakers by the Academy is a long running tradition. Certainly Neil's "homemade Super 8 film" doesn't meet the criteria which corporate Hollywood believes is necessary to maintain it's grip on mainstream filmmaking. But the breakdown has been going on a long time and continues to accelerate as the costs of media production continue to drop.

More on the Oscar kerfuffle and Greendale controversy.

Friday, January 14, 2005

On The Road Again... with Bio-Diesel

Farm Aid Co-Founder Willie Nelson has put up a billboard to attract truckers to use the alternative bio-diesel fuel. Called BioWillie, the fuel is made from vegetable oils, like soybeans, and can be burned without modifying for diesel truck engines.

Says Willie:
"There is really no need going around starting wars over oil. We have it here at home. We have the necessary product, the farmers can grow it."

Neil Young used the alternative fuel to help make a difference by touring Greendale with a bus run on bio-diesel. Here's a photo of Neil and Willie getting pumped up on bio-diesel at the 2004 Farm Aid Benefit.

Save the planet for another day, Willie & Neil!

Randomly Blogged: Son Volt, Rush & B.S., Corporate Radio Kills, Built Like Alaska, Indie Rock

Jay Farrar and Son Volt in the Studio
Rush Pays Tribute to Buffalo Springfield
Corporate Radio Continues to Kill Music
Built Like Alaska's Autumnland
Indie Rock's Tipping Point

RSS Feed for Bad News Beat


Word from Rainer that Bad News Beat now has a RSS feed. You know those little orange buttons you see on blogs? Well here's what you can do with them. Sign up through your favorite feed reader like BlogStreet and subscribe with:

As a reminder, the RSS feed for Thrasher's Wheat is:

And the RSS feed for Thrasher's Blog is:

So feed your head with all the Neil happenings you can handle.

Keep on Feedin' in the Free World!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

New Train Adventure for Neil


Thrasher did a double take on this "pose" struck by Mr. Young regarding his latest model train adventure!

Young founded a new company called Creative Trains Company with Lou Kovach, creator of the IC Controls product line. The new company will be developing a train product called Time Line Command.

More on Neil Young and Model Trains.

Thanks Lou for the link!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Richard Thompson and Neil Young

Here are a few of the intersections of Richard Thompson and Neil Young:

"Like his historical contemporary Neil Young (popularity aside, the two could be viewed as parallel phenomena of different continents), Thompson still thrives on fuzzed-out folk rock spliced with distorted solos. Like Young, Thompson knows that special cheer of audience recognition that happens at the start of an old song 30-plus years into a career, and utilizes it often. Also like Young, Thompson is not averse to an occasional contemporary political statement, and uses his devout Islamic faith as a starting point to criticize fundamentalist dogma of all varieties. "

From CityBeat:
"CB: There is a lot of stylistic variety on this record in terms of the songs. One of the songs I particularly like is 'Hard On Me.' I love the way it plods along. It makes me wonder if you might have a secret affinity for Heavy-Seventies-British-Rock!
RT: (Laughs) I probably don't and I'd probably die if I thought it had any relationship to '70s British Rock records. Um, what do I want to say about that?
CB: Actually, it really sounds more like something Neil Young and Crazy Horse might do.
RT: Yeah (sounding relieved). That's probably more like it. I wouldn't say it's a deliberate quote. I think I started off with a tune which is actually quite a modal, Celtic sounding tune, if you divorce it from the power chords. And I think the chords just slid in under the tune somehow, and it became sort of this foursquare heavy thing. "

From Emphasis Added:
"Because [Thompson] brings a little bit more to the table in terms of raw musicianship, he is far more consistent than those others both as a recording artist and a performer. At his best, Thompson is nearly as great as Neil Young, but at his worst, he's not nearly as bad as some of Young's more appalling failed experiments. Like Young, Thompson began in a late 60s folk rock group Fairport Convention in his case where he penned several of their finest songs including the glittering pop gem 'Time Will Show the Wiser,' and, at age 18, proved himself one of the elite guitarists in England"

Monday, January 10, 2005

Neil Young's Guitar

Over on the forum (in spanish), some great photos of Neil's guitar Old Black. This Neil Photo of the Moment is amazing, with guitar tech Larry Cragg showing the extreme wear and abuse which Old Black has suffered over the years from "Hurricane", "Down by The River", and other feedback laden finales that leave him lying in shreds on the stage floor.

Visually, Neil's Gibson 1953 Gold Top Les Paul is the electrical equivalent to Willie Nelson's battered "Trigger" -- his well-worn Martin acoustic guitar.

More photos and articles on Neil's guitars, the latest Thrasher's Wheat Neil Young Page of the Moment.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Southern Man Don’t Need Him Around Anyhow

A commentary by U.S. Senator Russ Feingold has set off a firestorm in Greenville, Alabama. In the article, Senator Feingold describes the poverty in Alabama and observes the dreaded "two Americas" - something that Neil observed back in the 1970's.

"And what we saw - check-cashing stores and abject trailer parks, and some of the hardest-used cars for sale on a very rundown lot - told us the people there were hurting economically and deserved more than they were getting.

Now, I know that some from Alabama reading this may dismiss my comments as those of a lesser Neil Young, just another person Southern Man doesn’t need around anyhow.

But I’ve traveled enough to know that there are Greenvilles all over this country, including in my home state of Wisconsin."

More on why Southern Man don't need Neil around anyhow.

Randomly Blogged - Wilco Letterman, Austin City, Videos

Wilco on Austin City Limits

Wilco music videos

Wilco on Letterman

Some Depression: A Podcast Blog

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Bobby Darin and Neil Young


"I used to be pissed off at Bobby Darin because he changed styles so much. Now I look at him and think he was a fucking genius." – Neil Young

Seeing some of the previews of the new film Beyond The Sea with Kevin Spacey's uncannily superb performance as Bobby Darin got me thinking about Neil's quote in a 1988 Rolling Stone interview.

Then I recalled Neil had made some comments about Bobby Darin in Jimmy McDonough's biography Shakey. Some innaresting comments by Neil Young on Bobby Darin:

YOUNG: "Bobby Darin. He was pretty funky back then ... innaresting guy. Actually, his first song came out when I was in Pickering - "Queen of the Hop." I appreciated what he was doing. It wasn't that I ever got washed away with the message, although "Queen of the Hop" was pretty cool, you could see a picture with that one. `Dream Lover" was good, too. Y'know when he did the Tim Hardin song "If I Were a Carpenter "? Another completely different sound.

"Mack the Knife " was cool, too. But it was almost a distraction, 'cause it was such a radical change you were goin ', "Wait a minute. Jesus Christ. This is really good, but who the fuck - is this the same guy? What the hell happened? "

That's the first artist I can remember where you're goin', "Well, shit - he just changed. He's completely different. And he's really into it. Doesn't sound like he's not there."

"Dream Lover," "Mack the Knife," "If I Were a Carpenter," "Queen of the Hop," "Splish Splash "- tell me about those records, Mr. Darin. Did you write those all the same day?

He just changed so much. Just kinda went from one place to another. So it's hard to tell who Bobby Darin really was."

Not sure if Bobby Darin's impression explains the Geffen years but here's some more on Neil's musical influences.

Randomly Blogged - Wilco, Music Blogs, Jason Molina

Wilco's New Year concert at Madison Square Garden
Music Blogs and The Critics
Jason Molina and Neil Young

Monday, January 03, 2005

Neil Young's Trains


Happy New Year!!!

Seeing a delightful train setup over the holidays up on Capitol Hill this holiday season got Thrasher to thinking.

I recalled an old issue of a model railroading magazine featuring Neil Young's train setup. With all the recent news on Lionel trains, I thought it might be nice to dig out of the Thrasher archives.

And what a treat the issue is. A very nice article and photos of Neil with his son Ben really warmed my heart these past days as we eased out the old and rang in the new.

From the 1993 Classic Toy Trains magazine, more on Neil Young and trains.

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


Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
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This Blog's For You!


Neil Young Appreciation Society

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists

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Youngtown Rock and Roll Museum
Omemee, Ontario, Canada
Featuring Neil Young,
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Bands Covering Neil Young songs


This Blog's For You!
Official Neil Young News Site

The Bridge School

Farm Aid

Stop factory farms
Go family farms!

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

The Essential Neil Young

Fans Favorite Neil Albums

Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Downloads

Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today

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Neil Young Films




Analysis and Discussion of
Album Poll Results

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


John Lennon and Neil Young


eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young


Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


kent state Four Dead in Ohio


Rockin' In The Free World


Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Year of the Archives:
2009 in Review

Bob and Neil

What does the song mean?

Tell Us The Truth

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge

Watch Real-Time Traffic Feed


Twitpic of the Moment

Neil Young on Twitpic
Twitpic by ncyvr