Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Living with War" Cover Art

NOTE: This post has generated the most comments ever on this site (over 200).
living with war cover art

The Living With War blog.

Stream Neil Young's "Living With War"


Click center arrow to play directly.
YouTube - Living With War - Neil Young Interview

More background on the New Neil Young Album and flame wars over the album "Living with War" on Amazon discussions.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

First Review of Neil Young's "LIVING WITH WAR"

4 riders
The 4 Musketeers

DownWithTyranny!: NEIL YOUNG IS LIVING WITH WAR. CAN HE RESCUE AMERICA, AND THE REST OF THE WORLD, FROM IT? former president of Reprise Records Howie Klein blogs:
"First my biases: I'm prone to love everything Neil records. I feel he's one of the greatest songwriters and musicians of our time.

If I listen to a song of his and I don't get it, I have long learned that that is because I haven't spent enough time with it and that when I do, I will eventually see what he was trying to do and appreciate it. A second bias, just as strong-- and one regular DWT readers are already very aware of and probably in sync with-- is my abiding mistrust for the Bush Regime and the alarm with which I view what they have done, and continue to do, to the country I love so much. The nexus of these two biases lead to an incredible hour of listening."

Technorati Blog Tag:

"Cinnamon Girl" MP3 cover by Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs


A most awesome rockin' "Cinnamon Girl" MP3 cover by Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs : Under The Covers Vol. 1

Kids Still Rockin' in a Free World

Kid with Neil's Ol' Black Repro

"There's one more kid that will never go to school
Never get to fall in love,
never get to be cool."

Certainly, we hope these lyrics do not apply to the family above.

One of the coolest things about Thrasher's Wheat is hearing from other folks in the community about how Neil Young's music has influenced their life. Thrasher received this photo on The Guitar Refinishing and Restoration Forum :: "My first guitar is completed - I want to thank you all...".

Thanks Old Black!

More on kids still rockin' in a free world and kids NOT "Rockin' In The Free World". (visualize)

Neil Young's Guitars

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Neil Young is Living with War Everyday

2005 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony photo by Julie Jacobson

He's from Canada.
He's a hippie.
He's an old man.
He smokes pot.
He's a tree-hugger.
He's a flip-flopper.
And worst of all -- just like Dylan - he can't sing.

Blog-dale has exploded. I've seen the hate and the damage done.

For all of the angry, rage filled hate-mongers, you are absolutely right. For once.

Neil Young is from Canada. He is a hippie. He is an old man. He smokes pot. He is a tree-hugger. He is a flip - flopper. And, just like Bob Dylan - he can't sing.

Now that we have that straight, please do not post comments here regarding information that we are all well aware of. And get your facts straight before spewing your venom because you're putting sponges in the bells I once rung.

There comes a time when we're all living with war. And it seems as if that time has come here at Thrasher's Wheat. The comments have been both supportive and nasty.

So today, tell us something about yourself, your faith and beliefs. Your hopes and dreams. As for Thrasher?

I'm living with WAR everyday
I'm living with WAR in my heart everyday
I'm living with WAR right now

Technorati Blog Tag:

Will Neil Young's "Living With War" be Rock's "Fahrenheit 9/11"?

New York Times: On His New Album, Neil Young Calls for Bush's Impeachment

cnn-protest-music-neil.jpg - Neil Young: 'Let's Impeach the President' (see video clip on protest music, Mansion On The Hill: CNN Transcript on protest music)

Daily Kos: Will Neil Young's "Living With War" be Rock's "Farenheit 9/11"?
"The definitive Neil Young site Thrasher's Wheat has done the hard work of assembling reaction from musical and political bloggers. Some of the reactions gathered on the normally apolitical Thrasher's Wheat show Bush's zombies in early meltdown."

reality-based educator: Neil Young's "America the Beautiful" Album

Come Share My Obsessions!: Neil Young Vs. George W. Bush -- Battle Of The Century!

The World Wide Glen: Welcome to My Thoughtmare

Pearl Jam Message Pit: Neil Young: "Impeach The President"

Biggfish Rants: 'Hey hey, screw Bush'

Beep! Beep! It's Me. Neil Young urges Bush impeachment on protest album

Thoughtful Preparations: Media Spin Blog » Neil Young’s Bush Buster

Daily Kos: Neil Young: Principled musician or Weather Vane?

American Flag Blog » Canadian Neil Young Once Again Wraps himself In The American Flag:
"Young was wrong once before, condemning “Southern Man” 26 years ago. After learning that his album sales weren’t going well in half the country, he apologized and wrote a song about Alabama. Instead of trashing Bush, perhaps Young should sing a song berating Canada for embracing the destructive force of Islam by exporting terrorists to the U.S."

PolitaKid: Neil Young Song: "Impeach the President":
"As you may know, I'm a Neil Young fan . I'm disapointed to see him take such radical, hateful views. I won't treat him like many treated the Dixie Chicks and never listen to him again, but I'm certainly not going to run out and buy Living With War, either. "

Sploid: 'Hey hey, screw Bush'

The Catskill Chronicle: NEIL YOUNG'S ALBUM: CANADIAN IDIOT (view with caution)

Mark Maynard - neil young: i've seen the bush presidency and the damage done

Hammer of Truth » Neil Young Jumping on the Impeachment Train comment by Taylor:
"How should I put this? How but, Fuck Neil Young.

He nothing but another commi, liberal, anti-american, hippie. If he hates the way George Bush runs America, then he can just take his whining ass back to Canada. We sure as hell don’t need him here, complaining about how bad things are. He talks like he would make a better president than George Bush. If someone like Neil Young was our president, then every terrorist in the world could walk all over us and he wouldn’t do a damn thing. His little anti-war ass."

The Galloping Beaver: Thirty Six Years On

Touch That Dial - "George Bush Doesn't Care About Hip People" » New Neil Young Project Coming Soon!?

The needle and the damage done | MetaFilter lots o comments

Musicisnotdead: New Neil Young Album

Leaky Sparrow: Neil Young ready for war

Politics - DNC RNC - No Bull » Neil Young Records “Impeach the President” Song:
"So, Canada, mind your own business, we have yet to attack you, and while Alberta has some oil, we prefer to be at peace with you and like what you offer.

Neil Young, I wish you would jsut bother with singing, forget about America, even though it is America that keeps you safe and prosperous.

With that prosperity maybe you should be a better neighbor, instead of siding with our enemies."

Canadian Latitude: Neil Young jumping on the impeachment train.

flyoverguy: Young is Old - Rust should Sleep

HERE COMES THE FLOOD: Neil Young - new album Life With War

chris uggen's weblog: metal folk protest?

Sweet Static: three groups of Neil Young fans

Go Bluebirds!: War Bad! Make Neil Young Cry.

A weak experiment of expression: Big Neil Young News

Democracy for New Mexico: Neil Young Records Anti-Iraq War Album

Blogs for Bush: The White House Of The Blogosphere: From "Let's Roll," to "Let's Roll Over."

blog'n at san onofre

big bloo sky: Living with War

Blogmeister USA: Neil Young Produces Anti-Bush Album

Caffeinated Gonzo!: Neil Young on Bush ~ Redux

The Amboy Times: Neil Young’s New CD

Public Figures... Beware: The Worst Named Blog on the Web: Neil Young Records Protest Album

Environmental Republican: Neil Young Redux

Neil Young Attacks President Bush in New Album - Starpulse News Blog :: your GTA roadmap: Neil Young doesn't need him around anyhow:
"Now, with 10 new protest ditties recorded in 72 hours, it'd seem like former Ronald Reagan booster Young has marked which side of the political fence he'd prefer to be buried on – seeds planted back at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2003, during a press conference for the multi-media project Greendale, where he expressed appreciation for Canada standing apart from the foreign policies of our neighbour. It's no wonder that Young tried to keep his three-day outburst of sedition a secret, yet by having weblogs squeal on his behalf, anyone who'd be potentially interested in hearing a song called "Impeach the President" will be worn out by the surrounding rhetoric before it's even released.

Neil's statements are limited to glib scrolling at the bottom of his website – underscoring the notion that, since protest songs will never have Nixon-era potency in this information age, Young might as well bask in his complex contrarian legacy by bashing out a few oversimplified partisan anthems that vindicate his radical past." | Subterranean Homepage News: Neil Young CD to protest war, urge impeachment

Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands: Neil Young: New Protest Album Out Soon!

Neil Young - Impeach the President » Outside The Beltway

Spark It Up!!!: Protest Album by Canadian Neil Young

Phil Ochs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Phil Ochs hanged himself in 1976 after a long stretch of erratic behavior. After his death, it was revealed that the FBI had a 410-page file on Ochs.

Moonbattery: Neil Young Reverts to Moonbattery

What Now?: Who the F--- is Neil Young?

FOX News crawl: Neil Young Records Album That Attacks America

Friday, April 14, 2006

LIVING WITH WAR: New Neil Young Album- "Metal Folk Protest"


Neil Young's official website now confirms his new album's title as LIVING WITH WAR. Neil's letter appears as ticker at bottom of page. Neil calls it "Metal Folk Protest" like Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan.


Lyrics to "LIVING WITH WAR" are scrolled.

UPDATE from former president of Reprise Records, Howie Klein on DownWithTyranny! on hearing the album the first time:
"Ok; first: the album is beyond belief. I mean it's so great I was jumping out of my skin. That's the good news. The less good news is that they wouldn't play it for me unless I agreed not to write about it for "a few days." (Not even the label has heard it yet and they felt it would be impolite for me to go blabbing the whole story all over the world until after they get to play it for Reprise and the NY Times.) So what can I tell you before "a few days?" Not much. From the time Neil started writing the songs until he finished recording the whole incredible project: 9 days.

Every song is about... you know what (and who). Musically it is so powerful and emotionally it's even more powerful that that!! Many tears while I sat alone with the headset on. Since I already mentioned "Let's Impeach the President," I'll just say a few things about that. It's this great rocker that ends as a gospel song and reads like an indictment. I mean Neil sounds like he's been reading Daily KOS or FireLakeDog! Someone's gotta get this to Henry Waxman! Neil even lays out some evidence in the form of Bush running his mouth on tape.

Will this go down as Neil's greatest album ever? It will be a contender musically. And the impact lyrically could be profound. I'll talk more about that when my period of musical purdah is up next week. If you're walking down the street and someone comes up to you and offers you the opportunity to hear just one song, ask him to play "Flags of Freedom." (Have kleenex handy.)"

More new album news and reaction .

New Neil Young Album: "Life in War"

Well, we've been sitting on this Neil news for some time now but it looks like the time has come since it's bustin' out all over blog-dale.

The title of Neil Young's newest album will be "Life in War" or possibly "Living With War".

As we reported last month on Neil's SXSW keynote address, Neil has been urged to deliver another "Ohio" -- a song which helped change public attitudes and marked an important turning point in the Vietnam War.

As Harp Magazine's Katherine Silkaitis reports, the album is complete and nearly ready for release. According to film director Jonathan Demme:

“It is a brilliant electric assault, accompanied by a 100-voice choir, on Bush and the war in Iraq…Truly mind blowing. Will be in stores soon.”

According to the blog Last Left Turn Before Hooterville by a member of the 100-voice choir, the album will contain the lyrics: "Let's impeach the President for lyin'!". The album will also feature a rap with President George Bush’s voice set to the choir chanting “flip/flop”. Alicia blogs:
"Every time new lyrics would come up on the screen, there were cheers, tears and applause. It was a spiritual experience ... We finished the session by singing an a cappella version of "America the Beautiful" and there was not a dry eye in the house."

"I've never been at a recording session that was more like being at church. Heck, I've never been to a church that was more like a church than that session."

In another blog by the former president of Reprise Records, Howie Klein's DownWithTyranny!: "The album, with Young on Old Black, Rick Rosas on bass and Chad Cromwell on drums, took three days to finish."

Could this be the predicted swerve to the ditch?

Needless to say, the rusties are in an uproar, with a serious meme that this all an elaborate hoax circulating. Politics and music sometimes do have a slight tendency to make some uncomfortable. But we've been through that a hundred times before ...

And this isn't the first time Neil has been ahead of the curve on impeachment or calling out for the truth (see album cover close-up).

A Warner Bros. Records spokesperson declined to comment on these reports. Why?

Thrasher's Wheat reports, you decide the truth.

neil-young For more, see:

MP3 News: Neil ready for War

LoperCo.: Protestin’ in the free world

haahnster's hallucinations: Neil Young Records LOUD Album Slamming Bush

Sensibly Eclectic: Neil Young to release new song: "Impeach the President"

JamBaseNEIL YOUNG: LIFE IN WAR Neil Young has new song: "Impeach the President"

Blah3: Now I can forgive him for 'Let's Roll.'

Bad News Beat: Impeach the prez

Rising Hegemon: Rockin' in the Free World again

Impeachin' in the Free World

Here Comes The Flood: New Album Life In War

Editor and Publisher: Neil Young, Son of Famed Reporter, Records "Impeach the President" Song

Eschaton: That's Not Very Subtle with hundreds of comments flooding in like: "Damn Canadian Hippies!!" and "Rock's greatest living dilettante".

And it's already started to get very ugly.

Wonkette: Aging Hippie Dislikes President Bush:
"Neil, we hate to be the ones to remind you, but you’re Canadian. You guys dissolved your parliament or whatever it’s called like last week, isn’t there a grace period before you go around kicking out other people’s elected officers? Sure, “Pass of Motion of No Confidence, Necessitating a General Election That Will Hopefully Result In the Appointment of a New Prime Minister” isn’t as catchy a title, but if you’re releasing three-day albums now, you can’t be too picky.

And why bitch? Under the President’s new immigration plan, you’ll be allowed to stay in California for upwards of six years if you register as a guest worker!"

FRIDAY'S LETTERS: Lovin' and Loathin' Neil Young's Politics: "Neil Young should stick to entertaining pot-heads that can't think their way out of a bag, and forget about politics." - Thomas L. Shimek, Brigham City, Utah

Cole Slaw Blog: Neil Young's "Life in War":
"Mildly disappointed with Neil Young's syrupy fall release 'Prairie Wind,' this morning I'm happy (I'd write 'thrilled' or 'overjoyed,' but I'm trying to be more understated) to read that Neil will soon release a hard-rocking protest album called 'Life in War.'

After the sentimental treacle of "Prairie Wind," it's great to read that Neil has recorded "a brilliant electric assault" about Bush and the war. There's a risk that he'll overreach with this, but I hope not. When Neil connects, he hits them out of the park."

But it gets worse. Or maybe the irony overload has kicked in? On The Huffington Post, MinneapolisMike posts a real winner:
"Neil Young is obviously not on message. Even though a Canadian citizen, he can and must be considered a terrorist threat for giving such aid and comfort to our enemies.

Neil Young is obviously not on the side of Freedom. He obviously refuses to believe the Talking Points but rather the blatant lies put forth by the evil media. Those who do not question the President are on the side of Freedom. Those not on the side of Freedom must therefore be on the side of terror. Therefore, Neil Young should be considered a terrorist and put on a deck of cards to let those around the world know he is a public enemy."

"this could cost the republicans votes, if back-to-nature organic hippie canadian libertarians voted." -- gypsy mothra

"I'm sure Celine Dion recording an anti-Bush album would have more of an impact."
-- James Mitchell

But for some fans, the major concern is that this will delay the release of The Archives Project. The horror.

More on Neil Young's new album and here.

UPDATE: 7:26 PM: Neil Young's official website now confirms the album's title as LIVING WITH WAR. Neil's letter appears as ticker at bottom of page. Neil calls it "Metal Folk Protest". Lyrics to "LIVING WITH WAR" are scrolled.

More discussion on controversial "Living with War" and here and blogdale has exploded.

Also, Will Neil Young's "Living With War" be Rock's "Fahrenheit 9/11"?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Video: Keep on rockin' in a free world? - Montreal, Canada

Video : Keep on rockin' in a free world ?

"There's one more kid that will never go to school
Never get to fall in love,
never get to be cool."

Certainly, we hope these lyrics do not apply to the family above.

One of the coolest things is seeing other folks interpretations of Neil Young's music. Thrasher found this blog video from Le blog de Florent Poirier titled: "Keep on rockin' in a free world ?" to be just marvelous of his family's travelougue to Montreal, Canada.

And for all of the French Neil fans: Un clip réalisé lors de mon premier séjour à Montréal en Août 2004 sur la chanson de Neil Young "Rockin' In A Free World".

Thank you Flo! Very nice.

More Rockin' In The Free World moments around the world. Imagine...

Beth Orton and Neil Young

beth-ortonA new blog called Leaky Sparrow has a nice piece "When Beth Orton quote Neil Young". Orton sings:

"So tell me what Neil Young said
You pick a flower then it’s dead"

Yes, love is a rose.

More on Beth Orton and Neil Young.

Thanks Philippe & good luck!

Got Neil?

Is rock dead? Yes, if we don't get our facts straight

"Is rock dead?" posits Mark Hanson in the Grand Forks Herald (North Dakota) Teen Section: "From rock to punk to grunge, genre slowly fades into ruin".

Well, rock certainly might be dead if teenagers don't get their facts straight on rock history. Mark writes:
"Hey, hey. My, my. Rock 'n' roll will never die." This may have seemed true in 1969, when Neil Young sang it to thousands of strung-out fans at Woodstock in Bethel, N.Y.

Now, fast-forward to 2006, and you'll find modern rock in a state of utter ruin.

Since its birth in the early to mid-1900s, rock music has passed in and out of many different genres including rock 'n' roll, punk and grunge. As of today, all forms of rock, despite Neil Young's prophecy, are undeniably dead."

While Neil did perform at Woodstock, last we checked, "Hey, hey, My, my" was yet to be written.

Hey Mark, you need to go to Rock & Roll high school like Jake.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Ronnie Van Zant and Neil Young: Rebels with a Cause?

Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant wearing Neil Young "Tonight's The Night" T-shirt
Oakland Coliseum Stadium, July 2, 1977

Photographer: Michael Zagaris on Wolfgang's Vault

    "And out in California,
    a rock star from Canada writes a couple of great songs
    about the bad shit that went down

    "Southern Man" and "Alabama" certainly told some truth
    But there were a lot of good folks down here
    and Neil Young wasn't around

    Now Ronnie and Neil became good friends
    their feud was just in song
    Skynyrd was a bunch of Neil Young fans
    and Neil he loved that song

    So He wrote "Powderfinger" for Skynyrd to record
    But Ronnie ended up singing "Sweet Home Alabama" to the lord"

The "feud myth" between Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young has been fueled in recent years mainly due to the Drive-By Truckers' stunning 2002 album Southern Rock Opera song "Ronnie and Neil". This perceived rivalry between Ronnie Van Zant and Neil Young has a long and tortured history which we've covered for years now.

Last time we checked, most folks couldn't seem to make up their mind about whether Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young were friends or foes.

But since we stumbled across the super historic photo above (on Wolfgang's Vault) of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant wearing a Neil Young "Tonight's The Night" T-shirt at the Oakland Coliseum Stadium on July 2, 1977, folks now seem to agree that Ronnie and Neil were in fact buddies.

And just how do we discern these vital trends? Mostly from our rigorously analytical and exclusive Shakey Electoral Polling System.

Lynyrd Skynyrd in Muscle Shoals, Alabama

So why do I keep mashin' up? Mainly because a southern man does need him around anyhow. And Watergate did bother him very much. And he never loved the Governor, either.

As for the politics of it all?

"Oh Alabama
Your cadillac has got a wheel in the ditch
And a wheel on the track"

Add your comment below, along with other recent letters to the editor.

Randomly Blogged: RITFW video, Kathleen Edwards, Cortez the Killer


From, "Rockin' In The Free World" video by Neil Young.

More on War is Hell and Politics is Hell.

More Neil Young videos on

you can't have a cupboard if there ain't no wall on Live Journal ozy_y2k posts on Heart of Gold film: "The overall effect is of a genial, relaxed gathering; not a PARTY, exactly, just a bunch of longtime buddies sitting around the campfire and throwing back a few beers and knocking out a few old chestnuts and new ballads."

"Hello Cowgirl in the Stands" - Editor and Publisher by Greg Mitchell : Neil Young and Dad - Writin' in the Free World


"Cortez the Killer" by Neil Young -

"Hate was just a legend
And war was never known
The people worked together
And they lifted many stones.

(Painting of CHALCHIHUITLICUE, Aztec Goddess of Rain and the Flowing Water. Unfortunately, Cortez took care of her.)

Kathleen Edwards on comparisons of her to Neil, Calgary Herald, Aug '03:
"Oh, absolutely. I read a review of my record and someone said, "She sounds like Lucinda Williams fronting Crazy Horse." I thought, wow, I never really thought that Neil Young was a big influence, but I guess in some way he's a subconscious one. It's a huge compliment. Not only is he a great musician and artist, but I have a lot of respect for the way he leads his life and takes a stand on things that are personally important to him."

via Bad News Beat

Wolgang's Vault: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young "Ambulance Blues" - 09/08/1974 Roosevelt Raceway

Crosby, Gils & Nash: Pink Floyd's David Gilmour at Radio City Music Hall, New York City

cowboy-junkies-tired-eyes.jpg bruce-springsteen-john-henry-video.jpg

Video: Cowboy Junkies Cover Neil Young's "Tired Eyes"

Bruce Springsteen video of "John Henry" from upcoming We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

Pixies: "Winterlong" by Neil Young More MP3 Neil covers from the 1989 Bridge Tribute album (via An Aquarium Drunkard).

More random blogs from the land of wheatfields and blog-dale.

Thanks for the links Pete, e2f & HwyCDRrew & everyone else!

The Neil Young Discography: Help Wanted

record label & cd images needed for<br />the NEIL YOUNG discography<br />at

My buddy Jef over at Side Street Records has been working intensively for several years on the definitive Neil Young Discography.

In Shakey - A Neil Young Biography author Jimmy McDonough called Side Street Records website "detailed to the sub-atomic". Wait until you see this, Jimmy!

As Jef nears completion, he is looking for some help in locating some rare cover images. So if you can help out, that would be great! Here's what Jef is looking for:


Harvest (Reprise R113998) RCA Record Club LP in single-pocket cover

Harvest (Reprise 2277-2) 1983 CD manufactured in Japan for U.S. market  [red "target" design printed on the disc]

Everybody's Rockin' (Geffen 4013-2) 1983 CD manufactured in Japan for U.S. market  ["target" design printed on the disc]


Last Time Around (Atco SD33-256) 1969 pressing LP with "ATCO", "RECORDS" and "STEREO" printed in BLACK (instead of tan/white)


Can't Help Loving That Girl Of Mine (Valiant 6049)1965 red label second pressing 45 (not Valiant 705)


Baby, Don't Do That (Lorna unknown number) ANY info about this 45 needed: release date, record Nº, "B" side, --ANYTHING!!

Please eMail your record/cd list before sending any images

& be sure to visit The Neil Young Discography at

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young: The Difference in Greatness

bruce-springsteen-electric-open.jpg neil_young_oldblack_flannel_hat
Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young
"You know, the difference between the greatness of Bruce Springsteen and that of Neil Young as someone once explained to me back in college: Bruce makes you think you, too, can be as great as he is; Neil makes you think he is really no better than you are to begin with. Remember that."
Dr. Eric Alterman - Altercation

Over the years, Neil Young has intersected with a wide variety of artists like Bob Dylan and Pearl Jam. Another interesting musical intersection is that of Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young.

So how does the Canadian Young become labeled an American treasure? From On Milwaukee by Bill Zaferos on Neil Young's place in American music:
"Other than, say, Bruce Springsteen, who else has better expressed the late 20th and early 21st century American experience? Whether it was "Ohio" or "Rockin' in the Free World," or "Southern Man" or "Unknown Legend" or even "Old King," Young has always given voice to the meaning of life among the amber waves of grain, the crack-laden neighborhoods or the romantic longing of an American heart."


For many, Springsteen brings a rare combination of complex singer-songwriting and entertaining showman together in ways that Bob Dylan or Neil Young failed to achieve. From the U.K.'s Telegraph
by Neil McCormick on arguably the greatest solo performer of all time:
"Springsteen is both the most populist and (in terms of sales and live audience) the most popular. His songs spring out of the American maverick tradition with echoes of Steinbeck, Kerouac, Ginsberg and (in his new collection) Cormac McCarthy. His music has the blood of tradition in its veins and high art in its sights.

Yet unlike many of his singer-songwriting peers, Springsteen does not neglect his role as an entertainer. With the E Street Band, he comes from the American school of road-tested rock and roll that has, in lesser hands, given us so many efficient but essentially soulless showbands.

Springsteen combines the best of two very different worlds, the highly personal songwriter and the crowd-pleasing entertainer. He is, in effect, Bob Dylan and Elton John rolled into one. It is an unusual but compelling combination that makes him arguably the greatest solo performer of all time."

photo by Buzz Person

From The History of Rock Music - The Sixties by Piero Scaruffi:
"Neil Young constitutes with Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen the great triad of 'moral' voices of American popular music.

As is the case with the other two, Young's art is, first and foremost, a fusion of music and words that identifies with his era's zeitgeist. Unlike the others, though, Young is unique in targeting the inner chaos of the individual that followed the outer chaos of society. While Dylan 'transfers' his era's events into a metaphysical universe, and Springsteen relates the epic sense of ordinary life, Young carries out a more complex psychological operation that, basically, bridges the idealism of the hippy communes and the neuroses of the urban population. His voice, his lyrics, his melodies and his guitar style compose a message of suffering and redemption that, at its best, transcends in hallucination, mystical vision, philosophical enlightenment, while still grounded in a context that is fundamentally a hell on earth."

Bruce and Neil fans tend to agree over their hero's merits, although there are occasional flare-ups. As Glen blogs regarding Springsteen's upcoming Seeger Sessions:
"I actually found one comment interesting...and that was the one about comparing Bruce fans who miss the E Street Band to the way Neil fans miss Crazy Horse.

Not the same at all.

Neil has carved out a very effective "duality" in my view.

The quiet, accoustic Neil resonates every bit as effectively as the cranked up to eleven Neil does.

When Neil is doing his full on, cranked up to eleven electric thing, it's more about Neil's guitar playing than it is about the band (Crazy Horse)."

And the always brilliantly vivid Caryn on the Jukebox Graduate blog responds to the Bruce versus Neil debate:
"Bruce, regrettably, cares a little too much about letting his fans down. He needs to take more chances, not less. Neil doesn't care whether or not the fans get cranky, as evidenced on the Greendale tour and what happened with the audience reaction there. Neil just GOES. They are wildly divergent personality types and you might as well compare Springsteen to Sinatra."

So with the setup of compare, contrast and discuss provided by Dr. Eric Alterman's "greatness" quote above, The Jukebox Graduate and blogger Glen's response to Thrasher's strawman argument, here's a look at the fascinating intersections of Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young.

bruce springsteen and neil
"Even Bruce dropped in..."
Bruce Springsteen & Neil Young - Sydney, Australia
March 22, 1985

Photo from Thrasher's Archives

On March 22, 1985 in Sydney, Australia, Bruce Springsteen joined Neil onstage for an encore performance of "Down By The River". Bruce had performed the night before at Sydney's Entertainment Centre (3/21) and performed again the next night (3/23). In between Bruce's two concerts, Neil Young was scheduled to headline the Benefit for the Australian Cerebral Palsy Association concert. As noted in poster above, Neil's entire 1985 Australia tour was "ALL SOLD OUT".

Nils Lofgren, touring with Springsteen, joined Young onstage for several songs, including "Comes A Time" and "Helpless". At the conclusion of the 28 song setlist, Young invited Springsteen on stage. Bruce sang vocals on an amazing 20 minute version of "Down By The River".

Neil & Bruce
Bridge School Benefit Concert - October 13, 1986

"Helpless" - Neil Young with Bruce Springsteen

Neil Young invited Bruce Springsteen at the first annual Bridge School Benefit Concert in California in 1986. They performed Young's "Helpless" together. (Thanks Mike for reminder!)

bruce springsteen -young-jones-beach-06141989.jpg
Bruce & Neil
Jones Beach, New York on June 14, 1989

Springsteen joined Neil for an encore of "Down By The River" at Jones Beach, New Yourk on June 14, 1989. Bruce is virtually inaudible on the tapes of the show. If Thrasher had not seen the video of the performance, it would have been hard to believe both Neil and Bruce sang at the mic.

Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young's music and careers have as many similarities as dissimilarities. Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World", has been compared with Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA," due to "the anthemic use of this song was based on largely ignoring the verses, which evoke social problems and implicitly criticize American government policies." (1) Neither artist has sold their songs for use as commercials, leaving them among a small handful not to do so.

Another Bruce and Neil connection occurred at the Academy Awards on March 21, 1994. Coincidentally, both Springsteen and Young were both nominated for Best Song in a Movie -- and in the same film -- Jonathan Demme's "Philadelphia". Bruce's nominated song was the film opening "Streets of Philadelphia" and Neil's was the closing title track "Philadelphia".

Bruce Springsteen won the Oscar award for his song "Streets of Philadelphia". In his acceptance speech, Springsteen acknowledged Young and said that the award really deserved to be shared by the other nominee's song.

In 1994, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Neil Young joined on stage at the Roseland in New York City to perform 'Rainy Day Woman' and 'Highway 61 Revisited'.

At the 1995 Bridge School Benefit Concert, Springsteen joined Young for an encore of 'Down by the River'. Young remarked: "Bruce says he doesn't have any more songs, so we'll do one of mine".

St. Paul, MN - October 5, 2004
photo by Muriël Kleisterlee and Jos Westenberg

At the 2004 Vote For Change concert in St. Paul, MN, Neil and Bruce jammed together on "All Along the Watchtower" and "Souls of the Departed".

bruce-springsteen-devils-dust-cover.jpg prairie-wind-cover.jpg

But not all are totally impressed with this juncture in Springsteen's and Young's careers. From Nude as the News: review of both Springsteen's Devils and Dust and Young's Prairie Wind by Ben French:
"Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young have both been playing this sort of acoustic, singer/songwriter-type music for more than 30 years, so it’s not a crime if they repeat themselves from time to time. On the other hand, it surprises me when other writers blatantly ignore the fact that none of this is worth listening to more than a couple times – especially if you already own the artists’ older albums. UK writers always have a flare for the dramatic, but I think Guardian pushes the limits by calling Prairie Wind, “one of Shakey’s best.” Outrageous. Rolling Stone gave Devils & Dust 4 ½ stars, which seems incredibly polite."

As for reviewer Ben French's comments above, we're looking forward to Springsteen's upcoming Seeger Sessions and the crimes of artists repeating themselves from time to time.

In a review of the book Mansion on the Hill:Dylan, Young, Geffen, Springsteen, and the Head-On Collision of Rock and Commerce by Fred Goodman the reviewer feels that author Goodman has it backwards that Neil Young is the great musical hero and not Bruce:
    "Springsteen, because he has maintained a consistently high level of commercial success over the years, is a sell-out, and a manufactured creation of his manager. Whereas someone like Neil Young, because he hasn't been ashamed to release some real crap, is an artist of integrity, who won't give in to crass commercialism, by always giving his fans music that they will actually enjoy."

More Bruce and Neil mashups from the land of wheat fields and blog-ville [search].

Also, read more on other Neil Young collaborations, influences and mashups.

Also, see Bruce Springsteen Compared to Neil Young discussed on Greasy Lake Community.

Add your comments below.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Two Juno Awards for Neil Young


Last night at Canada's Juno Awards, Neil Young won for best adult alternative album for 'Prairie Wind' and the best producer award.

These are Neil's fourth and fifth Juno Awards. Neil Young has won a total of zero Grammy Awards.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

We Have A Winner!

"This is from last night? I can hardly tell what decade this
is from!"

Tony & Neil - Seattle, WA, March 9, 1999

We have a winner of the "Made in Manitoba" book contest!

After some tough deliberations by the judges, Thrasher's Wheat is pleased to announce that Tony Stack submitted the winning entry with his "classic Neil funny" story.

made-in-manitoba.jpg But before we get to Tony's story, a little background on our contest for an autographed copy of acclaimed rock historian John Einarson's book titled Made in Manitoba: A Musical Legacy. Last year, we reviewed author Einarson's book and found it to be a fascinating chronicle of Manitoba, Canadian artists like Randy Bachman and the Guess Who. So with Canada's Juno Awards coming up tonight (Sunday, April 2 - more here and here) it seems like a nice time to announce our winner.

Now onto to Tony's story regarding the photo above.

When Neil did his solo acoustic tour in the Spring of 1999, we traveled up to Seattle to see his two shows at the Paramount.

We bought the Gold Circle tickets for each show which included a "meet and greet" after the concert.

On the first night was got the lay of the land, all the Gold Circle ticket holders were ushered into a downstairs lobby. After a few minutes Neil arrived and signed autographs and took photos with fans as he walked through the room.

The first night I got my picture taken with Neil. During the next day, we went and got the photos developed at a one-hour place and took the photo back the next night to have him sign it.

When I handed the photo to Neil, I said " Would you sign this photo from last night?"

Neil replied, "This is from last night? I can hardly tell what decade this is from!"

Congratulations Tony!

And thanks John and Bill for the autographed book to give away! Also, many thanks to all of the other contestant entries. Many, many great Neil Young stories that -- sadly -- we are unable to recognize at this time.

Maybe we can do another contest sometime? Maybe give away Neil's entire CD catalog? Or how about a contest for all of the volumes of The Neil Young Archives Box Set? Nah, that would mean that Neil would have to actually release The Archives. That'll be the day....

More on the previous contest for a copy of The Greendale Songbook which Steve Cross won for his wonderful Don't Spook The Horse Quest tale.

Randomly Blogged - An 18 Year Old's Take on "Heart of Gold"

From "Neil Young fans' hearts leap for Demme's 'Gold'" review by Jake Weisman, we have an 18 year old's perspective on the "Heart of Gold" film:
"The film is better than any concert film I've seen. As cliche and silly as it sounds, I really thought I was at the show. It seemed more like an event than a movie, and it stuck with me. And I give the most credit to whoever decided to get Demme to direct. I'm not a fan of the Talking Heads, but I liked "Stop Making Sense," their live film directed by Demme.

"Neil Young: Heart of Gold" is an extremely simple movie, but the sentiment and heart behind the film are the elements that make this unlike any other concert film I've seen. I had bought "Prairie Wind" around the time of its release and couldn't really get into it. It's slow and -- well -- old-people music, if you will. So I stuck to more upbeat and rock 'n' roll themed "Tonight's the Night" and "Ragged Glory."

But after viewing the film and seeing the passion and the history behind Young's stories told between the songs and the expressions on his face, this album speaks louder to me (an 18-year-old) than most other albums I've heard recently. It's not old-people music -- it's music for people with history and with soul. The only way I could have truly understood the album is through Demme's lens and seeing the whole thing live -- well, not live, but you understand. If you like his folk music or any of his music, it's a very good idea to see "Neil Young: Heart of Gold." If you're never going to see him live, I have a feeling this movie is the closest you're going to get. Mister Young, and you will never rust."

A very wise kid. Nice, Jake.

Other random blogs of note:

- Film tickets giveaway for "Heart of Gold"

- BobFest YouTube Video: "My Back Pages"

- Boss GT Central Forums: Equipment gear for the heavy Jimi Hendrix sound and Neil Young's solo on Cortez the Killer and Southern Man

- Prisoners of Rock and Roll @

- Arctic Monkeys Concert Webcast on NPR

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Top 10's: Neil and Bob


UPDATED: @ 11:52AM

A year ago, the Neil news reports were no laughing matter and a none too funny joke.

So a year later, we can be much more light-hearted and kick off April.

Last January, we posted the Top 10 Reasons Why Neil Young is Better Than Bob Dylan which caused quite an uproar.

Judging from the huge number of comments, it seemed like Dylan fans lacked a certain sense of humor and took things much too seriously?

So in the spirit of the day, by popular demand, once again Eight Track Mind's listing by The Jaded Bitterman:

Top 10 Reasons Why Neil Young is Better Than Bob Dylan

1. Better Voice
2. Better Guitar Player
3. Better Good-to-Bad Song Ratio
4. Neil Never Sold His Music To a Commercial
5. Neil Embraces the Younger Generation of Musicians
6. No One Plays Neil Songs Better Than Neil
7. Farm Aid & The Bridge School Benefit Concerts
8. Neil Is More Diverse
9. Neil Never Played With The Dead
10. Because I Like to Piss People Off

Eight Track Mind deconstructs each argument point by point. To say some of the reasoning is provocative would be an understatement.

And Dylan fan Mikey spoofs back in the comment thread:
Top Ten Reasons Why Bob Dylan is Better Than Neil Young

1. Neil's tendency to make one-off right wing political statements (e.g. Let's Roll)
2. Everybody's Rockin'
3. Neil does not regularly tour with The Horse, his best band and he obviously knows this fact.
4. Neil Stopped selling "Greendale High" t-shirts on-line
5. Bob's influence allowed the Beatles to write and record Rubber Soul
6. Bob is an American and Neil is Canadian
7. If there is another CSNY reunion and I have to see Graham Nash on stage, I may off myself
8. More jawas on stage would have made Live Rust a better video
9. Neil has never been called Judas.
10. Neil hasn't invited me to the Broken Arrow yet.

For more reaction, see Top 10 Reasons Not to Goof With Bob Dylan Fans and comments on blasphemy. Also, here's the happy ending.

Happy April!

ps - and if you hurry, check out this MEGA-SUPER-BIGFOOT-RARE 1972 Neil Young Harvest PROMO LP on eBay with the hit single "Horse With No Name".

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