Neil Young News



November 2003

News Archives

Thrasher's Blog

    Fresh Wheat - 11/30/03

    Sydney, Australia 11/21/03 photo by Karen from Crazy Kangaroo
    Australia 2003 Tour Wraps Up

  • A review from Matt Webber on the Melbourne, Australia concert:

      The bluesy swagger of "Double E" got feet a-tappin' and the energy from the audience was palpable. Neil was playing up with Billy Talbot, and both of them were rockin' side to side like a couple of funky gorillas clearly having a ball. It was great to see. When the stage lights shone onto the crowd, from where I stood (upper stage right) all you could make out was what seemed like a million grinning faces swinging side to side. The punters were loving it !

    More on the 11-22-2003, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, Australia concert and setlist. Thanks Matt!

    Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp photo from Rocky Mountain News
    Farm Aid 2003 Broadcast

  • On Thanksgiving Day, PBS broadcasted a 2 hour edit of the 8 hour show. Naturally, a lot of music didn't make it to the final cut. And that's not all that got cut.

    Young's line "We're losing boys every day 'cause we didn't have a plan" in "Rockin' in the Free World" was edited out of the broadcast.

    In comparison, John Mellencamp's comments were removed entirely from the broadcast.

    More on Farm Aid broadcast on Thrasher's Blog.

    Young & Old band covers Neil

  • Got a note from Francesco about a group called Young & Old , which is an Italian Neil Young cover band. They have a nice website with links to MP3's and they do a rockin' cover of Cinnamon Girl. Ciao!

    Fresh Wheat - 11/25/03

    tutt Photo by Emily DeBord from Phresh Water
    "Ohio" Covered on Tell Us The Truth Tour

  • I caught the last stop of the Tell Us The Truth Tour last night at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC and what an event.

    First the highlight. REM's Mike Mills led all the performers including Steve Earle, Billy Bragg, Tom Morella and others in a rousing version of Neil Young's 'Ohio'.

    Mills introduced the song by saying:

      "This next song is by someone who has never been afraid to tell the truth."

    Playing acoustic guitar, Mills then launched into an angry cover of 'Ohio' and changing the lyrics to:

      "Tin soldiers and Bush is coming
      We're finally on our own.
      This summer I hear the drumming
      Four dead in Ohio."

    For more on the Tell Us The Truth Tour see Thrasher's Blog.

    Fresh Wheat - 11/23/03

    melb_2003photo by Ros O'Gorman
    More on Neil and Crazy Horse Down Under in Melbourne

    From Undercover article "Neil Young Greendale tour ends on a damp note" by Paul Cashmere:

      "Neil is simply too popular for his own good with too many fans and too little time. He arrived in Australia on Tuesday. Performed Wednesday in Brisbane, Friday in Sydney and Saturday in Melbourne and then left the country on Sunday morning.

      Greendale needed an intimate environment to be properly appreciated. The sets were so big that they blocked the big screen at the back so people at the left and right of the stage couldn't see what was happening with the story. The screens on the side were too small so people in the general admission area had no concept of detail.

      In the right location, the show itself would have been one of the most stunning performances of the year. "

    More of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Greendale show, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, November 22, 2003 review and excellent concert photos from Undercover.

    For more on the Australia 2003 tour and more on Greendale concert reviews and setlists see the Krazy Kangaroo page and the Greendale Concert Reviews page. Also, see Neil Young Greendale Reviews.

    Fresh Wheat - 11/21/03

    Neil and Crazy Horse Down Under in Australia

    Dave from Australia reviews the Brisbane concert on Rust:

      "Greendale: Sublime. It really is 'Everything you're looking for'. Bandit could very soon be my absolute all-time favorite Neil song. He nailed it.

      2nd Set: MMHH into Watchtower was great which then pretty much morphed into LAH. Literally no gap between all three songs, it was 1/2 an hour (give or take a few minutes) of the most intense music I have ever witnessed. I was buggered by the end of it and all I did was watch! Although I did have to pick my jaw off the floor quite a few times! You could feel Hurricane in your chest, it was that powerful."

    For Brisbane setlist, the Australia 2003 tour and more on Greendale concert reviews see the reviews of Greendale Concerts page. Go here for all of Neil Young's Greendale reviews of concerts, the album, DVD and film.

    Crosby, Nash Eyeing First Album Since 1976

    From Billboard (November 20, 2003) an article by Wes Orshoski:

      "David Crosby and Graham Nash will enter the studio in January to record their first album together as a duo in almost 30 years.

      The regularity with which the foursome has performed in recent years is somewhat of a surprise, considering the feuding its members have endured with one another. Though it may seem Young is getting more and more nostalgic, Crosby says that's not the case.

      "He doesn't look at it as nostalgia," he says. "He looks at it as one more facet of the jewel, one more way that he can go out and work and have it be fresh. Because when he gets done with us, he'll take, like, three days off, and go out again with the Horse, or with [his latest album] 'Greendale,' or something, because, truthfully, man, that's all he does is work. He really loves to work and so do I."

    New Book on Neil Young's Harvest

    There is a new book series called Thirty Three and a Third based on classic albums. One of the first featured albums is Neil Young's Harvest by Sam Inglis. From the flap jacket:

      "Neil Young's 'Harvest' is one of those strange albums that has achieved lasting success without ever winning the full approval of rock critics or hardcore fans. Even Young himself has been equivocal, describing it in one breath as his 'finest' album, dismissing it in the next as an MOR aberration. Here, Sam Inglis explores the circumstances of the album's creation and asks who got it right: the critics, or the millions who have bought 'Harvest' in the 30 years since its release?"

    And here's an excerpt from the book:

      "'The White Falcon’s split pickup might have been just a gimmick from the early days of stereo, but the way Neil Young uses it on 'Alabama' is remarkable. His muted picking brings stabbing notes first from one speaker, then the other, as though we were hearing not one but two guitarists, playing with an unnatural empathy. The electric guitar has seldom sounded so menacing, and Young’s growling rhythm and piercing lead notes are tracked perfectly by Kenny Buttrey’s bare-bones drumming. The build to the chorus is beautifully judged, and when Young and his celebrity backing singers let rip, there’s an almost physical sense of release.'

    More on the song "Heart of Gold" and the album Harvest.

    Fresh Wheat - 11/18/03

    Danny Whitten Remembered

  • From the The Hamilton Spectator and BNB,, Today in Music History on 18 November 2003:

      In 1972, Danny Whitten, a former member of Neil Young's backing group, Crazy Horse, died in Los Angeles of a heroin overdose. The bleak tone of Young's album Tonight's the Night, recorded in 1973 but not released until two years later, was partly the result of Whitten's death. Bet he had no idea they'd be still mourning him 31 years down the road.

    See the Danny Whitten Page for more on the original Crazy Horse founding member.

    Fresh Wheat - 11/15/03

    Neil and Crazy Horse at Hong Kong Harbour Festival, Tamar Site, Admiralty, Hong Kong

    Hong Kong Concert Review

  • An excellent concert review from Uncle Michael's Hong Kong report.

    Uncle Michael has photos of Neil in Hong Kong, the concert ticket copy and a news cutting from the most popular Chinese newspaper of Hong Kong, Oriental Daily News having picture of Neil arriving at Hong Kong International Airport with his wife, Pegi.

    Crazy Horse Interview - Poncho on The Archives

  • From November 2003 interview with Undercover's Paul Cashmere on Crazy Horse's Frank 'Poncho' Sampedro on the Archives:

      "You know, I think Neil (and he would never say it) just has a feeling that putting out a boxed set like that is kind of like marking the end of your career and it is like a tribute to yourself. He would never say that but he just doesn't want to do that until he is done. That is what I feel. He has never said that to me. There is too much time to spend making new music than focusing on all your old stuff. "

    More of interview and info on the Years of the Horse on the Neil Young and Crazy Horse page.

    Fresh Wheat - 11/13/03

    Greendale as a Novel?

  • An interesting article from The New York Times headlined "Have You Heard the New Neil Young Novel?" by Madison Smartt Bell. Bell puts forth the premise that the Greendale narrative intertwined with the music makes for a compelling read.

      "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.

      He embeds the story line in musical arrangements sufficiently stripped down to recall the idea of a Homeric bard accompanying himself on his harp. The music supplies and modulates the tone of the work Mr. Young's familiar chiaroscuro palette or sometimes goes a little further to capture a lyrical feeling the words can't fully express: in the description of Mr. Young's accompanying text, "you can't tell by listening to the songs, you have to listen to the instrumentals to get this." While the songs themselves dramatize the narrative's scenes, the printed text handles exposition and summary transitions, in an idiosyncratic manner that allows Mr. Young to speak directly to the reader."

    Bell concludes by summing up Greendale for the major achievement that it is for commenting on today's times.

      Mr. Young's not the first or last to notice that if our world is significantly less free now than in the time of his youth, it's less because of government than the inert momentum of the increasingly monolothic media. "Greendale" makes a loud and clear protest against the oppressive qualities of both not the recycling of antique hippie platitudes that it might appear at second hand, but a message aptly tooled for just these times. Here is an unusually vivid picture of mass media's most sinister system of self-reference, flowing from sitcom TV through reality to tabloid TV and back again. But what's most refreshing is the successful use Mr. Young has made of artistic freedom; with the multidimensional twists that bind his music to his narrative, he's stitched the novel a whole new suit of clothes. "

    More on reviews on the Greendale album page. Thanks Kevin.

    Greendale Album Design

  • And another article from The New York Times "Great Tunes, but Where is the Cover?" :

      "Until the technology catches up, artists are experimenting with a variety of media to convey visual information with their music. Artwork for Neil Young's latest album, 'Greendale,' for example, was released on CD, DVD and a Web site, but is unified by a central image, an illustrated map of the fictional California town described in the songs.

      'The idea was to make a piece of art that could work everywhere,' said Gary Burden, the art director for 'Greendale,' who has designed album covers for Neil Young for 35 years, as well as classic covers for The Doors, the Eagles, and Jackson Browne. The map is presented in varying levels of detail as an icon, a CD cover and in interactive form at"

    More on The Making of Greendale page.

    Fresh Wheat - 11/12/03

    Happy Birthday Neil!

    Neil was born on November 12, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario and is 58 years young. Keep on Rockin', Be The Rain and Long May You Run Neil!

    Fresh Wheat - 11/11/03


    Osaka, Japan Setlist - Neil Young and Crazy Horse

    11-10-2003, Osaka-Jo Hall, Osaka, Japan

    1. Falling From Above
    2. Double E
    3. Devil's Sidewalk
    4. Leave The Driving
    5. Carmichael
    6. Bandit
    7. Grandpa's Interview
    8. Bringin' Down Dinner
    9. Sun Green
    10. Be The Rain
    11. Hey Hey, My My
    12. Crime In The City
    13. Powderfinger
    14. Love And Only Love
    15. Cinnamon Girl
    16. Cortez The Killer
    17. Fuckin' Up

    Setlist thanks to Sugar Mountain , Bad News Beat, and Baron Rouge's Neil Young 2003 page.

    The Archives

  • From Triple J Radio Richard Kingsmill spoke to the legend Neil Young about his Greendale album and the visual image he had when writing the songs:

      "I think there's four volumes. It's kind of humungously too big! (laughs) But you know it's the information age and we've got the technology, so that's all I can say about it, so... From 1963, all the way through to, I think, 1972 is the first volume, and it goes... it goes in a lot of depth, through a lot of things and... Probably too much depth for some people and... But it's the information age, you know. You can put your machine in a mode that just, you know, only plays the hits!

    Fresh Wheat - 11/7/03

    Neil and Crazy Horse at Hong Kong Harbour Festival, Tamar Site, Admiralty, Hong Kong

  • Neil and Crazy Horse kicked off the Asia/Pacific tour in Hong Kong last night. According to the South China Morning Post , there were problems with getting the Greendale staging into Hong Kong so it was not a Greendale concert but a Crazy Horse retrospective.

    Here's the Hong Kong setlist for 11/6/03:

    1. Love To Burn (14 min)
    2. When You Dance I Can Really Love (6 min)
    3. The Loner (5 min)
    4. Fuckin' Up (7 min)
    5. Hey Hey My My (7 min)
    6. Love And Only Love (15 min)
    Acoustic Set
    7. The Needle And The Damage Done (3 min)
    8. Heart Of Gold (3 min)
    9. Harvest Moon (5 min)
    10. Sugar Mountain (7 min)
    Back To Electric
    11. Like A Hurricane (12 min)
    12. Sedan Delivery (7 min)
    13. Powderfinger (8 min)
    14. Be The Rain (9 min) With Sun Green Solo Dance!
    15. Rockin' In The Free World w/Taps (11 min)

    Setlist thanks to Sugar Mountain , Bad News Beat, and Baron Rouge's Neil Young 2003 page.

    A Hong Kong review from The titled "Long may rock run" by Daryl Goh:

      But there is nothing too cosy about the ol’ hound dog that is Neil Young. From Hank to Hendrix and then Kurt, this man hasn’t lost his zest. He was back with a mean bite as Crazy Horse returned on stage to whip up a blinding finish that pushed endurance (and volume) levels. The adrenalin rush on Like A Hurricane, the shrieking guitars on Sedan Delivery and the ragged glory of Powderfinger were the tunes to spark more excitement. Little was needed to get the crowd engrossed and frenzied again.

    More reviews on Greendale Concerts page.

  • From The Music Box: Neil Young - Greendale by John Metzger:

      "If Let’s Roll was his gut reaction to the attacks of September 11, then Greendale is his thoughtful condemnation of the George Bush Administration’s response as well his horror at what America has become. Indeed, Young attempts to tackle all of the country’s problems, laying them bare within a 10-song, 80-minute tale, and if he bites off more than he can chew, that’s only because there is so much that is currently wrong that anything less just wouldn’t suffice. Leave it to a Canadian to point out our own foibles, but it’s hard to quibble when Young is so accurate in his assessment."

  • Caption photo by Niels Van Iperen

    See October 2003 news for more on Neil Young's Greendale Concerts.

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