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The Rockologist: An Open Letter To Neil Young

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Dear Neil Young,

How's it going buddy? It's your old pal the Rockologist here. Oh, I know that you and I have never actually met, but I've always kind of viewed you as a dear old friend.

We actually go back a very long way. As early as I can remember — listening to your songs first with the Buffalo Springfield, then CSN&Y, and of course your solo work — your songs have always resonated with me on an emotional level like few artists I can think of.

In fact, I'd say that only Dylan and Springsteen really come close. I kind of like to think of the three of you guys as my own little "holy trinity" of artists whose music really "speaks" to me on a gut level.

For one thing, I've always admired your determination to follow your artistic muse wherever it may lead you. Not many artists would have followed a #1 smash album like Harvest with such artistically challenging releases as Tonights the Night and On The Beach. But in the seventies you did exactly that, Neil. With records like that, you became the very definition of the term "artistic maverick."

Speaking of On The Beach, that record got me through some pretty rough times Neil. To this day, I put that sucker on whenever I'm feeling depressed. It's very therapeutic listening.

So like all good friends should, I've also always stuck by you — which hasn't always been easy. Remember the eighties? Damn, some of that was awful stuff, Neil. I mean Trans has kinda grown on me over the years, but the Shocking Pinks? I understood though, and I waited. It was that whole maverick artist thing, right? Anyway, I knew you'd eventually find your artistic center again. Which you finally did in the early nineties with albums like Freedom and Ragged Glory. Great stuff there, Neil.

I also stood by you when you courageously released 2006's Living With War, an album which would've gotten you deported back to your native Canada if the pro-Bush righties had anything to say about it. Hell, I even defended your honor right here on Blogcritics for months, when one such right-wing nut responded to my original review of that album by flaming the article with something like 500 angry messages about how releasing a record like that was somehow "anti-American."

Hey, what are friends for?

So, as you can imagine, I was really excited to hear about your new record Chrome Dreams II coming out on October 16. I know a lot of this is old stuff that you've had lying around for awhile, and was originally supposed to be part of one of those mysterious "lost albums" that never got released of yours called Chrome Dreams, but how can you not get excited about an album that promises titles like the eighteen minute long "Ordinary People," or the eleven minute "No Hidden Path?" You know how I love the long ones, Neil.

I was also thrilled to hear that you'd be touring behind the record, and making a stop in my hometown of Seattle at the relatively intimate Wamu Theatre. Which actually brings me to the real purpose of this letter. It's about those damned ticket prices, Neil. They've got me a little concerned.

Don't get me wrong, Neil — I'll still be there. I won't be making the trip to Oakland where I had planned to see Springsteen (whose tickets top out at $85, a fact you might wanna take note of), but I will be there — sitting dead center in the fourteenth row.

But holy freaking crap, Neil — $172 a pop after Ticketmaster gets their cut? That's not for a pair, that's for a single freaking ticket!

Look, I know that some of the other big tours like The Stones, The Police, and McCartney have gotten away with charging upwards of $300 a ticket, but those are bigtime stadium rock and roll extravaganzas, Neil. Somebody's gotta pay for all those explosions and lasers. Somehow, I suspect we won't be seeing any of those at your show. At least I would hope not.

I also know that we are at least of couple of decades removed from the days when rock artists like Tom Petty would challenge the record companies over things like raising the list price of a vinyl LP to $8.98 — but that was all a lot of idealistic, hippie bullshit, right?

I mean, weren't you the guy who once went to war with MTV over the video for "This Notes For You?" Weren't you the guy who decried things like corporate sponsorship of rock tours? Whatever happened to that guy, Neil?

Seriously, what happened?

I'm also a little concerned about some of the rumors I've heard about how Chrome Dreams is going to be marketed. What's all this I hear about each copy featuring a different bonus track or something? How many copies of the CD do we need to buy to "collect them all," Neil?

I mean look, it's not like you need the money, right? If I recall correctly, there was an interview you gave around the time Living With War came out, where you said you had made enough money where you didn't really care if the records sold or not, as long as you were able to play the music that you were feeling at the time.

So doesn't that rule also apply here?

Anyway, Neil, like I said before I've always stood by you, and I guess I'll stand by you now too. I'm really looking forward to hearing the new album, and I can't wait for the concert — although at $172 a ticket, there better be one hell of a setlist. How about the entire second side of On The Beach for starters? Sound good to you?

In closing, let me just say that I'd be less than a true friend if I didn't say I'm a bit concerned, and a bit disapointed.

Hoping this letter finds you well.

Your friend,

The Rockologist

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About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at The Rockologist, and at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.
  • http://donaldgibson.blogspot.com/ Donald Gibson

    Please let us know if Shakey responds, either in written form or with a killer concert.

    Great letter.

    -Donald

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Don’t get me wrong, Neil — I’ll still be there.”

    You just lost your entire argument. The only way he will listen is if you don’t show up.

  • daryl d

    $172 for an established rock act like Neil Young is sort of cheap these days. Come on, it’s not the 80s anymore when $25 was considered expensive for a tour.

    Glen, you also have to take into account how many artists have been hurt by illegal downloading, including Neil Young. Cut him a break! I’m sure he’ll give you your money’s worth.

  • alessandro

    the point is that these guys seem to take on the corporate establishment – when it works against them. meet the new boss. same as the old boss?

    it’s like michael moore. he comes to canada telling canadians about how great the public system is (which he has no clue about) but he’s the first to shell for private services – in the u.s.

    mikey, if it’s so good up here why you no wait in the line with all of us suckers?

    i digres.

  • alessandro

    digress

  • JC Mosquito

    I was a huge fan of Neil’s for a while – still like him on occasion, but for me it’s always about the song, and he just hasn’t written a lot of great ones for a good long while. I can’t think of a recent studio album of his that goes strong from start to finish.

    Then again, when he released his first few albums, rock history was only 20 or so years in the making – it would be easy to see how at least on (if not more) of Neil’s platters wold be considered to be in the Top 100 rock albums of all time. But another 30 years has gone by since, and there’s just been too many superb albums by great artists, and Neil’s work has had to bump over and share space or make space as it were.

    Like all my aging idols, I hope that Neil pulls one more rabbit out of the hat in his never-ending magical mystery white boy tour. Better to burn out than it is to rust, you know.

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    i’d love to know some specifics for how prices for these things are set. i mean, i sort of doubt that Neil sits around thinking, “ok, i’m really gonna fuck ‘em over this time!”

    as for his music, i loved both Greendale and Prarie Wind.

  • http://www.myspace.com/threedeehsranch Women from the ThreeDeehs Ranch

    Mr. Rockologist,

    So what do you suppose Neil Young should do? Call the fricken ticket police?

    People whine and moan, “Oh pweeze, Neil, do another concert.” So he does.

    He’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t according to your logic.

    What is rockology anyway? The study of being between a rock and hard place?

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    Oh, you people. You all know that the price of these tickets is to pay for all the lasers and dancers at his shows. Come on!

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    By the way, the way I’m reading it on various NY news sites is that the bonus tracks will be merely previews of The Riverboat Cafe disc from the Archives set coming out early next year, not anything particularly unusual that won’t be available elsewhere at some point.

  • Noel

    I realy,realy,realy liked THe shocking pinks record when it came out and still pit it on to this day for kicks! “landing on water on the other hand pew -ew!
    A good letter but I dont think Neil can have that much control over the ticketmaster corperation???
    conglomerate monster??? or should he??
    I have just answered my own *&%#$(@*#! question …thank for nothing NEIl!!!

  • http://elisabethssmom.blogspot.com Donna Saul

    Hey! I thought Shocking Pinks was a joke. You mean it wasn’t? Rock on Neil!

  • Eric

    I have to say, I’m with Rockologist. I’m a long time Neil Young fan – gone to ALL his concerts. But not this time. I live in Seattle too and these ticket prices are completely bogus. All this BS about downloading and all that – who’s hurting economically is the label. Last night I went to the sold out Flaming Lips show in Seattle. 32.00 – OK 50.00 with ticketmaster at the Paramount and I got a kick ass show and I’m sure the Lips didn’t do too bad either. BTW I got hooked on Flaming Lips from Limewire. Next month I’m going to two sold out shows by Widespread Panic – guess how much the tickets? 35.00. Neil you are out of touch with your base.

  • moonraven

    I agree that he is out of touch.

    He needs to cancel the show–just like Silvio Rodriguez did for his show in Chile when the ticket folks were gouging the shit out of folks.

    If not, then I have to diadnosis him with Alzheimers–he’s forgotten his values.

  • dear

    How out of touch can he be? Three shows in Toronto sold out in under two and a half hours.

  • http://thrashersblog.com thrasher

    Rockologist:

    Posted a reply over on Neil Young News.

    Your move. Rock on!
    Thrasher

  • http://ericsmusicramblings.blogspot.com Eric Whelchel

    Agree with ya Glen. The prices are outrageous.

    Eric

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “He’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t according to your logic.”

    Well,maybe,he should take a lesson from the people he bashes. All of these so-called musicians knock the people who make important decisions about our Nation’s safety but this f*cking hack can’t control his own ticket prices. OR, maybe its because he knows he can rake in the cash from all the saps that he has roped in with his propaganda.

    Practice what you F*cking Preach!!

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    What’s really unfuckingbelievable is that even at these prices, the tickets will sell out within minutes of going on sale in every major city. If $172 is face value, imagine what the scalpers on Craigslist will be asking!

    P.S. Glen, if you hear back from Mr. Young, please pass on a message from me: I’ll consider paying these absurd prices if he’ll only put Time Fades Away on CD already!!!

  • Neil & Pegi 4Ever

    If you crawl out from under that rock, maybe you’ll see how much tickets really are:

    Police $245 promenade
    Genesis $202 up front
    Jimmy Buffet $224 up front

  • http://daslob.blogspot.com/ Pico

    “Jimmy Buffet $224 up front”

    Parrotheads are a pretty affluent bunch. Evidently.

  • Toppens a Bag

    “Practice what you F*cking Preach!!”

    Cheap venues are hard to find even for an artist like Neil Young. If he does a small hall, he would have to play 3 to 4 nights per city times every city on the tour to accomodate his large following old and new. That would be exhausting … and he would still piss off people who weren’t able to get tickets because the venue was so small…

    I don’t think you can have it both ways. And I think your jumping to conclusions about an industry you don’t understand or a fan base that is bigger than you think.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Thanks to everyone for the comments.

    Earlier today, Thrasher linked this piece at his site Thrashers Wheat, which is one of the most well-read NY sites on the internet. He also issued me a challenge to his response, that essentially states that the real reason for the high prices to combat scalping and ticket brokers.

    This is my response to Thrasher, as just posted over at his site:

    Hey Thrasher,

    First of all, good to hear from you again after all these months — seems like the last time you and I were in regular communication was way back during the LWW shitstorm. Second, thanks for the linky-love on my Rockologist piece for Blogcritics.

    So, we should first get one thing straight for your readers. And that is, that I’m not one of those government grade A-holes that likes to bash NY over his politics or whatever. Fact is, I’m a huge fan as Thrasher already knows.

    The truth is, I’m probably just pissed because the price of Neil’s ticket all but scuttled my plans to fly to Oakland to see Springsteen. So, Bruce if you’re reading this — you’d better play Seattle, Portland, or Vancouver on the second leg.

    But speaking of Bruce, Neil could take a cue from his approach to the whole scalping problem. On The Rising tour, Bruce had the tickets held day of show at the venue (at least I remember that this was true in Portland and L.A,) in an effort to reduce the time frame for scalping opportunities. I’m not sure what he’s doing this time out, although I do know that the price tops out at $85…something Neil might want to take note of. Bruce also has a General Admission policy for main floor tickets which is actually policed by the fans themselves using a number system.

    You and I of course both know that the whole ticket brokering scheme (fostered by sites like ebay) sucks, and that the brokers themselves are essentially scum. But to use that argument as justification for the higher prices just doesn’t wash. In fact, all it serves to do is drive the broker’s prices up even further. Look no further for evidence of that than the last Police tour, where broker prices regularly topped out at upwards of $1000. a pop on ebay.

    Nope, there’s just no escaping my disapointment in Neil on this one. Of course, because I am a still a fan (or a sucker depending on your point of view), I’m going anyway.

    Maybe thats where the real problem with over-priced tickets lies. The fact that as long as fans like myself are stupid enough to continue queueing up for those seats, regardless of price, the performers and the promoters will continue to feel justified charging them.

    Thanx again for the linky-love though Thrasher. Good hearing from you again too.

    Glen “The Rockologist” Boyd

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    for Glen and Thrasher…

    nuff said?

    heh…that clip, live from ’71

    Excelsior?

  • zingzing

    Guppy: “All of these so-called musicians knock the people who make important decisions about our Nation’s safety but this f*cking hack can’t control his own ticket prices.”

    so… guppy…

    we haven’t run in to each other in a while.

    you’ve made a couple of comments lately that make it pretty plain you’ve got some right-wing streak running through you. i can’t remember where i saw the other one…

    but yeah. what’s up? still being a “music is for virtuosos” nazi?

    gawd. if that wasn’t bad enough, now your a fuckin’ republican.

    it’s true. neil young’s fans are getting screwed with a harsh dildo. why? dunno really. doesn’t seem like something he would do. ain’t go jack to do with the war in iraq.

  • Tuppence a bag …

    You wrote that letter because you can’t go to Springsteen and Young?

    Gimme a break.

    I would like to see Genesis, Police, and Neil Young but guess what? I CAN’T AFFORD IT, EITHER !!!!

  • zingzing

    i missed a “t.” i’m dreadfully sorry. won’t happen again, mother.

  • Ms. Rockologist

    AN OPEN LETTER TO PETER GABRIEL, STING, AND THE ZEP!

    I WAS PLANNING TO GO TO ALL YOUR CONCERTS BUT THAT DAMN NEIL YOUNG DECIDED TO CHARGE AN ARM AND LEG AND NOW I CAN’T FLY TO SEE YOUR CONCERTS.

    So if nobody shows up for your concerts you’ll know why!

  • Glad To Be seeing Neil Live

    What is a rockologist?

    Search result from dictionary.com

    “No results found for rockologist.
    Did you mean ecologist (in dictionary) or Ecologist (in encyclopedia)?”

    Result from Merriam-Webster.com

    “The word you’ve entered isn’t in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above.

    Suggestions for rockologist:
    1. rock lobster
    2. rheologist
    3. rheologists
    4. lexicologist
    5. reconsolidate
    6. lexicologists
    7. locomotes
    8. leukopoiesis
    9. rose-colored
    10. Lucretius”

    Perhaps you are a rock lobster?

    Do you make a living at being a rock lobster? I see ads on this site. Is the $172 that you grudgingly spent on the concert ticket a business expense that you can write off on your taxes? Just curious.

  • Rock Mother

    Just for the record,the location and pricing of nosebleed seats at the smaller venues currently scheduled for Neil Young’s tour aren’t anywhere close to what the Genesis and Police fans have to put up with at Madison Sq. Garden. All the venues for their tours are huge and very pricey.

    Rockblaster, you should be counting your blessings.

  • Rock Momminov

    How much are you getting paid to slam Neil Young? You’re not a fan. And you’re certainly not a rockologist if what you mean is that you’re some kind of expert.

    An expert would be jumping up and down saying thank you Neil for not picking out a stadium venue … talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth.

    Shame on you!

  • Rusty 794

    The big ticket prices are becuase Rod Stewart sells out at $200 per seat. When Neil found out what that guy was getting per ticket, his mind was changed forever. Enjoy the show, buy the $45 tee shirt and drink the $5 bottled water. I’ve seen Neil 5 times since 2000, and they were all priceless. The CSNY tours were forgettable without Neil. He is a wonderous gift. enjoy

  • JC Mosquito

    The Blogcritics site has had some interesting responses to recent articles about Michael Jackson, Lennon/McCartney & now, Neil Young. Some responses are measured and promote discussion; others simply slam the writer for having the nerve to criticise someone’s favorite artist. Personally, I find it more interesting to read discourse as opposed to invective.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Shut up, JC!

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    The Rockologist is a name I came up with for a column here on Blogcritics, nothing more, nothing less. The funniest thing about it is how when it was promoted to news sites like Digg, and Netscape, it was spelled something like “Rocktologist”.

    Rhymes with Proctologist right?

    Rest assured that I don’t looking up the asses of rock stars in my research, okay?

    Just for the record…

    -Glen

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    ” And I think your jumping to conclusions about an industry you don’t understand or a fan base that is bigger than you think.”

    Yea,sure…Musicians have always played extra shows when the sales have supported the idea. AND getting tickets for any band’s concert has always been a planned event. If you don’t prepare early, you could miss out on any show. Your “idea” that musicians should charge more at a bigger venue because they won’t have to play as much and still make their money is the part of the “Music Biz” that I don’t care to understand. AND it shows (imo)that these musician’s aren’t about the music anymore.

    Oh, hey Zing… Never claimed to be Rep or Dem. I don’t care for extremes unless it’s in my metal!!

    “still being a “music is for virtuosos” nazi?”

    Nope, again you got me wrong(Which is not unusual)though using the term “nazi” really shows your lack of formal education nevermind in music.

    As for the war in Iraq, everything’s got to do with everything. If you’re gonna make statements or should I say “songs” about how this war is only releated to money & oil then decide to “rape” your own fans/Americans with high ticket prices, you are basically showing your true colors my friend.I don’t see any news of this money going to any charities…Do You?

    “The big ticket prices are becuase Rod Stewart sells out at $200 per seat.”

    I personally feel that he was taking lessons from the Dixie Chicks…

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    what is something worth?

    what somebody else is willing to pay for it.

    it’s called “capitalism”.

    i thought unbridled capitalism gave right-wingers a big boner. dang, it’s tough to keep this stuff straight.

    ;-)

  • blackstrap

    Neil, I to have followed you for a very long time.. I have supported all Albums and tours that go way back.. I have all ways had a problem buying your $40 shirts but all ways do be cause I all ways say to my self that paying this is to help Neil keep going on an on, There is no reason in the world YOU are allowing these tickets to be sold at this price… YOU of all people should stand up and make your shows affordable to the real fan that lives and breaths Neil Young… UNFortnightly for me no matter what the price is I will travel three states to see you.. It just hurts the rest of the family.. Good thing for me they love you as much as I do. The bad thing is I will never be able to bring my sons to a Neil Young show!!!!!!!!!! Don’t let the THRASHER’s bring ya down….

  • Rock Momminoff

    I’m glad you cleared up that confusion over a “rocktologist vs. rockologist.”

    Is your letter really about the inequities that exist between the haves vs. the have nots? Or was it an opportunity that you saw to get the attention of Neilco to prove that you’re his biggest fan?

    What do you really want? Cheaper tickets? Smaller venues? More tours? Bust the Scalpers?

    Because honestly, there will never be enough of Neil Young to go around this way. There are people oversees in South America, Africa, Europe, etoc. who would like to see him, too. Would it be better for you that he goes on TV to do a reality show about being a legendary musician/artist/fantasy/idol etc.?

    If Neil decided to do a free event, wouldn’t you be alittle concerned about his safety? First of all, there are a lot of people who really don’t like this man because of his political views. Secondly, one in every 5 is mentally ill. I don’t want to lose him like we lost Lennon.

    How can you begrudge a man who you profess to love for being a philanthropist afterall. No, he’s not Bill Gates but I’m sure he’s up there giving away more money than we know. But do we need to probe so far into his personal life to find out where or to whom?

    To question him why a concert ticket is so costly? Is this a question that really needed to go to Neil Young?

    You’re only fooling yourself.

  • JC Mosquito

    Geez, EB, I thought you would’ve had more to say in a more civlized manner. Unless I’m not doing a good job of reading levity in your comment – a common problem on the net.

    As for the price of tickets – whatever – rock as for the people by the people has long passed for most artists – and most fans as well. Sorry, Glen – you’re a true Neil fan and you’re hoping he’ll will do something stellar on a special night when youu happen to be there – but I think he’s already established himself as special through his longevity – so maybe there’s no need for you to go. But best to ya – I saw Neil once back in the 80’s in the International Hrrvesters tour – decent, but nothing earth shattering. I like his albums better.

  • http://thrashersblog.com thrasher

    Rockologist – you’ve kinda stirred things up. Cross posted from comment on Neil Young News:

    An Open Letter to Rockologist and Eric: I’m glad you cleared up that confusion over a “rocktologist vs. rockologist.” Is your letter really about the inequities that exist between the haves vs. the have nots? what makes you think Neil Young has the answer? Sure, he has insight into social causes, injustices, and romance, but c’mom. Or was it an opportunity that you saw to get the attention of Neilco to prove that you’re his biggest fan?What do you really want? Cheaper tickets? Smaller venues? More tours? Bust the Scalpers? Because honestly, there will never be enough of Neil Young to go around this way. There are people oversees in South America, Africa, Europe, etc., who would like to see him, too. Would it be better for you that he goes on TV to do a reality show about being a legendary musician/artist/fantasy/idol etc.?

    If Neil decided to do a free event, wouldn’t you be a little concerned about his safety? First of all, there are a lot of people who really don’t like this man because of his political views. Secondly, one in every 5 is mentally ill. I don’t want to lose him like we lost Lennon.

    How can you begrudge a man who you profess to love for being a philanthropist after all. No, he’s not Bill Gates but I’m sure he’s up there giving away more money than we know. But do we need to probe so far into his personal life to find out where or to whom? To question him why a concert ticket is so costly? Is this a question that really needed to go to Neil Young? Why are you holding this man accountable to about every single one of our social ills?

  • Oreo Cookie

    An Open Letter to Pegi Young,

    Ya know, hon, this is all your fault. Had you not done such a bang up job as mother and wife, Neil Young wouldn’t have lasted as long as he has. (Thank you BTW!)

    Love and Kisses,

    Oreo Cookie

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Ordinary People

    “They’re gonna bring the good things back, hard workin’ people.They put the business back on track, the everyday people.I got faith in the regular kind, patch o’ ground people. Yeah, yeah.
    [Puttin the green back in my wallet with $172 tickets, the ordinary people]”

    The Restless Consumer

    “People from around the world
    Need someone to listen. We’re starving and dying from our disease,We need your medicine
    How do you pay for war,And leave us dyin’ ?
    [How can those same people afford to see you live in concert cryin?]”

    Ya know what Mark?? It isn’t a problem with “unbridled capitalism”, it’s a problem with hypocriticism. Pointing down from ivory towers while resting on the backs of the weary. Kinda like Michael Moore. Ya know, if our health system sucked so much, why does he still spend his chunk o’cash for his special doctors? Al Gore & his “Global Warming” campaign to help the masses yet he emits more of the carbon gases than most small communities.

    I just hate Hypocrites!!

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Unless I’m not doing a good job of reading levity in your comment”

    I was absolutely kidding, JC. I almost used a smiley face, but I thought it was clear I was making a joke after your statement.

  • The Frying Pan

    VVVvvvrrrrmmmmmmmmmmmm…. wow …. close call there. I thought you were gonna blame health care and global warming on Neil, too.

  • zingzing

    yee-haw, fun.

    guppy: “Oh, hey Zing… Never claimed to be Rep or Dem. I don’t care for extremes unless it’s in my metal!!”

    hey brian. ok, so maybe you don’t vote one way or another, but you surely do show your right-wing… sensibilities… with your words.

    me: “still being a “music is for virtuosos” nazi?”
    you: “Nope, again you got me wrong(Which is not unusual)though using the term “nazi” really shows your lack of formal education nevermind in music.”

    i dunno what nazis have to do with music per se, but i was using the term “nazi” in the femiNAZI, soup NAZI kinda way. you know what i’m saying. so yeah. go on. and yes, i have plenty of formal education. and my taste in music is better than yours. so there. p-thub.

    you: “As for the war in Iraq, everything’s got to do with everything.”

    hmm. that’s some philosophy. hippie, are ye? maybe it’s got something to do with buddhism. you buddhist? buddhists are pretty cool.

    “If you’re gonna make statements or should I say “songs” about how this war is only releated to money & oil then decide to “rape” your own fans/Americans with high ticket prices, you are basically showing your true colors my friend.”

    i’m hoping to see that young will speak up about his reasons. i don’t like the prices any more than anyone else. in fact, i won’t be seeing neil young because i have NO HOPE of being able to afford the tickets. generally, i won’t pay more than $25 for a show… and that’s pushing it. i prefer $10 or less. it’s a show. it lasts a couple of hours. it’s not worth that much. especially if there is a fucking balcony. what the fuck. meh.

    “I don’t see any news of this money going to any charities…Do You?”

    not yet. i’m still hoping.

    look, i haven’t got a neil young album newer than re-ac-tor or whatever. i prefer his 70s stuff. i’m kinda interested in the live archival things he’s been putting out. but i’m not a major fan. still, i support his right to criticize a war in iraq that is going nowhere and has very suspicious aims. it’s a fuckin dumb war. it doesn’t protect the u.s. and it doesn’t stabalize the middle east. useless.

    neil young’s ticket prices are a separate dumb thing. i can imagine $50-75 for tickets. but $170? christ. still, it’s not a war in iraq. it’s not anywhere near as bad. it is bad though.

    we shall see what happens with it.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “I don’t see any news of this money going to any charities…Do You?”

    You mean like the Bridge School?

    How is he a hypocrite? What song does he sing artists shouldn’t charge a lot of money for a concert?

    Do you even know how much the venues are charging to rent out a place for the night? How much the staff gets paid to run the tour? How much the hotel rooms for everyone costs? It’s not like Neil pulls up in a van and the band gets out.

    But you shouldn’t blame Neil because the real hypocrites are fans like Glen who buy the tickets at those prices anyway and continue to drive up the market. If someone charges too much for me, I don’t go. If they sell out, more power to them.

    “Jimmy Buffet $224 up front”

    Who the hell is still going to see Jimmy Buffet? Just get drunk in the parking lot and listen to his best-of CD. That’s what I do.

  • JC Mosquito

    Sorry, EB – with some of the nastiness going on, I’m even reading between the lines of writers whose styles I should know better by now.

    However, your Jimmy Buffet closer – clear as daylight! Pass the margaritas, senor!

  • B

    Whew! I’m just happy to have my tickets.
    If I spread the money I spent on a ticket out over the years that I’ve spent wishing I could just see Neil in concert one more time.. why that’s 5 bucks and change annually.
    And the price for the ticket in a venue so intimate.. heck I have (had) that kind of money in my change jar.
    Wanna know what the freekin rip off is?
    Paying over $250.00 a night for a clean room..now there’s some profit for you to think about.
    Was it expensive..hell yeah..would I short myself the pleasure of the concert to prove a point..I don’t think so…
    See you (or not) in the 4th row at Chicago Theatre.

  • The Frying Pan

    “Paying over $250.00 a night for a clean room..now there’s some profit for you to think about.”

    No. The biggest rip is airfares, hon. To leave from my hometown airport, I can pay up to $1200.00 to California. If I drive one hour away, I pay $345.00. But then guess where the plane stops before taking off to California?

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Comment #44:

    Just to clear things up a bit Bicho, no I do not believe that I am a hypocrite.

    What I am is a diehard fan who made the choice to pay the exorbitant ticket price, despite being none too happy about it, knowing that I will get a great concert out of the deal.

    I also made the choice as a free white American to express my displeasure about the price on the Internet for all the world to see.

    That said, I do recognize that fans like me are a big part of the problem. As long as we continue to be willing to pay these exorbitant prices that we really can’t afford (and this is especially true in my case, eaking out a meager living in sales that barely affords me the ability to pay my bills), then performers and promoters will continue to feel justified charging us through the nose for those tickets.

    Over on Thrasher’s site somebody actually referred to me as a “jetsetter” because I had to cancel my trip to Oakland to see Springsteen as a result of the price of a ticket to see Neil here in my hometown.

    Man, if that person only knew the truth…

    -Glen

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Glen, you castigate the guy for charging so much, but then you pay it. You are sending mixed messages. I have dated girls like you (except for the “liking Neil Young” part). I just went to Ticketmaster and all $172 tickets from the venue have been sold. So should Neil listen to the Glen on the Internet or the Glen who bought the ticket? Which would you?

    My ticket to Vegoose is about $171. It’s two days, almost twelve hours each with four stages going, up-and-comers and established bands. I’ll trade that for three hours of Neil any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I think the man is talented artist, but a singer needs someone to hear the song, and he obviously doesn’t want me to be there. I can wait for the DVD of the concert, which will be about $25.

    btw, the latter Glen and all the folks who will be sitting around him have just guaranteed that the next time Neil comes to town the tickets will likely be even more. How about a post ripping them?

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    This “debate” is bordering on the surreal. It’s called the “music business” for a reason.

    I like Neil Young. Always have. But I’m not obsessive. Like any informed consumer, I weigh value perceived against value received. I’ve seen the Rolling Stones three times, not to mention the New Barbarians tour, and never paid a cent. I saw Springsteen in 1976 in a little club called Gerties, without about 40 other people for a $2.oo cover charge. Ditto with U2 when they first started out, at a club called Cardi’s. I could go on, but what’s the point? I also bought a new Firebird in 1975 for a little over 5 grand.

    That was then. This is now.

    Ticket prices have been inflated over the years as a response to supply and demand. Those of us who can remember the good old days when labels were giving out backstage passes like candy (sound familiar, Glen?) are outraged at the market today.

    It’s not some Neil Young conspiracy. It’s all the guys who wil piss and moan about ticket prices, but feed the beast willingly.

    Me– I just stay home, or treat myself to something more lasting. I’ll leave it to the individual to decide what it’s worth to them.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    I really don’t think I’m “ripping” on anybody in this article. I am merely stating the fact that I’m not happy about the ticket price, but yes, that I also reluctantly paid it anyway.

    I also, once again, readily acknowledge that fans like me are in fact big contributors to the overly inflated prices you see today, because of our continuing willingness to pay them. I concede that you are 100% correct on that count. So point made there, Bicho

    Many of the commenters here have brought up the Genesis and Police tours. I didn’t see either, but I did pay to see the most recent tours of both U2 and McCartney, both of which were quite pricey.

    The difference here is that those shows were huge stadium rock extravganzas with equally huge production values. The stage and lighting for those tours, were dazzling and I’m sure they must’ve cost a mint. I’m sure the staging for both the Police and Genesis had to be comparable.

    Neil on the other hand, at least if the past is any indication usually just lets the music do the talking for him onstage, and I’m sure the production values for that tour will be comparably low.

    So yeah, I’m paying the price and I’m sure that I will enjoy the show very much. But by talking about this in a public forum, maybe in some small way I can help to instigate some thinking about these ticket prices that price a lot of fans right out of the market, by at least generating some thought and conversation about it.

    Judging by the reaction to this article, both here and on Thrashers Wheat, I’d have to conclude that effort has at least been somewhat of a success.

    -Glen

    P.S. And yes Ray, I do remember those backstage pass days all too well — what a freaking zoo that was!

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    ” it’s not a war in iraq. it’s not anywhere near as bad. it is bad though.”

    Yea..Maybe I was abit over zealous when I made that comment, but, for someone I perceive as being against one of the ways that we keep this “Unbridled Capitalism” going, I don’t see him complaining about the superfluous income.

    “and my taste in music is better than yours.”

    Ooh, I see the zing has a little zest,huh? Is that a sense of humor shining through or is it all the “E” you took whilst listening to that monotonous thump on CD that you call “Music”?
    *Smirk*

  • Night Owl

    Some of you act like buying a ticket to see Neil Young is like buying your way into his life or that you own a part of him. Instead, you should by buying a mental health therapy session to clear your head of these delusions that he personally is somehow connected to your life jsut because you bought an expensive tickets to his concert.

    He is not connected to you. You connected to him, remember? Through his songs, not him. That’s where this fantasy “letter” borderlines weird.

    Yes, some of you are weird about your obsession with him. To the people who can only afford two of the cheap seats or who can’t afford to take their grown children, here’s my advice. Buy the cheap price, sit in the gallery, and use binoculars to watch the chord changes. Count the grey hairs. Look at the sideburns.

    Then go back home to your life.

  • Martin Lav

    Glen,
    If you’re a so-called fan of Neils that is just complaining about the high ticket prices, then why did you address the letter to him?
    What a slap!
    I’ve been to countless shows of Neils, all priced comparatively to other performers of less than equal caliber and I have the CHOICE of sitting on the grass or upfront.
    Seeing Neil Young Live is not something anyone should miss and whether he’s playing at Farm Aid or the BridgeSchool Benefit concert or while supporting the people around him that count on him for their living, I don’t think anyone should question his motives or his art.
    After all he could easily sit on his ranch and release countless unreleased material, fire his crew and just count his money.

    LIVE MUSIC IS BETTER.

  • http://templestark.com/ Temple Stark

    I would never pay this much for a ticket. Especially for most of the bands who think they deserve it but don’t. They can live of Baby Boomer legacy if they want – Baby Boomers are comparatively richer and pay for the nostalgia factor.

    Oddly, in 1999 (I think) I paid the highest price I’ve ever paid for a ticket – $72 for The Gorge at George. To see Neil Young.

    The Gorge is right on the edge of the Columbia River gorge and the views are stunning as the sun sets.

    It was a birthday present and really the only reason I bought them because my girlfriend at the time loved the opening act – the Pretenders. The combination seemed more worth it. and I thought it might be one of the last times they came to America or to Washington state. I believe I was wrong on both accounts.

    A couple of years later I went there to see The Who and paid less for tickets. The only other time I went there was to see Live, Veruca Salt and PJ Harvey. Live was the headliner, but PJ Harvey was better.

    Neil Young is an icon, who I love as a musician and a person. Live music usually is exciting and an unbelievable experience when someone as talented and improvisational as Young is involved. I still question the ticket price. I would never pay it.

    – Temple

  • Martin Lav

    That was an incredible show Temple!
    Can’t believe that show didn’t keep you coming back for more…..and I’m not even a baby boomer, but saw Neil Young at the H.O.R.D.E festival a few years back and a lot of people my age and younger, were/are hooked.

  • http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pageartist.cfm?bandID=463156 JC Mosquito

    Martin – re: comment 57 –

    You said you’ve been to “countless” Neil concerts. You’re obviously a very big fan of his, perhaps more so than some of us. I’m just wondering – do you think that maybe because you’re such a huge fan, that maybe you see the ticket price issue from a different angle than the rest of us? Theoretically, how much would you pay to see Neil Young play?

    The most I ever paid was about $130 CDN (probably about $100 US at the time) to see Springsteen. I’d pay that to see Neil, but only for a rock show, not a country show or an experimental show.

    For me, my appreciation for Neil is mostly through his albums, many of which are classics of the genre.

    Skeeter.

  • Martin Lav

    Skeeter,
    Big fan, but don’t go to every show, although I’m not sure why. For example, I’m not going to this concert, even though he’s playing in LA, because I’m already going to the Bridge School show in the Bay area. I don’t know why the prices are so high on this deal, but I can certainly say that as a “big fan” I wouldn’t question Neil’s motives like so many others are. I believe his past record speaks for itself and I wouldn’t question him now, although I may “choose” not to sit this one out. Pro-choice and all…..

    Although, with all the controversy brewing around on this tour, it’s getting me real excited to see this show, so although it’s already sold out, maybe I’ll plunk down the cash to a scalper and then judge for myself if it was worth it or not.

    Knowing Neil, it probably is worth it, as I’ve never been let down yet.

  • http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pageartist.cfm?bandID=463156 JC Mosquito

    Thanx, Martin. As for me, I’m still waiting for Times Fades Away on CD – then again, maybe one day that particular slice of vinyl will be worth the price of a concert ticket.

  • thomas achilles

    nice letter you don’t have to go to the dinos. forget your memorys and wellcome to 21 century.

    there are ten of thousends of new sound and band,
    they charge you here in europe from 4 up to 16 euro.

    and you will have fun even if you havend heard the same old songs before. if you like it jaming try super 400 – even on archivs org … .

    do not go to any neil show until you haven’t seen at least one!

  • rockmomminoff

    To monotonous “E” if you’re referring the special place where we all get lost playing our guitars … Kurt C. never thought he was good enough because he riffed the same chords over and over … Yet, over and over, I hear the same stuff, the same chords played over and over, but re-arranged all so magnificently.

  • B

    Received my tickets for the concert in Chicago!
    Guess I’ll be right up front, just where I should be.
    Got my plane tickets and hotel secured; now making plans for a great time and a well deserved long weekend.

    Think I’ll check out Neil’s or Thrasher’s site or and stay there for a while.

    Glen…many of us complain about the prices of lots of things, but they just keep going up.
    And by the way, and I mean this seriously.. I hope that you continually see a steady increase in your paycheck.

    And Night Owl… your advice is good. I plan to savor every minute, listen to each and every note and at the end (just as with all concerts that I’ve chosen to go to )I’ll go back to my own life with one more memory to cherish..and to me…that’s what it’s all about!

    Peace.
    B

  • r.u. kiddn

    I guess he doesn’t want the regular fan to attend with his kid to enjoy a reasonably priced show.

    Guess he’s gonna singin’ & playin’ for the CEOs of Pepsi, Coke, etc. … don’t look like no joke

    Notice the ticket prices in Philly are much higher than Denver. very weird… if it’s about the local union fees ( more on that in another blog ), then play in Hershey,Pa ( where I just saw an amazing 3 hour show by the Allmans & Ratdog (4th row) for under $100. w/parking

    I appreciate you still rockin up there but the price is too steep for a few hours of r n r

    There’s plenty of up and coming young bands to see at the local venues for $10-15 while I watch a Neil video from his prime.

  • Andrew

    I tried to get tickets to see Neil in Calgary, and floor seats are $1000, and the cheapest are $150.

    There’s only one reason for this:

    Neil has lost touch with all that is good in the world, hates his fans, and has become a devil.