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Neil Young has written a letter on his website saying that, while he had been on the verge of putting tickets on sale for a long-awaited tour with his band Crazy Horse, he has put any announcements on hold due to uncertainty about the spread of the coronavirus, citing concerns for “our older audience” as a factor.

“The idea of announcing the tour and putting tickets on sale is questionable and needs to be thought through,” Young wrote March 7 on the newspaper-like front page of his site, the NYA Times-Contrarian.

“We are all super ready to go, and the last thing we want to do is put people at risk, especially our older audience. No one wants to become sick in this pandemic,” he continued. “So here we are together, watching to see how it goes, how long it will last, and how many more of our planet’s people and animals will be affected.”

It was only two weeks earlier that Young had revealed that a tour was in the offing for 2020 — and he made it sound imminent. Suggesting that “we wanted to play in a couple of months,” he was calling it a “barn tour” of the nation’s older arenas. He ticked off a list of venerable venues like L.A.’s Forum, Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium and the Providence Civic Center as the types of venues that would likely be on the itinerary, versus “largely soulless” modern sports arenas. “It sounds way too much like a real job if you have to book it and wait a year, so we have decided to play old arenas — not the new sports facilities put up by corporations for their sports teams.”

Now, he writes, “We find ourselves looking at this uncertain world, with our Crazy Horse Barn Tour booked and ready to announce the first leg. … Many of our music loving fans have been waiting for almost 10 years for us to break it out and hit the road.”

Without offering much immediate indication of which way he was leaning, tour-wise, Young wrote, “These are uncertain times. I wish you all the best as you care for our sick, the young and old who we love so much.”

Young last toured America with Crazy Horse in 2012, though they played internationally into 2014. In 2018, the group reunited — with original members Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina, and Nils Lofgren stepping in for the retired Frank “Poncho” Sampedro — for just four shows in vintage theaters in Fresno and Bakersfield, California. (Variety reviewed the finale of the Bakersfield concerts, writing that “the show’s greatness proved that sometimes you do get what your tire tread pays for.”) In February 2019, they did two more shows in Canada, and that’s been it for the reunion to date.

The prospect of a Crazy Horse tour has not been the only thing leaving Young fans in suspense. Last year he teased the release of an album that was recorded and shelved in 1975, “Homegrown,” which was listed on some international sites as a Record Store Day release — but when the official RSD list for April came out last week, “Homegrown” was not on it, and details about when it will appear have not yet been announced.

 

Young’s full website letter:

3-7-20

These are uncertain times. I wish you all the best as you care for our sick, the young and old who we love so much.

We find ourselves looking at this uncertain world, with our Crazy Horse Barn Tour booked and ready to announce the first leg, The idea of announcing the tour and putting tickets on sale is questionable and needs to be thought through. Many of our music loving fans have been waiting for almost 10 years for us to break it out and hit the road. 

We are all super ready to go, and the last thing we want to do is put people at risk, especially our older audience. No one wants to become sick in this pandemic. 

So here we are together, watching to see how it goes, how long it will last, and how many more of our planet’s people and animals will be affected.

We are learning now that it may have started with humans treating animals in inhumane ways In a Chinese city market. If that is the case, we may learn something more. Treat other living things as you would like to be treated. We aren’t as sure as we need to be yet. There is so much we don’t know.

Sending best wishes to all of the health care and government workers in all of the world, to all the scientists who will learn and share with us the best ways to ensure survival in our world challenged. Let’s all work together and stay positive that we will find a way. With love to all, in all walks of life, all political persuasions, all colors. We will succeed working together for the good of our world as we are here together, hanging in the Balance of Nature.

ny