Neil Young Reveals Why He Has No Plans to Tour Anytime Soon
"It gives me a sick feeling"
Published Dec 07, 2021In a world where there are few things to rely on, the prolific Neil Young is keeping busy in the studio, as always — but he has no plans to tour any of his material anytime soon.
The singer-songwriter's new interview with Rolling Stone was published today, where he discussed his new album with Crazy Horse, Barn, his upcoming Archives Vol. III and plans for the 50th anniversary of Harvest with interviewer Angie Martoccio. As aforementioned, Young doesn't see himself announcing tour dates to support any of this studio activity in the near future.
"I don't want to put people in danger," he told Martoccio. "I don't want people to see me out there and think I think everything is okay. I don't think everything is okay."
He's been a vocal critic of big promoters hosting "superspreader" concerts in the height of the pandemic, and backed out of his own scheduled appearance at Farm Aid over COVID-19 concerns this August. The festival was due to mark Young's return-to-live date; according to Setlist.fm, his last concert was pre-pandemic in September 2019.
"It was too soon," the musician explained of his decision to pull out of the performance. "I just I told my buddies there — 'Farm Aid,' I said, 'I can't do it. It gives me a sick feeling.'"
He continued: "First of all, I charge a fortune to play — whatever it is, even the lowest-priced tickets are ridiculous — so people come to this thing that they really want to see because they paid a lot of money and they've been looking forward to it for so long. And then they all go there – what if something goes wrong?"
Young needs there to be a better sense that the pandemic is receding before he feels comfortable booking live performances, which includes getting much clearer messaging from leaders about how to handle the ever-evolving threat of COVID-19 in light of the new Omicron variant (and prog-metal band).
"We need to sit down and let it settle out for a while, let things calm down and then talk about coming back," the artist maintained. "I would hope that when I do come back and start playing again, knock on wood, that everything is safe, but things have to be under control and going in one direction for a while before I'm going to go out and play."
He's finding other ways to keep himself creatively stimulated, though: Young also recently uncovered lost 1987 recordings Summer Songs and kicked off his bootleg series with Carnegie Hall 1970.