SOME ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS                                                  PART  3

Grahame Reed

I remember attending two meetings in London, and I remember Richard Hoare attending at least one of them as well. The reason the six of us allowed Alan Jenkins to take sole responsibility was because it was becoming impossible for the six of us in different parts of the country to put a magazine together. Nowadays with computers and e-mails it would have been easier, but in those days we were all having to post things to each other for approval and comments, and it was just not practical. Things came to head at one of the meetings (in a friendly way), and Alan offered to take on the magazine single-handedly, though he would still be grateful for any help with articles, ideas etc. No one else was prepared to take on this difficult task and we were happy to let Alan have the opportunity, if this is what he wanted. If not, I think the NYAS would have been wound up.

I kept in contact with Alan Jenkins while he was producing the magazine, and I have maintained my friendship with Richard Hoare, but I have no idea what became of Andy Cox and Paul Makos.

I also remember:- Chasing around London with Paul Makos and crew trying to secure an interview with Elliott Roberts or Neil, which did not materialise on that occasion; having VIP seats for Neil's concert at Wembley Arena (1982). Meeting Neil backstage at Birmingham NEC in 1982 with the rest of the NYAS crew - we were all introduced one by one, and it was all over in a matter of minutes! Spending the evening in a London hotel bar with Crazy Horse after one of the London gigs. Ben Keith was great, and Nils played the hotel piano! These things only happened as a result of being part of the NYAS team.

Grahame Reed, member 134

HOME THOUGHTS FROM ABROAD

Angus MacSwan

It was a dark, miserable, night in early 1981 when three shifty looking characters - Paul Makos, Dave Clarke and Andy Cox - knocked on the door of the house in which I was living in south London. They explained that they were the guys who had placed the ads to start up an NYAS and they saw from my reply I lived nearby, so would I care to help get it going? So upstairs we went for beers and a good Neil chat and that was that. We roped in my old schoolmate Peter Coulson to help out as well.

I had gotten the Neil bug several years earlier listening to "Don't Be Denied" late at night on the Kid Jensen show on Radio Luxemburg. That string of superb albums followed. Neil always maintained a mystique though, that just added to his appeal. It might seem hard to believe now, but despite his critical and commercial acclaim, he was still something of a cult figure in those days.

The hardest thing about getting Broken Arrow going was finding out anything about Neil at all. These were the dark ages before the Internet, before the mass marketing of rock, before blogs and downloads and the information highway. The weekly music mags such as NME were eagerly awaited. Rolling Stone was like a holy tablet from the promised land. But it came together. We were able to peg the early issues round the UK showings of Rust Never Sleeps and the release of Re*ac*tor. There were meetings in Paul's house and Soho pubs. We had agreed that the magazine shouldn't be a hagiography and would have room criticism. So the review I wrote of Re*ac*tor was not totally enthusiastic. There was an assumption in it about the state of Neil’s life which was way off - we didn't know then what we do now about his family situation - so a belated apology for that goes out. But the rest, I would stand by for the most part. Still, Pete Barton wrote a letter in the next issue calling the reviews "a load of crap" so at least we established the idea that Broken Arrow should be a forum for lively debate!

Later that year I left British shores and was unable to keep up with the NYAS. Like many other Neil fans, I found the 1980s a frustrating ride. In particular, I had trouble with Neil's endorsement of Ronald Reagan as I was living in Central America for several years and seeing the death and destruction Reagan's government was wreaking on the region on a daily basis. But you keep the faith - and I still think Everybody's Rockin' is ripe for reassessment!

It was a pleasant surprise to find the NYAS alive and well in the 1990s when I moved to a more civilised part of the world. Paul, Alan Jenkins and finally Scott Sandie had all done a terrific job in keeping the whole thing going (and especially through those 1980s). I signed up again. The next decade would of course be great for Neil and for all of us fans.

Peter Coulson, by the way, went on to become a barrister and QC, earning an entry in "Who's Who", where it listed him as a contributor to Broken Arrow. Last year, Pete was made a judge and I was lucky enough to attend the welcoming ceremony at his new courtroom round the corner from the Old Bailey. In a speech, a senior lawyer noted the Broken Arrow reference and told the assembled gathering, replete in wigs and gowns "I look forward to Mr. Coulson's judgements and I hope they can be more enlightening than "well I dreamed I saw the silver space ships flying in the yellow haze of the sun." Laughter all around the court.

Broken Arrow, Long May You Run!

Angus MacSwan, member 2268

EARLY MEMORIES

Richard Hoare

“During a research trip ten years later, in 1983, I became friendly with Paul Makos, then head of an organisation called the Neil Young Appreciation Society. The NYAS publishes what must be the most literate and well-produced magazine in the genre, called Broken Arrow, of such high quality that although Neil has no recognized fan clubs in North America, the NYAS in Britain (and with members in many countries including the U.S.) has been more or less anointed; it corresponds with his agents, gets details of tours in advance, gift albums to be used as prizes in competitions, excellent concert seats for members, and so on.”

Scott Young from his book, Neil And Me, published by McClelland and Stewart 1984.

Some anecdotes:

By mid 1981 I had all Neil’s albums, some singles, a few bootleg albums and swapped tapes with a few contacts. I had seen Young at The Rainbow in 1973, CSNY at Wembley in 1974 and caught one of the 1976 Hammersmith shows. I read the UK weekly music newsprint and had read the Neil items in magazines such as Zigzag, Rolling Stone, Dark Star etc. I wasn’t an expert but I loved Young’s work and I didn’t want to join a fan club - I wanted in depth articles, details about unreleased tracks etc. It was getting more and more difficult to find information about Neil in the press. Of course what we didn’t know was that Ben who was born in November 1978 was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in 1979. Neil and Pegi were devoted to helping their son and Neil put his touring career on hold. Elliot Roberts was not allowed to tell people what was going on and Neil had not toured since Rust Never Sleeps, apart from playing two benefits. There was therefore little press to print. I suppose I was encouraged that it was called The Neil Young Appreciation Society rather than a fan club . I sent off a cheque and I seem to have been the 130th person who responded.

The first issue was published in August 1981 and I was disappointed. How could they produce something of that quality and content after the items in Zigzag and Rolling Stone? It’s interesting to note in the first issue that Nick Ralph of Dark Star was thanked for “telling us we were too late and making us prove we were on time”. Dark Star published 26 issues and Broken Arrow has reached 100!

Broken Arrow slowly improved in quality of production and content. By issue No. 5 dated April 1982 Paul Makos was billed as Editor/Organisation and David Clarke Treasurer/ Organisation, with Paul Nicholas and Tony Webb in Wales. I have a note in my diary on Monday 26 April, “Paul Makos at David Clarke’s”, but I can’t remember it. I then seemed to see Paul on several occasions from mid-July through August until my diary says, “proof read NY mag in Kidbrooke”.

I had only written one article before, a page on Bruce Cockburn in the fanzine Comstock Lode but something had made me contact Paul Makos. In retrospect I have no idea why I thought I could assist. I had not been involved with a publication before. I lived in West London and Paul lived in South East London.

By Issue No 6 in June 1982 the magazine listed a production team of Paul Makos, David Clarke, Andy Cox, Grahame Reed, Alan Jenkins and Paul Nicholas. In the same issue I contributed my first article, a piece on The Ducks. I had been to California in the summer of 1977 and although I missed the band (despite a visit to Santa Cruz) I picked up copies of the Bay Area Music magazine that had printed wonderful snippets and photos of the band.

Some NYAS meetings were held on Saturdays (at irregular intervals) at my house in West London, with Alan Jenkins coming from Wales, Grahame Reed from Wiltshire, Paul Makos from across town, and I think Andy Cox came down from Nottingham subject to shifts at the brewery. I know my wife Mary thought it rather an imposition! None of us had known each other before, it wasn’t our day job and I recall matters getting quite heated from time to time.

I’m sure people who are not involved don’t realise how time consuming it is to collect, raise and manage the money, call people for information, chase people for contributions, write their own pieces on typewriters, obtain photos and artwork, do layout with Letraset etc, liase with printers and post the magazine out, as well as do a day job and have some kind of personal life! We had articles flying around in the post for various people’s approval and letters with directions from Makos.

Neil was coming over with The Transband to the UK in September 1982 to play the NEC and Wembley. Issues 1 to 6 of Broken Arrow had sold out so Paul had the idea to make a compilation of these issues to coincide with the tour to help publicise the NYAS. I spent a day with Paul at his house compiling this “Special Limited Edition” sorting out the layout and artwork. We had a good day and Paul credited me as follows “I’d like to thank Richard Hoare for his help in getting this thing together and for the use of his Nana Mouskouri bootlegs (the 6 LP box set)”. I have no Mouskouri bootlegs but I recall Paul picked the most unlikely artist to cover Neil Young from Alan’s article and that seemed to be Nana!

Paul Makos and his family moved to Scotland after issue No 7 so that Paul could assist running his mother’s shoe repair business in Glasgow. He moved one week before the NEC show.

On Friday 24th September I took a train to Nottingham. Paul, Andy Cox and I then drove from Andy’s house to the NEC in a car covered in Neil Young posters. On the way we encountered a Trathens Starider coach with Elliot Roberts clearly visible behind the glass. Before we knew it Neil, guitar in hand, was waving at us out of the window. There was so much to take in at the gig and the team got to meet Neil back stage very briefly and we shook his hand. The following day Paul drove Andy and I at break neck speed from Nottingham to London. We watched Neil and the band play three nights at Wembley; Paul had arranged front row tickets for the first two nights. The Trans album had not yet been released so even though we had heard snatches from live sources we were in the dark on the lyrics masked by the vocoder. I remember wishing the shows had the variation of songs that Neil managed at the 1976 shows. This string of dates was, however, a great experience. These few days were written up by Paul Makos and Andy Cox in great detail in Issue 10, however I’ll mention here that on Sunday night several of us spent some time chatting to Ben Keith in a hotel after the gig. Then in the foyer of the Carlton Hotel before leaving for the final night at Wembley I talked to Bruce Palmer. I felt I was in the presence of a legend.

By the double issue Nos. 8 & 9 Paul Makos was still editor and the writers were listed as Andy Cox, Grahame Reed, Alan Jenkins and Richard Hoare. My contribution to the recent events was to write pieces on Bruce Palmer and Ben Keith. The same issue included my first chart which showed who played what instrument on each song of the UK tour. Issue 10 included my first set list chart for the Trans European Tour 1982, which is a format that has been adopted by the magazine ever since.

Grahame Reed had come across the writing of Neil’s father Scott Young when visiting Canada and it was an inspired thought to strike up correspondence with him, although I recall being very sceptical at the beginning. I remember being in London with Paul and Grahame when they went off to meet Scott in March 1983. When they came out of the interview Paul told me Scott liked my Bruce Palmer piece – it was all worth it!

The production team back then was a group of people all with different ideas and backgrounds. Somehow Paul Makos had a magnetic character that kept us all together. He was an optimistic doer, pretty remarkable for someone who as a child saw his father die from a heart attack in front of him on a beach on a family holiday. Paul, however, could not run his business and put out Broken Arrow at the same time. Although I discussed with Paul the possibility of taking it on I soon realised I wouldn’t be able to do it. Andy Cox took it over from May 1983. He knew more about Neil Young than Paul did, but gradually the team started to fragment.

I am a surveyor and all my working life I seem to have been working on properties that need inspecting in locations where I can sometimes catch up with friends. In October 1983 I was managing property in Scotland from London and I remember visiting properties for 2 days then ending up in Glasgow at Paul’s shoe repair shop where we chatted while he finished up before going back to his home in Milngavie.

I think my last written contribution in Broken Arrow was a review of Everybody’s Rockin’ in issue No 13 in November 1983. Andy Cox was the editor until issue No 15 in May 1984, although I don’t know how he found the time to put it out. Basically if Alan Jenkins hadn’t taken it over then I think it would have folded. I seem to recall that Alan had been involved with a football fanzine in the past.

In September 1985 Alan put on a good event, the NYAS Convention, in a room above a pub in Bridgend – great videos of Neil from a variety of sources and I met Pete Long, who I still see.

The same year Grahame arranged with Scott Young for Alan to buy some of his Neil & Me books (newly released paperback editions) that were not yet published in the UK, so that they could be sold via the magazine. I lived comparatively near Heathrow, so on the 28th November 1985 I went and met Scott Young at the airport who got off a flight carrying the box of books. We chatted a little and he disappeared to fly off to Moscow! Grahame Reed is the first name on the Acknowledgements page of the book ahead of NME & Toronto Life editors and Joel Bernstein! Some months later Paul had still not had time to read the book but his wife Ann had to go into hospital. She took Neil & Me with her and was really surprised to read about herself on page 127, “Paul Makos is in his late twenties. His late father a Polish navy man, served with the British after Poland fell in 1940. With the help of his Scottish mother, Paul runs two shoe-repair shops in Glasgow and lives with his wife and children in a pleasant row house in a nearby suburb. One night chatting in his living room, Paul told me….”

I had met Pete Frame through John Platt (Comstock Lode) in the early 80s. In 1991 Pete called me up for Neil Young details as he was updating his CSNY family tree for the CSN box set. I contacted Alan Jenkins and we put something together for Pete, which is why Alan and I feature in the credits to that tree.

I would keep in contact with Alan by phoning occasionally and once or twice called in on him in South Wales. I admired how Alan improved the presentation of the magazine with colour covers etc but he really needed help to source material and someone to help edit the writing. How Alan kept the magazine going single-handedly for all those issues I’ll never know. I know couldn’t have put it out. Well done, Alan.

I have kept in contact with Grahame Reed. We speak every few months and exchange letters at the end of the year. Sad to say when I last spoke to Alan Jenkins he said he had not played any Neil Young since he stopped putting out the magazine.

I didn’t take out a subscription when Scott Sandie took over the magazine. Encouraged, however, by Grahame Reed and Pete Long I sent off my cheque. Scott Sandie has injected new life into Alan’s hard earned legacy and with some of the recent in depth articles produces the sort of magazine I thought I was sending off for in 1981!

Paul Makos, if you are out there, many thanks to you and David Clarke for having the vision and courage to start up Broken Arrow.

This article is dedicated to Scott Young who died at the age of 87 in Kingston, Ontario on Sunday 12th June 2005, without whom our lives would be considerably less enriched.

“Just then a priest comes down the stairs with a sack of dreams and old nightmares”

Neil Young, “The Old Homestead”, 1974.

 

 

 

The Neil Young Appreciation Society founded in 1981, still going strong in 2015.

An unbroken run of 134 issues of  Broken Arrow.