A Sad Day For Rusties: NYAS Folds...
April brings, slightly later than usual, a new Broken Arrow
magazine to all of the Rusties who maintain membership in the Neil
Young Appreciation Society. The late arrival of issue 82 was a
harbinger of the bad news within: Alan Jenkins has ended the
20-year run of the NYAS.
No more will the beautiful Broken Arrow magazines greet us
from our mailbox four times a year. No more will this world-class
glossy fan magazine spread cheer among Neil fans across the planet.
No more will our fingers flip the pages of the only full length
glossy magazine ever dedicated to Neil Young. It's a sad day
Alan explained to us all within this final issue how membership
in the Society had dropped in the Internet era -- which is a damn
shame. Considering the fleetedness of images on a screen, and the need
to be "plugged in" to participate in the Rust virtual community,
Broken Arrow served its niche well. It was something
tangible, that you could easily carry with you anywhere,
to delve into at a whim. Something permanent, that you could
put on your shelf and know it'd be there when you looked for it later.
Something with a physical beauty, that you could leaf
through, gaze upon, read and enjoy
The NYAS and Broken Arrow also had a history.
In the early 80s Neil experimented with various genres and his fan
base whithered as the people who shared Geffen's opinion that Neil
wasn't making Neil Young music lost interest. But during this very
period, NYAS was born and grew. It provided Neil's real fans
with an awareness that there were others out there like them. It
gave them real news, while Neil was mostly being ignored by the
media. Neil later acknowledged NYAS by mentioning them
within his Freedom and Arc album notes.
At the dawn of the 90s, Broken Arrow became better and
better, recognized by many as one of the best fan-produced magazines
in the world. Alan continued to be the world's main source of Neil
News and NYAS grew with the new interest in Neil driven by his
90s successes. But in the mid-90s the internet entered the picture, at
first adding a lot of visibility to NYAS, but eventually
drawing much of that visibility away.
As NYAS approached its 20 year anniversay Alan had explained
how he was finding it hard to continue the hurculean task of editing
producing and distributing the magazine, virtually solo. He offered
to turn it over to anyone who could show that they'd continue on
with the care that he'd put into it during his decades of devotion.
But no one was up to the task.
With his very health at stake, Alan regretfully decided it was time
to move on. We'll dearly miss him, and the Neil Young Appreciation
Society as a whole...
Following are Rustie reactions to the news....
(Be sure to see the Addendum
at the bottom...)
John Einarson (author of several Neil-related books):
Alan Jenkins deserves a medal for all his dedication over the last
fifteen years or so in keeping Broken Arrow going as one of the very
best fanzines ever. The loss of this wonderfully informative fanzine,
lovingly put together four times a year by Alan pretty much all by
himself, will be lamented. He had tried to get someone to take over in
the last few months but I guess no one could shoulder the enormous
burden he has handled so well. Best wishes to him.
Francesco Lucarelli (author, Wooden Nickel editor):
Having run a fanzine myself for almost 10 years (although
not up to the standards which Alan brought BA to)
I know what is like to put together that little great magazine
every three months.
Len Read (a founding member of NYAS):
Imagine sleepless nights before deadlines. Imagine
having to go to work anyway the morning after. Imagine
having to deal with hundreds of people writing from
all over the world (before e-mail existed).
Imagine having to deal with the money coming in
and with the money going out -- with the latter being
usually a bigger amount. Imagine the time spent on each
issue to make it beautiful and interesting. Imagine
the delivery process.
Broken Arrow has not been only a number of pages
put together to make a beautiful fanzine, it was the only
real and reliable source of information about Neil
in those modemless days when being a NY fan wasn't hip,
when Neil's records were not up to par and the official
press wasn't that interested in his music anymore, when
trading tapes wasn't logistically as easy as today.
My deepest appreciation to Alan, as well as to Paul Makos
and Andy Cox (the BA editors before him) for giving us
something to look for every 4 months since 1982.
It's been a long and beautiful run.
Just got latest edition of Broken Arrow and am stunned to learn
that editor Alan Jenkins is making it the last ever. I was one of the
founding members of the NYAS and feel that some sort of tribute
should be given to it after 82 editions spanning 20 years. Even if Alan
blames the Internet for some of his problems, for many years, this
fanzine was the ONLY source of Neil material -- we should
be grateful! I suppose the high point of NYAS came when Neil
gave it a name check on his "re-birth" album Freedom. I
would just like to say to Alan through this column: Thanks for your
time, hard work and dedication.
Steve Ponsonby (long time Rustie):
I've been with Neil since 69 and yet it wasn't till 95 and an ad for
NYAS in Q magazine that I ever heard of any group of
folks with the same musical likes as me. I'd gotten married, had kids,
seen Neil live over 3 decades, had major career changes, and all the
usual traumas that life throws up. To all my friends I was Mr Unusual
because I liked Neil Young. Then I discovered BROKEN ARROW.
Peter Purdy (long time Rustie):
I couldn't believe I was member #4011. Who were the other 4,010???
Within months, I'd discovered my first "live" tapes, met up with and
travelled to see Neil live with, had Jams with, and even been to a Neil
50th Birthday tribute with, ORDINARY PEOPLE who formed the
subscribers to the best little fanzine in the world.
Once you'd paid your NYAS dues, you rarely unsubscribed.
To this day I know, communicate and travel hundreds of miles to
party with more Neilheads through BA than on the Rust List.
Lots of Neil fans worldwide have neither the financial wherewithall,
the technical ability nor the inclination to be a part of the internet
community that serves as a gathering place for today's Neil fans.
Alan is an unpaid servant of his charges, and has ocassionally been the
target of "flaming" letters from subscribers unhappy with his efforts
as an editor/administrator. Yet through it all he continued to be
a catalyst for all us non-internet Neil fans to "get together" and
share Neil's music -- with little or no thanks for his efforts.
And all of this without one single word of encouragement from
Alan, in my neck of the woods, ROCK AND ROLL WILL NEVER DIE,
thanks to the likes of you.
See you in that Mansion on the Hill... ...Steve #4011
I've been a member of NYAS for about 10 years. When I joined
I wasn't aware of the Rust List -- I learned about it via Broken
Mike Lost Dog Currie (long time Rustie):
BA has long been considered one of the best fanzines around,
an excellent little publication, full of interesting articles
about anything to do with NY, and loads of concert reviews by people
who went to those gigs. Alan did all the work for BA himself,
progressing from a photocopied mag, to a glossy mag with
Oh heck there's loads more, but to be honest, though nobody "owes"
Alan anything, if you've never been touched by the effort Alan has
put into NYAS and BA over the years, it's your loss.
I don't think I could ever explain what losing BA means to me.
I'd just invite you to read the tributes on Rust to see how so many
fellow Rusties can't be wrong. I think only those of us who belonged to
NYAS before the internet became what it is now, and before
the Rust List ever existed, know what NY fans owe Alan.
I think to understand what that mag meant to me and to other Rusties,
you had to be there, you had to have received it and read it.
It's like losing a good friend. The Rust List is good, the Lee Shore
is good, I guess all the other lists are good to, but BA was
Quite simply it's irreplaceable... And it's all due to one man:
I arrived home today to the Rustie equivalent of 'the motherload'.
My wife handed me an armful, consisting of four CDR packets and a
bunch of envelopes. Normally I would be ecstatic, start ripping
open the CDR packages and put them in the deck. Not today -- for I
spotted the unmistakeable NYAS Broken Arrow Envelope.
John Johnnyrideon Blakeney (long time Rustie):
I am usually very glad to see it, but having seen rumors, and knowing
about Alan's previous comments, I was very apprehensive. I seemed to
know what it was going to say inside before I opened it. And I thought
about whether I should open it right then or wait till later. After a
moment's thought, I put down the CDR packages and opened the Broken
Arrow envelope. As my intuition told me, there was a note inside
informing me that this would be the last issue, and a refund was attached.
I am a relatively long time NYAS member (number 3381), having
joined in July 1993. In John Einarson's book The Canadian Years -
Don't Be Denied, I had seen an acknowledgement to Alan, that
included the NYAS address in Wales. I wrote to Alan on that
basis, and from Issue 52 through 82, I have always been happy to see
that BA envelope every few months. Until today.
Through an ad in the Broken Arrow, I made my first trading
contacts, before the days of the internet (at least before I was on it).
The first of those was my good friend Mike 'Rustman' Joss, a
transplanted Englishman who wrote me from Alberta, Canada. We wrote
letters, traded, and eventually met. When he moved into B.C., we would
see each other fairly often, especially when Neil was in the area.
And there were many others as well, some of whom I am still in touch
with and others who I've lost track of (if you're out there in the
last category, please get in touch).
Having been involved in volunteer organizations myself, I know how
much work they can be. So I tried to help Alan out with the occasional
article. BA #58 featured The Men Behind Borrowed Tunes,
an interview that I did with Michael Roth and Gary Furness, the two men
responsible for the release of the Canadian tribute album to Neil Young.
I interviewed these two men on the telephone, then typed up a transcript.
It was an interesting project.
BA #60 featured my Don't Fear The Mosh Pit, some words
of wisdom gained from my experience leading the charges in the front
of the mosh pit at the Vancouver show by Neil with Booker T & the
MGs -- an experience that was the most physically demanding thing
I've done in my life. I'm not joking! (This article would be good
reading for those planning to mosh this summer. And don't be scared off!)
One of my favourite Rustie moments is rooted in the NYAS. As
some of you will know, the NYAS logo is an image of Neil
leaning against a tree with hound afoot, as per the cover of
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. When Rustie friends
Fontainebleu and RunAroundBabe were up to BC for a
summer visit in 1997, as we were saying goodbye and taking pictures,
we instinctively all leaned against trees and had the hound dog lie
afoot. The photos turned out great.
But after BA #60, despite good intentions and a bunch of good
ideas that didn't happen, my contribution tailed off. Is it
coincidence that BA #60 came out at about the same time as I
joined Rust (August 1995)? As Alan notes in his final editorial, he
has had a real shortage of articles, and the internet is one reason
for this. Why send a review to a magazine if it can be posted on a
web site within a couple of hours of the gig finishing? As Alan says,
publications like BA are affected.
And while I am part of the problem, I think this is a sad statement
on our times. I still value walking up to a bookcase and leafing
through a book to find information rather than turning on the computer
and straining my eyes. But yet my first reaction to today's bad news
is to post to Rust rather than write Alan a letter (which I will do
in good time). Times have changed I suppose.
I've had the good fortune to correspond occasionally with Alan and I
hope that will continue. I have always been amazed at his dedication
to the NYAS, even when life gets in the way as it inevitably
does. Most of us who get involved with societies do terms of a few
years. Alan has been at it for twenty years, mostly doing all the work
himself as far as I can tell. And from what I see he has had a rocky
relationship with Neil's camp, which I've always thought was wrong on
Alan, your efforts over the past twenty years are really appreciated.
My Neil room will always feature a prominent shelf for the Broken
Arrow archives. I'm sure this is hard for you personally, but
don't feel bad, you've done your part. Now it would be nice if
someone else would pick up the torch and carry the ball for awhile.
Unfortunately I'm not the one.
Thanks Alan. Don't be denied! Enjoy the extra time with Paula. And
don't hesitate to grab a handle and jump onto the Rust List sometime
if the mood strikes you. With luck I'll see you in the U.K. this
summer. Get out to a show or two. And always let the music of Neil
Young be your inspiration.
Well, that's it. It's over. 20 years of Broken Arrow all
ended with issue 82.
Alan talked about the fall in membership, about the pressure and
workload turning out BA and how -- with the Internet giving
instantaneous news -- a 4 times a year mag could not possibly
The letter page shows some fans' feelings towards Neil, and
the loss of some fans respect towards Neil (for being "Neil",
who else could he be??) The Lionel Trains plant closure in the US
gets a mention. All so sad...
BUT, life moves on, and everything must come to a final end.
So, let's be HAPPY, that Broken Arrow existed for those
20 years! From the early conception in 1981 by a handful of Neilheads
to it's Mighty ROAR in 1990-94, when it reached around the
world and people took critical note of it.
And finally......... to a quick burn out.
Instead of.......... a slow fading away.
And that's the best way to remember the mag.
THANKS ALAN. It's been a great musical ride!
The Return of NYAS and Broken Arrow
From: Scott Sandie
To all Rusties...
I was as disappointed as anyone at the loss of the NYAS
and Broken Arrow magazine, although I understood Alan Jenkinís
reasons for retiring. If Iíd realised last year just how difficult
life had become for Alan and Paula I think that I would have offered
to help then. But looking in from the outside itís not always easy
to tell just how things really are.
As a long time member and occasional contributor, however, it seemed
inconceivable to me that Broken Arrow would no longer be
published. I have now spent the last couple of months thinking
about this and actively looking at the various issues involved. After
some discussion with Alan and with his support and blessing I am now
pleased to say that the NYAS and Broken Arrow will be
I have in the last 2 or 3 days written to everyone who has been a
member within the past 12 months with my proposals to continue the
NYAS. Whilst I know that we will have lost some members over
this period, I hope that enough support will remain to get the
NYAS up and running again. As all pre-paid subscriptions were
refunded by Alan, this will effectively be a fresh start for NYAS,
and I hope that most Rusties who were members in the past will consider
re-joining. It may require to be a slow start until we can build up
again, but Broken Arrow will resume publication with issue 83
in August, continuing its unbroken run since August 1981.
As Alan has said, one of his problems towards the end was the growth
of the net, and the Rust List.
However I am convinced that there is a place for Broken Arrow,
and that the two organisations can sit comfortably side by side and
complement each other. Time will tell.
Anyone who was a member within the past 12 months will receive a letter
from me within the next few days.
Any Rustie who was not a member during that period but would like to
join, or would like more information please write to me at
and I will give you full details.
Finally, as a lot of you have noted, Alan Jenkins is a very hard act to
follow. He has done a magnificent job for the past 20 years and I am
under no illusions about the size of the task that I am taking on and
the standard that I have to try and match. The tributes to Alan and
all that he has achieved were in fact mainly why I was holding back
in terms of continuing with Broken Arrow. How can anyone
follow this man?
Anyone who doesnít know me and who would like to see some of what I
have done in the past could try to track down my 1990 booklet
Sleeping Rust: The Unreleased Songs Of Neil Young, or read
some of my occasional pieces in Broken Arrow over the years.
Anyway, I am going to give it my best shot, and if I fail it wonít be
for the lack of trying. With your help we can succeed.