A POTTED HISTORY OF THE NYAS PART V
THE LATER YEARS
Alan Jenkins’ request in issue 79 for someone to take over Broken Arrow fell on deaf ears, and although he soldiered on for a further 3 issues, by issue 82 he had written his last editorial and announced the end of Broken Arrow. I knew immediately that I couldn’t let the magazine disappear, and after a few days of hesitation I wrote to Alan offering to take up the reins. After 3 months of hard work to resurrect the NYAS we were back up and running, and issue 83 was published in August 2001.
The last 4 years have been a real roller coaster ride for Jo and I as we have learned how to produce a magazine and at the same time administer and run a worldwide society with up to 1000 members. The amount of hard work that is required to keep the NYAS going (all done in your “spare” time) is hard to imagine unless you are actually involved in doing it. How Alan Jenkins managed for so long is a miracle. So why do it at all?
Well, mainly because it is very satisfying when you produce an issue that you know is a good one and is well received by the membership. The magazines are a bit like your little babies – you send each one out into the world and wonder how they’re going to get on… Most I think have survived OK. Issue 85 was an early, tentative approach at something new – a Retrospective Special on Tonight’s The Night. I was pleased with the result and felt it was a success (It’s now long sold out, but people still write and ask for it). Issue 87 delivered some important new research on the life of Danny Whitten with assistance from Brenda Decker – Danny’s only sister – and included an interesting report from the legendary cancelled Brixton show.
The covers generally became brighter as we gained experience, with some cool pictures. The cover of issue 89 brought the great “is it or isn’t it” controversy. Issue 90 introduced us to Greendale and the first ever Broken Arrow “wrap-a-round” picture cover. The year 2003 brought the first NYAS Convention in almost 20 years – very ably run by Paul Docker – and as subsequently reported in the magazine a great success. Meanwhile the letters page had made a strong comeback as members re-awakened and wrote in with their views, and despite the seemingly omnipotent worldwide web great new articles kept appearing (helped by lots of gentle prodding from the editor).
Issue 96 saw Pete Long deliver his awesome Time Fades Away Retrospective. It was one of the classic BA issues, right up there with some of the other greats from the Alan Jenkins’ era; the fabulous issue 23 (The Squires issue), issue 27 (The Reprise Years Listing) and issue 59 (The Ducks Special).
Despite the seeming success of our comeback, however, membership numbers have continued to fluctuate wildly – from a high of almost 1100 at one point to a low of 615. As we go to press for issue 100 the membership stands at a disappointing 730 – the lowest it has been for some 3 years. It’s ironic that as we reach this amazing milestone we continue to lose members. I think that part of the fall off can be put down to a combination of time, the immediacy of the Internet and people simply forgetting to renew. My continued refusal to report on commercially sold bootlegs plus an obstinate refusal to send anyone a reminder when they don’t pay (“why should I” he says) also probably doesn’t help matters.
In terms of the future for Broken Arrow and the NYAS, I believe that what we do remains very worthwhile and I, along I’m sure with lots of you, want BA to continue. August 2006 (issue 103) will mark my 5th anniversary as editor. Time has flown by, and I’m very proud of what we have achieved in these years. However, due to my continuing other commitments, I will not be able to continue with BA forever, and ideally I would like to find someone to take over as editor/producer of the magazine. I have some ideas about splitting the administration of the NYAS away from the production of the magazine; such a move would help to greatly reduce the burden of work and make it much more manageable. Perhaps we could have joint editors? I am open to ideas and welcome constructive input from anyone who thinks they can help. Please feel free to drop me a line - don’t be shy and don’t hesitate. With modern communications you can be based anywhere in the world. Let’s find a way to move forward and to keep this great organisation alive for another 100 issues.
Scott Sandie, member 1393
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
At the time of the start of the NYAS David was employed in London as the divisional accountant of a PLC. He then moved to work in an accountancy practice in South East London for about 10 years. Since then he has moved to Newquay in Cornwall, back up to London and returned to Cornwall again in 2003, where he is now a partner in an accountancy practice. He has maintained a life long interest in music, having a large vinyl and CD collection (which he is busy transferring to an iPod). He has also been listening and buying Neil Young since After The Goldrush came out. He still listens to Neil frequently and still buys everything as it comes out. Amongst others he also like Stan Getz, Van Morrison and Love (his favourite all time album is Forever Changes and he bought each Love album as they came out from day one in 1966). Married with a daughter, two sons and one grandchild, he now lives in Falmouth.
I still live in the South West of England with my long-term partner, Debby. I work as an Export Sales Manager for a company manufacturing electrical accessories and dimming systems.
Graham Nash’s exodus to California led to a lifelong interest in West Coast music, but I consider myself to be a lover of music, both past, present and future. I continue to purchase as much music as I can, attend as many gigs as I can and read music biographies profusely. I have subscribed to Broken Arrow from the beginning, and continue to contribute whenever I can.
Since leaving Britain in 1982, Angus MacSwan has lived in Hong Kong, El Salvador, Thailand, Cyprus and Miami, USA, and now lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with wife Keiko and three daughters. As a foreign correspondent for the past couple of decades, he’s reported stories from the fall of President Marcos of the Philippines, to wars in Central America, Cambodia, and Bosnia, the 1994 elections in South Africa, the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the 2000 U.S. presidential election and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
In between times he’s managed to log 15 attendances over 25 years at Pamplona's San Fermin bull-running festival. Neil's music has been a constant on all these travels, although the rest of the family does not share the enthusiasm! He’s managed to catch him a few times over the years - most memorably in Jerusalem with Pearl Jam in 1995 and the opening night of "Greendale" with Crazy Horse at West Palm Beach in 2003.
Was originally very keen to contribute to this article but in the end didn’t make it…
Mary and I now live in Hertfordshire with our two children. I am still a surveyor and I work in Central London. I have continued to write about various musicians. I contributed to Music World, Swing 51, Omaha Rainbow, etc. before they all folded. In 1989 I started my own occasional newsletter about Bruce Cockburn called Cala Luna. After that ran for a few issues I started writing for Gavin’s Woodpile, a Cockburn newsletter based in the US which became solely a website after December 2003. Pieces I write now are published on websites. …and I continue to go to Neil Young gigs.
Nothing has been heard from Paul for many years, and all my attempts to track him down failed. If you ever read this Paul, just look what you started! Ed.
Continues to live with Paula at the same address in Bridgend where BA was produced for all those years. His health still isn’t so good these days, but he gets by.
I qualified as an accountant in 1979 and now co-own a commercial laundry company. I married Jo in 1975, and this year we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Our four children have now grown up and moved out into the world, and you already know about the identical twin grandsons… I bought After The Goldrush in 1970 and remain a keen fan, although I no longer listen to as much music as I should. I’ve been a (very average) life long guitar player and I still enjoy playing, especially Neil Young songs. My best gig attended is always my last Neil Young one, and I hope to have the opportunity to see him perform again, at least one more time.
The Neil Young Appreciation Society founded in 1981, still going strong in 2015.
An unbroken run of 134 issues of Broken Arrow.