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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Guitar World Neil Young Cover Issue

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The upcoming Guitar World Magazine (October 2009) features Neil Young on the cover and an interview.

Here's the introduction by Guitar World Editor-in-Chief, BRAD TOLINSKI:
It's hard to categorize Neil Young's electric guitar style.

His howling, bent-note improvisations rival Buddy Guy's for sheer emotional intensity; but you would hardly call him a blues man. His thunderous clouds of distorted power chords, ragged arpeggios and mini tsunamis of noise bear a passing resemblance to heavy metal, but an Ozzfest stage is the last place you would expect to see him perform. Even his ornery acoustic guitar style is unique, defying classification within any recognizable folk tradition.

Listening to Young play guitar is the aural equivalent of watching a man wrestle an alligator, with all the chaos and drama that the image implies. No matter how sweet the melody he wrings from his legendary black 1953 Les Paul or weathered Gretsch, it has serrated edges that glisten dangerously, like tiny shards of broken glass. When it comes to guitar playing, we've always admired Eric Clapton's elegance, Jimi Hendrix's psychedelic daring and Joe Satriani's precise shredding. But it's the raw, craggy, "fucked-up-ness" of Neil Young's guitar work that satisfies our most primal musical sensibilities.

This month, in his remarkable exclusive Guitar World interview, senior editor Richard Bienstock talks with Young about the genesis of his mighty sound. The somewhat media-shy legend also speaks frankly about his past achievements, his songwriting and the making of perhaps the most ambitious music anthology ever created: his new Archives Volume 1, 1963-1972 retrospective, in particular the Blu-ray edition, which includes interactive features and 24-bit/192kHz ultra-high resolution audio.

It may seem like a bizarre contradiction that Young would deploy the latest, most cutting-edge digital technology to capture his sound. But upon further consideration it makes complete sense. Afterall, when taking a picture of a raging river, the Grand Canyon or some other force of nature, which would capture the subject in greater depth and clarity: a pinhole camera or a Canon EOS 5D full-frame Mark II?

The answer is obvious.

One snippet of the interview caught our eye in particular.

Neil discusses Archives Vol.#2 which will include Time fades Away II. TFA#2 is an alternate version from the tour's second half.
"One thing I'll tell you about the next volume of Archives is that Time Fades Away II is in there. And it's interesting because the whole thing has a different drummer than what was on that album. I switched drummers halfway through the tour- Kenny Buttrey was in there for the first half, and Johnny Barbata came in for the second. It's a completely different thing, with completely different songs. So that's interesting. There's lots of stuff like that that I'm working on right now for the second volume."

C'mon Neil. We want TFA#1! Look, 15,000 fans have signed the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition and they don't want to be disappointed. (You can always see the signatures continue to pour in via the feed in the right sidebar).

We've been running this damn petition for years now and don't plan to run for eternity.

Could this possibly mean that TFA#1 will never, ever be released? oh, the horror.

Back to the GW issue. Here's some reaction on Guitar Gear "Neil Young Sucks at Guitar, Yet I Love How He Plays!!!":
"It’s clear to me every time I listen to a Neil Young song that he is clear with how he uses his guitar; and that is to express his musical message. You listen to his solos, and if you’re a technique snob, you’ll most probably say, “Yikes! What is he doing.” But try to put any other guitarist in the lead role, and the solo just wouldn’t work. Bad technique or good, Neil Young’s playing is integral with his music. It’s simply an extension of who he is, and while on the surface you might be lead to believe that his playing is simple, and you’d be right, but place his playing within the context of the whole song, and you realize that what he is doing with his guitar is meant to be simple. It’s meant to fit with the song. It’s not meant to show off his chops or showcase tricks that he can perform. It’s meant to act as a color on his palette as he paints the picture of his song.

From that perspective, I’ve always believed that he was a true genius at guitar
."

Complete interview at Neil Young: Gold Rush - Guitar World.

More on Neil Young's guitars, amps, equipment, sound and technique.


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13 Comments:

At 8/01/2009 02:31:00 PM, Blogger JR Heat Warp said...

Hopefully, the inclusion of an alternate Time Fades Away on NYA Vol. 2 means we'll see a remastered version of the original album to whet our appetites. I have a hard time believing Neil still maligns this record as much as he has in the past. It's truly one of his best.

 
At 8/01/2009 02:55:00 PM, Blogger andrea1bianco said...

TFA II is also OK for me. The songs really matter to me.

 
At 8/01/2009 02:58:00 PM, Anonymous Shakey_Arrow said...

If Neil doesn't release TFA, he'll be contradicting himself. Didn't he say that the Archives would be EVERYHING? The good, the bad, and the ugly?

 
At 8/01/2009 07:00:00 PM, Blogger Norman said...

One of my favorite Neil guitar works of late is him and Stills playing on the Deja Vu (Live) version of Deja Vu.


On that we have Stills "classically" shredding away with some quite beautiful runs. It's very familiar, comfortable and good. Most guitar listeners would love it.


But what is Neil doing? To me he colours the whole thing in and lifts the song to another level.


I'm trying to come with some analogies, but my writing skills fail me. The best I can do is think of an individual firework in a whole show. Stills is the complex individual explosion we all look at in awe. But without the surrounding explosions, it would not be much at all.

 
At 8/01/2009 08:00:00 PM, Anonymous dr dip said...

Just refresh me here Wheaties...Is there any interview with Neil that explains his sentiments on why he wouldn't release it?(TFA)
Was he not happy with the sound?
Was he not happy with the moment?
Was it a bad memory in his life he wants to archive into the forbidden zone.?
Christ, he's just released "the warts and all Archives 1"! surely there's nothing on this live album (TFA) that embarrasses him soo much as to never release it on CD.

Is there any live footage from the album that he solely wants to release on his Archives 2 project?
...all these questions!!..Archives guy?..any answers.
Inquisitive Dip

 
At 8/01/2009 08:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess is Neil will release Time Fades Away as a separate release, before Vol. 2, and then also stash it in the Archives, and tell us after the fact it was simply a "preview" disc.

Essentially, he will make us buy us twice. As long as i know up front what he's doing to fans, i have no problem with that approach.

I'd buy it twice.

Mr Anonymous
Censored by Nobody!

 
At 8/02/2009 09:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Afterall, when taking a picture of a raging river, the Grand Canyon or some other force of nature, which would capture the subject in greater depth and clarity: a pinhole camera or a Canon EOS 5D full-frame Mark II?

The answer is obvious."


No it is not.

The pinhole image would be much more expressive and beautiful.

The digital camera would be good for cold documentation unles manipulated by photoshop.

 
At 8/03/2009 01:42:00 AM, Blogger Zak Claxton said...

On the topic of the interview, I can't read enough about Neil as a guitar player. As we Archive owners know, he developed that style of his very early on, almost as if he was born with an ability to play guitar that was not quite like anyone else's.

In a world that's full of pleasant and predictable playing, Neil's voice as a guitar player is every bit as distinctive as his voice as a singer. Totally unique, totally unexpected, and totally great. It's too bad more guitar players don't understand why he's unquestionably one of the best ever.

 
At 8/03/2009 02:06:00 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Wasn't the original TFA from the second half of the tour, with Barbata on drums?

 
At 8/03/2009 11:42:00 AM, Anonymous Rob said...

TFA is already out. I listened to it VERY loudly last night.

Go to your used record store and pick it up. I have about 5 mint copies of it, and give them to my friends that are neil fans.

I think Neil likes it this way because it forces people into vinyl. The reason I started listening to vinyl was to hear On The Beach and Time Fades Away. I am 22, and realistically if those records were out on cd, i probably never would have gone to the trouble to dig out my dad's turntable and to go to the used record store looking for those two albums. Now I dont remember the last CD I bought, and I spend almost all of my money on Vinyl. I love vinyl, and it is all because of Neil not putting those records out on cd. Vinyl collecting has become one of my favorite past times. there is nothing like sitting next to my turntable with my headphones on and really listening to music. Thanks neil!

 
At 8/03/2009 10:25:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

"it's the raw, craggy, "fucked-up-ness" of Neil Young's guitar work that satisfies our most primal musical sensibilities."


I'll second that thought! Well said.

 
At 8/04/2009 03:46:00 PM, Anonymous punkdavid said...

@ Dave:

Yes, the original TFA album is entirely from the second half of the tour. After Buttrey was fired, Neil didn't want him getting any residuals from the album, so he released only tracks featuring Barbata.

--PunkDavid

 
At 8/08/2009 08:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@punkdavid:

where'd you get that story? Never heard that before. Sounds a bit too bitter for Neil. I know the story how everyone wanted more money in that tour, Neil not being happy in the big stadiums, probably still recovering from his 'slipped disc' , in the meantime developing a very harsh throat, but being so crude against Buttrey doesn't sound like Neil to me. He let Buttrey play on Harvest Moon so this must have been settled in the meantime.

Peter Dees ((Holland)

 

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