Guitar World Neil Young Cover Issue
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.