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Saturday, May 08, 2010

"Chaos Is Good" says Neil Young


Just came across a good 2008 article -- Neil Young: Chaos Is Good on JamBase by Kayceman.

It covers a lot of familiar territory but in a very comprehensive manner drawing upon a variety of sources.


Chaos is really good for art, and sometimes friction causes chaos. But chaos is really the catalyst. I really think that chaos is like gas. It's like energy.

-Neil Young


At 5/08/2010 11:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chaos in and of itself I do not believe is very beneficial, it's more like extreme disorganization. Chaos in the midst of the journey however tends to be the breeding ground for adventure, discovery, bewilderment, creativity, devastation and a myriad of other experiences that once the waters calm lead to new revelations of oneself and one's surroundings.

The 'twisted road' of life is best experienced while shifting gears.

- Not Rotten Johnny

At 5/08/2010 11:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a lot to be said about chaos and creativity. Creativity is bending the "norm" or "form" if you will.

Malcolm P. MacPherson

At 5/08/2010 03:56:00 PM, Anonymous ShittyHorse said...

Neil has spent a life in pursuit of the muse. Neil has burned the candle at both ends and stepped through the fire destroyed friendships,turning on his audience and even being sued, all because of the muse. To be close to it and attempt to keep it there. I’ve seen Neil some nights and it’s like he’s risking life and limb to put out for the audience. I believe Neil is an Artistic medium and the "Great Spirit" or whatever you wish to call it, transmits to him by way of songs- not just writing them but performing them as well. We are all capable this way if we are open to it, but Neil knows better than anyone how to receive and bring it forth, to interpret, if you will, this signal in song. Others may do it by painting, writing, but also- any creation, any profession can have some form of this. Something’s work and others don’t. Are you inspired? Ever? The best things just happen, with not much thought. I believe being inspired doing an art, to have the muse with you is the difficult insperation to find and deal with. Neil Young has spent his life in pursuit of ‘IT’, (we’ll call it) and sometimes it's there and others it’s not. Neil is good at telling when it's there- when the muse is with him, when its strong but one cannot know all the time, but you just gotta try otherwise it'll never happen. I'm sure that when Neil really has to think about what he's doing, he knows it's not happening. “The more you think, the more you stink”
Creativity, in any form is difficult. Creativity by its very nature is energy. Rock n’ Roll is a young man’s game, as is writing- the real fast, crazy, inspiring writing is usually done by a young person. Same with rock n roll. We can all run down a list of rockers who were great in the day or are now terrible or dead. It’s a small list of aging rockers who are just as good, or better as when they first made it. Older people can obviously have it as well but the young receive it better and have the energy to transmit. Neil, I think, knows this and takes steps trying to harness it, staying real, keeping it fresh by any means necessary. Looking at his career, his words and his life it’s obvious that that there is some other forces at work. It's not just talent, although to do what Neil does requires it. In Neil's case, the talent to sing, to play guitar but also to be able to receive and transmit the muse, the way Neil does, is also a talent. Neil searches for the right circumstances; full moon, the right players, the right songs. He knows what it takes to open up and many ways are often not good for your health, physically, mentally or emotionally. Neil knows, just like Dylan, that heartbreak brings out the best songs. Intoxication opens you up, frees your mind if you will, you can open up and songs come, but too much this will also chase away the muse. Some stop doing this altogether and the muse is just gone and it's never the same (Aerosmith). I also think sometimes just playing music will bring it on... getting in the zone, which, in Neil’s case, seems to be done best with Crazy Horse. This is a young man’s game. Too much will hurt you. Chaos is a huge factor in being creative. Many artists keep chaos around them at all times, and it usually kills them. Kerouac and Cassidy went looking for “IT”. I believe they found it, but in the end the chaos it took, killed them. Neil, on the other hand has been able to find it, harness it as best as he can, in a healthy way- by staying creative and always moving- a little stimulation here and there doesn’t hurt either. I’m sorry but listen to Neil songs, his voice, and his guitar. There is something there that borders on magic. On a good night, even now, under the spotlights in any theater, if the crowd really wants it, you can be a witness to IT- When Neil is completely on, in tune with himself and the energy in the air. He feeds off it and puts it back out there to you, if you’re willing to accept it. It’s a scientific fact that energy never dies, it just changes form. Neil Young is like a sorcerer of energy.

At 5/08/2010 07:27:00 PM, Blogger yourisaforever said...

Hi Thrasher, I think that there could be a form to agree or disagree to comments here.(Other than words, thumbs up/down etc).
ShittyHorse, YOU NAILED IT!
"I’m sorry but listen to Neil songs, his voice, and his guitar. There is something there that borders on magic. On a good night, even now, under the spotlights in any theater, if the crowd really wants it, you can be a witness to IT- When Neil is completely on, in tune with himself and the energy in the air. He feeds off it and puts it back out there to you, if you’re willing to accept it. It’s a scientific fact that energy never dies, it just changes form. Neil Young is like a sorcerer of energy."

At 5/08/2010 11:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure we can start talking about the existence of ghosts here too, as they are....everywhere. No, really, they are!

At 5/09/2010 09:34:00 PM, Anonymous edge said...

Neil's music give's yer brain something to chew on.

At 5/09/2010 11:12:00 PM, Anonymous BigChief said...

Chaos is an inevitable force that takes place in every situation prior to the moment where a final agreement is reached. The intensity of the 'chaos' is determined by the level of adversity in coming to an agreement between all of those involved in persuit of the ultimate solution. In the democratic environment of a group of musicians, the creative process is obviously sure to breed chaos. Whether a band will succeed or not is determined by how well they can harness the inevitable presence of chaos to their advantage. What may appear to an outsider to be 'disorganization' is actually a very important element of the creative process.One of the reasons that Neil is such a great solo artist is that it allows him to have total control in that the only 'chaos' he has to deal with is that of his own. Schizophrenia and confusion is merely a form of chaos on a personal level. How well an individual can harness this force will determine whether it will destroy you (Sid Barret), or make you a successful rock star for life. Aside from his obvious talents as a writer and musician,Neils leadership abilities is a gift that is most overlooked that sets him apart from his peers. When it was suggested to Stephen Stills by Ahmet Ertegun that Neil be added to C.S.N, Graham Nash was the last hold-out who had to be convinced that Neil would be a worthy addition to the already successful band. As it were, they were already enjoying a high level of success as far as sales were concerned upon the release of their first album. What the group was lacking, however, was a musician to fill the gap for their live performances since it was Stills who played most of the instruments in the studio during the recording of the album. Nash was already familiar with Neil's talents as a writer and player. What was a concern, however, was his reputation for the 'chaos' that seemed to be prevalent between Neil and Stephen in the Buffalo Springfield days. His fears were more than justified because out of all of the bands that came out of that era, C.S.N&Y became synonymous with chaos. Chaos is a necessary evil that will make or break even the most talented artists and nobody knows this more than Neil. He has built his entire career around it. I believe that if he had a chance to have that talk with Curt Cobain, it would have been about how to channel his personal chaos into a more positive, creative manner rather then allowing it to destroy him as it ultimately had. There must be more to the picture than meets the eye. There are many who can play guitar and sing and maybe even get lucky and write a good song or two, but I can't think of anyone except maybe Dylan, who's personal control over his own career and life, for that matter, has been legendary. The same thing that makes you live can kill you in the end !


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