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Monday, May 10, 2010

Comment of the Moment: Why is "Chaos Good"?

So it seems that Neil Young's remark that "Chaos Is Good" has provoked quite a reaction.

Here's the Comment of the Moment by BigChief:
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 pursuit 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, Neil's 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 !

More on Neil Young's observation that "Chaos Is Good".

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At 5/11/2010 01:17:00 AM, Anonymous Simpson said...

Hey Thrasher and everyone else, I just got the new Neil Young: Long May You Run Illustrated History book and it's amazing! You do not want to miss out on this! So many awesome pictures and really cool interviews. I only read some of it so far but where Jimmy Page talks about always knowing Neil's guitar sound is pretty sweet!

At 5/11/2010 08:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a little bit of chaos takes the "ho-hum" outta essential ingredient to ANY artistic endeavor...


At 5/11/2010 01:26:00 PM, Blogger Patricia said...

Being a closet chaos theory believer, and with Dylan as my favorite singer (sorry, Neil is #2), I enjoyed the food for reflection in this post. Consider that chaos is benign and then listen to Neil’s guitar – a chaos so sweet you can pick it out of 100 strumming in unison and hear only that one guitar; a chaos so heartfelt it can, and has made me cry. Not so different than Dylan’s voice. So while I can align with Neil’s reference to chaos as energy, I can’t quite put on the hat that aligns chaos with confusion; to me the two are separate. Okay, pondering done, back to work for me!

At 5/11/2010 10:33:00 PM, Anonymous LiL Injun said...

Dear Patricia, While in your closet pondering the alignment of your hat of confusion ( typically a result of numerous sessions of listening to Dylans voice - sorry, Bob is #2), ponder over a Merriam-Webster Dictionary where chaos is defined as 'A STATE OF UTTER CONFUSION'


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