Van Morrison and Neil Young
Veteran music critic Greil Marcus has a new book out on Van Morrison titled "When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison".
In the book there are a couple of refernces to Neil Young. From an interview with author Marcus where he discusses Van Morrison on Blogcritics Music by Donald Gibson:
QUESTION: Given how you describe Morrison in the book, do you see any comparable artist? The one that comes to mind is Neil Young.
MARCUS: Neil Young is probably the best analogy. I think that's really on the mark. Not that they're identical or maybe even that similar, but... There's a moment on "Over and Over" on Ragged Glory where something absolutely extraordinary happens in the middle of the instrumental break. The only way I've ever been able to describe it to myself is that the song turns over. I've only heard that one other time, in one other piece of music. So I don't think it's something anybody can aim for or really replicate.
And if you listen to the Dead Man soundtrack that Neil Young did, which is just him playing guitar, I think you can hear that same sense of trust in the music or in your own ability to find it, but also the willingness to just go out there, poking around in the bushes for days if that's what it takes to find what you're looking for. I love something Neil Young said in the '90s, and he was being interviewed on the radio about grunge. And he said something like, "Ya know, all those old guys who play guitar, they don't know what grunge is." And I'm thinking, All those old guys? [Laughs]
QUESTION: Like Eddie Vedder, he meant?
MARCUS: I don't know what he meant—Neil Young at that time was one of the old guys—but he was saying, "All these old guys, they don't know what this is. They don't understand it. When you play that kind of music, there's no feeling like it anywhere." And he's saying, "I play this music in order to feel myself emotionally respond to the sounds that I'm creating. I'm my own listener." What a wonderful thing.
Now whether Van Morrison is his own listener in the same way, probably not. But they're both people who can be enormously frustrating in terms of making tiresome music, making albums that you never want to listen all the way through let alone ever play again, but that you can't ever write off. You have no idea what they're going to come up with.
Read sample pages on When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison.
More on other artists influencing Neil Young's music. For example: