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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Is It Really All Just A "Hippie Dream"?

'Waging Heavy Peace' by Neil Young
(Click photo to enlarge)

"Hippie Dream" reads the note stuck in Neil Young's hat on the cover of his upcoming book 'Waging Heavy Peace' and set for release on October 2, 2012.

The photo for the book cover looks to be from the same photography session that put Neil Young On the Cover of the Rolling Stone.

Neil Young
Rolling Stone - January 2006

And this also seems to be the same photo session as was the same used for 2005 NBC's Saturday Night Live.

Neil Young
Saturday Night Live - December 2005

From a comment on BOOK COVER: 'Waging Heavy Peace' by Neil Young by Arthur:
The first thing I notice about the cover is that Neil's eyes are shaded out from the hat brim. He looks like a journalist from the '40's. Makes me think of the image of Lady Justice who's eyes are blindfolded. Probably a metaphor there if you think about it.

The song "Hippie Dream" was pretty much about Crosby, but could be a metaphor again about a generation taking the "High Road" instead of a more balanced "Human Highway".

Bottom line is, Neil is Scott Young's son. And he has a lot of Rassy in him too. But I think he's go a lot more of Scott's DNA in him than anything. Hell, he even LOOKS like Scott these days!

Aside from that, the cover of "Americana" uses mid-'70's images of Crazy Horse and not the current "mature" look of the members. But Neil does that a lot with what he puts out. Hey, it's still Neil. And his career is all

All we have to do is turn the page when he offers a new chapter.

Thanks Arthur!

More on upcoming book 'Waging Heavy Peace' by Neil Young.

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At 5/10/2012 10:52:00 AM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

In my mind Neil is the epitome of the 'Hippie Dream'. However, he as a survivor of those turbulent times was a 'smart hippie'. He seemed to embrace the healthier, positive aspects of those times while filtering out the negative and destructive elements that wreaked havoc on most of his contemporaries. Almost as much of an observer as a participant, by his own admission he never used hallucinogens as recommended by a physician early on in his career because of his frequent epilepsy attacks, he could possibly go on a trip and never return. He had also shunned Heroin which from a recreational standpoint was the downfall of so many of his peers. I'm certain that his cocaine intake was minimal. Other than a bout with amphetamine in the early years, I'm certain that Neil's drug of choice was cannabis which makes him a poster boy for the argument that pot isn't a gateway to harder drugs. Neil has had ample opportunity to destroy his life and career with hard drugs had he chosen to go that route. Instead, Neil was a 'smart hippie' and while following his muse throughout his career with a passion for the music he also had the clarity to make wise business choices along the way. Other then the occasional light hearted endorsements of the use of marijuana, the majority of his 'drug songs' are of the 'anti- drug' sentiment. Anybody who has been a part of the drug culture is keenly aware that nobody could possibly endure as long and as successfully as Neil has had he consumed as many substances as he is falsely famous for. As Lennon said, "you've got to feel your own pain". Neil once stated that just after burning a fat one, he received a call that his dispute with Geffen had been settled and he was victorious. Rather then having feelings of jubilation, he didn't feel nothing so he decided to quit smoking weed at that point.Since then he has continued to write rather poignant lyrics about drugs more often with negative connotations then not. I can relate to "fighting drugs with pain". So, as he continues to create and perform at a pace of those less then half his age, I'd say that he showed the world that it is possible to thrive and embody the positive aspects of the Hippie dream while proudly flying whats left of his 'freak flag'.

At 5/10/2012 11:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't believe for a second that his cocaine intake was minimal.Maybe that's what you want to believe ? He spent more on coke than most of us make in a few years.He was just wise enough to know when to cool it.
And Neil certainly didn't stop smoking pot when he was victorious vs Geffen.I'm sure there's still a few plants growing on the ranch.He even testified at his brothers trial that he smokes pot every day.

At 5/10/2012 12:34:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Regarding this subject of drugs, the song Hitchhiker seems to cover this topic in sufficient detail with all we need to know & discuss.

enuf said.

At 5/10/2012 12:35:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Big Chief - 'Without Rings' is such a great song filled with passionate lyrics. I too can relate all too well to that line you quoted...

@Anonymous - I believe Big Chief was saying that Neil's cocaine intake was minimal when compared to others in his circle of peers and fellow artists.

At 5/10/2012 02:49:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...

Thanks for highlighting my comment. Ever since I discovered your NY site, it's been a heck of a lot of fun cruising here and staying updated on Neil and us die hard fans who just LOVE to contribute our angles on the greatest ROCK career ever!
I think it's interesting too that this particular page is about a cover and Neil and CH are putting out a recording of covers. Ah, metaphors.
And as far as drugs go.....I'll leave ya with this:
"Never straight! Always forward!"

At 5/10/2012 02:57:00 PM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

Another FUCKING ANON know it all !!! Let me just say, Mr FUCKING ANON, your 'Google Earth' must get better reception then mine cuz I've never seen any pot plants on Neil's ranch but then again, you may be a regular visitor there so what would I know?? I do know that Crosby and Still's excessive consumption of Cocaine is one of the reasons Neil quit messing with them clowns. And my comments about Neil's experience of being too high to enjoy the news of the Geffen settlement and the result in Neil quitting smoking dope is from his own words on page 614 of Shakey. So FUCK YOU, Anon !

At 5/10/2012 03:07:00 PM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

Thank you, Jonathan for the kind comments and not only your inherent ability to interpret a simple post but to actually post your name unlike some certain ANON's .....

At 5/10/2012 03:35:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@BC - easy now. Suppose we could make some sort of witty drug joke here, but we'll refrain.

The point we tried to make above to Anon, was that we really should stick with what we know from the lyrics.

Everything else is just speculation & gossip. We really, really try hard here @ TW to avoid those types of discussion.


At 5/10/2012 03:45:00 PM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

Thrasher, Any kind of 'witty joke', drug or otherwise would be welcome about now, LOL ...

At 5/10/2012 04:52:00 PM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/10/2012 05:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take're easy there BC, wow. It almost seems like if one don't drink the cool-aid one's comments are not wanted on here.

Stick with what we know from lyrics? Are you guys kiddin me? His lyrics are not gospel people.

"I have a friend I've never seen, he hides his head inside a dream"

giggle goop nonsence? or very fitting right now?

Lyrics do not have to mean a thing, sometimes they just sound right.

At 5/10/2012 05:57:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

Think I'll roll another number...and get into my own hippie dream. I can't even care what drugs Neil did or does or doesn't or didn't. It's all illusion, anyway.

"Looking forward' to the published print that is the heavy peace he's sending out. After listening to "Betty Lou's gotta a new pair shoes" on the way home tonight, and juxctapositioning the Oh Susannah in my head, I have to second the notion of Arthurs above of the GREATEST ROCK CAREER EVER as I had similar thoughts myself today. Neil travels the road wider and farther and more complete than anyone I've ever known of. And it's just a blast to be riding along with it.

At 5/10/2012 07:18:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@dug - you know good and well that your comment about this blog being for kool-aid drinkers is false and way out of line.

as we mentioned above, this is a very serious and sensitive topic.

Does the name Danny Whitten mean anything to you? Bruce Berry?

From the Decade album, Neil writes: "I'm not a preacher, but drugs killed a lot of great men."

Shall we continue?

tread lightly, my friend. very lightly.


At 5/11/2012 07:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just thinking the other day how of all the great songwriters, Neil is the most 'potheaded' of them all.
Most people, even those who have 500+ songs, don't have songs about rolling numbers and growing your own smoke.
Guarnteed Neil still smokes weed. just wait til you see NYJourneys, Neil n Bob surely just burned one in the bushes up in Omeemee. If Neil quit pot then surely 20 years on he wouldn't still have all the weed culture mixed in with his culture. A few examples would be, selling Neil rollies at shows, roach clips on archives, and burning roach on his website.

I also have wondered why there is so little weed talk on this website. I always assume most Neil fans like to burn as it seems to me to be such a big part of his musical aesthetic.
I know the first thing I do when I'm about to throw on a brand new piece of Neils vinyl.

And true pot heads don't clap when Neil sings 'felt like getting high'.

At 5/11/2012 12:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not that difficult, any student of literature can tell you, that the narrator/speaker/singer of lyrics is not the author but a fictional character.

So even when Neil Young is singing "Hitchhiker" his words must not be taken literally, even if there is a high probability that there are actual experiences behind the song and even if an already older Neil Young tells you to take all of that as factional truths.
Neil Young never was lying in a "burned-out basement" and Agatha Christie never committed all the crimes she wrote about. Still there is another concept of truth behind poetry, that we discover when we say a poem, a story or a Neil Young song is truly beautiful.
The rest is just speculation on the side of very devoted fans who feel that Neil Young is an authentic character. The mistake being here is that they look for authenticity in the wrong places in order to prove it. "Powderfinger" is just as real as any other Neil Young song.

In an early song Neil Young tells you all of that already, when he lets his rock star alter ego tell you that he is a clown who does the "trick of disaster". Remember any Neil Young stage act?

All of that leaves one with the conclusion that we will never know Neil Young the person, but an artificial character in many fascinating reincarnations. Isn't that great?


At 5/11/2012 01:45:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...

Well, I hope he at least takes a baby aspirin (81mg) every night.

At 5/11/2012 02:05:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

BIGCHIEF - I enjoy your comment, but I don't think you're correct in your assumptions about Neil's marijuana use.

According to Jimmy McDonough's biography of Neil, Neil admitted to Jim at some point in the mid-90's that he was a heavy pot smoker at the time, which was more than a decade after the Geffen lawsuit was settled.

During one of the Crazy Horse tours in the 90's - either the one for which Year of the Horse was filmed, or in support of Broken Arrow, there was a tent erected for the express purpose of being a smoking tent.

So at least up until the mid-to-late 90's, Neil was still smoking marijuana regularly.

I don't know about NOW, and I do agree that Neil is quite RESPECTFUL of the power that drugs can have over people, particularly the hard ones like coke and heroin... as you say, he's been a "smart hippie", but I don't think he's anti-drugs as much as he's just been upset at how his friends have allowed drugs to control and/or destroy their lives.

And it's widely known that in the mid-70's, Neil's cocaine use was not by any means "minimal".

At 5/11/2012 02:09:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

I do realize that I am feeding the "speculation" with my comments, but I think Jim McDonough's words are likely trustworthy on the topic.

Plus, perhaps Neil himself will clear it all up for us in his book... which I can't wait to ... ingest. Heh heh

At 5/11/2012 03:18:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

Dionys -

"The trick of disaster", I'm pretty certain, is an autobiographical reference to Neil suffering seizures during live performances.

Very good comment, though, and very true. We can't take everything Neil says in his songs as gospel - but I think it's safe to say that his lyrics are always meaningful and that he injects everything with truth-based commentary, whether it be social comment or actual experience.

He may very well have been lying in a burned out basement at one point. Just not the kind of "burned out basement" you're thinking of.

At 5/12/2012 05:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "trick of disaster" at one point was the occasional epileptic fit that befell Neil Young on stage, no question. But I am pretty sure that his surroundings thought that they were faked occasionally. And Neil Young later admitted (I forgot where) himself that in a kind of parodox intervention he played with the possibility of having a fit, annoying person that he alos sometimes can / could be. Later on Neil Young "incorporated" some of his health issues (limp b/c of polio)in his stage act. Living in Europe I have seen not that many Neil Young shows, but in some of them I have been standing just a couple of meters away. And almost in every concert I saw Neil Young was playing with little imperfections, awkward movements, mistakes like putting the harmonica in the rack the wrong way, forgetting lyrics etc. This looseness in his performance sometimes extends to his records,
think the awful studio version of let's say "Going Home" or the whole "Fork".
Neil Young as an artist is a romantic character (please forgive me my German scholarly backgound)in the original sense, because he sets up an infinity of landscapes and identities (o.k. call them soundscapes and reincarnations)that mirror each other. Sorry, that's as close I can get with English being not my first language.


At 7/21/2012 03:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another old junky, blaming the working man. Wish he would just move to Greece our somewhere as fanatical as he is, the old put head, choice head, and I'm sure meth head now.


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