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Monday, May 21, 2012

Waging Heavy Peace: Excerpt, Patti Smith Will Interview Neil Young

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

Some new developments on Neil Young's upcoming autobiography Waging Heavy Peace.

There is now a fascinating excerpt to read and news that Patti Smith will interview Neil Young at BEA.

The book excerpt can be downloaded from Buzz Books 2012: Exclusive Pre-Publication Excerpts from Over 30 New Books. Even if you do not have a Kindle device, you should be able to read in the cloud format.

The excerpt is quite fascinating and a nice preview of the book. In the excerpt, Neil talks about Pegi giving him a gift of a Lionel train, his "train barn", recording American Dream with Crosby, Nash & Stills, and the "Feelgood Garage" of amps & cars.

The book promises to take us "from the snows of Ontario through the LSD-laden boulevards of 1966 Los Angeles to the contemplative paradise of Hawaii today."

Book is available to pre-order on Waging Heavy Peace (9780399159466): Neil Young: Books and set for release on October 2, 2012.

In other Waging Heavy Peace news Patti Smith will host a lunchtime interview of Neil Young at BookExpo America in New York City on June 6th according to GalleyCat.

More on “Waging Heavy Peace”: Neil Young's Upcoming Book.

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At 5/21/2012 06:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any chance of Neil doing a book signing tour?

At 5/21/2012 08:03:00 PM, Blogger mshare said...

Inneresting excerpt! CSN formed "around 1970"? Pretty close I guess...

At 5/21/2012 08:36:00 PM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

"One of these day's, I'm gonna sit down and write a long letter"....

At 5/21/2012 09:32:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

OK- that was terrible. Thst's not writing, it's typing. Most of it reads like a business memo. There's no feeling, no soul. It's just sentences. Boring sentences. Did anybody edit this thing?

At 5/21/2012 10:27:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

Oh God. I'd call myself "no one" too if I was such a whining ninny that I felt the need to complain about a musician's writing style as if I was some expert on what constituted quality writing. I wouldn't want to be associated with such obviously pointless, snobby criticism either.

At 5/21/2012 10:31:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

ANYWAY. I'm really glad that Neil is finally putting his experiences into writing for us, from his own hand, instead of it being filtered through the inescapable biases of various third parties.

I look forward to hearing his story told through his own peculiar filter. Sandy mentioned recently that she'd love to be inside his head just for a day. Well, this finally gives us all the chance to linger in his mind for as long as we want. At least, as much of his mind as he's willing to share with us - which is way more direct insight than we had before.

Looking forward to reading this.

At 5/22/2012 01:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add headliner at the Austin City Limits Festival in October.

At 5/22/2012 02:07:00 AM, Blogger no one said...

No one is sadder that this reads so poorly. That you don't have the unbiased skills to be able to perform a critical analysis of the writing is also sad. I was going to say " equally" instead of "also" but that would put your lack of critical skill on par with Neil's lack of writing skill. The latter ( Neil's writing) is very sad, while the former (your critical ability) is merely inconsequential. If you would like to try a self-improvement project (highly recommended if you plan to continue to impose your opinions on the Internet, try picking up Dylan's Chronicles. Open to any page. Read. Note how the prose soars. Return to the "Heavy Peace" excerpt. Repeat as necessary.

At 5/22/2012 03:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, Iggy and the Stooges and Jack White > Austin City Limits Festival on October 12th-14th at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas.
Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. CT.

At 5/22/2012 04:59:00 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Matthew, I just want to say that I totally agree with your comments.

Goodness me, I just knew someone (and in this case no one) would have to start moaning and criticizing at the earliest opportunity.

The whole point of reading this book is for the content not the style, surely, and what a rare privilege it is to be able to read Neil`s own words, straight from his mind to ours, so to speak.

At 5/22/2012 09:42:00 AM, Blogger MARIAN M. said...

And I agree with Jill....

Also, I am enjoying the form as well as the content. I like this straight-forward approach.

I want to listen with my heart to what Neil is saying to me!

Still waiting for Americana,

Marian M.

At 5/22/2012 10:08:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

We found the excerpt to be quite fascinating & revealing. Thus, the brief passage met our expectations.

Now its interesting that the Dylan Chronicles comparisons have already started. we would expect that template to be in place for mainstream press reviews. Which is cool since we love all the Bob & Neil stuff.

That said, we think we learned as much from 5 pages of HMP than the whole book of Dylan's Chronicles. The bits about monetizing ideas is virtually uncharted Neil territory and incredibly insightful.

We eagerly await Oct.

At 5/22/2012 10:19:00 AM, Blogger Old Black said...

is it gone now - can't find how to get to it

At 5/22/2012 11:03:00 AM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

Ditto on Old Black, I wasn't able to find it from the link. Where do I do once I get to the Amazon page?

A Non Computer Geek (A Friend Of Yours)

At 5/22/2012 11:49:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

For those trying to figure this out...

If you go to the Amazon page, on the right is a button "Buy Now". The book is free to download.

This will then download to your Kindle. Or you can read directly in the AMZ Cloud.

The excerpt is also available on B&N, etc.

Hope that helps.

At 5/22/2012 01:09:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

@ No one -

I am perfectly capable of disseminating and enjoying Neil's prose without having to employ pedantic critiques of his prose, and I certainly don't need an education from you on the finer points of literary critique, thank you.

Your comment is nothing short of condescending and arrogant. I don't care about your holier-than-thou opinion, or your snobby touting of your own laughably self-assumed analytical superiority (as if your opinion has any universal merit at all), except that your splattering your idiocy all over this blog detracts from what really matters.

You're the one "imposing your opinions", and your opinion is the least interesting or worthwhile that I've seen in quite some time.

I won't even get into the obvious fact that criticizing Neil's ability to write prose is totally missing the point of the book anyway.


At 5/22/2012 02:42:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

Let me see if I've got this straight - criticizing the quality of writing in a book is missing the point of the book? Right - I mean it has to be, because that's what you wrote. So, to follow along in a similar vein, criticizing the quality of music in a recording is missing the point of the recording. And criticizing the quality of the construction and composition of a painting is missing the point of the painting.

There is no way to respond to nonsense with logic. The excerpt from Neil's book is horribly written. If it is representative of the quality of the book as a whole, Neil will be excoriated by people who have a genuine love of good writing (yourself excepted, obviously). Neil has always had an eye toward his place in history and this hasty, unreadable memoir, when compared to other memoirs by his peers, Dylan, of course, but even Keith Richards, for God's sake, will do a lot of damage to his image.
Neil should send this manuscript to a small group of independent critics who have the balls to give him an honest opinion after which he should buy up every copy that's been printed, make up some kind of excuse about the typeface, and have a huge bonfire on the farm.

At 5/22/2012 03:25:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

@no one - please do us all a favor and proceed to get bent. After that, go call someone who cares. You come across as a self-righteous 100% asshole.

At 5/22/2012 03:27:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...

"...My life's an open book. You can read it on the radio."

But sadly, not anymore. The radio Neil refers to no longer exists. I ask people my age if they've heard Neil's latest and they look at me and say something like,"Oh, is he still recording?" Granted, these people have way too much going on in their lives to follow Neil's career as closely as his most rabid fans, like most of us here.

When EKTIN was released, the DJ at KSAN in San Francisco, played back to back DBTR and CGITS for the first time,with no commercial break. I happened to be in my car tuned in. I can't begin to tell you here what an experience that was. I've been heavily tuned into Neil ever since.

Listening to music for me has always been the best driving down the road watching the world go by. It's like the soundtrack to the windshield movie you're watching.

So, any written word, be it by Neil or some other author, even Scott Young's wonderful "Neil and Me", takes back seat to the "Music in Head" that has been provided by Neil and other great artists down through the years. Be it live shows, concert DVD'S or any of the various recorded means in which we listen.

But the written word cannot be denied! I mean, what are we doing right now? I'll never forget a scene in the movie "The Black Robe" where a Jesuit priest asks an Indian to tell him something no one else knows.
The priest writes it down and has someone who can read, read it out loud. The Indians, who had no knowledge of the written word, were shocked. They thought the priests' were devils!
Fortunately, we've come a long way since the 17th century!
Words need to be written in order for a song to have life. Seems like at this point, Neil wants to write down his words now, about his life. Does Neil feel like he's in the "Autumn" of his years?
All you have to do is listen to "I Am A Child" to know that age is just a number to Neil Young.

Like Sinatra said, "It Was A Very Good Year!"

All of 'em!

At 5/22/2012 04:02:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

No one - it is YOUR OPINION that it is "horribly written". ONLY yours. You present it as a statement of fact, when it is in fact a projection of your own narrow-minded need for some kind of intellectual satisfaction that you are apparently not getting.

I personally find it written in the refreshingly simple language that I've come to expect from Neil Young.

It is NOT horribly written, YOU just view its simplicity and lack of flowery dramatics as somehow unsatisfying, and feel the need to bash Neil for it.

Why should he write it in some brilliant, flowery purple prose wrought with metaphor and symbolism and literary trickery? Why? To appease your stuck-up ideal of what constitutes acceptableness in literary style?

That is, very obviously, not what Neil is getting at. He quite obviously chose to write at least the 2.5 pages we've been shown in short, simple, easy to comprehend sentences. Likely to make it as human, and as much a reflection of the real Neil as possible.

This is a personal account of Neil's experiences, written in the everyman language that Neil usually speaks in. It's not supposed to be an intellectual contrivance, it's simply a personal account.

You are utterly mistaken to project your ideal about what constitutes acceptably stimulating writing onto this book, and judge it based on that value alone.

Plus, your assertion - that because it is a book your need to condescend it based solely on literary style is somehow relevant - is fallacious.

You deliberately sidestep the point that many on here have made in response to your comment, that content trumps semantic brilliance in this case.

If this was anything other than a personal account of experiences written deliberately in a simple style, then maybe you'd have a point to make.

If you perhaps commented on the content at all instead of just slamming the style of writing with expressions of utterly condescending, exaggerated b.s. ("Boring sentences." "...reads like a business memo."), then maybe critiquing Neil's writing would be more palatable. As an expression of your own personal tastes.

But all this... Exaggerated, spiteful opinionating, declarations of an alliance between yourself and lovers of "good writing" everywhere, personal attacks against me for calling you out on your arrogant condescension, use of typical logical fallacies, etc., just reflects some kind of desperate need to be right.

Really, you're just digging a hole. So please, keep responding. The more you "type", the more your arrogance bubbles to the surface.

At 5/22/2012 04:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Matthew: I haven't been able to read the excerpt yet so I can't comment on the quality of Neil's writing. But in all fairness, 'no one' simply expressed his opinion to which you responded by hurling insults at him. You may not agree with his opinion, but we should all be free to express ourselves here without being called names ('whining ninny', 'snobby').


At 5/22/2012 04:20:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Admittedly, we're finding this debate about a 3-5 page excerpt to be well... perplexing, but not so surprising.

why does this happen continuously?

Neil records solo and folks want CH. A CH album is announced with old folks songs & children's choir and folks roll their eye balls.

(See The Judgement Not To Pre-Judge "Americana")

@No one - agree that criticizng art based on its underlying format seems logical. But most of the time, there's more to the picture than meets the eye. Sometimes a sculpture isn't just a sculpture.

And sometimes words on a page isn't just a book.

So we'll reserve judgement of HMP -- and Americana -- until we're able to read -- and hear -- the complete works as the artist intended.


At 5/22/2012 04:25:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...

There's an interesting site called

If you go there now, there is a wonderful video called " Louie Schwartzman-Gratitude."

This is a must see video.
You can also see it over on YouTube.

Y'know the old "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me."?? It's not true.

Peace through music. Peace through love. Peace through kind letters.

Anyway, I liked it. I hope you do too.

Still living.....with war.

At 5/22/2012 04:40:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

ok dumb question - what is HMP? Shouldn't it be WHP?

At 5/22/2012 04:50:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Jonathan - doh?!
yeah, that should've been WHP. For some reason I did the acronymn Heavy Metal Peace???

At 5/22/2012 06:12:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

This thread has become a heavy mental piece.

I haven't been able to read this thing either, no computer age talents for me.

I have generally found Neil to not be too flowing in word responses in interviews. He is very direct in his thought and generally catches me off guard because I can't anticipate his views. In that, I am the neophyte, the grasshopper and the sultan's feet. So I try to understand exactly the content of his statements, not necessarily his phrasing. He's a breed apart, in my view anyway. I find his songs with the symbolism and sarcasm to be much easier to interpret as they leave room to insert myself into it, and how I feel or how I understand and can apply it to me. But that also leaves room for others to travel their own road in there.

I'm still looking forward to the read. I have read Richard's Life, it was good, he had help I believe. I read Chuck Berry's autobiography, he wrote every word of it. So This one will have it's personal stamp from the master himself. Come October we can all interpret it for ourselves.

Peace and Love

At 5/22/2012 07:07:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

"Unlike myself, they have mastered the art of monetizing their ideas."
Neil Young, in Waging Heavy Peace

This appears to be what Neil is doing.... monetizing (could there be a less poetic word?) the idea of a memoir.

Enough for now. He's gonna monetize; critics are going to criticize; Thrasher's going to philosophize; and Matthew's going to whine.

At 5/22/2012 07:46:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

@ Anon - You are right, my response was heavy handed, and I did attack Mr. No one fervently. I apologize, to you and all the other readers, for going off on him, angrily and at such ridiculous length, for sharing his condescending point-of-view with us, which he is absolutely entitled to do.

At 5/22/2012 07:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aw lookie there, a fight on an internet comment board! how...novel.

nyuk nyuk nyuk!

At 5/22/2012 08:31:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

Word of your word
Cry of your cry
We shall live again
We shall live again
==Patti Smith

His words were kind
But his eyes were wild
--Neil Young

Behold the wonders of our world and be forever thankful...........

At 5/22/2012 09:12:00 PM, Blogger no one said...

It is unfortunate that you choose to label condescending that which you are unable to comprehend. I'll try to simplify - Neil Young is not presenting us with a blog in which he shares memories with his friends. He is producing a commercial memoir to be sold at an appropriately high price point and he is casting it into a rock star memoir pond populated with whales like Dylan and Keith Richards and even Greg Allman, all of whom have recently produced memoirs that were both historically informative and artistically satisfying. It is entirely appropriate to evaluate Heavy Oeace in that context and, while Thrasher is correct in noting that we have seen only a small part of the whole, this is not one song off an album, it is presented as a representative sample of the memoir and it is artistically terrible. The narrative, in a few short pages, lurches from trains to cars to CSN to new audio technology and it dies so in short, flat declarative sentences that are devoid of imagery, metaphor, and emotion.
I spent a portion of my working life employed as a writer, even though, as a journalist, I occupied one of the lower rungs of the literary ladder (though we did look down upon the advertising writers with done smug satusfaction while gazing longingly upward at the novelists and literary historians and almost anyone else who was paid for putting words on paper) and I sm qualified to render a critical opinion of the artistic merit of a rock star's memoir. You, clearly, are not, but that is nothing to be ashamed of. I'm sure there are a number of things you do well. We just can't see them in your ill-considered opinions. (apologies for a few typos. Editing on an iPod is one of many Areas in which my skills are lacking)

At 5/22/2012 10:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one read like three pages of a book and has probably written more than that knocking it. Finally, a face to the Beatles Nowhere Man!! Thanks dude!

Steven James

At 5/22/2012 11:02:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

Can't put it down..
'til the last page

At 5/23/2012 06:05:00 AM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

Turns out from what I've heard so far the 'children's choir' is pretty subtle. It's there but doesn't dominate the mix as in Clementine. As far as intelligent form of debate, that's cool as long as it's not a couple of 'Anons' spouting off. It's at least refreshing to know the varying thoughts of frequent visitors.

At 5/23/2012 06:22:00 AM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

I think it's a little premature to judge a 416 page book by a 2 1/2 page snippet ... I mean, that's not unlike dropping a needle on a LP for three seconds and saying "this thing sucks" ....

At 5/23/2012 09:44:00 AM, Blogger Old Black said...

It'll be innaresting when Neil has to start going on various TV shows to promote the book. I would really like to see Neil on "Morning Joe" - Scarborough's a huge (and VERY knowledgable) rock fan and guitar player. I enjoyed Neil on Charlie Rose in the past and he seems to have a raport with Teri Gross on NPR.

How funny (sad) would it be to see Neil on "The View" (won't happen - I hope).

At 5/23/2012 04:46:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

I was able to sign up for the interview. If anyone is seriously interested in trying to sign up let me know and I'll try to post the specifics of how I managed to sign up. There was a cost but not it was high enough to deter my intense desire to see Neil and hear what he has to say.

At 5/23/2012 07:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't read the excerpt, and may not. I'll probably wait for the book. As for "no one"'s comments, he's certainly entitled to them, and is very eloquent in stating them. If the book is terribly written, I'm not surprised; Neil is a songwriter and musician, and from what I've gleaned from following him for 40-odd years, has never passed himself off as a writer of prose. Also, sometimes in interviews he can come off sounding a little...simplistic. I by no means mean he is simple, some people just speak simply. If my observation is true, who cares? I don't buy his records in the hope of reading, or watching, or listening to, an interview. It's all about the music. The problem with artists of Neil's stature is, sometimes we have exceedingly high opinions and expectations of their every move, defending them at every turn. I guess I'm what you'd call a Neil "fanatic", yet I am unafraid to admit that he's made some shitty records; hell, in all these years the law of averages practically dictates that he would, as has Dylan, and many others. Who cares? I think the book will be fascinating, whether it's badly written or not. But, goddamn people, quit being so snarky (whether you think "no one" is an asshole or not) in defending the as-yet unread book by a rock star. There are many bigger fish to fry if you want to get riled up (current events, anyone?). Fuck me (and, given the comments by some of you, I'm sure you'll toss that back to me, with a different meaning). Peace out.

At 5/23/2012 07:33:00 PM, Blogger Sandy Horne said...

What??? Not a single comment about the fact that Patti Smith is interviewing Neil Young!! Her book, "Just Kids" is a work of art. I am almost as excited that she is the interviewer as I am that Neil Young is being interviewed!!

I was able to read his excerpt from "Waging Heavy Peace" and was so thrilled that he is allowing us "into his head" after all these decades of mystery. I can't wait to read it!!

So much happening!! Americana, a Crazy Horse tour, a biography, another album in the works!! Not to mention all the other things he is involved with, like LincVolt. Happy Days!!

At 5/23/2012 08:49:00 PM, Blogger Sandy Horne said...

Oh!! And Journeys!!! I can hardly keep up!!

At 5/24/2012 08:15:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Sandy! Yes, happy days with all the Neil releases. Would seem hard to find a complaint.

Patti interviewing Neil promises to be priceless. Would love to be there for that.

At 5/24/2012 09:32:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

I've also been surprised with the non reaction to Patti interviewing earlier quotes and comment were in response to just that. Both have albums coming out the day before which makes the occasion even that much more poignant and momentous. And Sandy is so right about Just Kids, one of my favorite books in years; check out the audio version with Patti reading her own work for a work of art on multiple levels.

At 6/06/2012 03:48:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Can't wait for this book! Sorry "No one".


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