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Friday, June 08, 2012

Interviews with Neil Young: BBC Radio 4 Front Row, NPR Fresh Air & KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic

Neil Young
(Click photo to enlarge)

Two very excellent interviews with Neil Young from BBC's Radio 4 Front Row by John Wilson and NPR's Fresh Air by Terry Gross.

The BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Front Row, Neil Young interviewed is summarized by Tony H. from Newbury, UK as follows:

- re Americana songs - Neil said he wrote some of the arrangements for the Squires in c.1964 after hearing Tim Rose's version of Oh Suzannah. So at 48 years until a release these must now hold the Neil record for longest "unreleased" songs!

- writing Waging Heavy Peace about the early years was one of catalysts for Americana

- he also said he sung GStQ at school in Canada and the it came back to him when they were recording the album. He liked the way the tune had ambiguous origins and meaning for both sides of the US War for Independence

- most Americana songs were recorded within 3 takes except GStQ that needed 6

- as Anon mentioned there's enough original material recorded immediately after Americana to fill a double CD, including one 26 min track

The conversation also touch on playing with Crazy Horse and Living with War\Ohio and protest\ folk songs in general. Neil was asked if he could imagine his own songs become future "folk" standards - he replied he didn't think of them that way and was always looking to the next thing

(Thanks Tony!)

From Neil Young: The Fresh Air Interview : NPR:
Interview Highlights

On 'She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain'

"I heard that song back in 1964, and I was really into the groove and the melody and the fact that it was an old song with a new melody and old lyrics. And then, when I did it in 2012, I started relating more to the lyrics and started doing more research on the lyrics. I actually got into what the lyrics were really about more than I was in 1964. I chose a few verses that emphasized a certain darkness, but they were all the original verses. ... Because I felt that the music was like a studious type of thing, it was like, 'Well, we're looking at something here. This is kind of historic stuff.' And I'm using the folk process to change it, which is fair game — but I'm still keeping the message of the original songs."

On his song 'Love and War'

"The song says, 'When I sing about love and war / I don't really know what I'm saying.' And I think that sums it up. Because they're very deep subjects. You can't possibly know what it means to somebody else. War to one person may mean a justified thing that's happening for a very good reason, and another person may think that's a terrible thing and never should have happened. And another person will be thinking that he lost his sister or his brother or his mother in the war and it was a waste of time. And another person could be thinking the exact opposite: that his brother went to war and gave his life for our country. So you can't really have an opinion, although I have opinions and I've had them and I've made very loud statements about things. But that's the way I felt at the time. When I did the Living With War album, I was very outspoken about the anger I felt about certain things that were happening at that time in history. But again, I was no more right than the people who believed in it because it was such a big thing — how can you know? How can you know all of the reasons and everything that's happening? I just don't enjoy war. I'm not like a fan of war. And love can be very damaging, and it can be very good. So you just don't know where to go with these things. So I wrote about that — the quandary of not knowing what to do with any of those things. It's kind of a useless point of view."

Also, interview on Neil Young & Crazy Horse Live at KCRW on Morning Becomes Eclectic 06.05.12.

Great, revealing interviews with Neil.

Fantastic to hear that another double CD of material has been laid down. 26 minute tracks!

As always, it's a wonderful time to be a Neil Young fan.

Take us to the portals!

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At 6/08/2012 11:06:00 PM, Blogger asg said...

or will the 2-CD set be shelved only to turn up on ARCHIVES V5 ?

At 6/09/2012 08:14:00 AM, Blogger darlobuc said...

The interview on Radio 4 was great stuff, in addition to the 26 minute track he said there were another 3 or 4 long tracks. Me thinks the Horse must be well and truely in the groove.

At 6/09/2012 10:59:00 AM, Anonymous The Zuma Band said...

Intuitive and shrewd Neil got a twofer out of "Americana."

1. He checked off something on his retrospective to-do list, which was to get those Squires' folk rock covers finally recorded.

2. This in turn primed the pump for his muse and Crazy Horse to get cookin'on new material.

He had to go through the past to get to the future, which in many cases is how he creatively operates.

At 6/09/2012 11:56:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Very intuitive and shrewd there Zuma Band.

"He had to go through the past to get to the future."


At 6/09/2012 01:43:00 PM, Anonymous The Zuma Band said...

The "Trans" cover says it all....

At 6/09/2012 04:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Fresh Air interview he also said "God Save the Queen" is a "great song". More than once! How is it a great song? He sounded like he's suffering from dementia during parts of that interview. This land is your land huh? Does that mean I can camp on your ranch when I'm in the neighborhood. Should have given this piece of crap album away!

At 6/09/2012 04:48:00 PM, Anonymous The Zuma Band said...

The pathetic perversity of trolls never fails to puzzle me. The bitter anger they exhibit is sad and disturbing.

Really viscious comment about dementia considering his father was afflicted with it.

At 6/09/2012 06:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the more reason to consider it then and I didn't know that about his father but then again I'm not a true believing fanboy either. I can see including this disc for free with his upcoming release but it's plain insulting to put this out at full price in this economy. Hmmm I'm unemployed and my house is underwater so think I'll go give a gazillionaire 15 bucks to listen to his thousand year old "protest" songs?

At 6/09/2012 10:37:00 PM, Blogger TomCrac said...

Hey Anon, can I buy you a drink? ... My treat.

At 6/10/2012 01:41:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...


(some people need to listen)

..."Don't tell me hard luck stories and I won't tell you mine."

We all got 'em, ANON. It's just that we don't use this place as a diary to air out our underwear.

Being jealous of success is showing absolutely no understanding of the love it takes to get there and to remain there.

At 6/10/2012 01:52:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...


Das it...off by one!

Have a NICE day!

At 6/10/2012 05:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're going to buy me a drink AND it's your treat? Well Goleee. As Gomer used to say. And then there's Arthur, totally missing my point, who isn't articulate enough to respond in his own words. Easy to see how neither of you felt up to explaining how God Save the Queen is a great song.

At 6/10/2012 05:58:00 PM, Anonymous The Zuma Band said...

The standard rule is "Don't feed the trolls."

At 6/10/2012 06:39:00 PM, Blogger Matthew L. said...

Yeah, just ignore them, eventually they'll go away. And we can continue enjoying the things we enjoy. There's no need at all to justify liking something to someone who is obviously closed-minded and blinded by hate.


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