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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MAJOR INTERVIEW: "Neil Young Comes Clean" -

Neil Young
Photo by Graeme Mitchell for The New York Times
(Click photo to enlarge)

A very, very major profile of Neil Young on the other by DAVID CARR. That would be The New York Times.

It is a must read and preview of the upcoming memoir “Waging Heavy Peace”.

Some snippets:
“For whatever you’re doing, for your creative juices, your geography’s got a hell of a lot to do with it,” he said. “You really have to be in a good place, and then you have to be either on your way there or on your way from there.”


I don’t think I’m going to be able to continue to mainly be a musician forever, because physically I think it’s going to take its toll on me — it’s already starting to show up here and there,” he said. Writing a book, he added, allowed him “to do what I want the way I want to do it.”


“I work for the muse.

I’m not here to sell things. That’s what other people do, I’m creating them. If it doesn’t work out, I’m sorry; I’m just doing what I do. You hired me to do what I do, not what you do. As long as people don’t tell me what to do, there will be no problem.


“The straighter I am, the more alert I am, the less I know myself and the harder it is to recognize myself. I need a little grounding in something and I am looking for it everywhere.”


"Young says much of his current battle is to be a person good enough to be worthy of his family’s love."

And this, Bob Dylan on Neil Young ...
Dylan, in a note his manager passed to me, says it’s clear why Young has not tumbled into musical dotage: “An artist like Neil always has the upper hand,” he says. “It’s the pop world that has to make adjustments. All the conventions of the pop world are only temporary and carry no weight. It’s basically two different things that have nothing to do with each other.”

The article contains many rare photos never seen before (by many but not all) which presumably will be in the book.

Neil Young with his 1951 Willys Jeepster convertible
Photo by David Carr for The New York Times
(Click photo to enlarge)

And, almost as interesting is David Carr's reflections on Driving Around with Neil Young -
So here’s the weird thing: when I got to his ranch, where he was waiting for me, he could not have been more ready to chat.

I hopped in his weird little car and we went driving down into the valley, a chunk of which he owned, and he was forthright, easy to talk to and charming in a very plain-spoken way. Riding in the passenger seat as he talked, I had flashback to “Journeys,” Jonathan Demme’s film about Young that includes a lot of driving around and talking. I snapped some photos along the way, but I wish I had just held up my iPad for a minute or two and made my own little movie to capture what it was like to motor around this odd landscape of redwoods, rusting cars and roving animals.

Also, lots of interesting comments follow article, like this one by taopraxis:
Interesting interview, very well done.

Young displays the characteristically curious childlike mind of a free thinker and an artist, the kind of man American conservatives instantly mistake for a liberal and American liberals instantly mistake for a conservative.

I saw Neil Young in concert over forty years ago. I still have the old vinyl records. As I recall, the concert began with him sitting calmly in a wooden chair on the stage with an acoustic guitar singing for me and about twelve thousand other people. Sort of mesmerizing...quiet and beautiful.

My own brand of music is jazz but I love art and music of all stripes.

Good night, good concert, good memories...

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Labels: ,


At 9/19/2012 10:28:00 AM, Blogger Old Black said...

I didn't know Powderfinger had a chorus (?)

At 9/19/2012 10:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

every photo included with the article I've seen before, with the possible exception of the one of Neil and Rassy.

Oh, the shot of the Ranch is a new one snapped to accompany the article.

At 9/19/2012 10:58:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Fair enough on the rarity of the photos. Post updated.

We'd never seen the Pegi & Neil & kids photo before. Where did you see that before?

At 9/19/2012 11:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we talking about unseen pictures? Check this out:

At 9/19/2012 02:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

limited signed eddition on

At 9/19/2012 04:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did Neil sell a piece of his ranch?

At 9/19/2012 04:53:00 PM, Blogger Dmitri Karamazov said...


At 9/19/2012 06:28:00 PM, Blogger bobdylanfan said...

I AM going to buy this book!!!! Lots of never before seen photos??? GREAT!!!!!

At 9/19/2012 10:05:00 PM, Blogger setlistthief said...

What a wonderful profile. Our world is a better place with Neil young in it.

At 9/20/2012 06:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article. And the comments are fun too.
Can't wait to read the book.

At 9/20/2012 09:51:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

the author of the article posted another short piece about his interview with Neil ('i.e.' the story about the story) here, its a good read:

At 9/20/2012 10:36:00 AM, Anonymous SD said...

Nice links back to Thrasher's Wheat in that author's blog post too!

At 9/20/2012 11:10:00 AM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

Well, now we have an answer to the pot question. He quit last year! With that in mind, it's interesting to hear how his not toking has affected the songs and performances, knowing that he recorded the new album un-stoned.

I suppose he did Americana straight too, but it's a cover album, so doesn't count as much. Honestly, I find a couple tracks on it very psychedelic and primordial, so if that's any indication of the effects of quitting, I'll posit that it makes no difference at all.

At 9/20/2012 11:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uncut magazine has a review of Psychedelic Pill in their next issue: "...and, last but not least, Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s extraordinary “Psychedelic Pill”. It’s the longest studio album Young’s ever made, it includes his longest ever song (“Driftin’ Back”: 27 minutes, 37 seconds), and I think a few of you may have been waiting for the old dog to make another album like this for quite a while".

At 9/20/2012 11:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He quit pot and booze. Now he really addicted to psychedelic Pills or Soap. Or both.

At 9/20/2012 09:19:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Is the signed one on Amazon $1500 that goes to the Bridge School?

At 9/20/2012 10:45:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

I remember when he and Demme were interviewed live at the 92nd street Y earlier in the year Neil made some comment like being sober had caused him to experience a dry spell in writing for a while but from the sound of him new album the Muse never rests for long

At 9/21/2012 12:31:00 PM, Anonymous Sandy Horne said...

After reading the article, I flashed on "Ramada Inn" as it deals with the issue of sobriety (as well as other things). I don't think it literal or autobiographical, but I suppose he could have incorporated his experience and taking off with it.

@WLAG guy. Your spirit already walks like a giant.



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