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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

NPR Fresh Air Interview with Neil Young

Global Citizen Festival
Neil Young at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday Sept. 29, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Photos | Bakersfield Now
(Click photo to enlarge)

An excellent Fresh Air Interview with Neil Young by Terri Gross on NPR. Neil discusses music, family, and medical conditions.

On performing 1971's Live at Massey Hall concert in Toronto

"First of all, the concert was a great time, because I was like coming home. The last time I'd been in Toronto before that, I was basically living on the street, and I had a flat that I was living in that cost like $12 a week. I had a little hotplate — cooked beans and stuff in my room. I'd really tried to get gigs as a folksinger and didn't do too well at that, so it was my formative time. So I wasn't a big success the last time I was there before this visit, so going back there and playing at Massey Hall and having a couple sold-out shows in one day — it was a real rush. So there was a great feeling. And plus, being Canadian and having reached a certain level of success in the States — it was a big deal, and I was in my early 20s. So when I showed up there, it was like all the Canadian kids that were there — they felt like, 'If this could happen to this guy, this could happen to me. It could happen to anybody.' Sort of a celebration of Canadian spirit."

On writing music and guitar distortion

"I try not to think while I'm doing it. Hopefully, I'm completely gone somewhere and I'm just making a sound, and I just like to hear the sound. So it's all about having a good time and making a sound, but you really have to have a reason for making the sound. So that's why I write songs and the songs have got the message. But after a while, you forget about the message — you just get the sound going, and then the two things go together, and then if you're lucky, you write another song. There has to be something to say that gives validity to what I'm playing, so that you can't just play for the rest of time."

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At 10/02/2012 08:54:00 PM, Blogger Dominic Holdem said...

awesome pic, almost looks like neil still has hair. just rewatched "walk like a giant" from saturday while i ran on the treadmill. that'll get yer heartrate up!

At 10/03/2012 06:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like the interviewer doesn't really know a lot about Neil Young.

At 10/03/2012 06:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like the interviewer doesn't really know a lot about Neil Young.

At 10/03/2012 06:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

96owashESounds like the interviewer doesn't really know a lot about Neil Young.

At 10/03/2012 07:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terri Gross is audio sleep medication...good grief what a snoozefest NPR is...

I have to say that the 2007 Continental Tour will go down as Neil's last great band and tour...the 1st leg when Ralphie was on drums...

It's great to have the Horse back but come many times do we want to hear A minor to F chord changes in so many songs?

At 10/03/2012 09:43:00 AM, Blogger Matthew L. said...

Anon, If you don't like Neil's penchant for Am to F chord progressions, then how the hell did you suffer through the past 35 years?

At 10/03/2012 10:01:00 AM, Blogger Old Black said...

Teri Gross has interviewed Neil at least twice before - she's about as knowledgable about NY as most other interviewers - probably more than most.

At 10/03/2012 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly wish all these nauseating Neil Young haters would just SHUT THE FUCK UP and GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. Goddam trolls messing with Thrasher's hard work and for what? So you pig-fuckers can be hipster wannabees?

WAA WAA WAA is almost all I ever ead from these "Anonymii"...


-- Eric

At 10/03/2012 10:25:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Yo Eric - we hear you here and see this sort of thing all the time.

Esp when new product is out, like now with book, album, tour & film being released. Talk about a grand slam for NY mania.

anyways, every now and then some one will come to their senses and realize they've missed what the whole Neil feel deal is all about.

Some get stoned,
some get strange,
But sooner or later
it all gets real.


At 10/03/2012 01:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not have said it better myself Eric! Brillant! P.S. Reading Neil's book and loving every word of it. Like having a conversation with Neil. Seeing him at the Hollywood Bowl in 2 weks from tonight.

At 10/03/2012 03:20:00 PM, Blogger Jim said...

"It's great to have the Horse back but come many times do we want to hear A minor to F chord changes in so many songs?"

I want to hear it as many times as Neil is willing to do it...who cares what chords he's playing?

To me, it's all about the vibe of the song and the feeling Neil & the Horse put into it. You can't find that feeling/emotion anywhere else....!!!


At 10/03/2012 03:37:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

I met Terri back in the 90's, probably twenty years ago now. She was very cool, friendly and fun to talk with. That's why she's been doing Fresh Air for so long; a lot of people enjoy her shows. And if you don't, that's why they put a dial on the radio. She seems to get some great stuff from Neil every time she does an interview, and the fact that she's done more than one must mean that Neil feels the same way.

For my money, the best Neil interview ever is still the one that Ira Kaplan did for Spin magazine; does anyone else remember that one? Ira kept Neil's leftover french fries as a souvenir! That was also back in the 90's. The further away that gets, the closer it sometimes seems.

We could slip away
Wouldn't that be better?
Me with nothing to say
And you in your Autumn sweater
--Yo La Tengo

At 10/03/2012 04:44:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

When faceless and anonymous
Come to beat down your door
And say you're all washed up and done
You can just say they have nothing in store

To touch this soul
Because they just don't know
They just don't know
The way

At 10/03/2012 06:50:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@Mr H. - good to see you my friend.

As far Terri Gross goes, yes her record speaks for itself. Folks who've been around for decades have been for a reason. And Terri's interviewed NY several times and comes back. Most interviewers only get one shot with NY and that's it.

Recall that recent NY Times interview by David Carr and his stories of encounters with Neil?

Neil doesn't suffer fools gladly.

@Dan - exactly.


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