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Sunday, August 07, 2016

American Way Inflight Magazine: "Oh Hello, Mr. Soul" - Neil Young Cover, August 2016

"Oh Hello, Mr. Soul" - Neil Young Cover
American Way Inflight Magazine, August 2016
(Click photo to enlarge)

Neil Young is on the cover of the latest issue of American Way Inflight Magazine.

In a rare interview with Neil Young, ADAM PITLUK (author of Standing Eight and Damned to Eternity. The last musicians he profiled for American Way were Dave Grohl and Michael Stipe) takes us for a ride somewhere on a desert highway.

Oh Hello, Mr. Soul.

"I have a truck that travels with me when I’m on the road, and it has a Pilates Reformer in it,” Young says of his training regimen. “I’m a trained Pilates instructor. I keep doing stuff like that. It keeps me fit.” If you’ve seen Neil Young in concert before, you know that his performance is quite the aerobic workout in itself, what with the stomping around and rocking back and forth and playing his guitar solos as if doing so was a form of strength training. “I can actually do it better now than I’ve been able to for years because Pilates has opened my body up. I feel much better about my ability to react physically to what I’m doing.”

“It’s amazing that the bees occupy the same space in the sonic frequency spectrum as cymbals,” he says, growing animated as he elaborates. “So usually where you’d have a cymbal crash, you just bring in the bees and all you have is kick drum and bass and bees. And it’s insane. There’s one bird in ‘Seed Justice’ that sounds like a vinyl scratch. That’s just a real bird.”

“When I’m creating things, I don’t much listen to anything,” he says. “I’m writing a book right now and I just finished this record, which was a draining experience: four months of postproduction to turn out 98 minutes. Every transition: every fade from one thing to another; every piece of sound; the placement of it; the volume of it; it wore me out.”

“Remember Bram Stoker’s Dracula?” Young asks. “Remember the bat in the city, flying down? That’s where this record is coming from. That’s what I was thinking of for the whole record was the bat. The bat couldn’t see. It could only hear. It heard where it was going. That’s what this record is.”

“I go to truck stops, and then I’ll sleep on my bus,” he says. “I don’t go to any cities. I don’t stay in hotels. I don’t have any trappings of going in and out of hotels. As much as I can, I try to not do that anymore.”

“When you’re at a truck stop, you’re not reclusive,” Roberts explains. “Neil likes that life of being solitary and still meeting people that you ordinarily wouldn’t meet. I don’t think he’s trying to be reclusive. It’s the other way around.”

“The longer I live, the more I see and the more I think injustice needs to be eliminated for people. And people are actually becoming aware. They don’t like it, but they are becoming aware of it.”


“The young kids are just like they were back in the ’60s,” Young says. “The young groups, they really get it. They know that the corporations are taking over our democracy. They know that food supplies are being [screwed] up by big food. They know that drugs are bad and that big pharma is perpetrating these things on us and that doctors are being paid extra by the pharmaceutical companies to prescribe certain drugs. And it’s out of control. Look at what happened to Prince. He was taking a prescribed drug, a drug that was made. It wasn’t an illegal drug. There should be a responsibility for that, but there’s no politician who will fight big pharma. Except Bernie.”

“I tell you what, it sure has felt like 50 years,” Elliot Roberts says through a chuckle. “Now that he’s getting older, he’s conscious of leaving a legacy. That’s how he started out with the hippy generation, yet the hippy generation lost its way somewhere along the way. Neil is still very, very much about activism. But he has so much heart, and he has so much soul.”

Neil Young and Elliot Roberts, Manager

Complete interview with Neil Young in the latest issue of American Way Inflight Magazine.

Also, for more interview transcripts with Neil Young, see Please Take My Advice: Interviews with the Godfather of Grunge.

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At 8/07/2016 11:13:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Ms Hannah stays in the truck !

At 8/08/2016 07:28:00 AM, Blogger timothy fontenot said...

I'm 10 years younger than Neil Young and when I saw him perform at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival I stood there in the rain and mud wondering how in the hell can a 70 year old man do physically what he was doing on that stage( albeit with a bunch of 20 something guys). Other than Mick Jagger there is no other than can do it except NY. Other people his age can't do it they go somewhere.


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