earth album preorder ad.jpg  



Neil Young's new album EARTH released on June 17th. The album with The Promise of the Real, is from the 2015 tour. Pre-order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link . Thank you!!!)
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Jonathan Demme on Working With Neil Young | Billboard

Neil Young & Jonathan Demme

From a recent interview with Jonathan Demme on working with Neil Young in Billboard by Karen Bliss:
Demme on Working With Neil Young:

Jonathan Demme: [After Young did the title song “Philadelphia” for Demme’s film]. The next time Neil’s on the east coast, we go to the concert and it was amazing, and I met Neil for the first time after that and we kind of developed a little bit of a dialogue.

I volunteered to do a video and I wound up shooting a four-song piece live. It’s called The Complex Sessions. We had a lot of fun working together on that… I’m not quite sure when it was, I get a phone call from Elliot [Roberts, Young’s manager], “I’ve got Neil here.” He says, “Jonathan, I want to do a movie of Greendale; would you like to direct it?” I was like, "Oh my god, I was on preproduction on this controversial remake of Manchurian Candidate. I had to say, ‘Thanks anyway Neil, but I can’t do that.”

Luckily Neil made the film. It’s extraordinary. Anyway, after I did Manchurian Candidate that was the death of studio movies for me. I never wanted to do that again. It cost an enormous amount of money to make. It came in on budget and it was the subject of tremendous disputes between the producer and the studio, and me and the movie we were caught in the middle of it. It turned out the way I wanted it to. We had final cut and I never wanted to do that again. So I was like, I’m going on a long sabbatical. So I live in this little town on the Hudson River called Nyack, and I just stared having this wonderful life and about a year later I found myself starting to itch to want to shoot something and I was like, “I think I’m going to call up Neil Young and see what he’s got going on.”

I had seen his Greendale by then and it was great. So I called up and he said, “I’m just finishing up this album called Prairie Wind” and he told me he’d had an aneurysm and it could have been fatal and he’s written these introspective songs and he said, “Maybe we can do something with this new body of music?” He said, “I think it’s one of the better things I’ve done in a long time,” so I said, “Can I hear it?” He sent me the songs and they were great so we started talking on the phone.

What happened through the conversations was the idea of let’s turn this into a kind of tribute to Nashville, which Neil loves so much and I love so much. So what it turned into was a love letter to the Grand Ole Opry-style of presenting music to an audience. I worked with a wonderful painter on making two fabulous backdrops and then we chose the Ryman Auditorium, which is the church in Nashville of country music. We filmed that on two nights and that was so exciting because no one in the audience... the record hadn’t come out yet, so we were actually debuting a new body of work by a major composer.

You have trust that the audience is going to love these songs as much as you do. And they’re going to respond the way David Byrne pointed out that they need to respond in order to feed the people onstage.

That’s it: no audience, as many cameras as you can afford, and once you put it together, just don’t cut. When we cut Heart of Gold, this was me being funny at the time, I go to the cutting room on the first day told [editor] Andy Keir, “Okay Andy, I’d like to see your first cut at about four this afternoon and ha ha ha.” I said, “Oh, no, I’m serious. Take the close-ups and just cut the close-ups together and then we’ll start watching this movie and decide when it’s worth going to something other than an amazing close-up of Neil Young singing his songs."

And in this way we built our narrative. That’s the other thing. You’ve got to have those connective angles, where you get the gold of somebody doing what they’re doing -- shooting a look to somebody over here and we’ve got them both in the shot. That’s the magic. That’s really the phenomenal glue and that’s one of the reasons that Justin reached out because he saw that in Stop Making Sense and he loves his band so much.
Also, in the interview, a nice nod to another film collaborator of neil Young's, photographer Adam CK Vollick.

Jonathan Demme: And then there was also a cameraman, one of the greatest shooters of all time, a young guy, Canadian, named Adam CK Vollick, who I met from Neil Young when we did Neil Young Journeys. I’ve worked with Adam on a couple of different performance films since then because Adam has this extraordinary sense of where the music’s going next, and he loves to makes connections.

More on Jonathan Demme and Neil Young.


Labels: ,

Links to this post:

Create a Link


Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Don't Be Evil !

The Lesser of 2 Evils Is Still Evil

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.

Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution

Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising

This Blog's For You!

The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy


Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


Neil Young Appreciation Society

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
Rust Radio


Bands Covering Neil Young songs


This Blog's For You!

Official Neil Young News Site

The Bridge School

The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

Farm Aid

Stop factory farms
Go family farms!

The Essential Neil Young

Fans Favorite Neil Albums

Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads

Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - us.gif
Canada - canada.gif
United Kingdom - gb.gif
Germany - de.gif

Neil Young Songbook Project

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates

2015 Rebel Content Tour

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

Neil Young Films

2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.



Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield

"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV

2014 Neil Young Year in Review:
Yes, Only Love Can Break (& Fix) Your Heart

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment
I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel


Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Occupy the Music

Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?




(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul