1989 Neil Young Interview: Village Voice by Jimmy McDonough
Rusted Out Garage Tour - 1986
Photo by DAVID PLASTIK
(Click photo to enlarge)
Recently here on Thrasher's Wheat, we have been re-visiting and reassessing some of Neil Young's 1980's releases on Geffen Records, such as, TRANS: A Little Bit of Essential Neil Young, "Landing on Water" by Neil Young: Incredibly Underrated and Reassessing Neil Young's Life on Geffen Records. We also featured this rare 1990 Neil Young Interview by Nick Kent | VOX .
And lots of fascinating observations by our dear TW readers in post comments -- as always.
To complement these commentaries on Neil Young's 1980's releases on Geffen Records, here is a 1989 Neil Young Interview by Jimmy McDonough that appeared in the Village Voice Rock & Roll Quarterly, Winter 1989.
Neil Young InterviewFull 1989 Neil Young Interview by Jimmy McDonough that appeared in the Village Voice Rock & Roll Quarterly, Winter 1989
Fuckin' Up With Neil Young: Too Far Gone
by Jimmy McDonough
Village Voice Rock & Roll Quarterly, Winter 1989
So I'm sitting in a dark blue limo, surrounded by huge redwoods and thick fog, somewhere near Santa Cruz, California, waiting for Neil Young. The limo driver, a clean-cut kid, scurries across the empty two-lane highway, and he hops in the car, obviously relieved Young didn't drive up as he was taking a piss. It's four o'clock, already starting to get dark. Young is nowhere in sight.
By now I was used to waiting. At half past nine Warner Brothers had called my San Francisco hotel room, assuring me Young would be calling. Ten o'clock came. Then 11, 12, and one. At two his management called, saying a limo would take me to a rendezvous not far from Young's home in San Mateo County.
I had plenty to think about in the limo. To me, Neil Young is just Jerry Lee Lewis with longer hair. Fuck "Sugar Mountain" - Young's music is only good when he's crazy. His best records are his most obsessed - Tonight's The Night, Zuma, or On The Beach. While Young still seems crazy in the '80s, the records he made were straitjacketed by Young's insistence on playing characters: first he was a techno-rocker, then a rockabilly hipster, then a country conservative. He did everything but make music about Neil Young. And all the great material that he was playing live never made it to vinyl.
The past year found Young performing intense live shows packed with new songs and set to release a searing rock record, Times Square. But at the last minute, Young opted for Freedom, an album calculated to make everyone rave "come-back." The Times Square sessions - his best work in a decade - got dumped on an import EP that's already out of print. What the fuck has been going on with this guy for the past decade?
We arrived at the restaurant, a dark country inn where Young was supposed to meet us. Except for our limo, the gravel parking lot was vacant. The restaurant was closed. There we sat, in the middle of nowhere, the redwoods silent except for the barking of a distant dog.
Suddenly a white '57 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, polished and gleaming, emerged from the fog, pulling up next to the limo. Out popped Neil Young. Dressed in a leather touring jacket, baggy pants and sandals with socks, Young looked more wrecked than usual. His hair was an uncombed tangle, his eyes bulging and bloodshot. The night before Young had celebrated his 44th birthday by whooping it up at a Sinatra concert. "I'm so fucked up from dancing." he says with a grin. "My legs are killing me."