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Thursday, April 14, 2022

Neil Young Interviews: "Take my advice, Don't listen to me"

Neil Young - 1974
via "Homefires" | NYA


Here are links to some recent -- or recently posted -- Neil Young interviews:

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At 4/16/2022 03:31:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

„I’m listening to Neil Young, someone’s always yelling ‘Turn it down!’”
From my limited highland perspective I always figured that the biographical model of my Cree friends in Canada had something going. A man in his early adulthood first lives the metaphorical role of a warrior, later, with the upbringing of a family, he becomes a hunter, a provider of livelihood, and when a new generation is taking its place, his role will be the one of an adviser, an elder of sorts. (Insert the usual feminist trailer here.)

My musical heroes by now or for some time already have reached this elder status. Bob Dylan will turn 80 this year and while he was a young warrior in the 60’s a searcher (and a hunter) by the 70’s and 80’s for considerable time now the Nobel laureate has been a moral institution, providing guidance in times becoming more and more complicated or rough and rowdy.

Another one of my heroes is Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson (75 this year), whose latest release under the band name Jethro Tull again is calling for more restraint, a very wise reaction to the embarassment epidemic of the “generation offended” and their hypermorals. Recommended: “(Beware of) the Zealot Gene”, the album’s title song. For some considerable time now I have been trying to follow this advice, here and elsewhere, although I have to admit it’s not easy sometimes…

Looking ansd listening to Neil Young, who will be 77 this year, it’s somewhat different. With the archives he, like Dylan with is obsession for the North American Songbook, is busy working on the canonization of his vast catalogue (elder), trying to electrify his tour operations (provider) and until recently fighting disinformation and the prevailing contemporary attitude to climate change (warrior). However, with current world events and the insecurity they bring the activities in the latter two fields of opportunity for the time being came to a grinding halt. So for me the question is not so much about whether Neil Young is writing or recording new songs but rather whether he will be able to resume the bandwith of activities that he had going before the pandemic and the war in Europe.

In this light the paradox formula of “Take my advice, don’t listen to me” to me represents the reluctance to accept the sole role of an elder, a defiant statement to not accept age as an inevitable consequence. (Another of these neo-romantic concepts by the way)

At 4/16/2022 01:02:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Lot to chew on there Dionys.

Jethro Tull’s “(Beware of) the Zealot Gene” sounds like something for these times, for sure. Will have to hunt that down and check out.

Paradox. Now that was certainly an appropriate name for a NY film, if ever.

At 4/16/2022 01:03:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4/16/2022 01:05:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

@ Dionys : Thank you for sharing your interesting ideas and great writing with us. I find your discussions sensible, intelligent, informative, accurate, not to say I agree with every word you have said, as a disclaimer 😂🤣. I am a fan of Real World History, & Sociology, so I appreciate your writing.

You do present a solid description of these stages of life, & elders. Women too. I am so glad we still have these Artists, forever Young. Dylan turns 80 this year! I enjoy these 2 Artists specifically the most. I thrive on hearing their vast catalogues, and this new era of album releases is incredible. They have both “doubled” their number of albums released, more or less.

For us, the Hard Core fans (and soft core! All inclusive, good people!)… Yes, we the Hard Core get to gain all of this new library of mind blowing, brilliant outtakes, versions, forgotten, & otherwise unreleased splendor of song. Shake and Zimmy deliver.

One thing: Neil Young is always busy, even when he is snowed in or wherever. He has remained busy. I love Barn! It is a damn classic. Anyone should be able to see that. Shall we grant him some mercy if he should waver in his vocal in a song? Recall Johnny Cash and his final decade of brilliance in American Records. You picky fans that demand perfection, unwyielding youthful (or at least middle age) performance, you may know better later when you are his age. Remain open minded for new Art.

I hope that discussions on this blog will be friendly and positive, to whatever extent. We all Love Neil Young, right?

Thank you Thrasher for the many and frequent awesome, fun, Neil News!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 4/16/2022 03:56:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Shakey and Zimmy deliver!

At 4/17/2022 01:02:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

For someone with a lot left to give, "the sole role of the elder" is tragically awful and most likely self-destructive. There is considerable pressure to "act your age" and I find this deeply problematic in my own life. "They go somewhere, while I run away with you," and this is my motto for my work. I presently hang out with colleagues half my age, ideas get transformed and reborn, new ideas come forth.

For me, this is the soul of Neil's trajectory. It might be the case that refusing the "sole role of elder" has all kinds of consequences for overall health. Keep moving forward, as you cannot help but to drag the past with you (there is no "re-birth"- religious idea, best left in the dust).

"I'm the Ocean" and "I hear the mountains are doing fine" perhaps "the most egotistic lyrics ever written (said some critic) but NO: these are what Nietzsche would call "life affirming" and loud yes said against the `black hole of tradition, where we happily and then sadly, finally resentfully, fulfill our expected roles. Human life holds out so many more possibilities than we can dream up- says Hamlet.

Dionys, Alan, good to hear from you.

At 4/18/2022 12:34:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4/18/2022 12:35:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

@ Abner : I always enjoy reading your posts. Forever Young is a great way to be, and kudos to you for refusing to grow old, or grow up, or be what they expect you to be. I see myself in that way also. I’m the Ocean, our old favorite Neil Grunge classic. Elder Neil still won’t do what we tell him to do or expect him to do.

I hope Dan returns to TW to once again share his thoughts. He was positive at times when I was pissed off or ranting about Trumpers, etc. Opening our minds to the perspective of others can help us to get along in peace. I am all for it.
I may have missed a few conversations on TW, some of which may have been negative. I admit I have said some negative stuff in past posts. I have had some regrets about the focus straying from the fine Art of Neil Young. I hope we don’t lose some of our core members over harm done. We can heal, maintain respiration, and once again live to enjoy some more great Neil Young music and discussion with you rusting TW members. “Rust Never Sleeps.” Long may you run.

Listening to the live show of the week, 1976. It is killer.

Your Bro Alan in Seattle

At 4/18/2022 02:32:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

To act one's age maybe is not just a matter of your own mindframe but also the result of objective changes and circumstances. When I became a father my "flying days were done" and with very few exceptions I stayed away from flying on the ground, trying to be the responsible guy. My dad will turn 84 tomorrow and my birthday yesterday made me 57 years old. In my part of the world I belong to the first generation who not only takes on responsibilities for their kids but also for their parents, who are the first generation to see their children become old, too. There are quite a few songs in Neil Young's catalogue that mark these changes from "Already One" to "Amber Jean" and "Leia" (which is not about his own grandchild, I know). In our attic there is a fairly extensive toy train collection waiting for our grandchildren...
For a long time I subscribed to the idea that "you are just as old as you feel". However, meeting and working with students from grade 5 (10 yrs) to grade 13 (20+ yrs) I perceive the widening generational gap.
Still I can see my proud son when Ralph Molina gave him his drumsticks after a show in Vienna, his curiosity when we travelled to Half Moon Bay or his anticipation standing in the crowd waiting for Bob Dylan. Although it's not unlikely, but I can't imagine my son taking his kid to see Rammstein, Rise Against or others of his favourite acts. His generation defines itself a lot less through music than we did and continue to do..

At 4/18/2022 01:48:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Thanks Alan.

Dionys- My father died in 2009 and most of my extending family was angling for a "retirement community" for my mother. WWII generation always put so much into their homes, my parents did so much work. My mother did not want to leave, so my wife and I got her to move in with us in the midwest. She had lived in Minnesota during the depression. She lived with us for five years. It was good for everyone (except my extended family- they thought I was trying to take her money). Our sons were mostly gone, in Madison WI at University.

I am interested in Neil Young song about being older. Prairie Wind had moments but Neil's relationship with his father is mostly opaque to his fans, which is maybe how it should be. Neil is what 77? That is the age where anything can go wrong in a moment, makes for interesting ideas, as contingency envelops. Barn has moments. The truth is, however, that Neil is old on any human life span measurement.

Our sons know a lot of Neil music through me but they have their own favorites. I share your experience, they do not define themselves through music as much as we did. They have their own mountains to climb, like the shit show we are leaving them. Neil is right about all this- the baby boomer generation in the United States have no other choice but to admit their selfishness. We are proud that our sons chose social service professions and I have learned so much from them, especially about systemic poverty and racism in the US. There is hope, as the younger people (in my experience anyway) are not listening to the bullshit right wing craziness in the United States. Ultimately, they will win the day.


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