An iconic figure in the history of rock and pop culture (inducted not once but twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), Neil Young has written his eagerly awaited memoir: "I felt that writing books fit me like a glove; I just started and I just kept going."
Young offers a kaleidoscopic view of his personal life and musical career, spanning his time in bands like Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crazy Horse; moving from the snows of Ontario through the LSD-laden boulevards of 1966 Los Angeles to the contemplative paradise of Hawaii today. Candid, witty and revealing, this book takes its place beside the classic memoirs of Bob Dylan and Keith Richards.
©2012 Neil Young (P)2012 Penguin Audio
When someone has as distinctive a voice as Neil Young, more care should be taken when choosing a narrator. That said, this book was very well done. He moves from topic to topic, often revisiting the same subject from the point of view of the different stages of his life. An original way to organize his story- it was never boring for a minute.
I'm not the biggest Neil Young fan. I have the greatest hits and respect him but don't know a lot. Now after reading this book I'm interested in hearing more albums. I am a fan of Rock N Roll history and this is one of the best I have read. It's totally honest and off the cuff. He just wrote it himself. He has no set structure yet it works.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that even just knows of Neil Young. He's amazing and this book really shows a down to earth honest guy. I highly recommend this book.
Other reviewers have mentioned Young's meandering writing in this work, but to me, whatever Mr. Young, with his kind humor and deep humanity, wants to say is a-ok with me.
This book reveals him as a truly normal rock star, which means he can be full of himself and has been down the druggy, dusty trail of rock. It also shows him as a friend mourning the loss of great fellow players to drugs. And his words about his many loves and his children, two of whom have disabilities, ring sweet and true.
The man has a heart of gold, a sweet love for life, musical history (oh, the stories!),
his music and fans, and a humor of observation that really moved me.
Mr. Young, you could read the phone book and I'd listen, uplifted.
Waging Heavy Peace wasn't good, I expected more meat on the bone , a little more probing insight from Neil Young.
The most interesting parts of the story center around Neil Young's relationships with some of the famous musicians he worked with or had relationships with over the course of his long career. Namely, Steven Stills.
Keith Carradine's performance was excellent.
I am a fan of Neil Young's music and iconic entertainer/musician autobiographies and biographies. Right off the bat, the problems with Waging Heavy Peace stem from Neil Young's lack of ability to stick to a story telling format that works. There is no coherent thread that holds this story together or leads the reader anywhere. There are tangents upon tangents about his old cars and toy trains that lead absolutely nowhere - technical details about toy train engines should've been held over for another book. Conversely, he seems dismissive and glosses over his long string of commercial failures, choosing instead to blame record companies instead of himself. There actually is one common thread - Young's constant complaining about the lack of fidelity in today's music. He overcomes this by shamelessly plugging his business endeavor, LincVolt.
There is also a surprising lack of deep understanding and insight regarding his impact on music and songwriting. As he described his litany of medical problems, I sensed that perhaps he should not have written this book alone - he would have benefitted from hiring a ghost writer to add cohesion to his mess of jumbled thoughts.
I don't know that I'd listen to it again, but I would read the hard copy. Don't get me wrong, I loved this audiobook. I'd read the book in order to review certain passages several times at my own pace; especially those covering Neil's technical details about his songs, cars and improvements to recorded sound.
Dylan's Chronicles Volume I, Clapton's autobiography, McCartney's biography Many Years From Now by Barry Miles. All great books by and/or about my music heroes.
There were many, but particularly Neil's many reflections on the passing of his dear friend and pedal steel guitar player, Ben Keith. I saw Neil at the Northrup Auditorium back in July of 2010; the same week Ben Keith died. Neil's sadness came through in his performance.
I'm distressed that in this book Neil states that he'll never be able to perform the most important songs Ben Keith contributed to again (like Old Man and Heart of Gold) because it wouldn't be the same with anyone else performing the pedal steel parts.
Hey Neil, I don't know anything about recording or performing music, but I'm pretty sure you could bring Ben Keith's music on the road with you, cue it up and play it at the right moments. You could explain it to the crowd...they'd understand; hell they'd love you more for it. Ben Keith could be there every night.
I was amazed and distracted by the nearly complete lack of common contractions throughout the book. There is not a that's, can't, won't, he'll, she'll, shouldn't, wouldn't (you get the picture) to be found. Wow! Is this an editing thing, a Canadian thing, or more likely, just a quirky Neil thing?
This book is a glimpse into the mind of Neil Young. He spoke into a microphone and gave us vignettes of his thoughts and important events in his life. He is passionate about cars, music, family, the environment, model trains, and more. He talks about his physical challenges and those of his children. He tells stories of the early days of Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Crazy Horse and brings us into his present relationships with his fellow artists and other friends. He goes from topic to other topics and then back again. It sounds crazy, but it works. I love Neil's music, even the Shocking Pinks and Trans era stuff. He is an artist, not just a performer and this book reflects that. He is sometimes thought of as a liberal because of his anti-war songs and environmental stance. But he talks about how he dislikes stereotyping of individuals and has a more nuanced and gracious view of people with different perspectives.
Keith Carradine has an expressive voice and does an outstanding job narrating this book. Even if you have not been a Neil Young fan you will probably enjoy this book. It is an delightful listen.
If he would have talked more about how he became who he is today.
Be more open about how changed his lif was formed by ups and downs.
How much he loves his wife.
We all have preconceived notions about celebrities,entertainers and notable persons and often what we read about them is usually far from the truth. When one writes their own story they also like to gloss over or reinvent the truth. Never felt that with this book...his words rang true and you felt upon completion that you were really getting to know him and his friends and family. The structure of the book was very similar to Mark Twain's "Chapters of my Autobiography". Not unlike the lyrics he has written he told stories and relived events and talked about the monumental as well as the trivial...he discussed living his life and all those who influenced it intimately. It was refreshing and pure and it was also interesting to see what joy he had taking this journey -even when presented with challanges he seemed find a positive that made him keeping moving and exploring. For all his fame and fortune he is certainly a humble,kind and positive person -I admire that.
I had high hopes for this book, and had considered buying it for my son for Christmas, but didn't get around to it. So I picked up the audio version. But I hard as I tried and as much as I wanted to like this book, there just wasn't a lot of substance, at least in the first third, after which I just gave up. A recounting of my everyday activities would have been just about the same as this, so...
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