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 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.
No, I really like Neil but I felt he didn't go into as much detail about his music career than I would have liked.
Neil spent too much time on his automobile & sound enhancement ventures.
Keith did ok I guess.
I was excited about his performances at Woodstock & The Last Waltz. I think he wrote maybe a paragraph about Woodstock.
I understand about his interest in improving autos due to the environment. And improving the music experience with improved sound. But I wanted more about his music history.
On the positive side, I must say that if you are a Neil Young fan, this book might interest you. He sounds sincere, and gives lots of little details about his life that perhaps his mother and his fan club members are interested about.
For the rest of us, the book is big disappointment. It has no storyline, no flow, it is just a collection of disconnected ramblings and stories, much like any blog. However, since he is Neil Young, he can put it in a book format and sell it. Some of the chapters are outrageous in their banality, like the one where he spends pages talking about the time his car broke down and he had to wait for a tow truck on the road. Or his passion for toy trains. Or the dozens of commercials he does about his sound software company/project. I almost quit reading the book three times, but wanted to finish just to write a fair review.
I am a enthusiast for the 1968-1973 golden era of rock and folk music, and I expected to find interesting facts about CSNY and other singers of the time. There is almost nothing about it. I mean, the guy lived in the most interesting time in rock and roll history but instead of writing great stories he spends his time talking about the decoration on the walls of his ranch house. I expect to learn something when I finish a book, but in this case I am in the same place I was on the music business or the musical community of Young's time.
I wonder what happens with these great rock stars when they age. He reminds me of Sammy Haggar and his boring deals with vodka and mountain bikes. Their lives become much like the ones of successful retired accountants or Wall Street business men, full of super expensive and futile hobbies and no real intelectual or artistic pursuits. Hey, come and see my $10 million dollar wall display of baseball memorabilia (in his case a car collection). More often than not, they also change into super beta types, drooling over their second wives who seem to dominate them with their strong personalities (think about Sinatra). It is like a curse, the curse of the old bourgeois. I wonder if they ever were visionaries at all, or if they were just lucky to strike a few good songs.
PS: I listened to the audio book, and Keith Carradine does a superb job of narration. It is a shame it was wasted on this book.
Yes, this was very interesting.
His discussion of drug and alcohol addition, and the ongoing recovery.
Listening to the book was like hearing an interesting, rambling conversation with Neal. I enjoyed the stories he told and the history of his life; however, I though the book was going to give details of Pono, Young's new audio format. Instead it discussed how good Pono is but gave no details as to format, equipment needed to play it or any additional data. The same was true about his electric car.
I would recommend the book to any fan of Neil Young for the life story it tells.
I listen in the car on my long commute. Fiction, science fiction, history, essays, you name it.
I don't read a lot of biographies, but I have always thought Neil Young was one of the most interesting artists I had ever encountered. I had heard a few of the stories of Neil's life, but hearing them in his words was great. I liked that he jumped around a lot - like a stream of consciousness conversation. The connections he has had over the years, and the way he was at the heart of the 60s and 70s culture makes his story very interesting, as it is also part of my story.
I really enjoyed how open and honest he comes across in the stories. I am sure some were hard to write.
Keith Carradine's narration was a little wooden, but it seemed to work for me. He would not sound good at all reading fiction in that style, but for this story, it didn't bother me, and I am often critical of the readers.
I felt how strongly Neil loves his family and friends, and how important they are to him. Once I started it, I didn't want to get out of the car.
He talks quite a bit about his audio project, and his electric car project, but these are a lot more than money-making projects to him, and I didn't get tired of hearing about them, although a couple of my friends did.
Neil Young's point of view of Neil Young
Understanding Neil better
Yes ..Could have done with a little more feeling
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