In his very telling memoir “Waging Heavy Peace,” Neil Young takes readers through “the snows of Ontario through the LSD-laden boulevards of 1966 Los Angeles to the contemplative paradise of Hawaii today,” the book reads.
The musical icon who has released more than 40 records since the the mid-60s, once promised in an interview with Jimmy McDonough, who wrote Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography, he would never write a book where his life was the subject.
But then Young broke his toe last year, finding himself with extra time and a need to replenish his fortune.
Young, who is not so keen on reporters, recently did an interview with David Carr from The New York Times:
“I don’t think I’m going to be able to continue to mainly be a musician forever, because physically I think it’s going to take its toll on me — it’s already starting to show up here and there,” he said. Writing a book, he added, allowed him “to do what I want the way I want to do it.”.
It seems befitting that Neil Young would eventually write a book- besides his fascinating, sometimes crazy life, he is the son of a Canadian journalist who wrote more than 30 books.
“I started and I just kept going. That’s the way my Daddy used to do it on his old Underwood up in the attic. He said, ‘Just keep writing, you never know what will turn up,” Young said in Rolling Stone.
“It’s better to burn out than fade away,” is one of Young’s most famous lines and quite possibly the icon’s mantra. Still to this day, he produces music and tours, taking the stage in his uncouth manner.
Young believes most music today lacks warmth, and insists on always maintaining his artistic integrity, despite what the trend may be.
In the 80s he told reporters he was not interested in making “representative” music for record companies:
“I’m not here to sell things. That’s what other people do, I’m creating them. If it doesn’t work out, I’m sorry; I’m just doing what I do. You hired me to do what I do, not what you do. As long as people don’t tell me what to do, there will be no problem.”
Young can chime out tunes on piano, harmonica or guitar but his untamed, devoted love has always been guitar. During a convention, while talking with Patti Smith, Young told the crowd, “If you wanna write a song, ask a guitar.”