Friday, June 08, 2012
Neil Young Shares Glimpses of His "Diary"
Wednesday's lunchtime talk between Patti Smith and Neil Young on the occasion of his upcoming book WAGING HEAVY PEACE -- which he characterized as "not quite a memoir. It's more like a diary and a projection" -- was understandably a major event at BEA. As part of the wide-ranging conversation about Young's career, how technology affected music, and the nature of memory, Smith told Young "I have read much of your book,” she said, "and one of the things I liked most about it is that there's no barrier between the reader and you. It's intimate. You're talking. And it's chronological but memory is not chronological."
But you won't find a recording of the talk because, as show director Steve Rosato told us, BEA did not have Young's permission to record the appearance.
That serves as a good reminder that the only way you'll be able to read an excerpt of WAGING HEAVY PEACE before its October publication by Blue Rider Press is in our Buzz eBook, the trade and consumer versions. In that excerpt, Young talks about getting ready for a pivotal meeting with his record label to discuss his new start-up company, but also reminisces about former bandmates David Crosby and Graham Nash:
"I remember one day David Crosby and Graham Nash were visiting me at the train barn during the recording of American Dream, which we did a lot of on my ranch at Plywood Digital, a barn that was converted to a recording studio. We had a truck parked outside full of recording equipment and were working on several new songs. We were all pretty excited about playing together again. David had recently gotten straight, was recovering from his addiction to freebase, had recently completed jail time having to do with a loaded weapon in Texas, and was still prone to taking naps between takes. His system was pretty much in shock, and he was doing the best he could because he loves the band and the music so much. There is no one I know who loves making music more than David Crosby. Graham Nash has been his best friend for years, through thick and thin, and they sing together in a way that shows the depth of their long relationship.
They met in the Hollies and the Byrds, two seminal bands in the history of rock and roll, and then came together with Stephen Stills to form Crosby, Stills & Nash around 1970. Their first record is a work of art, defining a sound that has been imitated for years by other groups, some of which have enjoyed even greater commercial success, but there can be no mistaking the groundbreaking nature of that first CSN record. Stephen played most of the music, overdubbing all the parts into the night with Dallas Taylor and Graham. There was so much he had wanted to do with Buffalo Springfield, like producing, writing, and arranging harmonies, as well as playing more guitar, and that was his first opportunity to be really creative after Springfield ended, and he went for it big-time."