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Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young
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Waging Heavy Peace (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Neil Young

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2712241,869 (3.57)11
Member:realbigcat
Title:Waging Heavy Peace
Authors:Neil Young
Info:Blue Rider Press (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Library

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Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
I really wanted to give this book 5 stars. I give it 4.5. I didn't give it 5 because, like some of his music, this book takes time to absorb. I read parts of it twice, and every time, I enjoyed it more and got more out of it the second time. I hope to read all of it again one day. It meanders; it is certainly not a traditional chronological autobiography, but I didn't mind that. There is a lot of hard-won beauty and wisdom in these pages, and humor as well. Young's personality and individuality comes through vibrantly, and that makes it a wonderful autobiography to me. ( )
  rainidontmind | Mar 14, 2014 |
Frank self examination; interesting behind the scenes look at the music industry. ( )
  mielniczuk | Oct 16, 2013 |

As a huge fanboy of Neil Young, I was looking forward to this book much in the same way I look forward to a new Neil Young release. And like most Neil Young releases of late, I was disappointed.

Waging Heavy Peace is long-winded, disconnected, and more than anything reads like an advertisement for whatever crazy scheme Uncle Neil has coming down the pipeline, whether it be PureTone or the electric car. There is little emphasis on the man's actual music hisotry, and important events like Danny Whitten's death, or Neil's battle with Geffen are given so little ink you wonder whether they really had the impact on him that he has stated in other interviews.

In the end, Waging Heavy Peace was a quick but tedious read for someone for whom Neil's music means so much. ( )
  JeremyCB31 | Jul 16, 2013 |
Pure Neil. I have never heard him give a straight answer to an interview question, and this book isn't much better. This rambling, disorganized book is for the mega-fan, preferably one without expectations. I guess there are a few interesting anecdotes, but much of it is about his pet projects, which disappear from the book only to to pop up again without warning or much elucidation. I like his music a whole lot better. A lot. ( )
  nog | Jul 11, 2013 |
i love neil young.

SO MUCH!

parts of the book i loved and parts i found distracting - mostly the sections where he is talking about his volt car. it was interesting for a while but there was just too much about that in this book. he mentioned that he should write a new book just for his volt car and i think he should!

reading this is, i imagine, like hearing young speak to you. it's disjointed and clunky in its flow but that wasn't such a surprise.

I LOVE NEIL YOUNG!

anyway -- i didn't learn to much new here, but i am glad to have read it. ( )
  DawsonOakes | Jul 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
If this is starting to sound random and a little irritating, that’s because it is. But as the book rolls on, it gathers heft and builds toward a vivid but disjointed picture of Young’s life.
 
Not many authors explain their reasons for writing books as bluntly as Neil Young does in “Waging Heavy Peace.” First of all there’s the thing now known as the Keith Richards phenomenon: there turns out to be a large and lucrative market for memoirs from rock stars. In a two-page chapter called “Why This Book Exists” Mr. Young explains that his book will be a goose that lays a golden egg. He’s writing it because it will earn him enough money to stay off the stage for a while, which he badly needs to do for mental and physical reasons. “It all started when I broke my toe at the pool,” he explains.....
added by melmore | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Oct 28, 2013)
 
His distinctly unplugged prose can plod along in an artless, ruminative sort of way, or it can – very occasionally – take wing. The style turns out to be as unpredictable a combination of awkwardness and grace as his music, lurching from sudden insights – "the muse has no conscience", he notes, meditating on his readiness to do the dirty work of firing colleagues who fail to meet his standards – to the occasional aside of such startling banality that the reader pauses, searching in vain for a redeeming irony: "California really is beautiful if you've never been there. It's worth a visit for sure." There are lots of exclamation marks, and even an "OMG", which sounds odd coming from the pen of a 66-year-old man.
 
That a musical shape-shifter like Neil Young would take an unorthodox approach to his memoirs is to be expected. Indeed, this charming, poignant volume is much like Young’s oeuvre: sustained periods of pure delight punctuated by sudden, unexpected turns. The stream in Young’s stream-of-consciousness is more like a river that’s burst its banks.

Seemingly unfettered by editors, and certainly not by chronology, Young tells us what he can remember in the manner and order he remembers it and – as he frequently informs his readers – has a blast doing so. We get a cursory tour of his upbringing in Winnipeg and the Ontario town of Omemee, and his early days in Toronto’s Yorkville music scene. A good portion of the book deals with the 1970s, and Young writes with passionate nostalgia about his work with bands such as Buffalo Springfield, CSNY, and Crazy Horse. Inevitably, the book is in part a paean to the many people Young has lost over the years, including David Briggs, his long-time producer and best friend.

Young is an avid collector of guitars, model railways, and vintage cars (he cannot describe a journey without telling us what he was driving). He also has an entrepreneurial streak, and allots a considerable – some might say inordinate – amount of space to his current pet projects: a hybrid electric car and a master-quality digital music format.

Fans are bound to feel frustrated by the book’s many omissions. For example, we never find out when Young first picked up a guitar. And though he speaks lovingly of both parents, he fails to mention his mother’s death. Young’s sons Ben and Zeke both have cerebral palsy, despite being born to different mothers. Although Young devotes a good number of pages to Ben, more insight into his personality and the challenges of raising him would have helped round out the picture.

Young’s relative lack of attention to his personal life feels less like self-editing than simple honesty: he often describes his life as being “dedicated to the muse.” Drugs and alcohol form an integral part of that muse. Young explains that he hasn’t written a single song since going sober in 2011. He may, however, have found a different outlet for his creative side: Young credits sobriety with unleashing his inner author, and we can apparently look forward not only to another instalment in his memoirs, but a book of fiction as well.
added by VivienneR | editQuill & Quire, Emily Donaldson (Jan 27, 2013)
 
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Dedication
For Ben Young, my Hero, my Warrior.

And his mother, brother, and sister.
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I pulled back the plastic sticky tape from the cardboard box.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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File under author Neil Young.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399159460, Hardcover)

For the first time, legendary singer, songwriter, and guitarist Neil Young offers a kaleidoscopic view of his personal life and musical creativity. He tells of his childhood in Ontario, where his father instilled in him a love for the written word; his first brush with mortality when he contracted polio at the age of five; struggling to pay rent during his early days with the Squires; traveling the Canadian prairies in Mort, his 1948 Buick hearse; performing in a remote town as a polar bear prowled beneath the floorboards; leaving Canada on a whim in 1966 to pursue his musical dreams in the pot-filled boulevards and communal canyons of Los Angeles; the brief but influential life of Buffalo Springfield, which formed almost immediately after his arrival in California. He recounts their rapid rise to fame and ultimate break-up; going solo and overcoming his fear of singing alone; forming Crazy Horse and writing “Cinnamon Girl,” “Cowgirl in the Sand,” and “Down by the River” in one day while sick with the flu; joining Crosby, Stills & Nash, recording the landmark CSNY album, Déjà vu, and writing the song, “Ohio;” life at his secluded ranch in the redwoods of Northern California and the pot-filled jam sessions there; falling in love with his wife, Pegi, and the birth of his three children; and finally, finding the contemplative paradise of Hawaii. Astoundingly candid, witty, and as uncompromising and true as his music, Waging Heavy Peace is Neil Young’s journey as only he can tell it.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:48 -0400)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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