Waging Heavy Peace

Waging Heavy Peace

4.2 21
by Neil Young, Keith Carradine
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Audio
Canadian singer/songwriter Young presents brief conversational/blog-type entries that culminate in a lengthy narrative in which he ruminates on his life as well as offers heavy doses of his passions—collecting vintage cars/model trains—and his attempts to develop "Pono," a high-quality digital music system. Along the way, he discusses his wife and children and the musicians with whom he has worked. Narrator Keith Carradine competently conveys Young's passion and energy. VERDICT Young's breezy memoir is not particularly revelatory as a biography or a career analysis, but his many fans will enjoy the digressions of this iconic rock star. ["Essential reading for all fans of Young, who, in his typical idiosyncratic, improvisational, and charmingly long-winded style, fills in the gaps of Jimmy McDonough's flawed Shakey: Neil Young's Biography," read the review of the New York Times best-selling Blue Rider: Penguin hc, LJ Xpress Reviews, 10/19/12.—Ed.]—Phillip Oliver, Univ. of North Alabama, Florence

Rolling Stone once paid homage to "Neil Young's blazing guitar and bruised wonder of a voice." We have been immersing ourselves in both since the Buffalo Springfield days of the mid-sixties and there is no sense of ending: Just last year, the Canadian-born performer released his first Crazy Horse album since 2004 and toured in support of his second album of the year. With the directness and candor that has marked his career, Waging Heavy Peace takes us from his Lionel train Ontario childhood through gigs with Crosby, Stills & Nash, and beyond. The sixties and seventies, but so much more. Now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.

The New York Times
…as charismatically off the wall as Mr. Young's records, and the…concert films so imaginatively directed by Jonathan Demme. And however privately calculating it may be, it seems completely free of guile…[Stephen King's] writing is recalled by Mr. Young's frankness, small-town backbone and comfortable familiarity with ghosts…The personal stories about Mr. Young's children and their mothers, about friends and band mates lost to ill health and drugs, can be as eerie as any of Mr. King's daydreams. But Waging Heavy Peace has an affirmative spirit that is one of its most poignant qualities.
—Janet Maslin
Publishers Weekly
In his lively, rollicking, high-spirited, and reflective memoir, Young, the hugely influential Canadian singer-songwriter invites readers to sit down on his porch for comfortable conversations about his guitars, his bands, his cars, his inventions, his trains (he owns a small share in Lionel), and his family. Musically, he ruminates, he may or may not have peaked because "other things continue to grow and develop long afterward, enriching and growing the spirit and the soul." Young openly shares intimate moments of life with his sons, Zeke and Ben, who suffer from cerebral palsy, and his artist daughter, Amber, devoting entire chapters to the ways they have changed his life, as well as to his beloved wife, Pegi, and their life together. Like one of his long, inventive jams, Young weaves crystalline lyrics and notes about friends Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, and Bruce Springsteen, former band mates Stephen Stills, and the late great pedal steel player Ben Keith of the Stray Gators, with reflections on the enduring beauty of nature, and the lasting power and influence of music. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
“Elliptical and personal…Waging Heavy Peace eschews chronology and skips the score-settling and titillation of other rocker biographies. Still, Young shows a little leg and has some laughs…. As the book progresses, the operatics of the rock life give way to signal family events, deconstructions of his musical partnerships and musings on the natural world. It is less a chronicle than a journal of self-appraisal.” –David Carr, The New York Times

Waging Heavy Peace finally is Neil Young on Neil Young. Inasmuch as this memoir compares to anything, it's Dylan on Dylan in Chronicles Volume 1, and at the risk of offending, one must read it as perhaps one might the Bible: Young's reality is plastic, his prose prophetic; and myth, metaphor and madness meander through his musings….It is a beautiful book, and the sturdy stock gives it a substantial heft. The prose is conversational, peppered with sentence fragments, more stream-of-consciousness than narrative. This in itself is lovely, as reading this book likely is a close as most of us will get to riding with Young in his bus, shooting the breeze, reminiscing.” –Ted St. Godard, Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)

“Terrific: modest, honest, funny and frequently moving…Waging Heavy Peace takes the form of a diary, a life-in-the-day structure that gives Mr. Young room to maneuver, as he takes us on a wander round his memory palace… In many ways, the closest antecedent to Waging Heavy Peace may be Laurence Sterne's 1760 masterpiece, Tristram Shandy…Elegance itself.” –Wesley Stace, Wall Street Journal

“An inspirational account of tragedy, triumph, and toy trains…If you love Neil Young you will love his autobiography….There is humor in his approach, and a preoccupation with the feeling of things; of sound, and with the world of soul and spirit…. [Young’s] is a hero’s story; a man put through trial after trial who is still fighting at the end with humor, courage, and rage to be the most powerful and genuine artist he can possibly be.” –Suzanne Vega, The Times (London)

“Remarkable…Young has neither burned out nor faded away.” –Bruce Ward, The Ottawa Citizen

“Revealing, even (at times) oddly beautiful, a stream-of-consciousness-meditation on where Young has been, where he thinks he's going and, perhaps most revealing, where he is right now…. It is compelling to see a figure as prominent as Young — arguably one of the five or 10 most influential figures in the history of rock 'n' roll — express himself in such an unfiltered way.” –David Ulin, The Los Angeles Times

“Full of casual asides, unpredictable tangents and open-ended questions as he looks back on his life at age 66....Young appears to be setting down his memories in real time as they occur to him...Dryly hilarious...poignant....Waging Heavy Peace shows that Young is still in full possession of that stubborn, brilliant, one-of-a-kind instrument. He doesn't always go exactly where you want him to, or stay long enough once he gets there, but did anyone really expect anything else?" –Simon Vozick-Levinson, Rolling Stone (four stars)

“Like an epic jam with Crazy Horse, it's loose and baggy and always in the moment… The strength of Waging Heavy Peace lies in its openness and honesty. When you put Young's book down, you feel you know him.” –Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer

“An honest, insightful, engaging and, dare we say, fun literary rambling. It’s a yarn told by a good buddy in a dark bar over beers and tequilas with great music on the jukebox in the background.” –Bob Ruggiero, The Houston Chronicle

“Surreal….Fittingly, Peace unfolds like a blustery Crazy Horse jam…occasionally hitting on an enrapturing revelation …a contradictory tale…refreshing.” –Entertainment Weekly

"Young has consistently demonstrated the unbridled passion of an artist who understands that self-renewal is the only way to avoid burning out. For this reason, he has remained one of the most significant artists of the rock and roll era." —Eddie Vedder

“Young writes with dry eloquence in a voice that is clearly his own…His narrative voice is like his music—direct, emotional, hopeful, sometimes funny, willfully naïve, and often, quite beautiful… At its core, Waging Heavy Peace is a story about love of the enduring variety.” –Jeff Miers, Buffalo News

“Lively, rollicking, high-spirited, and reflective… Like one of his long, inventive jams, Young weaves crystalline lyrics and notes about friends… with reflections on the enduring beauty of nature, and the lasting power and influence of music.” — Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Straight from the wandering mind and pure heart of Neil Young… Fascinating.” – Portland Oregonian

“A thick, digressive epic…Waging Heavy Peace is like his career in microcosm. Nearly 500 elliptical pages long, the book is beautiful, psychedelic, rootsy, ragged, terse, boring, riveting, sad, funny, nostalgic and forward-looking…. A must-read for Neil fans.” – David Marchese, SPIN

“Outspoken, wildly discursive, and thoroughly mesmerizing.” –Megan O’Grady, Vogue.com

“[Young] makes some of his finest music in this lyrical memoir, massaging our souls by hitting just the right chords with his words.” —BookPage

“Fascinating.” –Evan Schlansky, American Songwriter

Library Journal
Young has successfully explored so many different musical styles in his solo and collaborative work that his career could serve as a map of rock music in the last 50 years. Not every musician could have moved so silkily from the gentler sounds of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, & Nash to the hard-driving rock of Crazy Horse to experimentation that has led to Young's being dubbed the godfather of grunge. A noncompromiser and active environmentalist, too; here's his story.
Kirkus Reviews
The long-awaited memoir from the legendary rocker. Readers will learn few of the secrets of Young's art of songwriting, save that "Ohio" came in a flash in response to the bad news from Kent State, and he didn't play a note on "Teach Your Children." Neither, apart from a visit to the clinic here and there, will they learn much about musicians' hedonistic ways. Instead, Young writes of electric trains. He loves them so much that he bought a stake in Lionel, and he has barns and rooms on his rambling California ranch full of them. "I saw David [Crosby] looking at one of my train rooms full of rolling stock and stealing a glance at Graham [Nash] that said, This guy is cuckoo. He's gone nuts. Look at this obsession. I shrugged it off. I need it. For me it is a road back," he writes. Trains return often in the narrative, as do dusty roads, old cars and tractors. But Young, author of "Trans" and other weird outings that once got him sued by his own record label for delivering music "uncharacteristic of Neil Young," is also a technogeek extraordinaire, particularly when it comes to sound; he often mentions the digital format that he's been tinkering with in his mad-scientist lab. He asserts that because it preserves so little--5 percent, by his reckoning--of the actual sound of a recording, "[i]t is not offensive to me that the MP3-quality sound is traded around." Along the way, Young discusses guitars and bands, revealing a now-improbable wish to reconvene Buffalo Springfield, which never lived up to its promise, and Crazy Horse. Sometimes he's even a little jokey about music in general (on America's song "A Horse with No Name": "Hey, wait a minute! Was that me? Okay. Fine. I am back now. That was close!"). Not the revelation that was Keith Richards' Life, but an entertaining and mostly well-written journey into the past, if light on rock 'n' roll.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611761139
Publisher:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/25/2012
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
1
Sales rank:
756,417
Product dimensions:
5.36(w) x 5.60(h) x 1.51(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Elliptical and personal…Waging Heavy Peace eschews chronology and skips the score-settling and titillation of other rocker biographies. Still, Young shows a little leg and has some laughs…. As the book progresses, the operatics of the rock life give way to signal family events, deconstructions of his musical partnerships and musings on the natural world. It is less a chronicle than a journal of self-appraisal.” –David Carr, The New York Times

Waging Heavy Peace finally is Neil Young on Neil Young. Inasmuch as this memoir compares to anything, it's Dylan on Dylan in Chronicles Volume 1, and at the risk of offending, one must read it as perhaps one might the Bible: Young's reality is plastic, his prose prophetic; and myth, metaphor and madness meander through his musings….It is a beautiful book, and the sturdy stock gives it a substantial heft. The prose is conversational, peppered with sentence fragments, more stream-of-consciousness than narrative. This in itself is lovely, as reading this book likely is a close as most of us will get to riding with Young in his bus, shooting the breeze, reminiscing.” –Ted St. Godard, Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)

“Terrific: modest, honest, funny and frequently moving…Waging Heavy Peace takes the form of a diary, a life-in-the-day structure that gives Mr. Young room to maneuver, as he takes us on a wander round his memory palace… In many ways, the closest antecedent to Waging Heavy Peace may be Laurence Sterne's 1760 masterpiece, Tristram Shandy…Elegance itself.” –Wesley Stace, Wall Street Journal

“An inspirational account of tragedy, triumph, and toy trains…If you love Neil Young you will love his autobiography….There is humor in his approach, and a preoccupation with the feeling of things; of sound, and with the world of soul and spirit…. [Young’s] is a hero’s story; a man put through trial after trial who is still fighting at the end with humor, courage, and rage to be the most powerful and genuine artist he can possibly be.” –Suzanne Vega, The Times (London)

“Remarkable…Young has neither burned out nor faded away.” –Bruce Ward, The Ottawa Citizen

“Revealing, even (at times) oddly beautiful, a stream-of-consciousness-meditation on where Young has been, where he thinks he's going and, perhaps most revealing, where he is right now…. It is compelling to see a figure as prominent as Young — arguably one of the five or 10 most influential figures in the history of rock 'n' roll — express himself in such an unfiltered way.” –David Ulin, The Los Angeles Times

“Full of casual asides, unpredictable tangents and open-ended questions as he looks back on his life at age 66....Young appears to be setting down his memories in real time as they occur to him...Dryly hilarious...poignant....Waging Heavy Peace shows that Young is still in full possession of that stubborn, brilliant, one-of-a-kind instrument. He doesn't always go exactly where you want him to, or stay long enough once he gets there, but did anyone really expect anything else?" –Simon Vozick-Levinson, Rolling Stone (four stars)

“Like an epic jam with Crazy Horse, it's loose and baggy and always in the moment… The strength of Waging Heavy Peace lies in its openness and honesty. When you put Young's book down, you feel you know him.” –Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer

“An honest, insightful, engaging and, dare we say, fun literary rambling. It’s a yarn told by a good buddy in a dark bar over beers and tequilas with great music on the jukebox in the background.” –Bob Ruggiero, The Houston Chronicle

“Surreal….Fittingly, Peace unfolds like a blustery Crazy Horse jam…occasionally hitting on an enrapturing revelation …a contradictory tale…refreshing.” –Entertainment Weekly

"Young has consistently demonstrated the unbridled passion of an artist who understands that self-renewal is the only way to avoid burning out. For this reason, he has remained one of the most significant artists of the rock and roll era." —Eddie Vedder

“Young writes with dry eloquence in a voice that is clearly his own…His narrative voice is like his music—direct, emotional, hopeful, sometimes funny, willfully naïve, and often, quite beautiful… At its core, Waging Heavy Peace is a story about love of the enduring variety.” –Jeff Miers, Buffalo News

“Lively, rollicking, high-spirited, and reflective… Like one of his long, inventive jams, Young weaves crystalline lyrics and notes about friends… with reflections on the enduring beauty of nature, and the lasting power and influence of music.” — Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Straight from the wandering mind and pure heart of Neil Young… Fascinating.” – Portland Oregonian

“A thick, digressive epic…Waging Heavy Peace is like his career in microcosm. Nearly 500 elliptical pages long, the book is beautiful, psychedelic, rootsy, ragged, terse, boring, riveting, sad, funny, nostalgic and forward-looking…. A must-read for Neil fans.” – David Marchese, SPIN

“Outspoken, wildly discursive, and thoroughly mesmerizing.” –Megan O’Grady, Vogue.com

“[Young] makes some of his finest music in this lyrical memoir, massaging our souls by hitting just the right chords with his words.” —BookPage

“Fascinating.” –Evan Schlansky, American Songwriter

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Meet the Author

Neil Young’s music and songwriting—which span forty years and thirty-four studio albums of rock and roll, folk, and country, with shadings of blues, techno, and other styles—are among the most enduring and popular in modern times. From his early days with Buffalo Springfield through his solo career and collaborations with Crosby, Stills & Nash, Crazy Horse, and dozens of other notable musicians and groups, Young is acclaimed for both his musical talents and his artistic integrity. With a major hit in every decade since the sixties, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice (as a solo artist in 1995 and as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997). A well-known political activist, environmentalist, and philanthropist, Young has been involved in several causes, notably cofounding Farm Aid and The Bridge School, which assists children with physical impairments and communication needs.

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Waging Heavy Peace 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
abbzug More than 1 year ago
Like a listen of On the Beach I have left on repeat for hours with no intention of changing for fear of interrupting the vibe, I have not been able to put this book down. Coincidentally I am a Neil Young fan, so while that probably results in a biased review, I can't imagine anyone else reading this book if they aren't also a fan of the man. Mostly, I think Young realizes this, too, and I especially love the moments he speaks directly to the reader - checking to see that we are still listening, most likely, because it does get a bit lengthy and rambling....but that's possibly exactly the intoxicating authenticity that appeals to me so much about this work. This book is uncomplicated. It is conversational. It is honest. It has moments of humility and moments of indulgence. Don't we all. The most enjoyable thing about it for me is its tendency to ruminate...I read portions out loud to my husband as we drove in the car for hours and no matter where I left off before or how much he missed in between, I could always just pick up where I was currently at because there is no "order." Like a good Neil Young listen, you can drop in when you feel like it and come back to it later and feel as if nothing passed between you, yet can still discover something new to appreciate. At the end of the day, it's always a good time.
LorraineSwiss More than 1 year ago
I first loved Neil Young when I was in college in the early 70s, and this book feels like a long lost conversation with friends back in that era. The way in which his values and his love for music have formed his life is admirable. He is profound and, at times, profoundly funny in telling his story. Thanks for sharing all of your great gifts with us, Neil.
harpyrec More than 1 year ago
He did a splendid job on this book,as he is who he is. neil writes this autobiography as he wrote and lived his life.anyone looking for a ghost written book can look elsewhere for the gossip-here,you will find blatant honesty and(admittedly,but gladly)all you ever needed to know about why he is so strong a person and writer,his true explanation of why the springfeild ceases in a time he wished it never had to,and finally his "journey through the past  and present"a title he perhaps should use. his blurbs for his lossless music files belief grows from annoying to loving once you get him as a person of exellence.
MurrayCode More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of Neil Young and you will accept his unabashed self promotion of his current non-musical projects than this may be a good read. But if you want to know more facts about his life and musical projects than this is not the most informative. You are given a tour of his very creative mind through the many chapters that discuss what ever he was thinking as he wrote the book. A linear trip this is not! I was disappointed in that I had hoped to learn more about Neil's processes of writing, maybe a bit of a "discumentary" into a long and amazing number of true iconic tunes. Not to be. He mentions many iconic names in the music business, not just Canadian talent as he has really become a world citizen with his music and that's all well and good. But once again, I would have preferred more depth. Having just taken in his recent concert with Crazy Horse, I realize he performs what is currently important to Neil. Maybe that is why he has such acceptance. You get what is truly in Neil not what he hopes his audience wants. His book is just that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can't help increasing your respect for Neil Young after this approximately 500 page jewel. He comes across as an excellent family man whose love for his wife is consistent throughout the book. Leave it to Young to be your atypical rock star! I onlly recommend good reads and this is one. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book skips around a bit, but over all I really enjoyed it! I would think a follow up will come in the future. Its hard to get it all in one book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was ging to be about his musical career but it wasn't. It focused on his electric car, PureSound abd several other things I didn't care about. I read about halfthe book and that was enough. I would not recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
5 stars neil
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book as a gift. The recipient was pleased.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Imagine sitting by a fireplace in a cozy chair on a nippy night chatting with your friend Neil... this book is a true joy.
mrwasson1 More than 1 year ago
Neil Young's autobiography reads like a diary or a Facebook history. I had hoped for so much more. The rambling nature might appeal to others, though. He seems to be making peace with lovers, friends and colleagues more than telling a life story that I wanted to read. Much of it reminded me of conversations I've been subjected to with long-term drug addicts. I do highly recommend the DELUXE EDITION on the tablet that includes recordings and video clips.
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efm More than 1 year ago
I am sure he has had and will continue to have an exciting life but iit is just not delivered in this book. I like him and there were a few interesting facts but way too long..........nice book paper.........EFM