Neil Young Puts On No Airs

Nice piece in a UK paper on Neil Young at the Berlin Film Fest. The admiring reporter/critic brings out a number of details Young would call "innaresting" — such as the fact that Neil ordered his old pals Crosby, Stills, and Nash around on the last tour. He took that right since he released the record they toured behind — "Living With War" — which although not great, did successfully plant a musical flag on a crucial turn in the national view against the Bush administration.

Young wouldn’t let his old pals sing a dippy song about saving the whales, even though a lot of his songs — such as "Let’s Impeach the President" — were only so-so.

‘When the impeachment song was criticized for being monotonous, intriguingly, Young defended that on artistic grounds, saying that having to make that demand necessarily had a grating, edgy tone.

Ultimately, the tour was very successful, although it brought in a lot of death threats. Neil’s bluntly accusative screeds maybe called for that kind of response, although the title song "Living with War" was mournful and melodic in the classic Young mode, and likely to survive this crisis.

Young has a long history of outraging certain individuals, especially in the South.

Once Young memorably pissed off Lynrnd Skynrd, but this turned out well: Sweet Home Alabama.

The English reporter interviewed Young, and saw his most recent film, but the piece concludes with a wonderful look at Neil Young today.

Over the next few days, though, I cross Young several times, in a hotel lift or wandering around the streets, blending in unremarked with the grey winter scenery. He nods at me cordially, keeping a proper distance: a solitary, self-contained figure, still puzzling over the state of the world.



Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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