Neil Young Releases 'Waging Heavy Peace' Autobiography and 'Psychedelic Pill' Album

Neil Young has written his autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace

If rust never sleeps, Neil Young is positively an insomniac from the looks of his restless, busy year. The always idiosyncratic Young, age 66, just released his autobiography Waging Heavy Peace, just weeks before he and his long-time band Crazy Horse drop the double album Psychedelic Pill -  their first release of original material since 2003 - and heads out on a tour that brings them to Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on November 29.

For a guy that mistakenly pronounced dead (on the day that Apollo 11 leader Neil Armstrong died), Young is pretty productive when you add his June 2012 album of quaintly arcane covers, Americana, also recorded with Crazy Horse.

In his autobiography, Young seems to go about things in a stream of conscious fashion with no order and little reason or lingering attention beyond recollection. In that respect, Waging Heavy Peace is a quick read of first-person blog-a-docious fun. There’s too much information about old cars and digital music technology for my liking, and too little reportage about how he made classics such as “The Needle and the Damage Done” and “Ohio.” But the rest of the books zips wittily through growing up in Canada, his time with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and several jokes at other musician’s expense (he lashes out humorously at America for their Neil-a-like hit “A Horse with No Name”).

Young halts the humor quite soberly to talk about close associates, musical and otherwise, who have passed away. In one passage, he confesses to a fear that he will wind up like his late father, who suffered from dementia and loss of memory. "I am always getting scared that I will be in the middle of some long-winded story and forget what I'm talking about and my secret that I am slowly losing my mind will be out."
Luckily for him and his audience, Young the writer - and of course, the singer/guitarist - is as sharp as ever.

From the feedback-fueled “Walk like a Giant” (nearly 17 minutes long) and the squeaky “Driftin’ Back”, to the blunt piano-tickled title song, Psychedelic Pill is one of Young’s grungy recent full-album best – not as messy as Le Noise and not as sprawling as Fork in the Road, but solid indeed.

Posted on Monday, October 8, 2012 2:17 PM