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Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream Paperback – July 30, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
“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)
“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.” –David Ulin, The Los Angeles Times
“[Waging Heavy Peace] isn’t a book to part with. It is as charismatically off the wall as Mr. Young’s records, and the recent concert films so imaginatively directed by Jonathan Demme. And however privately calculating it may be, it seems completely free of guile….[A] playful, capricious portrait…Waging Heavy Peace has an affirmative spirit that is one of its most poignant qualities.” –Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Full of casual asides, unpredictable tangents and open-ended questions as he looks back on his life at age 66.... 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)
“Waging Heavy Peace is a convoluted road map to that life, drawn on cocktail napkins and pinned up with refrigerator magnets — part free-form blog, part liner notes to some future hundred-disc anthology and part loopy travelogue through one aging hippie’s expansive backyard….Young’s voice here is pure, unadulterated Neil.” –Howard Hampton, The New York Times Book Review
“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
“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)
Top Customer Reviews
"The past is such a big place." Neil Young.
Here it is in a nutshell. If you're a Neil Young fan, and want to read a book written in a conversational style, and want to know more about Young-straight from the well-buy this book. It's 497 pages of Young talking about just about everything he sees fit to talk about.
There's no Contents page, no Introduction, the Preface is two sentences in length, there's a Dedication Page (to his son Ben, "my warrior", and Young's family), and there's no Index. There's a black and white photo at the head of most chapters and a few others here and there (including a spaghetti recipe belonging to Young's father), but no separate section of photos. There's 68 chapters, most of them a few pages in length. The end papers have a photograph of a guitar that's been graphically altered four different ways. All in all, this is a simply produced looking book that fits Young the man/musician, and his writing style. His story is laid out simply, almost in a matter of fact style-like you hoped it would be written. Along the way there are many side roads that add depth and interest to Young's story.
Beginning at his ranch in 2011, with Young talking about his model train collection, and sharing it with his quadriplegic son, Ben, the story shifts to David Crosby and Graham Nash coming over to make some music shortly after Crosby got straight-"...still prone to taking naps between takes." Then it shifts to Young's love of old cars and anything dealing with transportation. His cars sit in a garage, where Young sits and thinks about his record company, and how he wants to improve the sound we hear on recordings.Read more ›
The book finds Young in a drug and alcohol free state and the straightest he's been since he was eighteen. Recovering from a broken toe and needing to rest a while, he decides to both write his autobiography and start planning to record again with Crazy Horse (a band he refers to throughout in the third person, as a mystic entity) worrying a little if the muse has departed and whether he'll still be able to write songs in his new found sobriety. Despite having not written a new song for more than half a year, Young knows that patience is the key, "Songs are like rabbits and they like to come out of their holes when you're not looking, so if you stand there waiting they will just burrow down and come out somewhere far away, a new place where you can't see them. So I feel like I am standing over a song hole. That will never result in success. The more we talk about this, the worse it will get. So that is why we are changing the subject.Read more ›
From The Squires to the Mynah Birds to the Buffalo Springfield to Crazy Horse to playing solo and beyond. The music of Neil Young is touched upon where he wants to shed light. Not everything here is presented in the fashion that a normal rock biography would lay it all down. Neil, is telling stories and he tends to jump around from thought to different event. The music and the people he made it with are big part of this road he travels but his kids and his cars and his ladies and more cars and some toy trains are covered in these pages like the author is having lots of rambling conversations with you in front of a fire with the dogs at your feet. Neil, tells his story about Linda Ronstadt and Nicolette Larson singing on his great record "Comes a Time" from March 1977 in chapter 57. In the very next chapter you are startled when the floor starts moving in a hotel in Churchill in the northern part of Manitoba. Now you taken back in time to August of 1965 when Neil and the other Squires discovered a polar bear living under their room.
This is an easy read due to the fact that Neil lays down the tale and quickly moves on to something else.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The extracts from newspaper reviews on the cover of the Penguin edition declare, 'Terrific', 'Heroic', 'Hilarious, poignant', 'Perfect', 'You don't want it to end' and 'I laughed... Read morePublished 16 days ago by William Peskett
It's been awhile since I read this book however it has stayed in my mind. Yes, as others have mentioned there are a few ramblings on and things disjointed at times, but the thing... Read morePublished 21 days ago by clickclack
I loved it! The video and audio interspersed made it a truly immersive experience for this Woodstock Generation reader. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michael P. Weber
good read, it told me a lot of the background on many of the bands and musicians of the time.Published 2 months ago by Richard J Neill
Hard to follow rambling on disjointed, sorry Neal ,just tellingit like it isPublished 3 months ago by michael morgenstern
Mr. Young this is really a very nice read. Perfect for a trip to Maui.
Long Live The Horse, Danny and David Briggs. Thanks again Neil!
My son enjoys anything by Neil Young and was very pleased with the gift.Published 4 months ago by Gloria Smith