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Neil Young Releases Preview Excerpt from ‘Waging Heavy Peace’ Book

Neil Young
Darren Hauck, Getty Images

Neil Young‘s long-awaited memoir, ‘Waging Heavy Peace,’ won’t be released until October 2, 2012, but he has released a few pages to give readers a glimpse of what we can expect. The excerpt finds Young showing how his love of electric trains, music and technology collide in his world.

Beginning with the receipt of a gift of a model switcher that Lionel Trains, which Young owns a small share, used as a prototype for its designs, Young discusses how his boyhood love of electric trains was recharged around the time his son, Ben, was born. It became a way for Young to bond with Ben, who is quadriplegic, and Young had a custom system built so Ben could operate the trains.

He then recalls when David Crosby and Graham Nash went to Young’s home studio during the recording of Crosby, Stills Nash & Young’s 1988 album, ‘American Dream.’ Young reflects on the history of Crosby and Nash, saying, “through thick and thin…they sing together in a way that shows the depth of their long relationship.”

From there, Young describes the contents of his garage that stores his amps and some of his cars, which includes the first 1953 Buick Skylark ever made. That leads him into his preparation for a meeting with venture capitalists to help fund a company that will present an alternative to mp3s, which he says is, “at the heart of the decline of music sales and ultimately music itself in popular culture.”

The excerpt reads a bit like a classic Neil Young guitar solo. It meanders resltessly from idea to idea in a way that makes you constantly wonder where he’s going. But when it reaches its destination it all makes sense.


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