Skip to comments.Neil Young talks to Charlie Rose: "I'm not happy about it now."
Posted on 07/21/2008 11:57:24 AM PDT by Merciful_Friend
Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young was interviewed on PBS's Charlie Rose show. The show, almost a complete hour, can be watched at this link. (Thanks to Jay for the tip.)
If you can get past some of the political baggage, and you like Neil Young, it's an entertaining interview, where Young comes across funny, sincere and kind of sweetly naïve.
With regard to the politics and his Let's Impeach the President phase, Young certainly is giving the distinct impression of having second thoughts. Some of what he says when Charlie prods him on the war:
I look at it Charlie as "why"? Why are we doing this? And why is the human race doing this? I try to step back and see it. And y'know on this record I got really involved in the present, which is like turmoil, it's terrible. To be involved in, y'know, criticizing the president, and doing this and that, and talking about things in the first person and getting right in there. It's like I got sucked into it. I was part of the turmoil myself. Which I wasn't happy about. And I'm not happy about it now. But it happened.
I was sucked into it and I got angry. I was angry about things that were happening, and I thought this is just not right. This is not the way it should be. I felt like we were being lied to and things weren't true and we were getting sold a bill of goods [...] but I don't want to harp on that.
I did the album. I said all of what I had to say, and now I don't like to do it again. I don't like singing the songs. I did it. I'm not CNN. I don't play it over and over again.
Ahem. One can't help but be reminded of Bob Dylan's quote about hearing Neil Young's Let's Impeach the President and how he thought, "That's crazy, he's doing a song about Clinton?" That little dig of Bob's, as I thought at the time, put a finger on what was wrong -- just artistically speaking -- with what Neil Young was doing. He was making music that was more like (lousy) opinion journalism, with a definite expiration date.
Well, I guess Neil realizes that it's now expired. Too bad there are some fans out there who probably still listen to those tunes as anthems, manifestos and mantras.
(Continue reading here.)
I hope Neil Young will remember, a Southern man don’t need him ‘round, anyhow...
I have been saying for a long while that it’s easier for many of these types to believe that the war on terrorism is just a lie cooked up by Bush, Cheney, etc. rather than face the fact that there are savages out there trying to kill us.
Young’s statements are probably as close as we will ever get to an admission of error by the left.
Ironic, too, in that they are always the one harping on the allegation that “Bush can’t admit his mistakes.”
Stevie Nicks once stated (on Leno, I belive) that she thought Bill Clinton was “maybe a little too young” to be president. I think she also distanced herself from any sort of endorsement based on the use of the Fleetwood Mac song “Don’t Stop” by the Bill Clinton campaign. Knowing that she risked alienating her circle of friends and professional relationships, she declined to go further in public.
Some of these people are fairly good-hearted but very naive. As has been stated elsewhere, their talents, though prodigious, are very narrowly focused; outside their specialization their opinions are no more (or less) worthy than those of any other everyday person.
Is Neil Young still a citizen of Planet Earth? What’s his passport look like? Are any of his new guitar solos going to utilize more than one note this year?
“I hope Neil Young will remember, a Southern man dont need him round, anyhow...”
Turn it up.
Glad to see Neil Young is coming to his senses about that lp. I’ve been a fan since the Buffalo Springfield days and won’t let that lapse of judgement affect my appreciation for his other works.
Interesting. Apparently some BDS sufferers are developing antibodies.
I was singing that exact lyric while reading this. ha
Some things about Neil Young that many people don’t know:
“Though he made some of his finest music in the Seventies, the decade was also marked by a series of personal tragedies. In 1972 his first son, Zeke, was born, and soon after diagnosed with cerebral palsy. That same year Young lost his guitarist and close friend 27-year-old Danny Whitten, and his favourite roadie, Bruce Berry, to drug overdoses. Then, six years later, having married his current wife, Pegi, Young’s second son, Ben, was born with an even more severe form of cerebral palsy.
‘It took time to get used to the fact that it wasn’t one but two,’ Young told Time magazine in 2005, one of the few times he has publicly commented on this appalling twist of fate. ‘Eventually Pegi and I just came to the understanding that we had been chosen, and this was one of the things we were going to do with our life, turning this situation into something positive for all kinds of kids.’
To this end Young and Pegi, his wife of 28 years, founded the Bridge School in Hillsborough, California in 1986, which specialises in providing communication through technology for non-verbal, physically challenged children. Each year Young hosts and headlines a concert there and has cajoled the likes of Paul Simon, Tom Petty and Pearl Jam to appear.
Ben, now 28, quadraplegic and unable to speak often accompanies his father on tour in a coach that Young has fitted with a hydraulic lift. The singer’s obsession with model trains - he is part-owner of Lionel, the model train company - is also bound up with Ben’s condition. Young has developed a command and control system that allows his son to operate the vast model train track he has installed in the converted barn near his home. For the last 36 years Young has lived on that same sprawling ranch near San Francisco that he bought with the royalties of the first CSNY album, Deja Vu, and christened ‘Broken Arrow’ after one of his early songs. (His third child, Amber, aged 22, is studying fine art.)”
That observation by Dylan helps sum up part of his genius. He was always careful never to narrowly tailor his best lyrics so that they could be fitted to just about any context.
That said, his songs are generally best when anyone but him is singing them.
What really got me is Neil wrote a song called, "The needle and the damage done," or maybe that was just the lyrics...hypocritical lyrics if I remember correctly. I bet he could give the Rolling Stones,lead guitarist Keith Richards a run for drug addict of the years, at least back then. maybe what I saw was just a binge, can't say he was a long term friend by any stretch; just a short time aquaintence and though the drugs weren't my bag I certainly loved coming in from surfing and listening to them play.
That’s interesting. Confirmation that there’s a good side to him.
It never ceases to amaze me that some people get their political direction or validation thereof from entertainers. With few if any exceptions they are the most vacuous individuals.
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