Neil Young releases autobiography "Waging Heavy Peace"

Published in Viking Hardback on 4th October 2012, priced £25

"I think I will have to use my time wisely and keep my thoughts straight if I am to succeed and deliver the cargo I so carefully have carried thus far to the outer reaches. Not that it's my only job or task. I have others too. Sacred things that I need to protect from pain and hardship, like careless remarks on an open mind."

(Neil Young from Waging Heavy Peace)

Neil Young is a singular figure in the history of rock and roll, and he continues to be a universally admired innovative force today. In his new memoir, Waging Heavy Peace, the 66-year-old Young presents a kaleidoscopic view of his personal life and musical creativity: it is a journey that spans the snows of Ontario and prairies of Manitoba to the pot-filled boulevards and communal canyons of Los Angeles to his secluded ranch in the redwoods of Northern California and the contemplative paradise of Hawaii. Astoundingly candid, witty and poignant, this is the Neil Young book music lovers have always wanted.

Throughout Waging Heavy Peace, Young takes a refreshingly honest approach to telling his own story in a voice that engrosses the reader as he reveals his inner thoughts, feelings and motivations. Rather than presenting a chronological look at his life, Young ricochets between memories and reflections, capturing moments in time, past and present.

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One aspect of Young that readers have the opportunity to get to know well in Waging Heavy Peace is the constantly driven, uncompromising artist, whose career trademark has been his unwavering dedication to his creative muse, sometimes resulting in abrupt shifts in direction, often without warning.

As for the inspiration behind the title of his book, Young, who has been a vocal critic of the audio quality of digital music in recent years, writes: "Ben Bourdon, one of Ben Young's caregivers, asked me if I was making war on Apple after he heard PureTone. I said, 'No. I'm waging heavy peace.'" (page 143)

Waging Heavy Peace includes some 50 photographs, many from Young's family collection and previously unseen, adding a visual element to this very personal and engaging memoir.

The enhanced eBook edition of Waging Heavy Peace will include clips of more than thirty timeless Neil Young songs such as "Ohio," "Cinnamon Girl" and "Rockin' in the Free World," providing a soundtrack to his stories. Interspersed throughout the text are then rare Young videos from his own archives, offering an uncommon glimpse behind the scenes a the man behind this memoir. In addition, a complete discography guarantees that diehard devotees and new fans alike enjoy the ultimate Neil Young experience.

An unabridged audio version of the book (11 CDS; 12.5 hours), read by Keith Carradine, will release simultaneously.

"What I really love about the book: There's no barrier between the reader and you. I started reading it and I felt it... sometimes it seems like it's after hours, late at night, and you're in your teepee talking by the fire." Patti Smith

"Over the course of its 500 pages, Waging Heavy Peace is variously wildjly idiosyncratic, unpredictable, bafflligly digressive, wryly funny, deeply moving, painfully honest…infuriatingly elusive and shot through with moments of rare insight and beauty, which you might say makes it the perfect literary counterpart to the 50-year career it describes." Guardian

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"Young appears bounteous and joyful, a genuinely happy hippy…Unusually for a rock memoir, this one is almost completely angst-free." Sunday Times

"A real treat…he writes openly and movingly abut the key figures in his life…you feel you know Young better for reading it." Metro

"Wildly digressive…shot through with wit, insight and revelation." Time Out

"The book is elliptical and personal…Writing a book…allowed [Young]‘to do what I want the way I want to do it’….’Waging Heavy Peace’ eschews chronology and skips the score-settling and titillation of other rocker biographies. Still, Young shows a little leg and has some laughs. The operatics of the rock life give way to signal family events, deconstructions of his musical partnerships and musings on the natural world. It is less a chronicle than a journal of self-appraisal. The book…is a ride through Young’s many obsessions….[Bob] Dylan…says it’s clear why Young has not tumbled into musical dotage: ‘An artist like Neil always has the upper hand, he says. ‘It’s the pop world that has to make adjustments.’” New York Times

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"Full of casual asides, unpredictable tangents and open-ended questions as he looks back on his life at age 66....Young appears to be setting down his memories in real time as they occur to him...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?" Rolling Stone

“The book is terrific: modest, honest, funny and frequently moving….WHP takes the form of a diary, a life-in-the-day structure that gives Mr. Young room to maneuver….In many ways, the closest antecedent to WHP may be Laurence Sterne’s 1760 masterpiece “Tristram Shandy,” in that it marries a conversational style and a digressive structure…Neat and tidy would make for a weaker book, less representative of its author….Most of all, WHP is unfailingly kind, a tribute to everyone who helped him become who is now is…Elegance itself.” Wall Street Journal


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Hysteria said:

Just bought it. Love to listen to audio books on long journeys in my car.
October 25, 2012
Votes: +1

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