Waging Heavy Peace is not a conventional book. It reads like the kind of conversation you have with someone while working. Neil Young is telling you a story while you work. Tomorrow he’ll tell you another one- completely unrelated. Some times the stories are funny, some times they’re warm or personal. Often they are interesting, but often not.
The book needs an editor in the worst way. Young meanders along: back and forth with little concern for a narrative or chronology. It is distracting, even for a fan such as myself. The book tends to dwell on a time period before “Rust Never Sleeps” (1978 and before), or his current projects. This puts a large hole between 1980-2010. He spends many pages on friends and family that were important to him professionally and personally. This is nice but it needs a little bit more to make these characters come alive. Referring to his children using their full names makes him seem a little distant.
Young’s current projects Pono– a high fidelity digital music format and his Lincvolt– electric car, come across as advertisements even within the context of the book, which spends a lot of time dealing with his: model railroads, automobile collecting, film editing, musical instruments, houses, and other miscellaneous collections.
I would only recommend this book to Neil Young fans. But be prepared to slog through the weeds or skip pass them.
My Kindle Notes From The Book
So I have to slow down. That’s why I am writing this book now. Or maybe it’s because I’m not smoking weed anymore. I am a lot more focused now. That’s odd. On one hand, I am wondering whether I can write songs straight, and on the other hand, I am saying that because I am straight I am probably writing this book. – location 634-37
Some folks think that is not a good thing to think about. I envy the control they must have over their thinking processes. As you can tell, if you are still with me, I don’t have much control over that. I have only rewritten about one paragraph so far. – location 1232-34
“Land of a Thousand Dances” did the same thing to me when I heard Danny and the Memories do their version on YouTube. – location 1260-61
When music is your life, there is a key that gets you to the core. I am so grateful that I still have Crazy Horse, knock on wood. You see, they are my window to the cosmic world where the muse lives and breathes. I can find myself there and go to the special area of my soul where those songs graze like buffalo. The herd is still there, and the plains are endless. Just getting there is the key thing, and Crazy Horse is my way of getting there. – location 1397-1400
I am beginning to see that the rest of my life could conceivably be spent as an author, churning out books one after another to the endless interest of, say, fourteen people with Kindles. – location 1415-16
It’s my life, and I am a collector. I collect everything: cars, trains, manuscripts, photographs, tape recordings, records, memories, and clothes, to name a few. The fact that I want to create a chronological history of my recordings and supporting work is proof positive that I am an incurable collector, confronted with an amazingly detailed array of creations that I have painstakingly rat-holed over the years. – location 2187-90
[Ralph Molina] His flourishes with my feedback at the end of a long song are always right with me, as if he knows right where I am going. Fact is, we are going there together, feeling our way, and that really applies to all of Crazy Horse. That is what makes the Horse as great as it is, and as cosmic as it is. That is the Force of the Horse. – location 4110-12
Life is just a big test, and if you try hard, you fail. If you don’t try too hard and fail a little but have a good time, maybe that is success. I’ve seen some really happy and content people in this life, and I am not one of them all the time, just some of the time, but I am thankful as hell for them and lonely for the old times and old friends. Not all the time, though. I’m really happy doing what I do, and what I’m doing now is trying like hell to rescue recorded sound so people can feel music again. – location 4174-78