Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS the One Who Got Away with It

Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS the One Who Got Away with It

Article excerpt

The first track on Neil Young's latest a lbum la st s nea rly 28 m inute s , for while he usually has no problem starting, he sometimes struggles to finish.

Some of the same prolixity characterises his memoir, Waging Heavy Peace (Viking, £14.75). No gho st w r iter ha s been a l lowed nea r this: it's Young in all his ragged glory. The na r rat ive - wel l, there i sn't one . Over severa l hund red short chapters, he darts hither and thither, telling stories, loving his family, remembering old friends and tour buses he liked, ranting about the quality of the sound on CDs and MP3s.

If you like his music - and there's little reason to pick this up if you don't - you'll have a fascinating in s ight into a ver y pa r t icu la r creat ive process. Business and politics keep his intellect going, while making music is purely instinctual, somewhere between relaxation and an escape. …

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