Neil Young Sets His
Sights on Bush
April 17, 2006
He is country rock's biggest icon,
and he is angry.
Recorded in secret, his forthcoming
album savages the war in Iraq.
One track says it all:
'Impeach the President'
Living With War
Gold, Gold Heart
In Jonathan Demme’s new concert film,
Neil Young takes a look at his life
on the stage where Hank once sang
Nashville Scene ~ March 9th, 2006
“I Just Keep Going”
Despite anguish and illness, the
legendary musician Neil Young says...
Parade Magazine ~ February 19, 2006
'Heart of Gold': Neil Young and Jonathan Demme
Fresh Air from WHYY
Thursday's Show · Feb. 9, 2006
After having its premiere at the recent
Sundance Film Festival, Heart of Gold
is arriving in theaters around the country.
The film is directed by Jonathan Demme
and was shot in Nashville, Tenn., last August.
Listen To The Neil Young Interview
Hear the full Neil Young interview,
featured in the March 2006 issue
of Reader's Digest magazine.
Neil Young: Heart of Gold
Premiere Magazine ~ February 16, 2006
Weathered Rocker but Still Unbowed
New York Times ~ February 10, 2006
Young's Harrowing Journey to 'Heart of Gold'
USA Today ~ February 9, 2006
Neil Young's Musical Lifeline
Washington Post ~ January 28, 2006
A Brush With Death Hastened Album
That Led to Concert Film.
Home Grown Gold
Globe & Mail ~ January 28, 2006
Shakin' All Over flashes back to the day
when Canada rocked the world.
Neil Young: Heart of Gold
Hollywood Reporter ~ January 27, 2006
This smart, aesthetically understated concert film
from Jonathan Demme will transport Young's legions
of baby boomer fans back to the future, as 1969
re-invents itself in 2005 for Young.
'Heart of Gold' Finds Neil Young Mining Tradition
By Anthony Breznican, USA Today
January 24, 2006
Park City, Utah ~ For Neil Young, the new concert movie
Heart of Gold is a visual journey through memories
he feared were not his to keep.
Neil Young's Private World
Excerpted from RS 992,
January 26th, 2006
Neil Young: Dark Side of the Moon
December 2005 Features
Neil Young Videos
Neil Young To Keynote SXSW 2006
The South By Southwest Music and Media Conference
(SXSW) is honored to announce that Neil Young will be
our Keynote for SXSW's 20th Anniversary year.
Mr. Young will be joined in conversation by director
Jonathan Demme, whose musical portrait
of Young, "Neil Young / Heart Of Gold,"
will screen at SXSW.
The SXSW Keynote will take place
Thursday, March 16, 2006.
Ken Regan ~ Paramount Classics
November 12, 2005
Neil Young enters his sixth decade today.
Warwick McFadyen looks back on
Young's life, musical career and influence.
Neil Young performs at the 19th annual
Bridge School Benefit Concert
in Mountain View, California October 29, 2005.
The Bridge School is a non-profit
educational organization for children
with severe speech and physical impairments.
Reuters ~ Kimberly White
Bridge School Benefit -- Rock-Solid as Ever
Joel Selvin, Chronicle Senior Pop Music Critic
Monday, October 31, 2005
Pictures from The Bridge School Concert
Bridge School Benefit
Young has been busy with his latest album,
"Prairie Wind" debuting at No. 11 on the
Billboard 200 albums chart.
He also recently shot a documentary with director
Jonathon Demme, which hits U.S. theaters in February.
NPR: Hear Neil Young's 'Prairie Wind'
Weekend Edition - Saturday, September 17, 2005
The creation of Neil Young's latest album, Prairie Wind,
was punctuated by a life-changing "medical event"
for the singer-songwriter.
Resurrection of Neil Young, Continued
September 28, 2005
In these additional questions exclusively on TIME.com,
Young talks about Bob Dylan, moving to Canada
and why hockey isn't what it used to be.
The Resurrection of Neil Young
Time Magazine ~ September 25, 2005
When the Godfather of Grunge discovered
he had a potentially fatal aneurysm,
he took a week, went to Nashville
and added to his legacy by making
another classic album.
Interview: Neil Young October 2005
Passionate about `Prairie'
Neil Young: Gifted and Back
Neil Young Opens Vaults
RollingStone: Neil Young Goes Nashville
Neil Young and Jonathan Demme in Nashville
The Nashville Scene: Winter Harvest
Neil Young's Prairie Wind Rocks Ryman
Emmylou and Neil Young
Wind & Greendale Message Board
Neil Young in Nashville, Pondering Mortality
Nashville -- A lanky man in an antique-style pewter-gray suit and a
gaucho hat stood onstage Thursday night at Ryman Auditorium, the
hallowed country-music landmark that was the longtime home of the Grand
Ole Opry. An old-fashioned painted backdrop was behind him; an old
guitar was in his hands.
The guitar, he told the audience, had belonged to Hank Williams, who was
fired from the Grand Ole Opry in 1952. Neil Young, the man holding the
guitar, said he was happy that Williams's guitar was returning to the
Ryman stage. And then he sang "This Old Guitar," a quietly touching song
from his coming album, "Prairie Wind," that observes, "This old guitar
ain't mine to keep/ It's mine to play for a while."
Thursday night Mr. Young began a two-night stand at the Ryman Auditorium
that was a tangle of new and old, of remembrance and reinvention. With
him were more than two dozen musicians: a band, backup singers
(including his wife, Pegi), a horn section, a string section, the Fisk
University Jubilee Singers and Emmylou Harris. They were assembled for
what would be the only performances of all the songs on "Prairie Wind"
(Reprise), due for release on Sept. 20.
The musicians were costumed like old-time country performers, in suits
and modest coordinated dresses, but they weren't playing old-time
country music. A film crew directed by Jonathan Demme, who made the
Talking Heads concert film "Stop Making Sense" as well as "The Silence
of the Lambs," was shooting for a documentary scheduled for a February
A day before the concerts, Mr. Young took a break for an interview
between rehearsals that had been running 12 hours a day. "We're doing 10
songs with 20, sometimes 30, musicians on them," he said. "I pick
musicians who are in the moment, and when you get guys who are in the
moment to try and recreate some other moment, that's a hell of a lot of
work to do. They can't even remember what they played."
Memory is central to both "Prairie Wind" and Mr. Young's other project,
the long-postponed release of music from his archives that is to begin
next year. "It's a long road behind me," he sings in "The Painter,"
which opens the album. "It's a long road ahead."
"Prairie Wind" is a collection of plain-spoken songs about family,
faith, home, music, the passage of time and the wide-open Canadian
landscape where Mr. Young grew up. Like the other albums he has recorded
in Nashville - including the best-selling album of his career,
"Harvest," from 1972 - it looks toward American roots, and its 10 songs
amble from country twang to bluesy harmonica to Memphis soul horns.
There's a fond, loose-limbed honky-tonk tribute to Elvis and ballads
that straightforwardly offer love and loyalty; the title song,
particularly onstage, turned into an incantation as expansive as its
chorus: "Prairie wind blowin' through my head."
The lyrics are infused with feelings of mortality, and are full of
benedictions and farewells. While making the album, Mr. Young, 59, was
being treated for a brain aneurysm, a swelling in a blood vessel. He
alternated recording sessions in Nashville with surgery and
hospitalization in New York City.
In March, Mr. Young had experienced blurred vision at the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where he performed with the Pretenders.
"I saw a lot of doctors real fast," he said. The aneurysm was diagnosed,
but he had already made plans to begin recording in Nashville, and he
did a week of sessions - finishing the first three songs on the album -
before returning to New York for surgery.
"The recording studio is one of the few places where I feel completely
at home," he said. "I felt like staying in there. I wanted to get
whatever I had on my mind into music." He wrote quickly - sometimes
completing a song in just 15 or 20 minutes - and placed the songs on the
album in the order they were written and recorded, as he had with
"Greendale," the rock opera he released in 2003.
The songs on "Prairie Wind" don't have a narrative, as "Greendale" did,
but they continue to explore Mr. Young's fascination with the changes
and continuity of generations.
"When you're in your 20's, then you and your world are the biggest
thing, and everything revolves around what you're doing," Mr. Young
said. "Now I realize I'm a leaf floating along on the water on top of
some river. That's where I'm at."
The lyrics are filled with reminiscences. "It's about where I'm from and
where our family's from and where the world is going," Mr. Young said,
"and what it used to be like when my grandfather was a kid, and what
they remember and what I remember them telling me about, the things that
they saw that no one will ever see again."
Like Bruce Springsteen's current album, "Devils & Dust," Mr. Young's new
album also ponders religion. The album's most striking song, "No
Wonder," is a series of elusive, overlapping narratives and contrasting
musical sections, united by the recurring image of a church. And its
final song, "When God Made Me," sets a series of questions to a hymnlike
melody: "Did He think there was only one way to be close to Him?"
Perhaps by coincidence, the studio where "Prairie Wind" was made,
Masterlink, was once a church and, during the Civil War, a Confederate
morgue. (More recently it was Monument Studios, where Roy Orbison
recorded throughout his career.) Ryman Auditorium itself was built in
1892 as a gospel tabernacle.
"I feel like our religion and our faith have been hijacked," Mr. Young
said. "What is bothering me the most is the misappropriation of religion
and faith, the misuse of God and the house of worship. It's one faith
with different people trying to express it in different ways. It's all
about being the little guy in the big world."
The core band on "Prairie Wind" is the same one Mr. Young used on
"Harvest Moon" in 1992, and it includes his longtime collaborator, the
slide and pedal steel guitarist Ben Keith (who was on "Harvest") and the
soul songwriter Spooner Oldham on keyboards.
Mr. Young has returned to Nashville every so often to make his
more reflective, down-home albums. Most of the concert's second half was
drawn from those albums, with songs including "Heart of Gold" and "Old
Man" from "Harvest," a gorgeously poised version of "Harvest Moon" that
included the sound of a man rhythmically pushing a broom, and the title
song from the 1978 album "Comes a Time."
Mr. Young recorded "Prairie Wind" in an old-fashioned way: playing and
singing live with the band in the studio, though strings and backing
vocals were added later. "We really made a Nashville Renaissance
recording," he said.
But the songs rarely sound like other people's Nashville projects, past
or present; their homespun tone conceals eccentricities small and large.
Onstage at Ryman, musicians came and went in constantly shifting
combinations. Even when the songs are slight, they're atmospheric.
Mr. Young said he had decided to film the concerts for a simple reason:
Mr. Demme asked him. "He called me up and said, 'I've got a year off,
I'd like to do something, and are you doing anything?' I said, 'Well
yeah, I just made this record called "Prairie Wind." I'll send it to
you, see what you think.' "
"And then we just came around to the idea, Why don't we just use this
music, which was recorded in Nashville in the old way, with real
musicians coming in from everywhere, and putting them together live?"
Meanwhile, Mr. Young had been working steadily on releasing digital
versions of the music in archives that date back more than 40 years. The
last time he was on the verge of releasing archival material, he changed
his mind when improvements in technology promised higher fidelity and he
started a new round of remastering.
Mr. Young recently renewed his longtime contract with Reprise Records,
which will release the first volume of his archives - covering 1963 to
1973 - as a set of eight DVD's or CD's.
The DVD's, with high-resolution audio, also include visuals and
annotations; for instance, with material recorded in the 1960's at the
Riverboat Coffeehouse, Mr. Young reconstructed images of the club. "You
can see everything but me," he said. "I'm like a ghost."
The archive project has been as time-consuming as "Prairie Wind" was
spontaneous. "When I do finally get it out there, it's going to be a
great relief," Mr. Young said. "It's like a huge overcoat that I wear.
It's got a lot of pockets in it. Some of them are full of diamonds. Some
of them are just full of lead. It's a burden, but it's getting lighter."
Going through the archive has let Mr. Young second-guess his memories.
"There are some things in it that are just unbelievable, records that I
don't know why I never released," he said. "I look at what I released
during that period, and I go, 'Wow, what was I thinking?' But life is
For the concert's finale Thursday night, Mr. Young returned to the
"Harvest Moon" album for "One of These Days," a song about watching
friends drift away. But with more than two dozen Nashville musicians
surrounding him onstage, he didn't look lonely at all.
Source: New York Times (NY)
Author: Jon Pareles
Published: August 20, 2005
Copyright: 2005 The New York Times Company
Young is Older and Wiser
As 60 looms, he reflects on family and mortality in a concert filmed by
Nashville -- Neil Young's reputation tags him as restless and
forward-looking. But that doesn't mean the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
member doesn't find inspiration in the past — or in taking stock as he
ages of the changes in his family and in the world around him.
Young introduced his upcoming album, "Prairie Wind," in the first of two
consecutive nights of concerts Thursday at the Ryman Auditorium, a
113-year-old former tabernacle that served as home to country music's
Grand Ole Opry during its most historic years, from 1943 to 1974.
The concerts were being filmed by Jonathan Demme, director of "Silence
of the Lambs" and "Melvin and Howard." Demme met Young after asking him
to record a song for the soundtrack of his 1993 film "Philadelphia," and
he directed Young's videos from the 1994 album "Sleeps With Angels."
Demme has repeatedly worked with musicians in his career, making the
Talking Heads concert film "Stop Making Sense," a documentary of English
indie rocker Robyn Hitchcock titled "Storefront Hitchcock" and the
Laurie Anderson-hosted PBS show, "Alive From Off Center."
Turning "Prairie Wind" into a film was Demme's idea. Demme had been
especially supportive of "Greendale," Young's 2003 self-made film and
storytelling soundtrack album. Young had sent Demme a copy of the album
four weeks ago, just after he'd finished recording it in Nashville.
"Prairie Wind" is another of Young's acoustic-centered albums, like
1972's "Harvest," 1978's "Comes a Time" and 1992's "Harvest Moon." But
it's also as personal as 1975's "Tonight's the Night" or any other album
from Young's unpredictable career.
The songs were all written after recent dramatic events in Young's life,
including his 87-year-old father's death in June and the singer's brain
aneurysm in New York City in late March, which required emergency
"The songs came so quick, and they're so real — the reality of
mortality," says Elliot Roberts, Young's longtime manager. "I think
after all that he decided to only do work that's important to him."
The music also resonated instantly with Demme. The Oscar-winning
director immediately contacted Young and Roberts, and offered to take a
year off to make a film based on the album. He also persuaded Paramount
Classics to distribute the film without having heard any of Young's new
"It happened that fast," Roberts said Friday morning. "Neil never had
thought of making a movie around this album, but of course we said yes
right away. If a filmmaker as great as Jonathan Demme calls and says he
wants to make a movie with your music, what else are you going to say?"
Roberts wasn't sure what Demme's plans are for the film beyond the
concert taping. "I'll be eager to find out what he has planned," the
manager said. "We all are."
It's a fair bet the result will be as much a portrait of Young as it is
of his music. The album finds Young poignantly reflecting on his
history, with songs for his father, for his three children (the last of
whom left home this summer) and for his Winnipeg homeland, with constant
references to farmlands, birds, wildlife and open spaces, which Young
says have rapidly faded from view in his lifetime.
"This song is about growing up," he said of "No Wonder," the second cut
on the 10-song collection, which he performed in sequence, without
second takes. "It's about things that are happening today and things
that may never happen again."
The album also includes an acoustic rave-up toast to Elvis Presley ("He
Was the King"), a piano-and-strings hymn ("When God Made Me") he'd
premiered at the Canadian edition of the Live 8 concert; and a tender
tribute to an enduring acoustic six-string ("This Old Guitar") that
Young rendered on an instrument he bought in Nashville 30 years ago that
once belonged to Hank Williams.
He figured that the guitar last appeared at the Ryman in 1951, in
Williams' final performance at the Opry. "I'm glad to see it back here,"
Young said, then looked skyward reverently. With help from Emmylou
Harris on harmony and second guitar, Young started into the song, which
opens with the lines, "This old guitar ain't mine to keep/ Just taking
care of it now." He later performed "The Needle and the Damage Done" on
the same instrument.
By drawing so consciously on his past, from the influence of country
music and rock 'n' roll to that of his family and homeland, Young seemed
acutely aware that he will turn 60 on Nov. 12.
During the concert, he cited several family members and friends who'd
recently passed away. "We're getting to the age where some of us start
losing our parents," he said, noting that his father fought dementia at
the end of his life. The haunting, jagged title song begins with the
line, "Trying to remember what my Daddy said/ Before too much time took
away his head."
He also referred repeatedly to the late singer Nicolette Larson, who
recorded the hits "Lotta Love" and "Comes a Time" with Young and who
died in 1997 of a buildup of fluid on the brain. Young also paid tribute
to Vassar Clements, a famed hillbilly jazz fiddler who died Aug. 16 in
Nashville, and Rufus Thibodeaux, a Cajun fiddler who died Aug. 12 and
who had played on the "Comes a Time" album.
Later, he addressed other issues close to home. "I'm an empty nester,"
he said in introducing "Here for You," an openhearted letter to his
grown children. "I never knew what that meant until I felt it." Young
spoke of how he's written love songs all of his career, "songs for those
young gals, dreaming about them and falling in love with them. But this
one here, it's a different type of love song."
He also repeatedly referenced dreams and memories, from the opening
song, "The Painter," which says, "If you follow every dream, you might
get lost," to "It's a Dream," about youthful recollections of rural
Canada. "Far From Home," a cheerful midtempo tune powered by the
three-piece Memphis Horns, recalls a childhood experience of listening
to his father singing accompanied by an uncle and a cousin.
Young stayed on acoustic guitar or piano all night. Besides Harris and
the Memphis Horns, his band featured steel guitarist Ben Keith, whom
Young said he first met in 1970 during the sessions for his album
Spooner Oldham, of the famed Muscle Shoals studio team, played organ and
piano, and the rhythm section included bassist Rick Rosas and drummers
Chad Cromwell and Karl Himmel. The Fisk Jubilee Singers and Nashville
String Machine also joined on several songs. Besides Harris and the Fisk
choir, harmony singers included the singer's wife, Pegi Young as well as
Diana Dewitt, Gary Pigg, Anthony Crawford and Grant Boatwright.
The band performed in Western-cut clothes, all in primary colors, with
Neil Young dressed as a riverboat gambler in a wide, flat-brimmed hat
and a tailored, gray linen suit. After performing the complete album in
slightly less than an hour, the band took a break and returned for 90
minutes of classics from Young's acoustic repertoire, including "Heart
of Gold," "I Am a Child" and "Old Man."
The latter, released 33 years ago, finds Young addressing his father and
telling him "to take a look at your life, I'm a lot like you were."
Young's now older than the man he sang to in those lyrics, and "Prairie
Wind" shows him taking his own advice, looking long and hard at his own
life. What he finds is that he has a lot in common with all of us.
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Author: Michael McCall, Special to The Times
Published: August 20, 2005
Copyright: 2005 Los Angeles Times
The ASCAP Founders Award Neil Young
May 17th, 2005
ASCAP honors Neil Young,
whose musical legacy
will continue to rock the free world
and enrich generations to come.
Young Honored in L.A.
Chris Rubin ~ Rolling Stone
May 17th, 2005
Rocker makes first public appearance
since surgery at ASCAP awards
December 10th, 2004
Greendale 2004 Tour & Movie Reviews
Young Pits Idealism Against Powerco
Tour and Movie Reviews 2004
Tour and Movie Reviews 2004
Tour and Movie Reviews for 2004
Tour and Movie Reviews for 2004
Second Edition: Inside Greendale
NPR: Fresh Air
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
II: Listen To Neil Young
A news blog for Neil Young fans
from Thrasher's Wheat with concert
and album updates, reviews, analysis,
and other Rock & Roll ramblings.
Highway .... a Neil Young Community
4th of July - Neil Young Fans
Save The Planet
For Another Day
Neil Young & Greendale
Thursday, March 25, 2004
I: Listen To Neil Young
He calls his latest project a "musical novel."
It's a new CD, Greendale, a 10-song cycle
with his band Crazy Horse, set
in a fictional California seaside town.
He also shot a feature film version on Super8,
which made the film festival circuit and will
be in wider distribution in April.
National Public Radio: Weekend Edition
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Young Turns to Film with 'Greendale'
The movie Greendale -- a celebration of small-town life
and a cautionary tale about greed and commercialism
-- comes from musician Neil Young.
It was shot in five weeks with a $500 camera,
and characters are played by Young's friends
David D'Arcy Reports
Rust List - The
Neil Young Community
This is the oldest and largest on-line community
of Neil Young fans, dating back to 1992.
From Greendale Movie
Few Special Greendale Reviews
Young News - Australia
German: Where The
Devil is Greendale
Toronto International Film Festival 2003
"Falling From Above"
"A little love and affection
In everything you do
will make the world a better place
with or without you."