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Harvey Kubernik talks about Neil Young on WFDU Radio!

Harvey Kubernik, author of Neil Young: Heart of Gold, visited The Vintage Rock & Pop Shop on WFDU 89.1FM in New Jersey recently to about Young’s remarkable 50-year career in music.

>>Listen Here<<

00138576From his debut with local bands in his native Canada to the release of his 36th studio album, The Monsanto Years, this summer, a collaboration with Promise of the Real, Neil Young’s career spans more than 50 years of rock music history. Through his time with the seminal West Coast band Buffalo Springfield, collaborations with Crosby, Stills & Nash, his solo years starting in the late 1960s, and subsequent tours and albums as a singer-songwriter, Young’s work has uniquely reflected the shifting musical styles of five decades, including rock, punk, electro-pop, and the retro vision of Americana.

Veteran music writer and pop culture historian Harvey Kubernik, explores every aspect of Young’s remarkable life and career in Neil Young: Heart of Gold. Kubernik’s exclusive interviews with fellow musicians, record producers, engineers, music journalists, film directors, and loyal fans combine with a wealth of photographs, many previously unpublished, to create a unique tribute to a true rock legend.

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Harvey Kubernik on Thrasher’s Wheat Radio Show!

Harvey Kubernik, author of Neil Young: Heart of Gold was a guest on Thrasher’s Wheat Radio Show on Neil Young’s Birthday, November 12. They spoke about some pivotal moments that really inform and shape the book and what Harvey Kubernik learned while writing it! Listen below and let us know what you think!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00138576Just in time for Young’s 70th birthday last week, veteran music writer and pop culture historian Harvey Kubernik, explores every aspect of Young’s remarkable life and career in Neil Young: Heart of Gold. Kubernik’s exclusive interviews with fellow musicians, record producers, engineers, music journalists, film directors, and loyal fans combine with a wealth of photographs, many previously unpublished, to create a unique tribute to a true rock legend.

Among those featured are musicians Graham Nash, Nils Lofgren, and Richie Furay; filmmaker Jim Jarmusch; photographer Henry Diltz; and many more.

With a retrospective commentary on Neil Young’s studio and live albums, a complete discography, and photographs and memorabilia from throughout his career, Neil Young: Heart of Gold places Young’s musical achievements within the context of his life – an essential and timely celebration.

Happy Birthday, Neil Young!

Neil Young is 68 years old today. Below is an excerpt from Neil Young FAQ, by Glenn Boyd.

In 2009, Neil Young released no less than three new collections—including the massive, decades-in-the-making Archives Vol. 1 boxed set. Ambitious even by Young’s own very exacting standards, the multiple-disc set comes in CD, DVD, and Blu-ray versions, and chronicles Young’s career up until 1972. At least two more volumes are planned, and the December 2009 release of Dreamin’ Man Live, a live concert rendering of the classic Harvest Moon album, is an apparent warm-up to one of them. Somewhere in the midst of all this, Young found time to release an album of new material (Fork in the Road), and to tour (which he does nearly every year like clockwork).

If nothing else, Neil Young is “prolific,” to say the least. Yet, as staggering as the sheer volume of his recorded output has been over the years and decades, the fact that through it all he has made this music strictly on his own artistic terms every step of the way is a rather astonishing feat in and of itself. This is what makes Neil Young an artist who is truly unique in all of music.

This same uncompromising approach to his art—some would call it a stubborn streak—has both earned Young the admiration of his peers and drawn the fire of folks like the record company suits charged with marketing his music to the masses.

Two quick cases in point:

Following the release of his first #1 album Harvest in 1972—the album has long since gone platinum many times over and remains a steady seller to this day—Young followed it up with a series of bleak, desolate, and downright depressing records that were the very antithesis of the folky, singer-songwriter pop that made Harvest, and particularly its single “Heart of Gold,” such a huge hit.

On the liner notes for his three-disc retrospective Decade, Young famously described the albums Time Fades Away, On the Beach, and Tonight’s the Night as a period when he “left the middle of the road, and headed towards the ditch”— hence earning these records the fans’ nickname of “the Ditch Trilogy.”

When these albums earned Young the respect of then emerging new wave artists like Devo—bands who were otherwise notorious (and often quite brutal) in their disdain of other so-called dinosaurs from the sixties—Neil responded with Rust Never Sleeps in 1979, an album whose title track embraces “the story of Johnny Rotten” with its famous lines of how “it’s better to burn out than to fade away.”

But this would be only one of many incidents in which the mercurial (that’s a word associated with him quite a bit, by the way) Young would follow his artistic muse in such a way as to cause record executives to tear their hair out in frustration.

After signing with David Geffen’s self-named new label in the eighties, Young then spent the better part of that decade making albums that veered wildly from the Devo-inspired synthesized new wave of Trans to the goofy rockabilly of Everybody’s Rockin (“they wanted a rock album, so I gave them one,” he once explained)—his record with makeshift greasers the Shocking Pinks.

Geffen eventually sued Young for breach of contract, citing of all things, the artist’s failure to deliver any actual “Neil Young records.” You just can’t make this stuff up.

But if Young has made a career of confounding critics and fans alike by following his at times seemingly strange artistic whims, the bottom line is he always seems to find his way back home. He did it after the Ditch Trilogy in 1979 with Rust Never Sleeps, and he did it again after the Geffen years in the eighties with the album Freedom and its anthemic single “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

When all is said and done, the two things Young is best known for are the cranked to eleven, feedback-laden noise he makes with his trusty guitar Old Black on albums with his on-again, off-again band Crazy Horse like Rust and Ragged Glory, and the quieter, more introspective acoustic folk-pop of albums like Harvest and its equally gorgeous nineties successor Harvest Moon. As different as these two styles are, together they form the cornerstone of Young’s sound. The glue that binds them—and everything else that Neil Young does—is the songs.

Neil Young FAQ

Neil Young has had one of the most remarkable careers in the history of music. He hasn’t just outlived many of his contemporaries – some of whom were great inspirations for him (“From Hank to Hendrix,” as one of his own songs says); his artistry lives on through those he has inspired (Pearl Jam, Radiohead), and he remains relevant and vital well into his fifth decade of making music.

Young also continues to crank out records at a rate that would kill most artists half his age. Between his solo and live albums, and his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, his remarkable career has spanned well over 50 albums.

Although he has experimented in genres from syntho-pop to rockabilly, Neil Young is best known for the fully cranked, feedback-laden noise he makes with Crazy Horse (Rust Never Sleeps and Ragged Glory) and the more introspective folk-pop (Harvest). The glue that binds his work together is the songwriting. Because when it comes to writing great, timeless songs, Neil Young has few equals.

Neil Young FAQ is the first definitive guide to the music of this mercurial and methodical, enduring, and infuriating icon. From the Archives to Zuma and from the Ditch Trilogy to the Geffen years, this book covers every song and album in painstaking detail-including bootlegs and such lost recordings as HomegrownChrome DreamsToast, and Meadow Dusk.

Obscure facts and anecdotes from the studio to the road, along with dozens of rare images, make this book a must-have for Young fans.

Alchemy Setlist Shakeup

Guest Blogger: Glen Boyd, author of Neil Young FAQ, shares a performance by Neil Young on his blog

Alchemy Setlist Shakeup: Neil Young Dusts Off Human Highway In France

At last week’s Neil Young & Crazy Horse show in Biarritz, France on July 18, Neil surprised the crowd during the acoustic portion of the show, with the rarely played “Human Highway” from the Comes A Time album.

While there haven’t been many setlist shakeups on the European leg of the Alchemy tour, this would have to qualify as a fairly major one. According to a report on the Noise 11 website (which also posted the video we are re-posting here, just below):

“Young has only performed the song live 13 times in the past 30 years plus another three times with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, twice in 2003 and once in 1989.”

To watch the video, go to Glen Boyd’s blog!

 

Neil Young FAQ is the first definitive guide to the music of this mercurial and methodical, enduring, and infuriating icon. From the Archives to Zuma and from the Ditch Trilogy to the Geffen years, this book covers every song and album in painstaking detail-including bootlegs and such lost recordings as HomegrownChrome DreamsToast, and Meadow Dusk.

Obscure facts and anecdotes from the studio to the road, along with dozens of rare images, make this book a must-have for Young fans.

Neil Young’s Springsteen Tribute

Glen_Boyd_Neil Young_FAQ_Author photoGuest Blogger: Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ. Visit his blog for more Neil Young updates and discussions!

On the eve of the 2013 Grammy Awards, a whos-who of music royalty — spanning genres from rock to pop to country and beyond (Latin pop superstar Juanes was perhaps the least likely surprise, performing “Hungry Heart”) — paid tribute to Bruce Springsteen as MusiCares Person Of The Year.

Now, for those of you asking what all of this has to do with our usual focus on all things Neil Young…well, it just so happens that Neil (a past MusiCares honoree himself) was among the participants.

Not surprisingly — even with a star-studded lineup boasting names as diverse as Elton John, Sting, Mumford & Sons, Patti Smith, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw and the aforementioned Juanes — the burning question this week amongst Rusties was both simple and obvious:

What Bruce song would Neil play?

Earlier this week, an online poll posted by our good friends over at Thrashers Wheat favored “The River” (by 25%) — with choices like “Streets Of Philadelphia” (covered by Elton John at the event); “Atlantic City” (performed by Dixie Chick Natalie Maines and Ben Harper) and “The Ghost Of Tom Joad” (Jim James and Tom Morello) running not far behind.

But the one Bruce song most everyone seemed to agree was the least likely that Neil Young would perform was “Born In The USA”.

So which song do you think Neil — with Crazy Horse, no less — actually played?

Read Glen Boyd’s blog post to find out! [includes photo of set list]

Neil Young FAQ is the first definitive guide to the music of this mercurial and methodical, enduring, and infuriating icon. From the Archives to Zuma and from the Ditch Trilogy to the Geffen years, this book covers every song and album in painstaking detail-including bootlegs and such lost recordings as HomegrownChrome DreamsToast, and Meadow Dusk.

Happy Birthday, Neil Young!

Guest Blogger: Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ. Below is an excerpt from his blog neilyoungfaq.

Psychedelic Pill – Neil Young’s second album since reuniting with Crazy Horse earlier this year – is his most eagerly anticipated new recording in years, if not decades. The reasons for this are, of course, obvious. It’s a new recording of original material from Neil Young & Crazy Horse already.

The good news is that this is also Neil Young’s best album – Crazy Horse or otherwise – in a good long while.

One of the things that makes Neil Young, well, “Neil Young,” is the way that he has steadfastly – some would say stubbornly – followed his artistic muse over the course of his long and legendary career. But it has also just as often as not, alienated bandmates (including those in Crazy Horse); frustrated fans; and at one point, even caused his own label to sue him for failing to make “Neil Young” records.

The thing is, Neil Young always manages to find his way back, even following these long periods of what at least appears to be artistic flux. He last did it with Freedom in 1989, a “comeback” record made following nearly ten years of often confusing, confounding genre experimentation.

Keep reading this post at the author’s neilyoungfaq blog.

Neil Young FAQ

Neil Young has had one of the most remarkable careers in the history of music. He hasn’t just outlived many of his contemporaries – some of whom were great inspirations for him (“From Hank to Hendrix,” as one of his own songs says); his artistry lives on through those he has inspired (Pearl Jam, Radiohead), and he remains relevant and vital well into his fifth decade of making music.

Young also continues to crank out records at a rate that would kill most artists half his age. Between his solo and live albums, and his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, his remarkable career has spanned well over 50 albums.

AXS Denied

Guest Blogger: Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ. Below is an excerpt from his blog Neil Young FAQ.

For those of you who missed it — and for those of you who had the misfortune of trying to watch via the AXS-TV cable coverage, you missed quite a bit — Saturday’s Neil Young & Crazy Horse set from the Global Citizen Festival free concert in New York’s Central Park, was a barn-burner.

Following spirited sets from The Black Keys and Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters (who may or may not have announced they are breaking up), Neil Young & Crazy Horse took to the stage with a feedback drenched fifteen minute version of “Love & Only Love” from the classic Ragged Glory album.

From there, they went right into “Powderfinger” from Rust Never Sleeps. Next up was a pair of lengthy jams from the upcoming Psychedelic Pill — “Born In Ontario” and “Walk Like A Giant,” the latter ending with a torrent of noisy, thunderous feedback.

It was classic, trademark Crazy Horse.

The show closed with Neil Young & Crazy Horse joined by Grohl, the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, and the rest of the performers for a raucous version of “Rockin’ In The Free World.”

Keep reading at Glen Boyd’s Neil Young FAQ blog….

Neil Young FAQ

Neil Young has had one of the most remarkable careers in the history of music. He hasn’t just outlived many of his contemporaries – some of whom were great inspirations for him (“From Hank to Hendrix,” as one of his own songs says); his artistry lives on through those he has inspired (Pearl Jam, Radiohead), and he remains relevant and vital well into his fifth decade of making music.

Young also continues to crank out records at a rate that would kill most artists half his age. Between his solo and live albums, and his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, his remarkable career has spanned well over 50 albums.

Psychedelic Pill

Guest Blogger: Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ. Below is an excerpt from his blog neilyoungfaq.

Neil Young Journeys

For us, the DVD release of Neil Young Journeys comes as a bit of a surprise — not only coming so soon after its brief theatrical run, but also because of the fact that Neil Young Trunk Show — the second film in the Neil Young/Jonathan Demme trilogy (2006′s Heart Of Gold document was the first) — has yet to see a DVD/Blu-Ray release at all.

Neil Young Journeys of course documents Neil Young’s return to Toronto’s Massey Hall on the Twisted Road tour, a series of solo (but not always acoustic) shows, where Young showcased then unheard new material, most of which was eventually released on 2010′s Daniel Lanois produced Le Noise album. In Demme’s film, concert footage (which also includes the unreleased songs “Leia” and “You Never Call”), is interspersed with scenes showing Neil Young’s often emotional return to his childhood home in Omemee.

No word yet on a home video release for Trunk Show, although you can find a very lively, often humorous discussion speculating on this very subject over at Thrashers Wheat. Trunk Show captures Neil Young on the road during 2007/2008′s Chrome Dreams II Continental Tour, and also features some of the final performances from the late Ben Keith.

The Bridge School Concerts, October 20 & 21, 2012 at Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA.

This year’s 26th annual Bridge School benefit shows feature one of the more interesting lineups in recent memory. In addition to the expected set by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, the performers include Jack White, Sarah McLachlan, Foster The People, k.d. lang, Steve Martin and his bluegrass outfit The Steep Canyon Rangers, The Flaming Lips, and perhaps most interestingly, the touring Axl Rose-led outfit billing itself as Guns N’ Roses, despite the absence of any original members, save for Axl himself.

With Axl, virtually anything is possible — the show could either be brilliant or a complete disaster. But you have to think that if Axl respects the Bridge School enough to volunteer his band’s services, that he will be on his best behavior that night. Speaking of potentially entertaining trainwrecks, it will also be interesting to see if the Flaming Lips bust out one of their over-the-top performances of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon.

Keep reading this post on the neilyoungfaq blog.

Neil Young FAQ

Neil Young FAQ is the first definitive guide to the music of this mercurial and methodical, enduring, and infuriating icon. From the Archives to Zuma and from the Ditch Trilogy to the Geffen years, this book covers every song and album in painstaking detail-including bootlegs and such lost recordings as Homegrown, Chrome Dreams, Toast, and Meadow Dusk.

Obscure facts and anecdotes from the studio to the road, along with dozens of rare images, make this book a must-have for Young fans.

No Matter Where I Go…Now I Can Hear Thrasher On The Radio

Guest Blogger: Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ. Below is an excerpt from his blog neilyoungfaq.

After hyping a mysterious big announcement 24 hours prior, we were delighted to learn yesterday that our good friend — and author of the forward of our Neil Young FAQ book — Thrasher is coming soon to a radio near you.

Not to be confused with the legendary Rust Radio — the 24 hour, round the clock internet Neil Young radio station which brings nothing less than “All Neil, All The Time” — Thrashers Wheat Radio nonetheless is promising that “Feedback Is Back” when it makes its official debut this weekend on WBKM.org.

In addition to playing the latest, greatest — and no doubt, the rustiest — Neil Young music, Thrashers Wheat Radio promises that “every week we’ll ride the rusty human highway to bring you the best Neil Young news and reviews, rumors and musings….plus rare and unreleased tracks that will keep you rockin’ in the free world!”

Keep reading this post at neilyoungfaq.

Neil Young FAQ

Neil Young FAQ is the first definitive guide to the music of this mercurial and methodical, enduring, and infuriating icon. From the Archives to Zuma and from the Ditch Trilogy to the Geffen years, this book covers every song and album in painstaking detail-including bootlegs and such lost recordings as Homegrown, Chrome Dreams, Toast, and Meadow Dusk.

Obscure facts and anecdotes from the studio to the road, along with dozens of rare images, make this book a must-have for Young fans.

Separating the Wheat from the Rust (Neil Young FAQ Diaries)

Guest Blogger: Glen Boyd, author of Neil Young FAQ (Backbeat Books). The following is an excerpt from the author’s blog.

 As a relative newcomer to the ranks of published rock authors one of the more gratifying things I have experienced has been the incredible support from the fans of my chosen subject.Which, in this particular case, means those diehard Neil Young fans who have come to be known as the Rusties.

Quick history lesson here.

The “Rusties” first began life on the internet as the sort of wildly devoted Neil Young fan group who could quote you the most obscure song from Neil’s vast catalog line and verse without batting an eye, and who have seen the man himself in concert — often on multiple continents — more times than folks like you and I change underwear.

No matter.

What is important here, is…

Keep reading this article on the author’s blog!

Neil Young FAQ is the first definitive guide to the music of this mercurial and methodical, enduring, and infuriating icon. From the Archives to Zuma and from the Ditch Trilogy to the Geffen years, this book covers every song and album in painstaking detail-including bootlegs and such lost recordings as HomegrownChrome DreamsToast, and Meadow Dusk. Obscure facts and anecdotes from the studio to the road, along with dozens of rare images, make this book a must-have for Young fans.