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'


Neil Young: 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

A 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.



Inside Neil Young's Private World


Excerpted from RS 992,

January 26th, 2006


Neil Young: Dark Side of the Moon


Harp Magazine

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


Forever Young

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 Concert


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.


Prairie Wind Lyrics


Resurrection of Neil Young, Continued

September 28, 2005

In these additional questions exclusively on,
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 Pictures

Prairie 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 release.

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 like that."

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 Jonathan Demme.

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 neuroradiology.

"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 songs.

"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 "Harvest."

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


Farm Aid 2005

Greendale The Book


Release Date
December 10th, 2004



Greendale 2004 Tour & Movie Reviews


Neil Young Pits Idealism Against Powerco

Greendale Tour and Movie Reviews 2004

Greendale Tour and Movie Reviews 2004

More Tour and Movie Reviews for 2004

More Tour and Movie Reviews for 2004

Greendale Second Edition: Inside Greendale





NPR: Fresh Air 

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Part II: Listen To Neil Young


Neil Young News

A news blog for Neil Young fans
from Thrasher's Wheat with concert 
and album updates, reviews, analysis,
and other Rock & Roll ramblings.


Neil Young Lyrics


Rusted Highway .... a Neil Young Community

RustedSister's Gallery


Happy 4th of July - Neil Young Fans

Save The Planet For Another Day

NPR Transcripts: Neil Young & Greendale


Thursday, March 25, 2004 

 Part 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 

Musician 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 
and family.

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. 


Pictures From Greendale Movie

Greendale Lyrics

A Few Special Greendale Reviews

Neil Young News  - Australia

German: Where The Devil is Greendale




Neil Young 

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."





Rolling Stones Magazine Interview

The News According To Neil Young


Hyper Rust Never Sleeps

Bad News Beat

Sugar Mountain: Neil Young Set Lists

Human Highway - a Neil Young Web Site & Mailing List

Thrasher's Wheat - Neil Young Archives



Contact Information


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but a Greendale Fan!


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