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November 23, 2012 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young

Waging Heavy Peace by Neil YoungWaging Heavy Peace
by Neil Young
Narrated by Keith Carradine

Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publish Date: September 25, 2012
Format: Audio, 12 hours | 30 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy
Rating: 4 of 5

Neil Young is still going strong. With his entertaining and engaging memoir, he proves he hasn’t burned out or faded away.

Neil looks back on his life, the good, the bad, his mistakes and his achievements interspersed with opinions and stories in a stream of conscious manner rather than a chronological life story. He talks about his family, his children, how his father’s influence eventually led him to writing and of course the music. He talks about many influential people within the music industry, most of which I was unfamiliar with, but that more ardent fans will appreciate.

He doesn’t shy away from discussing personal issues like his son’s medical problems and relationships with the women in his life. He talks about giving up all recreational drugs and drinking, fearing a resultant loss of creativity, and worries of one day suffering from dementia like his father.

I am not always a big fan of the rock star memoir genre often finding them too heavy on the sex, drugs and groupie tales, but this was not like that. Sure, there were some tales of wild parties and drug fueled times, but told in context and not glorified.

This was more than just a nostalgic trip back though the 70s and 80s. Not only has Neil Young been an influential musician and a supporter of environmental and philanthropic causes, but he continues to be an influence on the future with his plans to create a better system of audio delivery. He is developing a new method called Pono (originally called Pure Tone) which will deliver studio quality sound. He doesn’t try to hide is distaste for mp3’s low quality, how the shuffle button ruined the album, and how YouTube makes things more difficult for performers. He returns to the topic of music quality a few times throughout the book and if you don’t about Pono by the end, you haven’t been paying attention!

Read by Keith Carradine in a conversational tone that matches the stream of consciousness style of writing, the story moves along at a fast pace, keeping the listener engaged. Told in a single voice, this is an easy audio to follow and was a great choice for me while I multitasked around the house. The one criticism I have with audio versions of memoirs is that I miss seeing the photos that are often included in the print book. Some audio versions are now including a pdf file of the photos but sadly this one did not. I did take a look at the print copy and it does have a photo at the beginning of each chapter, many of them from the 70s and 80s, something avid fans would appreciate having.

Enjoyable and entertaining, music and memoir fans will find this a satisfying read.

Source: Review copy.
© 2012 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.


Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Nov 23 2012 2:02 pm

    I’m a HUGE Neil Young fan so I’m really looking forward to this one. I’m so glad to see it’s good.


  2. Jeff / Nov 24 2012 3:05 pm

    Nice review! I’ve been a fan of Neil Young since his days with the Buffalo Springfield in the late 60s. I may have to give this one a listen.


  3. stacybuckeye / Dec 2 2012 5:12 pm

    This looks like a great one for audio!


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