Neil Young rocks the book chat with 'Godmother of Punk' Patti Smith
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer/songwriter/guitarist Neil Young and 'Godmother of Punk,' singer/songwriter and National Book Award winning author Patti Smith took the stage before a packed audience of several hundred booksellers and publishing professionals at the 2012 BookExpo America trade show to swap stories about their parallel musical careers, beginning with the origins of Neil Young's rendition of Jesus Chariot and High Flyin' Bird from Young's recently released vinyl album, Americana, and following up with Young's non-linear, intimate memoir Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream, recently released in trade paperback (Penguin Group; July, 2013). Young then paid homage to his father, Canadian journalist, sportswriter, novelist Scott Alexander Young, who nicknamed his son 'Windy'. Smith then asked Young about the inspiration for the iconic anthem of the youth culture of the Vietnam era protests, Ohio, and the song's cultural significance, followed by Young's reflections on his love of trains. Smith noted that she and Young are 'kindred spirits' in their mutual love of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and the Animals as well as books, humanism, and country roads. Next Young ruminated on the songwriting genius of his idols Bob Neuwirth, Bob Dylan, the mystical power of rabbit holes and guitars, cars, and dream structures as his songwriting muse. Smith and Young wrapped their conversation with a breakdown of the impact of digital technology on musical innovation, referencing the new Crazy Horse vinyl album, Americana, comparing digital and vinyl as mere information is to human experience, or, as Young put it: 'like reducing Picasso to wallpaper'.
Book and Author Headlines
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