Reading heavy peace, hearing ragged glory?

Tunes & Tix
2012-10-02T20:22:00Z 2012-10-04T10:25:05Z Reading heavy peace, hearing ragged glory?by Tim Shellberg
October 02, 2012 8:22 pm  • 

Tunes & Tix “The weakness of an autobiography is the lack of perspective of the person whos writing it, so for that reason, I’ll never write an autobiography. Never,” Neil Young to biographer Jimmy McDonough, “Shakey,” 2002.

Be it setting the record straight – “Shakey” is one of many Young bio’s released over the quarter century-plus, with authors including his father and step-sister – or seeing the windfall received by peers from Bob Dylan to Eric Clapton to Keith Richards who took in heavy windfall with their memoirs, last week saw Young’s autobiography. “Waging Heavy Peace,” hit bookstore shelves and made downloadable.

Coming a decade after McDonough’s “Shakey,” which is not only the best and most thorough of Young bios but one of the best-written tomes penned about any musical figure from any genre, Young’s “Wage,” to “Shakey” readers, reads like an update to McDonough’s bio. To his credit – and hardly a surprise to longtime Young fans – “Waging” is hardly a conventional autobiography, with it’s author as, if not more, interested on the here and now as he is on taking Journeys through his past and righting any past biographical wrongs.

My advise to readers? Start, if you haven’t already, with the stellar “Shakey” then follow with “Waging” for as complete a look at Young’s life thus far as we’re likely to get.

Putting down the pen for the guitar, though, all signs point to another musical peak in Young’s still evolving and near-peerless career in 2012.

Having realigned himself with his beloved gloriously ragged Crazy Horse for the first time in eight years, Young and his arguably most durable incarnation released the covers set, “Americana,” earlier this year. Next up, the double-disc set of original material, “Psychedelic Pill,” which is slated to be unleashed Oct. 30.

On tour this summer, Young and the Horse have leaned heavy on unreleased “Pill” material, with early verdicts from fans and scribes indicating the work amongst Young and Co’s finest.

As one of only a few artists from his era still challenging himself and remaining relevant, and if the praise thus far is on target, we’re in for a set with “Pill” comparable to Young/Horse classics from “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” to “Zuma” to “Ragged Glory.” My fingers are crossed.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Los Lobos, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11, United Center, 1901 W. Madison, Chicago. $53.45-$273.18. FYI: (312) 455-4500, UNITEDCENTER.COM.


For more information, contact the venues or ticket sales agencies listed below. Unless otherwise indicated, all shows are all-ages.

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, Nov. 21, Metro (18 and older, METROCHICAGO.COM)

Pink, March 9, United Center (UNITEDCENTER.COM)

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Jan. 18, Riviera Theatre (JAMUSA.COM)

Common, Nov.30, The Venue at Horseshoe Casino (21 and older, HORSESHOEHAMMOND.COM)

Wanda Jackson, Dec. 31, Double Door (21 and older, DOUBLEDOOR.COM)

James Iha, Nov. 20, Schubas (21 and older, SCHUBAS.COM)

Nas, Lauryn Hill, Nov. 14, Congress Theater (17 and older, CONGRESSCHICAGO.COM)

Five Iron Frenzy, Nov. 17, Riviera Theatre (JAMUSA.COM)

Martina McBride, Dec. 21, Chicago Theatre (THECHICAGOTHEATRE.COM)

Swedish House Mafia, Feb. 20, United Center (UNITEDCENTER.COM)

Richard Marx, Dec. 16, Park West (JAMUSA.COM)

The opinions expressed solely are those of the writer. Tim Shellberg can be reached at

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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