Neil Young: Waging Heavy Peace

Neil Young
Waging Heavy Peace
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“I highly recommend it to any old rocker who is out of cash and doesn’t know what to do next,” Neil Young jokes in a moment indicative of the consistently intimate, self-aware tone in Waging Heavy Peace. Young plays the role of novice writer in his first book, with his father, a journalist himself, serving as one of the many ghosts that infiltrate and inform the narrative throughout.

Old age haunts this book, with deaths of friends and family seeping onto its every page. Young’s own mortality also gives him occasion to break from the conversational into the rare, touching literary moment, like when he passes a curiously named establishment on the side of the road. “Retirement Motel, reads a neon sign.” Young writes. “The vacancy light is there, but I can’t make out whether the sign is lit or not because the sun is hitting it.” But Waging Heavy Peace is about as forward looking a memoir as the storied veteran could have written. He spends as much time explaining to the reader his current projects, specifically, his idea for high resolution digital audio, as he does revisiting past trials and glories.