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Shakey: Neil Young's Biography Kindle Edition
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“Just as unmanageable, hard-headed, overzealous, and ultimately endearing as Young himself . . . A maddening, beguiling portrait of an elusive maverick . . . A glorious mess.” —San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“An exhilarating match-up of author and subject makes Shakey a great, gripping read. . . . A must-read for anyone who cares about Neil Young.” —Rolling Stone
“Staggeringly thorough . . . McDonough gets it all: the chaos, the grandeur, the good times and dreary deaths, the alcohol- and drug-besotted recording sessions, the broken hearts, and the sheer unfettered joy of a seriously gifted artist.” —Salon
“The definitive book on the subject.” —The Washington Post
“Exhaustive, quarrelsome, and sometimes maddening . . . there are revelations in abundance.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Where the average rock-star biography is a tepid, toothless thing, McDonough has approached his task like a literary Terminator, steaming ahead with lethal thoroughness. One of the most penetrative studies of a rock icon ever written.” —Times (London)
“A mammoth portrait of the artist and lively exhumation of rock n roll history. . . . [McDonough] traces a rich turbulent career in vivid detail.” —The New York Times
“Imaginatively written...not only is Shakey an extraordinary literary feat of research and affection and endurance, it's an insight into the art of biography itself.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Delves further into the life and motives of one of music's most private individuals than anythi...
- ASIN : B000Q67KGU
- Publisher : Anchor (May 13, 2003)
- Publication date : May 13, 2003
- Language : English
- File size : 3513 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 818 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #267,168 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Much of it is THE BEST biography ever! A wonderful format intertwined with "innaresting" conversations with Neil. At the same time it pauses way to frequently to paint portraits of each character. Four pages of comments from artist about Elliot!? That's a real who cares picture that could paint itself through time.
It also struck me JmcD was not much of a fan which works well on one level but ends up interjecting negative opinions on recordings. Key thing is NY's market much of the time was high school long hair, flannel wearing, Red Wing boot, stoner males. WE LOVED 4 Way Street! WE LOVED the extended loose jams! Heck at the time before I understood guitar I considered NY one of THE best guitarist EVER! Hendrix like! On one level this is true as he get right to it with very little extra. But of course he's an average picker who took mediocre guitar abilities to the top of the heap!
Has great in depth stories about each album especially the Ditch Trilogy and pulls no punches on sensitive topics like Witten and Berry with NY chiming in on each.
NY steps up each time and while he'd take long breaks and who know what's not included or refused by NY there are plenty of personal opinions and truths to really make for some unsettling real reading.
It's a long book and can be intense. I had to take a break after Tonights the Night to digest it all!
Not perfect but a daring unique biography!
Jimmy McDonough is pretty clearly a near-superfan of Young, and that's where many of the less than stellar reviews of this book come into play. Yes, Jimmy often inserts himself into the story in ways that many would argue a biographer should not. And yes, Jimmy is sometimes willing to gloss over the train wrecks Neil left behind him at the urging of "the muse" or whatever fleeting feeling he had at a given moment, sometimes ignoring that his actions did indeed have consequences for people other than himself.
The thing is this: McDonough's book is so painstakingly detailed and researched that attempting to write anything coming close to it for sheer completeness would be folly. McDonough also manages to scrape together a pretty cohesive timeline of "the ditch years" from '73 to '75, a time Neil has more and more smoothed over as a good 'ol boys-being-boys adventure with a lot of drugs, booze, and bad decisions. McDonough paints a much less pretty picture, with a lot more gritty detail and emotion - this was a time of sadness, anger, and desperation in Neil's career, and I think Jimmy hits it right on the head when he says no one really knew if Neil was going to make it out. They were dicey times because of his lifestyle, as dicey as they ever got. There's stuff in there that Neil just won't talk about today because, as he says in his own autobiographies, he could be a really angry, irrational guy. There's a reason Jimmy and Neil were so on-again off-again while he was writing this book - Jimmy was poking around in history where Neil wasn't comfortable. Hell, Neil threatened to sue him if he published for a while there in the 90s.
Could the book be shorter? Absolutely. I can't even get into Neil's toy train obsession - it's tedious stuff. And the latter years portions of the book are a little tainted by McDonough's self-involvement in Neil's life. Granted, doing a biography on Neil Young probably put 5 extra years on Jimmy's face, so I think he gets a pass on some of it. This cannot have been an easy book to finish.
It's not perfect, but it's as close as we'll get. If you want a book that doesn't ignore the ugly parts of Neil's career, even relishes in them at times, this is one of a kind, and always will be.
After reading the book, I felt encouraged to explore his catalogue more and was completely blown away by the so-called ditch trilogy. Those three albums have since become huge favorites of mine. Weird how a book, rather than the sounds, got me into an exploration of the music. But here I am.