Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Waging Heavy Peace

My son, Tommy Nellen, gave me Neil Young’s Waging Heavy Peace   (Part 2) on my last birthday in October. I took my time reading it. I wanted to savor it. During a bike trip to Staunton, Va, last October a fellow rider and I were speaking of Young at breakfast. He and his wife from Belfast, Northern Ireland had made this trip at this time to see Young in Pittsburgh. He had already read the book. I told him I had it, but hadn’t started it. All he said was he liked it. At this point I’m going to start all over again from the beginning. It’s a cold week here on the beach in Maryland, so I’ll read it while sitting in front of the roaring fires I’m having in my lovely fireplace. I love this fireplace and my fire pit in the backyard and my backyard which gives me such a glorious view of the night sky and the moon sweeps across when it is roaming the sky. I am 8 miles from the beach. This is my spiritual home, the place where I am centered and where I commune with the Spirits daily.
Part of this new beginning for me is getting my LP’s and 45’s out of the boxes and shelved. Then I need to replace the turntable I broke in my last move. I haven’t heard these vinyl memories in years. I know the sound is better than my CD’s. I’ve refused the MP3 era, except what I have on my computers and through online music sharing programs. The local brewery has vinyl night ever Tuesday. Now that my vinyl has been freed, I will be partaking in these evenings. I’m fascinated by Young’s desire to promote Pono, a music system that will rejuvenate listening to vinyl quality in the digital age, if I understand what he is trying to do. At 65, Young is bouncing back and forth between then and now and constantly letting us know “I’ll keep you posted.” This book is his way of getting on with the ideas that flow inside that genius mind. He is multitasking and is straight especially after some of the medical emergencies he has recently had. He’s back to pure, no drugs, no tobacco, and no alcohol. Like Crosby. I’ve loved him with CSN, Horse, and solo and am now enjoying getting the back-story on these times.
As he talks about the Green Board, a tool that he hopes brings him back to life, and Feelgoods, the garage housing his extensive car collection, each has a story, I’m reminded of my situation now in this rented house with my possessions. This is the first time in decades when I have all my possessions in one place. I’m unpacking my life, box by box and slowly reassembling myself. I love the friendly conversational method of this book. His ultimate obsession is LincVolt, the ’59 Lincoln Continental that will resurrect Henry Ford’s idea of using biomass as fuel for automobiles. Biomass and ethanol to power this monster and Pono as the sound system. Yes, he is certainly a dreamer, but he is doing things to make these ideas real.
The conversational tone is magnificent as if it were me and Neil just having a conversation, like best buds. He does start lots of things. Attaching memories and events in life to ‘things’ and people is a common attribute we all share. Young shares these with us and some are very personal and damning at the same time. Writing this book has to be cathartic and perhaps the first time he has actually said these things to himself as he reveals them to us. It’s very spiritual for him and us. It is making me reflect on my friends who have passed and on some things I possess because they have a story.  One is an old gray Neil Young & Crazy Horse hat a former girlfriend threw at me after going to a concert without me. We did a lot of CSNY concerts together and a couple of Crazy Horse as well. We saw the Greendale debut at Madison Square Garden. It’s the only thing I have from that relationship. I wear it to every Young concert I go to and interchange it with my Imagine Peace hat these days.
Young certainly does ramble on and on, repeats himself, tells the same story a couple of ways or the same way. And he jumps around in time, jettisons off into another story in another time in the middle of one story. When he says “I’ll keep you posted” on something, he doesn’t always do that.  This has certainly been an intimate and entertaining look into the life of a man I love. Thank you Neil. Thank you Tommy Nellen for getting me this book.

No comments: