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Extended Audio Sample Waging Heavy Peace Audiobook, by Neil Young Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,127 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Neil Young Narrator: Keith Carradine Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9781101579459
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For the first time, legendary singer, songwriter, and guitarist Neil Young offers a kaleidoscopic view of his personal life and musical creativity. He tells of his childhood in Ontario, where his father instilled in him a love for the written word; his first brush with mortality when he contracted polio at the age of five; struggling to pay rent during his early days with the Squires; traveling the Canadian prairies in Mort, his 1948 Buick hearse; performing in a remote town as a polar bear prowled beneath the floorboards; leaving Canada on a whim in 1966 to pursue his musical dreams in the pot-filled boulevards and communal canyons of Los Angeles; the brief but influential life of Buffalo Springfield, which formed almost immediately after his arrival in California. He recounts their rapid rise to fame and ultimate break-up; going solo and overcoming his fear of singing alone; forming Crazy Horse and writing “Cinnamon Girl,” “Cowgirl in the Sand,” and “Down by the River” in one day while sick with the flu; joining Crosby, Stills & Nash, recording the landmark CSNY album, Déjà vu, and writing the song, “Ohio;” life at his secluded ranch in the redwoods of Northern California and the pot-filled jam sessions there; falling in love with his wife, Pegi, and the birth of his three children; and finally, finding the contemplative paradise of Hawaii. Astoundingly candid, witty, and as uncompromising and true as his music, Waging Heavy Peace is Neil Young’s journey as only he can tell it. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Elliptical and personal…Waging Heavy Peace eschews chronology and skips the score-settling and titillation of other rocker biographies. Still, Young shows a little leg and has some laughs…As the book progresses, the operatics of the rock life give way to signal family events, deconstructions of his musical partnerships and musings on the natural world. It is less a chronicle than a journal of self-appraisal.”

    New York Times

  • “Terrific: modest, honest, funny and frequently moving…Waging Heavy Peace takes the form of a diary, a life-in-the-day structure that gives Mr. Young room to maneuver, as he takes us on a wander round his memory palace.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Revealing, even (at times) oddly beautiful, a stream-of-consciousness-meditation on where Young has been, where he thinks he's going and, perhaps most revealing, where he is right now…It is compelling to see a figure as prominent as Young—arguably one of the five or ten most influential figures in the history of rock 'n' roll—express himself in such an unfiltered way.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Full of casual asides, unpredictable tangents and open-ended questions as he looks back on his life at age sixty-six....Young appears to be setting down his memories in real time as they occur to him…Dryly hilarious...poignant…Waging Heavy Peace shows that Young is still in full possession of that stubborn, brilliant, one-of-a-kind instrument. He doesn't always go exactly where you want him to, or stay long enough once he gets there, but did anyone really expect anything else?”

    Rolling Stone

  • “Surreal…Fittingly, Peace unfolds like a blustery Crazy Horse jam…occasionally hitting on an enrapturing revelation …a contradictory tale…refreshing.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Straight from the wandering mind and pure heart of Neil Young… Fascinating.”


  • “This in itself is lovely, as reading this book likely is a close as most of us will get to riding with Young in his bus, shooting the breeze, reminiscing.”

    Winnipeg Free Press

  • “An inspirational account of tragedy, triumph, and toy trains…If you love Neil Young you will love his autobiography…There is humor in his approach, and a preoccupation with the feeling of things; of sound, and with the world of soul and spirit…[Young’s] is a hero’s story; a man put through trial after trial who is still fighting at the end with humor, courage, and rage to be the most powerful and genuine artist he can possibly be.”

    Suzanne Vega

  • A #1 New York Times bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jordan Simpson | 2/17/2014

    " Great book for Neil Young fans. Dont expect the best writing, but you will learn a lot about his life as an musician, entrepreneur, and father. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 kschmelz | 2/16/2014

    " Revelatory if you're a fan of his music, nonsensical to the uninitiated "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Pi | 2/11/2014

    " I love the man's music and I don't regret reading this, but it's a bit of a head scratcher. Have you heard of Chris Ware's Building Stories? The book is actually a box of independent pieces, meant to be picked up and read in any order, but to form a cohesive whole in whatever order you read them in. Young's book is like that as well: more of a collection of thoughts than a journey, told in whatever order they occurred to him, without any regard for linearity or theme. Some of it comes across as a bit of an advertisement for his current projects: the Lincvolt electric car, and his crusade to restore musical fidelity (called PureTone through most of the book and then Pono in the last hundred pages). There's surprisingly little about the music itself, or songwriting. What there is of songwriting is mostly about his fear that he won't be able to write now that he's sober. Beyond that there's little introspection: most of the book is composed of tributes to friends and musicians, and tributes to well-loved vehicles. I'm pretty sure there are far more words devoted to his hearse than his guitar. Shakey: Neil Young's Biography goes into more depth in general. But why do we read a musician's biography or autobiography? Is it for the name-dropping? For his recollections of his glory days? Salacious stories or salvation stories? If it's to get a glimpse into a mind that wrote some of my favorite songs, then this book is it, in all its rambling, ragged glory. We're used to linearity, but he's spent his whole life composing in cycles of chorus and verse. I think this book is just another song. Probably a Crazy Horse song, with meandering instrumental passages and occasional returns to theme. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick Terwilliger | 2/10/2014

    " Always nice to hear stories from the artist's perspective. Seems genuine. Bogs down a bit with all the Lincvolt and Pono sections...I get it, you're passionate about clean energy and sound fidelity! Otherwise a fun read by a great artist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron Wheeler | 2/5/2014

    " Always liked Neil and his music...was interesting to read about past dealings with musicians that I have grown up listening to...surprised to read about the family history of medical issues...not something that was widely known (at least for me). I would recommend this to anyone interested in Neil's history and point of view when applied to the music scene, past and present... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas Ziegler | 2/4/2014

    " I'm a huge Neil Young fan and I love this book. Yes, it has a strange erratic writing style, but I like Neil's stories and his sense of humour. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 2/3/2014

    " I think it helps if you are a fan but this is really a lovely series of thoughts, memories and aspirations of an artist who has influenced so many. The personal problems he has dealt with are significant but he is enriched by them. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Clint | 1/31/2014

    " Had a few good moments, but just had the feeling that not much effort went into this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz Hahn | 1/20/2014

    " Having a conversation with Neil young is what this book is all about! I love how he thinks, what he learned and experienced and how his journey transpired! Keep writing ! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawna | 1/2/2014

    " Full of info about music, cars, toy trains, Canada, alternative fuel, etc. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ray Charbonneau | 11/30/2013

    " The writing is a 2 at best. It loops around lazily, repeating itself over and over. But the Neil is at least a 4. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michael Laxton | 11/16/2013

    " I think I should not read autobiographies any more "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eileen | 10/13/2013

    " I've always been a huge Neil Young fan. Either he has an uncanny memory or he kept a diary. There's a lot of detail in this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rob Smith | 7/13/2013

    " A great companion to Shakey. Neil doesn't go into as much depth as you'd like sometimes, but he's a good writer and a tells a good story. He's still burnin' out and not fading away. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 6/9/2013

    " A "kaleidoscopic view," indeed. Mr. Young has had an absolutely fascinating musical journey and I was hoping to learn more about that in his own words. The book was okay... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jim Cowman | 2/13/2013

    " An old man with a computer writes, "LOL." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George Abbs | 10/21/2012

    " I haven't been that impressed by Neil Young for decades, but this book is a delight. Conversational and disorganised. Neil is a natural writer who is respectful and loving to the people in his life, both family and those he has worked with. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Foley | 9/26/2012

    " An interesting autobiography. A must for anyone who likes Neil young. This wasn't a typical sex, drugs and rock-n-roll book. If you only listen to the music you miss out of the films, activism and cutting edge technology. Truly a renaissance man and hippy dreamer. "

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About the Author

Neil Young’s music and songwriting—which span forty years and thirty-four studio albums of rock and roll, folk, and country, with shadings of blues, techno, and other styles—are among the most enduring and popular in modern times. From his early days with Buffalo Springfield through his solo career and collaborations with Crazy Horse and Crosby, Stills & Nash, as well as dozens of other notable musicians and groups, he is acclaimed for both his musical talents and his artistic integrity. With a major hit in every decade since the sixties, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice (as a solo artist in 1995 and as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997). A well-known political activist, environmentalist, and philanthropist, he has been involved in several causes, notably cofounding Farm Aid and the Bridge School, which assists children with physical impairments and communication needs.