Try an audiobook on us

Waging Heavy Peace

Narrated by: Keith Carradine
Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

The perfect gift for music lovers and Neil Young fans, telling the story behind Neil Young's legendary career and his iconic, beloved songs. 

“I think I will have to use my time wisely and keep my thoughts straight if I am to succeed and deliver the cargo I so carefully have carried thus far to the outer reaches.” (Neil Young, from Waging Heavy Peace)

Legendary singer and songwriter Neil Young’s storied career has spanned more than 40 years and yielded some of the modern era’s most enduring music. Now, for the first time ever, Young reflects upon his life - from his Canadian childhood, to his part in the '60s rock explosion with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, through his later career with Crazy Horse and numerous private challenges. 

An instant classic, Waging Heavy Peace is as uncompromising and unforgettable as the man himself. 

©2012 Neil Young (P)2012 Penguin Audio

More from the same

What members say

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sabine
  • 05-11-12

the ultimate entertainer...

What made the experience of listening to Waging Heavy Peace the most enjoyable?

You know, I was never a huge Neil fan of his music, I really liked it of course but not like some people I know, but I admired him, his longevity, his talent being undeniable, a few stories I've heard and we were just at a farm near his place. Somehow I became intrigued by him and when I read that he'd written a book I thought I'd check it out. Not sure what I was expecting but his take on music, music production, the state of music actually wowed me. Being a musician also I was so happy to hear what he was saying about all that. I was braced for a good story sure, but it is a great story and I'm so glad he put it all in writing. His life has been amazing, his mind behind the song writing and decisions he's made in his life so wonderful to discover. After listening to this book I now want to listen to all his music again, in a new way, like he's someone I know now, like I'd met him and really liked him and wanted to know all about his art. I feel this is the best autobiography I've ever read (listened to). How great that we have people in the music industry have something to say that is interesting, thoughtful, inspiring - people making art not just people who want fame and to make money. I do hope though that Neil makes money from this and all his ventures for himself and that he also does good things with it. I have a new warm heart for Neil Young.

What did you like best about this story?

Neil Young's take on music production. Talking about getting back to good music 'sound'. Inspiring. I also loved the way he spoke of his family, his father, his daughter with such love and respect. It made me research his daughter too also a wonderful artist.

What does Keith Carradine bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I like Keith Carradine's voice. I liked that it felt respectful and was easy to listen to and not distracting from the story but felt more like Neil was speaking.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It surprised me and delighted me.

Any additional comments?

Thank you Neil Young for being the eternal entertainer with something solid to say.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • thawstone
  • 02-12-12

Great book for Neil Young Fans

I recently read Clapton's autobiography and found it a complete bore. Almost the entirety of the book was about his failed relationships and lifelong addictions - who cares. Neil Young, on the other hand, is a fascinating well rounded personality. Not only does he get into the music and musicians of the most musically influential period of our time, but we find out about his obsessions with model trains, electric cars, and a new high resolution digital music delivery system as well as his battle with epilepsy.
Neil Young obviously wrote this book without any help and it shows. The story wanders from subject to subject and jumps around in time like a sci-fi movie, but somehow it all works. I never got lost and never lost interest, however, I doubt that non-fans would find this book worthwhile.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-02-13

Should have been a BLOG

Any additional comments?

On the positive side, I must say that if you are a Neil Young fan, this book might interest you. He sounds sincere, and gives lots of little details about his life that perhaps his mother and his fan club members are interested about.

For the rest of us, the book is big disappointment. It has no storyline, no flow, it is just a collection of disconnected ramblings and stories, much like any blog. However, since he is Neil Young, he can put it in a book format and sell it. Some of the chapters are outrageous in their banality, like the one where he spends pages talking about the time his car broke down and he had to wait for a tow truck on the road. Or his passion for toy trains. Or the dozens of commercials he does about his sound software company/project. I almost quit reading the book three times, but wanted to finish just to write a fair review.

I am a enthusiast for the 1968-1973 golden era of rock and folk music, and I expected to find interesting facts about CSNY and other singers of the time. There is almost nothing about it. I mean, the guy lived in the most interesting time in rock and roll history but instead of writing great stories he spends his time talking about the decoration on the walls of his ranch house. I expect to learn something when I finish a book, but in this case I am in the same place I was on the music business or the musical community of Young's time.

I wonder what happens with these great rock stars when they age. He reminds me of Sammy Haggar and his boring deals with vodka and mountain bikes. Their lives become much like the ones of successful retired accountants or Wall Street business men, full of super expensive and futile hobbies and no real intelectual or artistic pursuits. Hey, come and see my $10 million dollar wall display of baseball memorabilia (in his case a car collection). More often than not, they also change into super beta types, drooling over their second wives who seem to dominate them with their strong personalities (think about Sinatra). It is like a curse, the curse of the old bourgeois. I wonder if they ever were visionaries at all, or if they were just lucky to strike a few good songs.

PS: I listened to the audio book, and Keith Carradine does a superb job of narration. It is a shame it was wasted on this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alfred
  • 19-10-12

way to go Neil

If you could sum up Waging Heavy Peace in three words, what would they be?

truth, clarity, heavy

What did you like best about this story?

This is a work of art in itself .... Neil wonders if he can write anymore since he has stopped getting high first .... for me his songs have always been about truth and getting to the heart of the matter ... he has done it here

What about Keith Carradine’s performance did you like?

The performance was okay dispite the fact that some Canadian place names were given distinctive new pronunciations.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I am a fan of Neil Young's songs for 45 years or so. He knows how to get a reaction from people whether it be the words or the musical notes and this book is no different. This book is for his fans and he has given a context for his lifelong body of work. I have read numerous other autobiographies and this one is like no other. This book is about life, personal demons and passion and not about ego and fame.

Any additional comments?

I pray that it is not his way of saying good bye.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JoJo Blanco
  • 20-10-12

Neil Being Neil

What did you love best about Waging Heavy Peace?

I love the fact that it is Neil talking in his own singular voice about his passions. Neil Young has been my favorite rock star for many years because he does things in his own way and his songs speak the truth regardless of what anyone else thinks. He is one of the few of his generation who hasn't sold out his music and is still vital in trying to make the world a better place. The book comes across as Neil talking to you as a friend,;not a dictation of the facts.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Neil' son Ben who's bravery is incredibly inspirational. He has lived a full life in spite of his severe disabilities and has helped a lot of people in similar circumstances.

Have you listened to any of Keith Carradine’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to an audio book read by Mr. Carradine before, but he did justice to the book-great job.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

WE have the power to change things for a better world.

Any additional comments?

Neil thanks many people who have touched his life in this book-thank you Neil, for reminding me to be grateful!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 15-11-12

If you're a Neil Young fan, this is excellent

And excellent maybe if you're not. While there's a lot of stuff that is meaningful to the artist/musician alone (his obsession with cars, with creating bringing back better sound in our music devices), there are enough moments of genuine passion, cool rock history, behind-the-scenes stories of his fellow musicians, to make this a book to recommend to anyone who loves audible memoir.

I almost wish I'd bought hard copy because many of the things he writes are better than his songs and I wanted to underline them for further reflection, which I don't normally do. Young is a good prose writer, so good in fact, that I, who have written more than a dozen of my own books, including a memoir, have to work not to imitate his unique cadences. Some of the prose is pedestrian stoner rock icon grooviness. But the guy can really write, and not just songs.

If you want to know what it's like to be in Neil Young's head, this takes you there. It was a real pleasure to be inside the head of such a thoughtful, kind, and grateful man and a true artist. What an inspiration for doing what you care about and f--k it if people like it.

I wish he'd read it, but as he shows, he has better things to do with his time and I'm glad he does. Keith Carradine does an excellent job filling in. Young could have at least recorded the preface, it's one of the main things the guy does, record, after all.

Hey, Neil Young, if you read this, here's a vote that you keep on writing books. Your dad would be proud.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 13-09-18

rambling

really just a rambling advertisement of some pretty cool ideas and aspirations. I'll try another book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • P-Man
  • 26-02-18

I never thought I would be bored by anything from Neil Young

One of my most favorite singers and songwriters ever, I was really looking forward to this. But it feels rambling and without heart or passion. Not much about music either, at least the first several chapters. Just random thoughts. Bummer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Heath Allyn
  • 11-02-18

Maybe if you are a die hard Neil Young fan...maybe

If you are a die hard Neil Young fan then maybe you might find some interesting nuggets here. Personally, I found the book to be about 25% interesting stories, 25% boring, meandering, and sometimes repeated stories, 25% repeated commercials for the things he's developing and selling (Pono music player, Linkvolt electric car), and 25% railing and complaining about things, mostly digital and streaming music and how crappy it is. The statistics he often cites to support this I find suspect and at best, misunderstood and misrepresented ("CDs only contain 15% of the information of high quality masters,"...this is discussion all its own of how that statement is possibly misrepresented).

Keith Carradine is a wonderful actor...which makes it all the more baffling how he is such a terrible narrator. Every sentence sounds artificial and is delivered in almost exactly the same cadence and tonality.No variance or naturalism at all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Challenged
  • 27-08-15

Waging Sour Grapes

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Waging Heavy Peace wasn't good, I expected more meat on the bone , a little more probing insight from Neil Young.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting parts of the story center around Neil Young's relationships with some of the famous musicians he worked with or had relationships with over the course of his long career. Namely, Steven Stills.

Did Keith Carradine do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Keith Carradine's performance was excellent.

Could you see Waging Heavy Peace being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Never.

Any additional comments?

I am a fan of Neil Young's music and iconic entertainer/musician autobiographies and biographies. Right off the bat, the problems with Waging Heavy Peace stem from Neil Young's lack of ability to stick to a story telling format that works. There is no coherent thread that holds this story together or leads the reader anywhere. There are tangents upon tangents about his old cars and toy trains that lead absolutely nowhere - technical details about toy train engines should've been held over for another book. Conversely, he seems dismissive and glosses over his long string of commercial failures, choosing instead to blame record companies instead of himself. There actually is one common thread - Young's constant complaining about the lack of fidelity in today's music. He overcomes this by shamelessly plugging his business endeavor, LincVolt.
There is also a surprising lack of deep understanding and insight regarding his impact on music and songwriting. As he described his litany of medical problems, I sensed that perhaps he should not have written this book alone - he would have benefitted from hiring a ghost writer to add cohesion to his mess of jumbled thoughts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful