Neil Young On The Zach Sang Show

“Neil Young Talks World Record, Harvest 50th Anniversary, Elon Musk, Joni Mitchell & Climate Change”:

You’ve got to listen to this.

I’d never even heard of this guy Zach Sang before today, but this interview was referenced in my Twitter feed.

I know, I should delete my account. But you’ve got to realize, I’m a writer, I’m at home, this is my socialization. I’m not in the halls at school, not in the office… Actually, over the weekend I had to watch the SiriusXM sexual harassment video, and during the hour and twenty minutes it took me to do so I realized I could never work in an office. Oh, I could work in an office, I’m not afraid of adhering to the rules, it’s just that I’m not good at playing the game. You know, the ass-kissing, the politics. And I can’t see being a cog in the machine, makes no sense to me. I’ve got to BELIEVE in my work.

Have you been reading the latest take on Elon Musk? How this is how he always does it, comes in, cleans house and then makes everybody work 24/7? Why can’t people just give up, why do they have to believe in him, he’s just human. But my point here is when Tesla hit crunch time, when the company was on the ropes, when they had to push out the Model 3, everybody was on a mission, they were willing to work around the clock, they were going to change the world. And they did, the rest of the auto industry followed in Tesla’s footsteps, whether Tesla itself sustains or not. But do the employees truly believe in the mission of Twitter? What exactly IS the mission of Twitter?

And actually, Neil Young talks about Musk, calls him a genius, but then takes a swipe at him re Tesla, saying Musk just glommed on to an already existing enterprise and…

So I saw this tweet that took me to a video and Neil Young was saying…don’t work unless there’s an inspiration.

Actually, I found the clip, on TikTok, the one that got me to listen to the entire interview, watch it here:

And it’s not a big investment, it’s only fourteen seconds, but it’s the best thing I’ve heard about creativity this year!

You know when you do something great. And if you don’t, you never have. And it always happens as a result of a lightning bolt, you’re energized and have to do it right then, or you lose it. Sitting down to write with nothing to say…that’s never great. Ginning it up from nothing doesn’t really work. I’m talking about greatness, the peak. This is far different from writing camps, Nashville writing sessions. 

And maybe we’ve lost the concept of the artistic genius, with it being all about money and image and…

Neil Young talks about that too. How he always wants to move on to the next thing. And sometimes he does good stuff, and sometimes bad, but he doesn’t care what anybody thinks.

That’s very hard to do. But you kinda believe it.

But Neil does undercut his inspiration point a bit by saying he wrote the songs for “Mirror Ball,” his collaboration with Pearl Jam, in his hotel room the night before. Then again, I must admit, some of the greatest stuff comes when you’re up against the wall. You know you have to produce, you’ve got to quit agonizing and lay it down.

And it turns out this guy Zach Sang was on Nickelodeon… I looked him up earlier today, but I’ve forgotten the rest of his resumé. And Zach is starstruck, overexcited and at times overwhelmed, but he asks the questions nobody else does.

And Neil Young is so RELAXED!

These musicians have been interviewed for decades, they get the same questions, and these interrogators are so busy getting their own points across that the artist just lays back, disconnects, just spews some stuff, waiting until the whole thing ends.

But Neil knows this guy is wet behind the ears, out of his depth, and therefore he’s not on guard, not worried about gotchas, like I said, he’s RELAXED, and it’s palpable. It’s like he came to your house and sat on the couch and you talked and it was off the record.

So Zach asks Neil about the new record, whereupon Neil says it’s a long story, AND THEN HE TELLS THE LONG STORY! But he’s waxing rhapsodic, he’s in the groove, he’s almost detached, in his element, and that’s what makes it so great, you get INSIGHT!

I mean Neil is talking about the albums he never finished. Talking about all the stuff he normally doesn’t, he’s not on full tilt promote. He’s being nice to Zach, Neil is anything but prickly.

Not that I agree with everything Neil says. But we’ve all got our predilections.

But I have never ever heard Neil Young like this before. And you haven’t either, unless you’re a friend of his. 

Once again, all I can say is LISTEN!

P.S. Speaking of abandoning Twitter, you should see what Jack White had to say: I mean Jack is famous for standing up for vinyl, but I don’t remember him going on record like this. Kudos!

P.P.S. It’s amazing to me how the reporters for the “New York Times” end up at the “Washington Post.” First it was Taylor Lorenz, the social media reporter, and now it’s Shira Ovide, the tech reporter. And I follow Shira on Twitter, and that’s where I learned she switched teams, and I also learned she had a new newsletter, and I checked it out based on the headline, which is:

“There will never be anything like Twitter again – The principle of social media as a “town square” is dead.”:

The mainstream media is starting to catch on, that we no longer live in one cohesive monoculture. There are a zillion verticals, and in many cases they do not cross. And part of this is the luxury of not having to endure that which is not appealing. I’m talking about art here… When was the last time you listened to an entire song you didn’t want to? NEVER! Meanwhile, the “Post” and the rest of the old guard continue to foist the corporate hype on us, but mostly it falls on deaf ears, because we just don’t care. But the oldsters don’t know what else to do. They don’t want to admit the appeal of their projects is limited and they certainly don’t know how to reach the target audience. Hell, the movie business doesn’t even know who its audience is! It thinks traditional advertising and hype will reach them when in truth the studios need the viewers’ e-mail addresses, so when there’s something interesting they can reach out and touch them. That new “Black Panther” movie “Wakanda Forever” opened this past weekend and I only heard about it via the reporting of the weekend grosses. I don’t want to see that picture. I don’t want to waste time on superheroes. I know that it’s a triumph for Black actors, and that’s great, but that does not mean I want to watch it, AND IT’S THE BIGGEST MOVIE OUT THERE! I rest my case.

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