When Neil Young left his native Canada in 1966 to move to California, his journey sparked a leap in musical artistry that would come to resonate throughout North America. His fascination with American locations - from the Santa Monica Mountains to the Deep South - profoundly influenced his eclectic musical style and helped to shape the story of his generation. Neil Young: American Traveller shows how place looms large in Young's songs: Los Angeles is seen as the home of uptight business and lost innocence, while San Francisco is seen as the retreat Young needed from the excesses of the music industry. These locations helped craft the singer-songwriter's distinct style, which led to his popularity as a solo artist and as a member of Buffalo Springfield, Crazy Horse and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Moving from the Canadian prairies to Young's adopted Pacific home, Halliwell explores how place and travel affected one of North America's most prolific recording artists of all time.
Alongside discussion of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, the Grateful Dead, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Devo, Pearl Jam and other fellow travellers, he considers how Young's personal journeys are entwined with a powerful feel for the American landscape. The book spans Young's career as a singer-songwriter from his musical collaborations to his film projects, recent memoirs and his interest in technologies new and old. Neil Young: American Traveller will appeal to the many fans of this iconic, challenging, constantly changing musician.
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 295 g
Dimensions: 210 x 148 x 18 mm
"Halliwell knows what he's talking about, and writes with real enthusiasm and know-how. . . . Authors of books in which the star subject hasn't been in direct contact with the writer in interviews, and trying to get to get to the bottom of things face-to-face, really have to know what they're on about, lest the books become a Hades of hazy speculation and guesswork. Halliwell avoids this problem by truly, relentlessly knowing his stuff. It also helps that he writes in a way that doesn't hinge on having the reader's approval, and also that he doesn't claim to have some kind of mystical truth of the subject that was overlooked by everyone else."
--Juliette Jones "PopMatters "
"An insightful cultural study of the often-turbulent times in which Young's artistry evolved. This carefully documented work includes a chronological summary of Young's life, a discography, a filmography, and an extensive bibliography. Of interest to both fans and scholars."