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Special Deluxe by Neil Young - the second installment of the iconic musician's memoirs
Quirky and wonderfully candid, Neil Young's new book of reminiscences is as compelling as his first book. He returns with more unforgettable stories about his six decades in the music business - but this is not your average rock biography. He centres this new work on one of his life's passions, cars, using the framework of all the cars he's ever owned to construct a narrative of his life and career, exploring and demonstrating how memories are attached to objects. Young also expresses regret for the environmental impact of his past cars, and now passionately advocates the use of clean energy.
Special Deluxe is a mix of memoir and environmental politics by one of the most gifted and influential artists of our time.
The next installment of Neil Young's memoir after Waging Heavy Peace, Special Deluxe is essential reading for his fans and will also appeal to readers of Life by Keith Richards and Chronicles by Bob Dylan.
'Not your average rock-star autobiography .... Young is a natural obsessive and a bit cantankerous, which makes an interesting combination' Richard Williams, Guardian
'Waging Heavy Peace is as charismatically off the wall as Neil Young's records' Janet Maslin, New York Times
Neil Young's music and songwriting span forty years, and his 34 studio albums are among the most enduring and popular in modern times. Born and raised in Canada, long resident in California, he has been uniquely inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is also well-known as a political activist, environmentalist and philanthropist, co-founding Farm Aid and The Bridge School for educationally impaired children.
In this flat-as-pavement second installment of his memoirs following on last year's best-selling Waging Heavy Peace Young invites us to ride along in the many cars he's owned over the past fifty years, telling us how those cars drove him through various phases of his musical life and his relationships with family and friends. "I have collected many cars and have had lots of experiences with every one of them I just loved the way they looked and got a lot of joy from just observing them from every angle they talked to me. And I talked to them." Young recalls the 1985 Ford Econoline van that provided enough space for his son, Ben, to look out the window as the Youngs traveled, but it also brings back the memories of his good friend Larry Johnson's death. Young now owns a number of cars in various states of repair: "The unfinished cars mean something. They represent broken dreams, lost loves, and abandoned ideas. This is the sad part." Looking back, though, Young regrets the heavy carbon footprint his cars have made; in 1976, he drives his 1975 Dodge Power Wagon about 380 miles and deposits about "411 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere." Young devotes the final chapter of this uneven memoir to a long discussion of the value of biofuels and his attempts to turn a classic car into an environmentally friendly one.