Ero's Reviews > Shakey: Neil Young's Biography

Shakey by Jimmy McDonough
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's review
Oct 06, 2010

liked it
Read in April, 2010

Pretty interesting. The author comes across as wildly obsessive and possibly a bit stalkerish. And, do I really need to know this much about Young? (Many memorable takeaway bits-- his movie-making adventures, his epileptic fits, his passive/aggressive relationship with CSN, his intense relationships with his famil(ies) and disabled sons, his somewhat lunatic approaches to recording-- are somewhat swallowed by the sheer density of the book. After a while it's hard to remember or care which producer said what about what guitarist (though, as a musician, that stuff is fascinating too, in small bits).

However, as biographies go this is unique and uniquely informative. (And worth it in its entirety, in my book, just for the passage about his movie-that-never-got-made, in which the story of the universe is conveyed via a redwood seedling that turns into a giant erupting phallus-rocket journeying through space to inseminate other planets with seedlings. I'd love to see some animator actually make this movie...)

Not really a great read but one that says a lot about life, for rock stars, celebrities, and reclusive weirdos, alike, in the second half of the twentieth century. Worth skimming perhaps for reclusive weirdos even if they aren't particularly Neil Young fans (though, why wouldn't they be?)

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