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Shakey: Neil Young's Biography Hardcover – 30 May 2002

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd; 1st Edition edition (30 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224069144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224069144
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 775,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'I've been reading this biography of Neil Young called Shakey and it's changed my life, man.' -- Noel Gallagher - NME

'Succeeds in stripping a star of his iconography…McDonough’s book excels at anecdotes of music excess from a bygone era’ -- The Observer.

‘...sensational: burning ambition, clashing egos, onstage epileptic seizures, deranged groupies, great albums, the birth and death of Sixties idealism. -- Scotland on Sunday·

‘hard to imagine anyone trying to better this.It has an abundance of what Young values above all else – passion’ -- Evening Standard

Book Description

'One of the most penetrative studies of a rock icon ever written... Scary, bittersweet and strangely moving... One of the great tales of the rock 'n' roll era' Sunday Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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The first time Jon McKeig really encountered Shakey he was under a car. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Dr Roots VINE VOICE on 18 Jun. 2002
Format: Hardcover
There has been no shortage of books on Neil Young in recent years, some of which have been very good, some of which have been lazy cut and paste jobs. What makes this one different is that, for the first time, a biographer has had some measure of co-operation from Young himself - not that he made it easy.
There is also a good deal of candid comment by members of Crazy Horse, manager Elliot Roberts and several others past and present from Young's circle, which I would guess will tell you as much as Young & Co will give away as long as Neil is with us (long may he run).
In many ways this is an extraordinary book. A study about an unusual person, the music world (or at least that part of the music world that Young has inhabited) and a host of extraordinary (or "innaresting") characters and casualties along the way.
At this point I should confess to be being a Neil fan - in as much as I've got all of his official recordings (yes, even the terrible ones) and, ahem, 1 or 2 unofficial ones - without, I hope, quite becoming the sort of obsessive no-life that posts inanities to some of the many Young-related web-sites. So even allowing for some potential bias, I feel, ultimately, Young emerges from this book with a good deal of credit, even though his extremely driven nature must sometimes test the patience of those who are nearest and dearest to him. Not everyone gets let off lightly and the book does provide some considerable insight into the unpleasant side of some musos, their management and their hangers-on.
There is, as one would expect from a study of someone with such an idiosyncratic sense of humour, some alarming, hilarious and tragic anecdotes too - real beyond Spinal Tap stuff.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kenny S. Queen on 9 May 2005
Format: Paperback
This in a way is an excellent account of Neil Young, but it is spoiled at times by the authors opinions on certain albums,certain concerts and certain people around the subject. I do detect a hint of jealousy insofar as he is not part of the inner circle.
Apart from this it is a great book about Neil Young ,meticolously put together and recalling the major things that happened in his life.
If you are a Neil Young fan you will love this book and some of the more obscure recordings to me, seem to make sense now .
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "rhtb2001" on 13 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. The author is frank about many things, and i dont agree with all his views but i like his bluntness. He even speaks bluntly to Young, its good and refreshing.
It's not some author being a sycophant just telling the reader how great Neil Young is, he gives his view on things both complimentry and critical of Young.
I found this book difficult to put down at times, it's given me a far greater insight, not only into Young's music but into Young himself, what makes him tick, where he get's his ideas and inspiration, what situations it takes for him to musically thrive, what situations it takes for him to flop.
This book has been a great parallel to me buying Young's albums. I get the full story behind the various albums and appreciate that when i listen to them.
This is a great read for Neil Young fans. As a relative newcomer (10 months) to his work this provided me with really good information on the man himself, helping me to get a greater understanding of the whole picture.
I loved, it great book, reccomended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rufus on 5 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
Okay, first up - I'm a huge Neil Young fan. Got every album and CD, concert T shirts (never worn) going back to the Trans tour and a few books on the man to boot. So maybe this review ain't exactly unbiased, but in my view this is a mega piece of work considering Neil wouldn't talk to McDonagh for long spells (years!!) But, in a way I also agree with Jason Parkes (an earlier 2 star review) as Neil's early life is covered to overkill and a trifle boring (but essential I think if this biography is meant to be a 'catch all.') Some great moments for me were the red haired guy and the lost Mr. Soul tape story, the doom ridden Tonights the Night tour (still my favourite album - I'd love to hear Brigg's original tape) and the money spinning rip-off CSNY tour. Neil's disasterous marrige to Carrie Snodgrass was well covered as well.
I have the earlier Neil Young books, ie Johnny Rogan - but this knocks all the others into the waste bin. I doubt this IS the last word on Neil Young, and maybe the next few chapters are already underway for another book - meanwhile, I'll keep going back, and back.. to this one.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
If you've got this far you must be a Neil Young fan and this book is a good 'un. I'm surprised by it's detractors to be honest. Yes it is long but I found myself staying up late to read this book. Rock biographies aren't always the most well written books so I read 'em quick but this is the exception I found myself going back to this one over and over again. The only thing that must go with this book is Young's key albums. The author describes the events surrounding the making of each album as well as looking into the songs. I hadn't read any of the other books on Young so I found a lot of the information here cast his work into a new, more revealing light. Great book but you might be spending a few quid completing your Neil Young collection of CDs.
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