Sonic Youth and Neil Young
Jammin' with Neil
Neil Young News
I dreamt I kissed Neil Young
If I was a boy I guess it would be fun.
-- Sonic Youth, Creme Brulee, 1992.
In an interview in Exclaim (June 2004), Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo had this to say about Neil Young when asked "What's been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?"
In an interview in MELODY MAKER in 1991, Neil said about the selection of Sonic Youth as an opening act:
In an interview in MOJO Magazine with Neil Young in 1995, he was asked about recording with Sonic Youth, possibly for the album that became Sleeps With Angels.
Over on Blogcritics' StarPolish Interview with Sonic Youth, some interesting comments by Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo guitarist on alienating fans with musical experimentation:
LEE RANALDO: "I don't think that's true. In fact, I think it sort of happens in a kind of the reverse -- it's easy to alienate the fans that have kind of come recently and sort of dip in and check it out, and then move on to something else. I think especially for a band like us, our hardcore fans are really interested in the different directions that we go, and the same goes for us; if we like an artist, even if they go through a period that has you scratching your heads and wondering, 'What the fuck are they doing?' -- like with Neil Young or someone like that when he goes off on these crazy tangents -- you still like something about who they are and what they're enough doing that you keep coming back to see where they're going. Hopefully they come around and do stuff you really love again, as Young has for sure. So I think that because we've been around for so long, there have been fans that have been with us for a really long period of time, and in general they look for us to do different things and sort of challenge their expectations of who we are and what we are."
NEIL YOUNG (Guitars Magazine 92) : Obviously I like Sonic Youth. They are definitely a modern rock'n'roll band in my eyes. They make some beautiful music. Have you heard "Expressway To Your Skull"? It's unbelievably good. So beautiful! It's classic. Magnificent melody, and to hear it live, especially, it's awesome. They have several songs of that quality. So they're a great band.
In the book "I Dreamed Of Noise" written by Ignacio Julia and Jaime Gonzalo, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordan said:
I've been reading the Sonic Youth story, "Confusion is Next" by Alan Foege (1994). Since Neil Young and Sonic Youth are my two favorite musicians/bands, I was a both looking forward to and dreading the section about the 1991 tour. Well, here we go...
It's incredibly good, so beautiful. It's a classic. Superb melody, and even better live. They have quite a few that are that good. So that's one great group."
Young's roadies, holdovers from
dark ages, were less predisposed to what they perceived as
to be Sonic Youth's art-freak
eclecticism. 'The Neil Young tour was actually the first time
I encountered so-called
sexism,' Kim Gordon said. 'Every time it was
somebody's birthday, there'd
be strippers hanging around.'
"For most of the dates in the South, Sonic Youth played half-hour sets to disinterested crowds who used the band's time onstage as an opportunity to purchase Cokes; at some shows, the band went so far as to confiscate chairs from the front rows of the audience and bring the chairs onstage, a gag that perplexed the fans but amused the band. Neil Young cancelled the tour's LA dates, one of the main reasons Sonic Youth had stuck things out, when he developed an ear infection.
"When I spoke to Young a couple months after the tour, he described it as 'a fantastic voyage inside a power cord.' The typically disingenuous Young, perhaps reluctant to dish out overripe praise to a younger band for whom he had so much respect, explained his affinity with Sonic Youth like this: 'I knew if people knew that they were there that they'd know, Okay, first of all, he's not going to be doing an acoustic show.'
" 'The Neil Young tour was the first time I really felt like we were suddenly confronting the mainstream,' Kim says. 'We really had this pretty much redneck, conservative audience. It was interesting because it made me feel like we were performing for the first time. I felt good that we could actually shock people. It made us feel really young.'
More on Sonic Youth and their influence on Neil Young (and vice versa) from excerpts of "I Dreamed Of Noise", The Sonic Youth Biography.
Jammin' with Neil Young
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