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GorDoom
08-20-2005, 12:01 PM
Neil Young in Nashville, Pondering Mortality

By Jon Pareles/The New York Times

NASHVILLE, Aug. 19 - A lanky man in an antique-style pewter-gray suit and a gaucho hat stood onstage Thursday night at Ryman Auditorium, the hallowed country-music landmark that was the longtime home of the Grand Ole Opry. An old-fashioned painted backdrop was behind him; an old guitar was in his hands.

The guitar, he told the audience, had belonged to Hank Williams, who was fired from the Grand Ole Opry in 1952. Neil Young, the man holding the guitar, said he was happy that Williams's guitar was returning to the Ryman stage. And then he sang "This Old Guitar," a quietly touching song from his coming album, "Prairie Wind," that observes, "This old guitar ain't mine to keep/ It's mine to play for a while."

Thursday night Mr. Young began a two-night stand at the Ryman Auditorium that was a tangle of new and old, of remembrance and reinvention. With him were more than two dozen musicians: a band, backup singers (including his wife, Pegi), a horn section, a string section, the Fisk University Jubilee Singers and Emmylou Harris. They were assembled for what would be the only performances of all the songs on "Prairie Wind" (Reprise), due for release on Sept. 20.

The musicians were costumed like old-time country performers, in suits and modest coordinated dresses, but they weren't playing old-time country music. A film crew directed by Jonathan Demme, who made the Talking Heads concert film "Stop Making Sense" as well as "The Silence of the Lambs," was shooting for a documentary scheduled for a February release.

A day before the concerts, Mr. Young took a break for an interview between rehearsals that had been running 12 hours a day. "We're doing 10 songs with 20, sometimes 30, musicians on them," he said. "I pick musicians who are in the moment, and when you get guys who are in the moment to try and recreate some other moment, that's a hell of a lot of work to do. They can't even remember what they played."

Memory is central to both "Prairie Wind" and Mr. Young's other project, the long-postponed release of music from his archives that is to begin next year. "It's a long road behind me," he sings in "The Painter," which opens the album. "It's a long road ahead."

"Prairie Wind" is a collection of plain-spoken songs about family, faith, home, music, the passage of time and the wide-open Canadian landscape where Mr. Young grew up. Like the other albums he has recorded in Nashville - including the best-selling album of his career, "Harvest," from 1972 - it looks toward American roots, and its 10 songs amble from country twang to bluesy harmonica to Memphis soul horns. There's a fond, loose-limbed honky-tonk tribute to Elvis and ballads that straightforwardly offer love and loyalty; the title song, particularly onstage, turned into an incantation as expansive as its chorus: "Prairie wind blowin' through my head."

The lyrics are infused with feelings of mortality, and are full of benedictions and farewells. While making the album, Mr. Young, 59, was being treated for a brain aneurysm, a swelling in a blood vessel. He alternated recording sessions in Nashville with surgery and hospitalization in New York City.

In March, Mr. Young had experienced blurred vision at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where he performed with the Pretenders. "I saw a lot of doctors real fast," he said. The aneurysm was diagnosed, but he had already made plans to begin recording in Nashville, and he did a week of sessions - finishing the first three songs on the album - before returning to New York for surgery.

"The recording studio is one of the few places where I feel completely at home," he said. "I felt like staying in there. I wanted to get whatever I had on my mind into music." He wrote quickly - sometimes completing a song in just 15 or 20 minutes - and placed the songs on the album in the order they were written and recorded, as he had with "Greendale," the rock opera he released in 2003. The songs on "Prairie Wind" don't have a narrative, as "Greendale" did, but they continue to explore Mr. Young's fascination with the changes and continuity of generations.

"When you're in your 20's, then you and your world are the biggest thing, and everything revolves around what you're doing," Mr. Young said. "Now I realize I'm a leaf floating along on the water on top of some river. That's where I'm at."

The lyrics are filled with reminiscences. "It's about where I'm from and where our family's from and where the world is going," Mr. Young said, "and what it used to be like when my grandfather was a kid, and what they remember and what I remember them telling me about, the things that they saw that no one will ever see again."

Like Bruce Springsteen's current album, "Devils & Dust," Mr. Young's new album also ponders religion. The album's most striking song, "No Wonder," is a series of elusive, overlapping narratives and contrasting musical sections, united by the recurring image of a church. And its final song, "When God Made Me," sets a series of questions to a hymnlike melody: "Did He think there was only one way to be close to Him?" Perhaps by coincidence, the studio where "Prairie Wind" was made, Masterlink, was once a church and, during the Civil War, a Confederate morgue. (More recently it was Monument Studios, where Roy Orbison recorded throughout his career.) Ryman Auditorium itself was built in 1892 as a gospel tabernacle.

"I feel like our religion and our faith have been hijacked," Mr. Young said. "What is bothering me the most is the misappropriation of religion and faith, the misuse of God and the house of worship. It's one faith with different people trying to express it in different ways. It's all about being the little guy in the big world."

The core band on "Prairie Wind" is the same one Mr. Young used on "Harvest Moon" in 1992, and it includes his longtime collaborator, the slide and pedal steel guitarist Ben Keith (who was on "Harvest") and the soul songwriter Spooner Oldham on keyboards. Mr. Young has returned to Nashville every so often to make his more reflective, down-home albums. Most of the concert's second half was drawn from those albums, with songs including "Heart of Gold" and "Old Man" from "Harvest," a gorgeously poised version of "Harvest Moon" that included the sound of a man rhythmically pushing a broom, and the title song from the 1978 album "Comes a Time."

Mr. Young recorded "Prairie Wind" in an old-fashioned way: playing and singing live with the band in the studio, though strings and backing vocals were added later. "We really made a Nashville Renaissance recording," he said.

But the songs rarely sound like other people's Nashville projects, past or present; their homespun tone conceals eccentricities small and large. Onstage at Ryman, musicians came and went in constantly shifting combinations. Even when the songs are slight, they're atmospheric.

Mr. Young said he had decided to film the concerts for a simple reason: Mr. Demme asked him. "He called me up and said, 'I've got a year off, I'd like to do something, and are you doing anything?' I said, 'Well yeah, I just made this record called "Prairie Wind." I'll send it to you, see what you think.' "

"And then we just came around to the idea, Why don't we just use this music, which was recorded in Nashville in the old way, with real musicians coming in from everywhere, and putting them together live?"

Meanwhile, Mr. Young had been working steadily on releasing digital versions of the music in archives that date back more than 40 years. The last time he was on the verge of releasing archival material, he changed his mind when improvements in technology promised higher fidelity and he started a new round of remastering. Mr. Young recently renewed his longtime contract with Reprise Records, which will release the first volume of his archives - covering 1963 to 1973 - as a set of eight DVD's or CD's.

The DVD's, with high-resolution audio, also include visuals and annotations; for instance, with material recorded in the 1960's at the Riverboat Coffeehouse, Mr. Young reconstructed images of the club. "You can see everything but me," he said. "I'm like a ghost."

The archive project has been as time-consuming as "Prairie Wind" was spontaneous. "When I do finally get it out there, it's going to be a great relief," Mr. Young said. "It's like a huge overcoat that I wear. It's got a lot of pockets in it. Some of them are full of diamonds. Some of them are just full of lead. It's a burden, but it's getting lighter."

Going through the archive has let Mr. Young second-guess his memories. "There are some things in it that are just unbelievable, records that I don't know why I never released," he said. "I look at what I released during that period, and I go, 'Wow, what was I thinking?' But life is like that."

For the concert's finale Thursday night, Mr. Young returned to the "Harvest Moon" album for "One of These Days," a song about watching friends drift away. But with more than two dozen Nashville musicians surrounding him onstage, he didn't look lonely at all.

StingerKarl
08-20-2005, 09:05 PM
Young was one of the best of the 70's rockers.
Rust Never Sleeps is classic.

PeteLeo
08-21-2005, 04:37 AM
Doesn't Whining Ass Young realize that Nashville is a part of that detested South he "sang" about in "Southern Man"?

"I hope Neil Young will remember . . . a Southern Man don't need him around." (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
PeteLeo.

theironbar
08-21-2005, 01:54 PM
"Southern Man" by Neil Young (After the Goldrush, 1970)

Southern man
better keep your head
Don't forget
what your good book said
Southern change
gonna come at last
Now your crosses
are burning fast
Southern man

I saw cotton
and I saw black
Tall white mansions
and little shacks.
Southern man
when will you
pay them back?
I heard screamin'
and bullwhips cracking
How long? How long?

Southern man
better keep your head
Don't forget
what your good book said
Southern change
gonna come at last
Now your crosses
are burning fast
Southern man

Lily Belle,
your hair is golden brown
I've seen your black man
comin' round
Swear by God
I'm gonna cut him down!
I heard screamin'
and bullwhips cracking
How long? How long?

I think the song is more about a specific time and place and reflections on them rather some polemic against the "South", don't you Pete? I'm no historian, but wasn't that a turbulent time of change in many parts of the world, including the Southern US? That seems to be what the song is about... In any event, I've read that "Sweet Home Alabama" was more a good-natured response by Lynyrd Skynyrd than anything else...

You should check out a bio of Neil Young before dismissing him as "Whining Ass" -- I've read your other posts Pete -- on far more contentious subjects -- and you're better than that kind of name calling...

PeteLeo
08-21-2005, 05:21 PM
"Whining Ass" comes from his nasal manner of, um, singing. Just terrible. Has nothing to do with his political/social posturing
I love it when folks from other countries come here to reap financial rewards and then presume to set right all of America's perceived "ills" (are you there, Mick Jagger?). I also have to wonder what the vigorously mistreated Inuit population of Canada thought of Whining Ass's self-righteous indictment of another nation's racial interactions? Yeah, the coming of the White Man surely was a blessing to the first Canadians, wasn't it?
PeteLeo.

Roberto Aqui
08-21-2005, 09:18 PM
Young is a classic idiot savant. Without music, he'd be awfully close to a completely disfunctional idiot.

That being said, whiny, or not, his genius as a musician and songwriter cannot be denied. There was nothing inherently wrong with Southern Man any more than LSkynyrd's reposte to him. All great stuff. The man is a modern day poet who has a gift for putting music to his poetry.

Sure, Young flops in some material like every musician, but I'd rather listen to him than Dylan anyday, and I believe he's done some good with appearances with Willie Nelson in FarmAid concerts. Speaking of whiny, Nelson is nasally and done OK for himself in spite of being a drunken, drug abusing, woman chasing, IRS miscreant.

theironbar
08-21-2005, 10:26 PM
Of course Neil Young wrote quite a few great songs about Native Canadians and Americans as well -- check out some of the tracks on "Rust Never Sleeps". Oh -- and as for commenting on the "White Man" and the indigenous peoples of America, of course there is Young's epic "Cortez the Killer"!

As for making observations on injustices, nationality isn't a bar to that, is it? It didn't stop you from criticizing Canada's treatment of the Inuit.

jim glen
08-21-2005, 10:29 PM
Neil Young is a Rock and Roll "legend" an All-time great!

Politics and the lack of 'whats' RIGHT for the people have always been a part of music, theatre, the arts and the like, hell we won't even go into the "immorality" of the Boxing powers who've cheated and _ucked up many a geat fighter, and we forget Human Beings... just fighten' for whats theirs..!

But as far as Neil's music goes he is one of ma' main men!

'Like a Hurricane', 'Cinnomen Girl', 'Coertez the Killer', 'On the Lake' and an absolute rock "classic" Down by the River..!

Neil Youngs "decade" 3 discs of music and approx 40 or more songs and I can't think of a bad one on it!

Yours, Jim.
"a lover of True Champions and the Truth!"

PeteLeo
08-22-2005, 01:08 AM
Sometimes, if I'm in a particularly forgiving mood, I can listen to "Heart of Gold" all the way through, but that's about it. (Oh, I did enjoy the video to "This One's for You" [?], during which the MJ clone ran around with his head on fire.)
Cortez stayed well below the frost line, didn't he? I doubt that the so-called "Eskimos" had very many bad relations with the conquistadors.
When the Canadian populace band together and shovel copious amounts of cash into my anemic checking account, then I'll take a moment to reconsider my comments about Young's lack of "social conscience" when it comes to the Canucks and the Inuit. (Cold, hard moolah soothes all sorts of hurt feelings, doesn't it?) PeteLeo.

theironbar
08-22-2005, 11:27 AM
LOL! Fair enough Pete -- write a decent rock album and I'll be the first to buy it! And I'll tell my friends to as well...

BTW, not all Native Canadians are Inuit -- maybe you're thinking of the Innu living in Labrador? That particular group seems to be in rough shape.

Hagler04
08-22-2005, 12:23 PM
It just comes down to the singing for me.

Young is def. a talented song-writer . . 7 and the Damage Done for example is a great song. But I just can't get past his voice . . .way too nasally and 'whiny' for me to ever be a fan.

PeteLeo
09-02-2005, 02:50 AM
" . . . write a decent rock album . . ."?
You wouldn't dream of uttering those words if you ever heard me try to sing. They even boo me out the door during "Extremely Inebriated Karaoke NIght." PeteLeo.

AEP2
09-08-2005, 07:53 PM
Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd played concerts together -after "Southern Man." Also, Ronnie Van Zant wore Neil Young t-shirts during performances. So I don't think "Southern Man" or "Sweet Home Alabama" bother either one enough to hold a grudge.

PeteLeo
09-09-2005, 04:58 AM
Perhaps not a public grudge (show biz is inherently incestuous, of course), but when it all started the emotions were real enough. When Southerners say we don't need you around, anyhow, we're bascially using nicened-up language for "Go intercourse yourself." It comes from being the punching bag of all the self-righteous jamokes who've bathed in their own moral superiority for the past century and a half. PeteLeo.

GorDoom
10-04-2005, 09:59 PM
The Resurrection of Neil Young
When the Godfather of Grunge discovered he had a potentially fatal aneurysm, he took a week, went to Nashville and added to his legacy by making another classic album

By JOSH TYRANGIEL/Time Magazine

Every Neil Young album arrives with a question: which Neil this time? the folkie? The grunge progenitor? The acoustic country guy? Or the avant-gardist whose sonic violence can make instruments--and sometimes fans--cry out for mercy? For his 31st album, Prairie Wind, out Sept. 27, it's yet another Neil Young: a mortal one. In March, Young was told he had a brain aneurysm, and Prairie Wind poured out of him in the week between diagnosis and his undergoing surgery. Naturally, there are songs about death and loneliness, but the album, one of the most melodic of his career, also deals with religion, family and the good times he remembers growing up on the Canadian steppes.

Young doesn't do many interviews, in part because he hates to sit still. So he asked Time's Josh Tyrangiel to join him for a drive in his bio-diesel-powered Hummer--"I love it when people yell at me about the environment," says Young, "and then I tell 'em I'm burning 90% cleaner than them"--down the Pacific Coast Highway. For nearly four hours, Young, 59, talked about how facing death has affected his music; the recent death of his father; his sons, both of whom have cerebral palsy; and his early days in a funk band with Super Freak Rick James.

I KNOW YOU'RE NOT EAGER TO DISCUSS THIS, BUT WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED TO YOU THIS PAST MARCH?

I inducted Chrissie Hynde into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the next day I was shaving in the hotel, and I noticed this weird thing in my eye, like a piece of broken glass. Then I noticed that no matter what I did, it was still there. And then it started getting bigger. So I went to my doctor, had an MRI and the next morning I went to the neurologist, Dr. Sun--a Chinese guy, very funny guy. He says, "The good news is, you're here, you're looking good. The bad news is, you've got an aneurysm in your brain. You've had it for a hundred years, so it's nothing to worry about--but it's very serious, so we'll have to get rid of it right away." He's a funny guy. I was supposed to go to Nashville to do some recording, so I went down there ...

YOU FLEW WITH AN ANEURYSM?

Dr. Sun said I'd been flying for 100 years with the thing. So I went into the studio on Thursday and recorded three songs. I wrote one on the way there and two more right away after I recorded the first one. The whole album's chronological--I wrote and recorded in the order it appears on the record. Then I went back up to New York on Monday for a presurgery thing, flew back to Nashville, wrote and recorded [songs] four, five, six, seven, eight and most of nine and 10. And then I got admitted, and they put me under.

AT ANY POINT WERE YOU THINKING, "THIS MIGHT BE MY LAST SONG," AND IF SO, DID YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT ONE WAS, YOU KNOW, REALLY GOOD?

I was thinking about things like that, and it's kind of too bad that people know about this, because it's like, "The only way he could make a good album is if he had an aneurysm," or something. I feel a little funny about it, because I know I would have made an album anyway, and I don't feel like I'm slowing down, but these things happen. Yeah, there's a lot of reflection. [Grudgingly] It affected all the songs.

YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY WORKING FAST, BUT SONGS LIKE FALLING OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH HAVE BOTH URGENCY AND CLARITY. DID YOU HAVE TIME TO ACTUALLY CRAFT LYRICS?

Most things just came pouring out, but that song's unique because a lot of it came from a voice-mail message. A friend of mine called, knowing I was going through this, and left me a voice mail that was, "Thinking about you--just want to tell you that you mean a lot to me," that kind of stuff. So I wrote it all down and made up this kind of bass-ackwards melody. With songwriting, the key thing is not to have any preconceptions, to be wide open and never worry about whether it's cool or not. Use whatever you can, and worry about cool after you finish the record.

YOUR SURGERY WENT SMOOTHLY, BUT THE RECOVERY DIDN'T. WHAT HAPPENED?

Everything was cool, so I figured I might actually get to Winnipeg to do the Juno Awards, which is a big deal in Canada, where I'm from, and I had planned to do it and never bothered to cancel. So, two days after the surgery, you can start walking--I went out for a walk, and I made it half a block, and the thing burst on the street, and there was blood in my shoe and--I don't know if you need to share this. Let's just say there was a complication. It was my femoral artery [which the surgeons had used to access his brain]. I was unconscious, and the emergency guys had to revive me. There was no way I could make the Juno Awards, so we had to make an announcement about what happened. But I came very close to no one ever knowing. I would have had an aneurysm, got rid of it, and no one would know the difference. [Laughs] It would have been so cool.

A FEW WEEKS AFTER YOU FINISHED PRAIRIE WIND, YOUR FATHER, WHO WAS A FAMOUS SPORTS JOURNALIST IN CANADA, DIED AT 87. WHAT WAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP LIKE?

I had a great relationship with my dad, and I felt like everything was O.K. when he died, that I was at peace with him and everything was cool. Then I went to the service and completely broke down out of nowhere. He had dementia for the last years of his life, so I couldn't talk to him on the telephone--he couldn't remember what we were talking about. But he was a loving father and a loving grandfather and a great writer.

ONE OF HIS BOOKS WAS 1984'S NEIL AND ME, ABOUT BEING NEIL YOUNG'S DAD. DID YOU READ IT?

Oh, yeah! It was a good book. [Laughs] I learned a few things about what I was like when I was a kid and stuff. Learned more from that book than anything else I ever read about myself.

YOU HAVE TWO SONS, BOTH OF WHOM HAVE CEREBRAL PALSY. ZEKE'S CASE IS MILD, BUT BEN'S IS SEVERE. AS SOMEONE WHO COMMUNICATES FOR A LIVING, DOES IT FRUSTRATE YOU THAT YOU CAN'T TALK TO BEN THE WAY MOST FATHERS AND SONS TALK?

Ben's 25 and a quadriplegic. He's a nonverbal guy, and he's paralyzed basically, but we've developed ways we can play together and do things together for enjoyment. To other people it looks a lot different than it really is. Most people see a severely handicapped or physically disabled person, and they feel uncomfortable. "Oh, my God, I'm glad it isn't me," or they talk too loud or treat him like a baby. But Ben has always been a great communicator with me. There are times when he can't tell me exactly what's going on, when he comes home and he looks a little [upset] and I wish he could say, you know, "Daddy, I wanted to go somewhere today, and the guys with me wouldn't go there." There's all kinds of things like that. But Ben is such a wonderful kid.

DID YOU FEEL AT ALL CURSED THAT TWO OF YOUR CHILDREN WERE BORN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY?

Yeah. It took time to get used to the fact that it wasn't just one, but two. Eventually Pegi [his wife of 27 years] and I just came to the understanding that we had been chosen, and this is one of the things we're doing with our life, turning this situation into something positive for all kinds of kids. One of the things we've done with the Bridge School [the Hillsborough, Calif., school the Youngs founded in 1986] is to make a place where nonverbal, physically challenged kids can communicate through technology and alternative methods of communication.

TELL ME ABOUT SOME OF THE DEVICES YOU HAVE INVENTED TO ENHANCE YOUR COMMUNICATION WITH BEN.

When he was a kid, we got into electric trains, and at first I hooked him up so he could turn the trains on and off. Then I developed a command-and-control system so the train could hear Ben send directions. Now he can really control the whole thing--and, of course, he wants to make it go as fast as possible and cause wrecks. When he was young, he used to laugh his butt off every time he derailed the train because I had to put it back on. We've also developed interfaces so he can use his computer and do things that are part of daily life.

DO YOU HOLD PATENTS ON THIS STUFF?

Yeah, I got patents on the model-railroad controls. I'm a part owner in Lionel [the electric-train company], and we just developed a whole new system, and I worked on that too. It's meditation for me. It's such a relief to escape musicmaking and the pressure of music, to release it all in algorithms and theory of operations.

IS IT TRUE THAT THE SUM OF YOUR MUSIC EDUCATION IS TWO GUITAR LESSONS?

One. Maybe two. I either quit after the first one and didn't go back for the second one, or I went to the second one and that was enough. I don't think the guitar lesson hurt me--I just realized I didn't need it. I figured out what to do with a guitar pretty quick on my own.

ONE OF YOUR FIRST BANDS WAS CALLED THE MYNAH BIRDS, AND THE SINGER WAS NONE OTHER THAN THE LATE RICK JAMES. WHAT ON EARTH DID THAT SOUND LIKE?

The Mynah Birds were one of the best rock bands I ever played with. We were like a Stones knock-off, but we had original material too. I played an electric 12-string. We were funky. There was no way around it. But we were young and making a lot of mistakes. We signed with Motown--we went over there, and Rick got busted for dodging the draft. So the group kind of fell apart. And Rick was a real soulful guy, but there were drugs and all sorts of crazy stuff. I met him again years later, and we hung out a bit. He was pretty heavily into some dark stuff, but there was still a connection. We talked about making a record together, and he said how cool it would be, how we'd blow people's minds.

WHEN DID YOU KICK DRUGS?

I never really was a big drug addict. I always could stop. But I'm completely done with it now. I don't even smoke anything. That's more because I had the aneurysm and I have high blood pressure, plus I don't really need it. I'm as high as you need to be.

YOU WROTE ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS LYRICS IN ROCK: "IT'S BETTER TO BURN OUT THAN TO FADE AWAY." A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE USED THAT LINE TO JUSTIFY ALL KINDS OF SELF-DESTRUCTIVE ACTS, INCLUDING KURT COBAIN, WHO QUOTED IT IN HIS SUICIDE NOTE. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT LINE THESE DAYS?

The fact that he left the lyrics to my song right there with him when he killed himself left a profound feeling on me, but I don't think he was saying I have to kill myself because I don't want to fade away. I don't think he was interpreting the song in a negative way. It's a song about artistic survival, and I think he had a problem with the fact that he thought he was selling out, and he didn't know how to stop it. He was forced to do tours when he didn't want to, forced into all kinds of stuff. I was trying to get a hold of him--because I had heard some of the things he was doing to himself--just to tell him it's O.K. not to tour, it's O.K. not to do these things, just take control of your life and make your music. Or, hey, don't make music. But as soon as you feel like you're out there pretending, you're f_____. I think he knew that instinctively, but he was young and he didn't have a lot of self-control. And who knows what other personal things in his life were having a negative impression on him at the time?

IS PART OF THE REASON YOU HAVE VEERED BETWEEN SO MANY GENRES OVER THE YEARS THAT YOU FEAR YOU'LL FIND YOURSELF UP THERE FAKING IT ONE DAY?

I'm as predictable as a Holiday Inn when you really look at me. I keep doing the same thing all over again. I just make records, and the records are usually some sort of turnabout from the last record. It took me a long time to write this record. I didn't write anything for two years after Greendale [the widely reviled 2003 movie he wrote and directed], 'cause Greendale was a completely draining experience and a huge project that I think was one of the best things I have been able to do in my life, and a lot of people were lost by it, but that doesn't mean anything. A lot of people in the middle of the road don't pick up on what I'm doing when I'm not in the middle of the road, and it's an accident and a pleasant one when I do end up [there] and traffic is with me.

SO YOUR NEXT ALBUM WILL BE ...?

I don't know. All I know is, I don't want to die. I have a lot left to do. I don't feel like people are giving up on me, and I won't give up on them. So I'm just going to keep on doing whatever it is I do. But I won't stay still for long. Don't want to grow bark.