Neil Young joined Jon Stewart last night on The Daily Show, where the veteran rocker displayed a dry wit while talking about his memoir Waging Heavy Peace, his Pono digital music system, playing with Crazy Horse and his reputation for being a little, well, prickly.
“You know, behind the scenes, I’m really nice,” Young said, a sly smile playing at the corners of his mouth.
Young told Stewart he wrote the book without help – “Ghost writers scare the hell out of me,” he deadpanned – and didn’t hesitate in the second part of the interview when the host asked him what listeners lose when music is compressed into mp3s. “You lose the soul,” Young exclaimed. “You lose the feeling, you lose what makes you feel good, what makes music live. If you were Picasso, and you made a Picasso, and then it came out and everybody saw it and it was a Xerox of Picasso? That’s what it feels like.”
Speaking of feelings, Young did his best to put into words what it’s like for him to collaborate with his band. “I don’t know how it happens, but when I’m singing and playing with Crazy Horse, I’m a different guy,” he said. “I write a different thing, I see things differently, I see deeper pictures, I’m able to write and express myself much deeper in a certain way that I can’t do with anybody else.”