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Neil Young is one of rock and roll’s most important and enigmatic figures, a legend from the sixties who is still hugely influential today. He has never granted a writer access to his inner life—until now. Based on six years of interviews with more than three hundred of Young’s associates, and on more than fifty hours of interviews with Young himself, Shakey is a fascinating, prodigious account of the singer’s life and career. Jimmy McDonough follows Young from his childhood in Canada to his cofounding of Buffalo Springfield to the huge success of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to his comeback in the nineties. Filled with never-before-published words directly from the artist himself, Shakey is an essential addition to the top shelf of rock biographies.
“Jimmy McDonough’s fat, teeming, obsessive, and revelatory biography of Young is a pure shot of all-access pleasure. . . . Hugely original.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Just as unmanageable, hard-headed, overzealous, and ultimately endearing as Young himself . . . A maddening, beguiling portrait of an elusive maverick . . . A glorious mess.” —San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“An exhilarating match-up of author and subject makes Shakey a great, gripping read. . . . A must-read for anyone who cares about Neil Young.” —Rolling Stone
“The definitive book on the subject.” —The Washington Post
“Exhaustive, quarrelsome, and sometimes maddening . . . there are revelations in abundance.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Where the average rock-star biography is a tepid, toothless thing, McDonough has approached his task like a literary Terminator, steaming ahead with lethal thoroughness. One of the most penetrative studies of a rock icon ever written.” —Times (London)
“A mammoth portrait of the artist and lively exhumation of rock n roll history. . . . [McDonough] traces a rich turbulent career in vivid detail.” —The New York Times
“Exhaustively researched, impressively detailed. . . The long passages in which McDonough steps aside to let Young talk are the most revealing. ‘One day I'm a jerk,’ Young says, ‘the next day I'm a genius.’ This book argues artfully for the latter.”—People
“[Shakey's] unprecedented access makes for an entertaining read: McDonough, more than any music journalist since Peter Guralnick in his authoritative Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, has succeeded in stripping a star of his iconography.”—The Observer (London)
“Crammed with razor-sharp insights and mind-boggling detail, Shakey is a rock-solid literary triumph, as inspired and inspiring as the eccentric figure it evokes with such frustrated devotion.” — The Guardian (London)