Neil Young and Patti Smith, Prolific Writers

I have discovered a music, social activism and journalism synergy  between Patti Smith and Neil Young.  Each is a respected cultural icon with a distinct style  and loyal fan bases. Its magical when their artistic muses intersect.

Copyright Kate Simon 1979

Both have new studio albums coming out on the same day this year, June 5th, 2012. Patti Smith will release Banga on Columbia Records on June 5th.  The last song on Banga is Neil Young’s “After The Gold Rush” which sews the Patti Smith and Neil Young tapestry closer together.

On June 5th, Neil Young & Crazy Horse will release a very special album titled AMERICANA, which is the first Neil Young & Crazy Horse recording in nearly nine years.

AMERICANA is a collection of classic, American folk songs. In their day, some of these may have been referred to as “protest songs”, “murder ballads”, or campfire-type songs passed down with universal, relatable tales for everyman!

  1.       Oh Susannah
  2.       Clementine
  3.       Tom Dula
  4.       Gallows Pole
  5.       Get A Job
  6.       Travel On
  7.       High Flyin’ Bird
  8.       Jesus’ Chariot
  9.       This Land Is Your Land
  10.       Wayfarin’ Stranger
  11.       God Save The Queen

Patti Smith performed at the Music of Neil Young  at Carnegie Hall in New York City to pay tribute to the legendary 50-year, 34-album career of Neil Young.

Patti Smith, with her daughter Jesse on grand piano, stood at the mic, hands behind her back, and recited “It’s a Dream,” a spare tune of simple emotion from Young’s 2005 album Prairie Wind, which he wrote after his father’s death, with a nod to his own brush with mortality from a brain aneurysm. It’s a song of retrospection and appreciation, with Young revisiting his boyhood in Ontario and celebrating life’s little beauties, like the sound of the birds in the morning, and holding his wife in bed at night. Smith choked up, missing a verse. When she continued, the crowd carried her on their cheers. Now that’s a tribute.

Patti Smith has established herself as an award-winning author with the book, Just Kids which won the National Book Award for Non-Fiction in 2010.

BookExpo America announced that Neil Young will speak June 6 (the day after Americana is released…) about his upcoming memoir on Blue Rider Press, “Waging Heavy Peace”. Young will speak on stage at the Jacob Javits Center with an interviewer to be named later. One interviewer possibility: Stephen Colbert, who has interviewed Young on his Comedy Central show and is already a featured speaker at BookExpo

“I felt like writing books fit me like a glove; I started and I just kept going,” Young said.

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