Neil Young Nation

Kevin Chong

Neil Young Nation

Rather than reeling off another biography on another rock icon, Kevin Chong decided to follow in the tire tracks of his hero, Neil Young, by taking a road-trip across Canada and the United States.

Chong and three friends retrace the musician’s early years in Canada before driving from Toronto to Los Angeles in order to recreate a journey completed by Young in hearse before truly hitting the big time at the turn of the 1970s.

Coffee shops, small-time concert venues, motels, childhood homes and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are all stop-off points along the way. Chong also delves into the obsessive mindset of ‘Rusties’ – the nickname for hardcore Young fans who populate dedicated internet forums.

Even when Chong sees his hero play at the conclusion of his journey, he resists the temptation to actually interview or even speak to him – even though he carefully logs the rest of his journey from bar-room banter to campfire chat.

With Young reaching 60 and Chong turning 30 in 2005, Chong asks as many questions of himself as he does about his hero.

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Abebooks.com asked Kevin Chong – author of the just released Neil Young Nation – to list his top 10 books (fiction and non-fiction) about rock stars and their music.

Great Jones Street

Don Delillo

Great Jones Street

"In this novel about a reclusive, mystical rock star named Bucky Wunderlick, Don Delillo writes a choppier, more rock-and-roll version of White Noise - his account of mass-culture mysticism."

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Paul McCartney

Barry Miles

Paul McCartney

"McCartney tries to set the record straight about his avant-garde credentials in this authorized bio, which is fascinating because and in spite of McCartney's notorious control-freak tendencies."

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Pass Thru Fire: The Collected Lyrics

Pass Thru Fire: The Collected Lyrics

"Lou Reed's songs not only brought lyrical and formal ambition to rock music, but they capture the essence of eras (1960s and 1970s), scenes (Warhol's Factory), and cities (New York, primarily, but also Berlin), and one fully lived life."

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Don't Be Denied

John Einarson

Don't Be Denied

"I love John Einarson's elegantly written, definitive account of Neil Young's musical apprenticeship in Canada."

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Popular Music from Vittula

Mikael Niemi

Popular Songs From Vittula

"A funny, heartbreaking coming-of-age novel about a rock-and-roll-loving boy growing up in northern Sweden."

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Shakey

Jimmy McDonough

Shakey

"In this kinda-authorized biography of Neil Young, McDonough writes with tequila-drenched bravado in dealing with his notoriously cranky subject."

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Jesus' Son

Denis Johnson

Jesus' Son

"Denis Johnson's collection of stories is not so much a book about rock and roll, as a book imbued with the bruised lyricism and reckless abandon of the music."

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Crosstown Traffic

Charles Shaar Murray

Crosstown Traffic

"Murray uses the music of Jimi Hendrix to discuss the strange, sometimes hypocritical, interaction between white and black forms of popular music in post-WWII America."

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Norwegian Wood

Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood

"A very tender, very bohemian love triangle set in Japan in the 1960s."

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Hammer of the Gods

Stephen Davis

Hammer of the Gods

"The bible of rock and roll excess."

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