Listen to this awesome Neil Young interview with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross
On his quadriplegic son, Ben, who has cerebral palsy
"He’s very happy. He doesn’t see it like we see it. He’s living his life one day at a time, one moment at a time. Events keep happening. We keep doing things. We take him everywhere with us. His life is full, robust, got a lot of people around it. He’s been the way he is for 35 years or so, and he’s never known it another way, so he’s doing great. We’re very happy to have our spiritual guide along with us. He doesn’t say much, but he speaks volumes with his eyes and with his movements and by the feeling that comes from him. He’s just a blessing. He’s given our lives a lot of depth."
On writing music and guitar distortion
"I try not to think while I’m doing it. Hopefully, I’m completely gone somewhere and I’m just making a sound, and I just like to hear the sound. So it’s all about having a good time and making a sound, but you really have to have a reason for making the sound. So that’s why I write songs and the songs have got the message. But after a while, you forget about the message — you just get the sound going, and then the two things go together, and then if you’re lucky, you write another song. There has to be something to say that gives validity to what I’m playing, so that you can’t just play for the rest of time."
On collecting recordings through his Pono audio system
"I mean, I’m an artist. I created my stuff — I don’t want to just throw it away. I’m not like a record company. Some of the record companies that created some of the greatest art that I remember — they didn’t take care of it, so nobody knows where it is. People didn’t realize how great it was, so you can’t find it. And we discover some of these things — as we’re looking for contemporary or even, in many cases, much more accomplished artists than myself — have got great recordings and legacies of great recordings. And we’re looking for those in connection with my Pono Music System, so that we can capture those and preserve them for future generations to be able to hear them at the highest level of technology that we have today. I value the works of artists. I value the sound of recording. I think that music recording is an art form, so I want to make sure that art form survives."