Neil Young & Crazy Horse.
When you all hit the right groove, it is a spiritual event. The clumsiness of the spoken word is gone, and all communication is through the eyes and the sacred, ancient form we call music.
Being in a guitar band is one of the most intense and satisfying experiences I know. The shared excitement in the creation of something rhythmic, primal and loud is like prayer or meditation for me. When the groove is found, I feel connected to some massive, fundamental thing, an immense power that is both ancient and right now, strong and utterly life-affirming. It expresses so much – sex, rage, joy, sadness and love – and it can sound so, so good.
That combination of guitar, bass and drums is the holy trinity and has been responsible for so much excitement in my life. Although I went into music primarily to attract women, I soon found that the simple pleasure of making music was essential to my well-being. Yes, I got girls, but I got so much more as well.
I listen to all kinds of music – classical, folk, rap, 1980s electronic synth pop, gospel, country etc etc – but as far as I am concerned, a guitar band in full flight is still one of the most exciting sounds in music.
Just the guitar intro from certain songs puts my senses on ‘red alert’ – Jumpin Jack Flash/Satisfaction/Start Me Up, Ace Of Spades, Should I Stay Or Should I Go, Ziggy Stardust, Walk This Way, All Along The Watchtower/Purple Haze/Voodoo Chile, New Pony, Sweet Home Alabama, Just, My Generation, Hey, Hey, My, My, God Save The Queen to name but a few.
There are new, unsigned bands that also have the same effect – Leaving Richmond are an LA based instrumental band who are an aural adrenaline rush; Superluxury are from Leeds and make me want to go out and treat women badly and then there’s Aulos, who are so good live that I couldn’t find the words to express my happiness.
Anyway, the reason I mention any of this is because today I listened to an old Neil Young & Crazy Horse album for the first time and it reminded me how much I love that classic sound.
There is no great craftsmanship to the songs, the lyrics could be about toilet roll for all I care, it’s kind of slow and hypnotic without too much dynamic and the vocals are generally buried deep in the mix but…it sounds amazing.
I put it on, turned it up and revelled in the simple sound of a band playing together and loving every second of it.
The songs are long and I want them to be. I just want to hear some guitar and amp, some hum, some solos and bass runs and rock solid drums. I don’t want to think, be informed, hear a message or a point of view, I just want to hear a band playing loud. The mistakes are left in there and I like that. This shit is made by humans, not robots. It is loose, raw and really, really good.
I don’t know what the songs are about, I don’t even know what they’re called.
I don’t care.
The album is called ‘Broken Arrow’, it’s by Neil Young & Crazy Horse and I love it.
Copyright © 2013 William Henry Prince.