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The Last Thing You Wanna Do. | Bethany Suckrow

The Last Thing You Wanna Do.

Neil Young : “…What happens in the lyrics happened because they happened; it’s not because you thought of them. That’s the last damn thing you wanna do is think of something. That is death.”

Jian Ghomeshi : “What do you mean ‘think of something’?”

Neil : “Think up an idea. That is the last damn thing you want. The worst songs I ever wrote were written that way – I can’t even put ‘em out. I got a few that are hidden – carefully hidden – no one will ever find ‘em. They’re awful.”

Jian : “So it has to come out almost like you’re expectorating?”

Neil : “It’s like Schubert said, ‘I don’t make up music; I remember it.’ I remember what I’m doing… That’s Schubert said, and he was a great composer. He remembered what he did – who knows from where – but there it is. And you’re there with it, and the only responsibility is to take care of it. Make sure you’re in good enough shape to deliver it, and make sure you know what you’re doing enough that you care about the moment that you do it.”

Neil Young’s Exclusive Interview with QTV, circa 2010.


  • http://hila-lumiere.blogspot.in/ Hila

    Such timing Bethany, I’ve been thinking about exactly the same thing. I over-think everything, so when I write a ‘good’ poem effortlessly, for example, I question it and try to unpick it and give it an ‘idea’, rather than letting it be. It’s something I’m trying to let go of. What an interesting interview.

    • http://www.bethanysuckrow.com/ Bethany Suckrow

      Thanks, Hila. I’m glad I am not the only one that gets stuck in my writing this way, especially with my poetry. It often goes off in its own direction, and I, the chronic over-thinker, worry that I’m “doing it wrong.”

  • Sam Shorey

    Neil just gets it! I (like you and Hila) can get so caught up in my head by trying to describe or think of something. But my best writing comes from just letting go and “remembering”. It definitely makes me believe in the muses!

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