Friday, March 20, 2015
Neil Young - "The Restless Consumer" (2006)
Neil Young began writing songs for Living with War in a Gambier, Ohio, hotel room while visiting his daughter at her college. While retrieving coffee from a vending machine early one morning, Young saw the front page of a USA Today issue documenting a surgery room on an airplane flying seriously wounded US soldiers from Iraq to Germany. He later told Charlie Rose that the combination of the vivid picture and the headline (which focused not on any suffering and death depicted, but rather on medical breakthroughs made during the war) moved him: "For some reason, that was what did it to me. I went upstairs after that. I wrote this song, 'Families'; I started writing another song, 'Restless Consumer'; I started writing all these songs all at once; I had like four songs going at once."
The album was nominated for three 2007 Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song and Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance (both for "Lookin' for a Leader").
Commenting on the lack of artists writing songs critical of American policy at the time, Young said, "I was hoping some young person would come along and say this and sing some songs about it, but I didn't see anybody, so I'm doing it myself. I waited as long as I could."