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Baker's Dozen

Mob Deep: Michael Imperioli's Favourite Music
Simon Price , August 5th, 2020 09:21

Actor, writer, producer and musician Michael Imperioli – best known for playing Christopher Moltisanti in The Sopranos – chooses his 13 favourite tracks, and discusses the use of music in the series. Simon Price listens in an unmarked van across the street.


Neil Young & Crazy Horse - 'Danger Bird'
'Danger Bird' is on Zuma, which is also the album 'Cortez The Killer' is on, which he wrote in high school. Neil Young is one of my favourites, and 'Danger Bird' is one of my favourite songs. It's about an actress that Neil Young had an affair with – I think it's Carrie Snodgress – and the dissolution of that relationship. It's just great guitar playing. I think he's underrated as a guitar player. His soloing I find very expressive and distinctive.

His tone is always just spot-on, and he really shows it off on this album. This song was also one of Lou Reed's favourite songs. He loved the guitar playing. He said, talking about those notes, that Neil Young must have killed for those notes, suffered for those notes, or something like that. Lou really appreciated what seems to be simple. It's not shredding virtuosity, like Steve Vai or Eddie Van Halen, but it's just very expressive, and that's not easy to come by. You have to be an artist to play like that, you know what I mean? And I think Lou is another underrated guitar player. I love a lot of his soloing. Especially live versions of songs when he just kind of lets rip. He's another very expressive, distinctive guitar player who really gets a lot out of tone, and the notes that he plays.

Was the naming of the Crazy Horse club in The Sopranos, which first appears in an episode you wrote, a reference to Neil Young?

No, it's a reference to a nightclub that [Sopranos co-star] Vinnie Pastore owned. Not far from where I grew up, the next town. He had a rock club, and we used to go in as underage teenagers to go see music and drink illegally and stuff, and he didn't know that ‘til we got to know each other.