Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

12. Neil YoungOn The Beach

Neil Young was one of those guys that got me at around 18 years old but I only discovered this album about four years ago. I did a solo gig in the Shetland Islands and when I got there the promoter claimed he couldn’t get me a hotel and offered me a room in some sailor’s house. I took the promoter to one side and told him that if he didn’t fucking find me a hotel sharpish the gig was off – I really had the hump! Anyway as it turned out this fella who’s house I avoided staying in had the most amazing record collection and I ended up at his until 5 o’clock in the morning anyway – I might as well had stayed there! He played me On The Beach and it was like being a teenager again. We just sat in his loft on beanbags, smoking, listening to an album and not talking. We listened to it about three times in a row and I was like, "Where can I get this fucking album?" I felt like a fool being such a massive fan of Neil Young and having never heard it. 

Anyone who trots out that old argument that he can’t play should listen to On The Beach, in particular the title track. The guitar playing on that just speaks to you. It’s such a shattering record and you know there’s no one telling this man what music to make.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Gaz Coombes, Alexis Taylor
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