In order to bring her best performance forward for Ricki and the Flash, Meryl Streep had to pick up guitar to accurately portray her latest rock star persona. The Academy award-winning actress enlisted the help of none other than Neil Young to help her unleash her inner rocker. The two met up at the Jacob Burns Film Center where Young clued Streep in on the art of distortion.
The guitar aficionado's first piece of advice to Streep: turn on the amps knobs to their maximum setting-for prime sound and for realism. "Turn everything all the way up, that's what you always do. No matter what they give you, just turn it all up," Young tells Streep in the video. Streep responds by bowing to the guitar god. Young continues to explain distortion and feedback as he strikes the guitar and the notes roar. "The guitar does all the work," Young told Streep.
It's uncertain how the meeting came to be at Pleasantville's Jacob Burns Film Center but it may have something to do with Ricki and the Flash director Jonathan Demme setting up the guitar lessons. Demme has joined forces with Young for three concert films -- 2006's Heart of Gold, 2009's Trunk Show and 2012's Journeys. In 2008, Demme incorporated Young's Harvest Moon track, "Unknown Legend," in his own film, Rachel Getting Married, Rolling Stone reports.
From the director of The Silence Of The Lambs and Philadelphia, Ricki And The Flash follows Ricki Rendazzo, a woman who puts her family on the back burner in order to chase her dream in a rock band. Now, she has a chance to make amends with her family after her daughter's recent divorce. The day-time grocery store clerk, night-time rocker fails to perform any Young tracks in the film, although she does take on renditions of Tom Petty, Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen. The film soundtrack, however, features Streep's son, Henry Wolfe, singing a cover of On the Beach's "For the Turnstiles."
Young recently hit the road for a string of gigs to support his latest LP, The Monsanto Years, in whcih he takes jabs at Starbucks, Monstanto and GMOs. Furthermore, he pulled his music from all streaming services, claiming that the audio is just "awful."