Monday, March 3, 2014

Neil Young

Image from The Paris Review

Born in Toronto just months after the end of WWII, Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young grew up in Winnipeg.

By the time he co-founded Buffalo Springfield in the mid-sixties, Young had been in several other bands. This one became well-known enough to be inducted into the Rock'n Roll Hall of Fame. Young himself was later inducted a second time.

Stephen Stills, whom he met at that time, went on with him to form Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, who became very well-known for such classics as Teach Your Children. How well I remember listening to this song in the cavernous quonset hut that was the community centre in my home town before it burnt down.

One of Neil Young's songs was made a hit by The Guess Who. Another early hit was The Needle and the Damage Done. A song about the effects of drugs on artists, this song implicates more than just the rock stars in the line "a little part of it in everyone. Helpless was another of his well-known songs.

Neil Young's solo tour is planned for 2014. One of the his greatest hits is Heart of Gold. Since it came out in 1970, he's has added environmental activism and philanthropy to his impressive resume. 

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