Neil Young is a rock-and-roll icon and has been for six decades…he’s not fading away! He’s released thirty-six solo albums since 1969-2015. “I don’t care what people want to hear…that’s not why I’m playing. I’m not an entertainer in the classic sense. I play what I feel like playing, and I hope the people like it.”
Neil Young is my Dad’s age…seventy-years-old young. There’s something about this generation…their unwavering confidence and spirit of a Crazy Horse. Neil Young’s middle name is Percival…one of the knights of Arthur’s round table. Percival was one of the persevering knights who finds the Holy Grail and completes the quest. Young’s parents probably knew that Percival would suit him well.
Most music fans know about Neil Young and his epic musical legacy, but if you “come a little bit closer”…the man behind “Rockin’ In The Free World,” “Heart of Gold,” “Harvest Moon,” “Ohio” and so many more classics is even more interesting than you thought.
FIVE THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT NEIL YOUNG…
1. Neil Young has been a resident of Northern California for almost fifty years (he also has homes in Florida and Hawaii) but did you know that he’s Canadian? He’s received both the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada. “It’s my roots, I’m proud to be a Canadian – but I don’t let it hold me back.”
2. Neil Young was once in a band with R&B legend Rick James. Before he formed Buffalo Springfield, Young played in a ’60s Toronto band called the Mynah Byrds that was fronted by seventeen-year-old Rick Super Freak James. Not only did Young play in a band with Rick James in the ‘60s, they also shared an apartment together in Toronto. In an interview Young said, “We did some wild things. It’s all very hazy to me now. I’m glad I made it through that stage. It got a little dicey.”
3. Neil Young is passionate about paddle boarding and practices during his free time. He said he loves paddle boarding because “it’s a beautiful thing…I can’t worry about the paparazzi. You can’t see them anyway. They are taking pictures from behind trees. You can’t think about that.”
4. Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote “Sweet Home Alabama” as a diss song to Neil Young for writing “Southern Man” and “Alabama.” Young’s songs discuss the racism that existed in the American South. “Sweet Home Alabama” is about how great the South is and includes the lyrics “I hope Neil Young will remember, a Southern man don’t need him around anyhow.” Young actually liked the song.
5. Young looks long and lean because of his training regimen…Pilates! He’s a trained Pilates instructor. “I have a truck that travels with me when I’m on the road, and it has a Pilates Reformer in it. I keep doing stuff like that. It keeps me fit.” Young attributes Pilates to making his performances on stage more aerobic and a form of strength training. “I can actually do it better now than I’ve been able to for years because Pilates has opened my body up. I feel much better about my ability to react physically to what I’m doing.”
It’s nice to know that Neil Percival Young isn’t retiring anytime soon. He’s writing a book right now…still on his quest like a persevering knight of King Arthur.