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Neil Young

Well it's certainly the longest we've had to date, so please take a deep breath, we promise it's going to be very interesting, it's really worth it.


Neil Young is celebrating 76 years today and we are going to tell you 76 (!!) facts about him:



1. He was born on November 12, 1945 in Toronto Canada.


2. Young's middle name is Percival.


3. His father Scott Alexander Young was a well-known journalist and author in Canada who wrote more than 30 books.


4. In 1966 Neil Young was diagnosed with epilepsy.


5. Although he is considered Canadian, Young's mother has American roots that go back to the early days of the Republic.


6. Although Young lived in the US for decades he never relinquished his Canadian citizenship.


7. As a child, Young listened to rock 'n' roll, rockabilly, country and rhythm and blues in his youth.


8. He adored Elvis Presley and was influenced by Chuck Berry, Hank Marvin, Cliff Richards, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison.


9. While only 7 years old, Young got infected by polio bacterium that almost led to his death.


10. During Young's recovery process, his parents brought him to Florida, where the family lived for six months until his full recovery.


11. The first instrument he played was the ukulele he received in 1958 as a Christmas present.


12. Two years later, in 1960, his parents divorced and his mother moved with him to Winnipeg, Canada, where he formed his first band, "The Jades".


13. In 1963, when he was only 17, he joined the band "The Squires" with which he released the single "Sultan / Aurora. The two Surf-style tracks was influenced by" The Shadows ".


14. Today it is known about the existence of only 10 copies of this single, which makes it one of the rarest singles in the world.


15. In order to make it easy for him to move around with the equipment for his performances, Neil Young bought an old funeral car from 1948, in which hearse coffins were carried and gave it the amusing name Mortimer Hearseburg or Mort for short.


16. He met Stephen Stills in 1965 when he performed with his band at a club in Ontario Canada.


17. On his 19th birthday he wrote the song "Sugar Mountain" which was influenced by his childhood in Winnipeg Canada.


18. This song was not released on an album until 12 years later in 1977 as part of the compilation album "Decade".


19. At the time of writing the song singer Joni Mitchell was Young's girlfriend. She loved the song and was influenced by it to write the song "Circle Game".


20. In 1966 Young joined the band "Mynah Birds" which included members of the future "Buffalo Springfield" Bruce Palmer, as well as Goldy McJohn and Nick St. Nicholas who would later form the band "Steppenwolf" and in addition the none other than the funk and black soul artist Rick James, yes yes, that one from the freaky hit "Super Freak".


21. Together with "Mynah Birds" he managed to get a recording contract, but at the recording stage of the album Rick James was arrested after he defected from the army, which led to the disbandment of the band.


22. Young and Bruce Palmer sold all of the band's equipment and purchased a funeral vehicle that replaced the broken "Mort". The replacement vehicle was given the original name "Mort II". Together with "Mort II" the two crossed the border into the USת illegally, in search of a musical future in Los Angeles.


23. During the trip the two wrote "Mr. Soul" which would become a hit for "Buffalo Springfield".


24. While the two were stuck in a traffic jam at Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, Stephen Stills spotted "Mort II" from across the road. He was with singer and guitarist Richie Furay in the car and made an illegal U-turn to get Young and Palmer. This incidental encounter gave birth to the "Buffalo Springfield."


25. "Buffalo Springfield" has greatly influenced the development of the country rock and folk rock genres.


26. Their great hit "For What It's Worth" was adopted by the Vietnam War protest movements as an anti-war anthem. Here is a performance of the song as a medley with "Mr. Soul", in which Young takes the lead.


27. After the breakup of "Buffalo Springfield" Young signed a recording contract as a solo artist and released on his 23rd birthday in 1968 (exactly 53 years ago), his first album was named "Neil Young".


28. About a year later Young recruited Danny Whitten, Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina, who adopted the name "Crazy Horse". This lineup will serve as his backing band.


29. Young will record his second album, "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" with "Crazy Horse". It also become his breakthrough album.


30. The masterful songs "Cinnamon Girl", "Cowgirl in the Sand", and "Down by the River" are recorded by Young while he was ill with 40 degrees Cel.


31. After the release of the album "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" Young joins the "Crosby, Stills & Nash" trio.


32. Their second ever appearance was at the Woodstock Festival.


33. Young objected to being photographed during the festival and even threatened one of the photographers that if he approached him he would hit him with his guitar, so the only songs filmed at that show were "CSN" without Young.


34. Young's favorite electric guitar is "Gibson Les Paul Goldtop 1953", a particularly tough guitar that bears the name "Old Black".


35. 25 years later Young received a fantastic $ 1,000,000 offer to perform at the 1994 Woodstock Festival. Young refused on the grounds that the event was too commercial and that he preferred to stay with the memory and atmosphere of the original festival.


36. Young was not the first choice of "Crosby, Stills & Nash". Their record label thought they needed a keyboardist and recommended Steve Winwood, but he was busy at the time with "Blind Faith".


37. In March 1970 Young releases the successful album "Déjà Vu" as part of the band "Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young".


38. That same year he wrote the protest song "Ohio" in response to the killing of the four students at Kent State University by the National Guard.


39. In August 1970 Young releases his third album "After the Gold Rush" which includes the song "Southern Man", a protest song against racism and the treatment of blacks in the US.


40. In 1972 he released the masterpiece album "Harvest", which includes the song "The Needle and the Damage Done", that Young wrote about the addiction of guitarist Danny Whitten, who also died a few months later from a heroin overdose.


41. The album featured all the members of "Crosby, Stills & Nash," country singer Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor.


42. Although Young released hundreds of songs during his glorious career the song "Heart of Gold" is the only song that reached number one on the charts.


43. The album also includes the song "Alabama" which deals with the same theme of "Southern Man", in protest against racism against blacks.


44. The members of "Lynyrd Skynyrd" did not remain indebted and released in 1974 the successful song "Sweet Home Alabama" with a direct response to Neil Young whom they admired, including the words: "I hope Neil Young will remember A Southern man do not need him around anyhow ".


45. The quarrel between "Lynyrd Skynyrd" and Young was inflated by the media, in practice the two sides continued to admire each other, as evidenced by Skynyrd's singer Ronny Van Zant appearing with a Neil Young shirt on the cover of the band's "Street Survivors" album.


46. ​​In 1973 Young records what was to be his fourth album "Tonight’s The Night". The album was grim and depressing and it addressed issues like loss and death, influenced by the deaths of Young's two friends, Danny Whitten and Bruce Berry from a heroin overdose.


47. The record company was so frightened by the content that it thought it would be a commercial failure and decided not to release it. The album was finally released two years later after the albums "Time Fades Away" and "On The Beach".


48. These three albums are known as "The Ditch Trilogy trilogy", as they were released during his melancholy, gloomy, dark period.


49. In 1976 while Crosby & Nash recorded and performed under the name "Crosby & Nash", Young and Stills formed "The Stills-Young Band" and released the album "Long May You Run".


50. The idyll between the two fell apart after only nine live shows, while Young abandons Stills in a telegram message.


51. In 1976 Young joins "The Band" for their last show, which was recorded for Martin Scorsese's album and film "The Last Waltz".


52. In 1979 Young released "Rust Never Sleeps", an album that would later become one of the reasons why the nickname "Godfather of Grunge" stuck with him, partly due to the feedback, distortions and the rough sound he used to produce from the guitar.


53. Kurt Cobain's quoted some of the lyrics to the song "Hey Hey, My My" from the above album in his suicide note.


54. The news of Kurt Cobain's suicide and the contents of the suicide note catches Young during the recording of the album "Sleeps With Angels" in 1993. Young did not remain indifferent to the tragic event and this is reflected in new songs written following Cobain's death and included in the aforementioned album dedicated to him.


55. That same year, "Pearl Jam" warmed up Young during his live shows. Young used to bring "Pearl Jam" members on stage during the encores to perform the anthem "Rockin 'in the Free World" from the album "Freedom".


56. This Collaboration worked so well that the members of "Pearl Jam" joined Young and record the joint album "Mirror Ball" which was released in 1995.


57. Neil Young and "Pearl Jam" minus Eddie Vedder came to Israel for two shows that year.


58. In 1982 Young releases an experimental electronic album called "Trans". Young said he tried to communicate through experimental music with his son who suffered from cerebral palsy as he felt his Distorted voice (in the album) would help.


59. This album created a great tension between Young and the record company, which reached its peak when the record company refused to release material that Young had already recorded for his next album, "Old Ways".


60. In response, Young entered the studio and quickly concocted an entirely new "Rockabilly" -style material, which he quickly recorded for Everybody's Rockin', which was released in 1983 and became Young's shortest album in just 25 minutes.


61. Following this, the record company filed a lawsuit against Young, alleging that he deliberately released non-commercial albums. Young for his part filed a counterclaim alleging breach of contract, as he claimed he was given full creative freedom under the contract, which the record company denied him. Young won the lawsuit.


62. In 1991, Young releases an entire album (Arc) featuring guitar feedback noises recorded during his live performances. He released the album on the advice of Thurston Moore from "Sonic Youth".


63. In 1997, Young boycotted the induction ceremony of his band "Buffalo Springfield" to the Rock N 'Roll Hall of Fame, because he thought the ceremony was over-commercialized, after discovering that the organizers were demanding $ 1,200 to enter the ceremony.


64. Two years earlier in 1995 he was inducted the Rock N 'Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. In this case he did not boycott the ceremony. By the way, the one to give the induction speech was none other than Eddie Vedder.


65. Young is the first artist to record two different shows in the MTV Unplugged series. It happened after Young was completely unhappy with his performance on the first show, that he abandoned the show before it ended. Young returned for a second round two months later and this time the magic worked and thus Young's wonderful "Unplugged" album was born.


66. Young has since the early 1970s produced a number of films under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey.


67. Young was a partner in "PonoMusic" which developed music players and high quality music download and streaming services. Young disliked the qualities of the MP3 format and the likes and claimed that their quality was so poor that it was impossible to enjoy music that way.


68. He also realized his love for trains by being a partner in a company that created toy trains and was called Lionel Trains.


69. Young almost obtained a recording contract with none other than convicted killer Charles Manson. He met him in 1968 at the home of the Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson and recommended him to the record company "Reprise".


70. Young never agreed that his songs would be used for commercials.


71. He protested against two presidents of the United States - Bush the father and the son. The protest against the father is expressed in the song "Rockin 'in the Free World" and against the son on the album "Living With War".


72. In August 2020, he also sued President Donald Trump for $ 150,000, for using his songs "Rockin 'in the Free World" and "Devil's Sidewalk", for his campaign:


73. Neil Young and Bob Dylan mentioned each other's names in songs they wrote. Young did this with the song "Bandit" and Bob Dylan in the song "Highlands".


74. Neil Young has a kind of obsession with the moon. He has written more than thirty songs reminiscent of the moon.


75. Neil Young has released over the course of his solo career, no less than 41 studio albums. Now add to that CSNY, Buffalo Springfield, live albums, box collections and you will understand how prolific and influential this amazing man is even today.


76. Young also collaborated with so many artists like The Monkees, Emmylou Harris, Warren Zevon, Randy Bachman, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chrissie Hynde, Sheryl Crow and more.


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