Legal name: Neil Percival Young
Also performs as: Bernard Shakey (pseudonym for Neil Young)
Neil Percival Young, OC OM (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician. He began performing in a group covering Shadows instrumentals in Canada in 1960, before moving to California in 1966, where he co-founded the band Buffalo Springfield along with Stephen Stills and Richie Furay, later joining Crosby, Stills & Nash as a fourth member in 1969. He forged a successful and acclaimed solo career, releasing his first album in 1968; his career has since spanned over 45 years and 35 studio albums, with a continual and uncompromising exploration of musical styles. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website describes Young as "one of rock and roll’s greatest songwriters and performers". He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame twice: first as a solo artist in 1995, and second as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.
Young's work is characterized by his distinctive guitar work, deeply personal lyrics and signature alto or high tenor singing voice. Although he accompanies himself on several different instruments, including piano and harmonica, his idiosyncratic electric and clawhammer acoustic guitar playing are the defining characteristics of a varyingly ragged and melodic sound.
While Young has experimented with differing music styles, including swing and electronic music throughout a varied career, his best known work usually falls into two primary styles: acoustic (folk and country rock) and electric (amplified hard rock, very often in collaboration with the band Crazy Horse). Young has also adopted elements from newer styles such as alternative rock and grunge. His influence on the latter caused some to dub him the "Godfather of Grunge".
Young has directed (or co-directed) a number of films using the pseudonym Bernard Shakey, including Journey Through the Past (1973), Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Human Highway (1982), Greendale (2003), and CSNY/Déjà Vu (2008). He has also contributed to the soundtracks of films including Philadelphia (1993) and Dead Man (1995).
Young is an environmentalist and outspoken advocate for the welfare of small farmers, having co-founded in 1985 the benefit concert Farm Aid. He is currently working on a documentary about electric car technology, tentatively titled LincVolt. The project involves his 1959 Lincoln Continental converted to hybrid technology as an environmentalist statement. In 1986, Young helped found The Bridge School, an educational organization for children with severe verbal and physical disabilities, and its annual supporting Bridge School Benefit concerts, together with his ex-wife Pegi Young (née Morton). Young has three children: sons Zeke (born during his relationship with actress Carrie Snodgress) and Ben, who were diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and daughter Amber Jean who, like Young, has epilepsy. Young lives on his ranch in La Honda, California. Although he has lived in northern California since the 1970s and sings as frequently about U.S. themes and subjects as he does about his native country, he has retained his Canadian citizenship. On July 14, 2006, Young was awarded the Order of Manitoba, and on December 30, 2009, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
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- ^ "The Making of Le Noise: the new album from Neil Young". YouTube. 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
- ^ a b "Governor General Announces 57 New Appointments to the Order of Canada". Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. December 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
- ^ a b "Lieutenant Governor's Awards". Lieutenant Governors office of Manitoba. 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
- ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. Neil Young at AllMusic
- ^ "Neil Young: inducted in 1995". The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- ^ "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee-list". The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
- ^ "Young is a most distinctive guitarist and singer, using ghostly shards of feedback to taint his ringing guitar chords." "Neil Young's Passionate Guitar Playing Sparks Rock Arena". Los Angeles Daily News. 1993-09-14.
- ^ "It's Young's distinctive, chunky rhythm guitar sound which defines the songs here [on Living with War]." Brinn, David (2006-05-30). "Disc Reviews". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- ^ "30 years on, Neil Young remains one of the most distinctive voices of his, or any other, generation." Surkamp, David (1992-09-15). "Internal Fire From Neil Young Lights The Stage". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 4D.
- ^ Miller, Edward (2003). "The Nonsensical Truth of the Falsetto Voice: Listening to Sigur Rós". Popular Musicology Online. ISSN 1357-0951. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- ^ Sinclair, Scott (2009-04-04). "Neil Young – Fork In The Road". Popular Musicology Online. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- ^ Echard 2005, p. 43.
- ^ "Neil Young, environmentalist". CBC News.
- ^ Lendon, Brad (2009-02-05). "New Neil Young album expected in late March". Idiomag.com. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- ^ "'Rock stars don't need oil,' Neil Young says". CNN.com. 2014-01-14. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
- ^ Casella, Vicki. "The Bridge School". Retrieved October 13, 2013.
- ^ Young, Neil (2011). Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream. New York City: Plume Publishing.
- ^ "Resurrection of Neil Young, Continued". Time. 2005-09-28. Retrieved 2010-05-20.