- NAME: Neil Young
- OCCUPATION: Environmental Activist, Engineer, Songwriter, Guitarist, Singer, Philanthropist
- BIRTH DATE: November 12, 1945 (Age: 68)
- EDUCATION: Earl Grey Junior High School, Kelvin High School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Nickname: Bernard Shakey
- Nickname: Joe Canuck
- Full Name: Neil Percival Young
- AKA: Neil Young
- ZODIAC SIGN: Scorpio
Best Known For
Neil Young is one of the most influential songwriters and guitarists of his generation, known for writing and recording such time-transcending songs as "Old Man," "Harvest Moon" and "Heart of Gold."
Neil Young moved to Winnipeg and played small clubs with Randy Bachman, founder of The Guess Who.
Neil Young is often cited as "The Godfather of Grunge" due to the impact his music had on the early 90's grunge music scene.
In the 1990's, Neil Young joined the grunge band Pearl Jam. Young was also a prime mover in Farm Aid and participated in the 9-11 fundraiser in New York.
Neil Young, was asked to join Crosby, Stills and Nash at the suggestion of Ahmet Ertegun from Atlantic Records.
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By the late-1960s, Young had again embarked on a solo career, backed by a group called Crazy Horse. In 1969, while still working as a solo artist, Young joined former Springfield member Stephen Stills and two other musicians, David Crosby and Graham Nash, to form the band Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Through a contractual agreement,
Young was able to work as both a solo artist and a member of CSN&Y simulatenously. Just months after bringing Young into the mix, CSN&Y was invited to perform at the famous Woodstock Fesitval—their second live performance. The band's subsequent tour and album release, Déjà Vu, catapulted them to fame—so much so that they were often referred to as the "American Beatles."
Perhaps due to pressure, or perhaps due to his own ambitions, Young's relationship with Crosby, Stills and Nash soon became contentious. Young and Stills were often at odds over the direction of the band, and Young eventually parted ways in the early 1970s. Crosby, Stills and Nash continued on as a trio, and each of the three remaining members, like Young, became two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees; CSN&Y remains the only band to have all of its members inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame twice, though not all with each other.
After leaving CSN&Y, Young focused on his solo career, backed up again with Crazy Horse. He released several albums over the next three years, culminating with Harvest (1972), a hallmark work that contains the song "Heart of Gold," a No. 1 hit, and the only No. 1 song of Young's career, to date. CSN&Y reunited in 1974, and released a successful compilation album.
In 1979, Young released the album Rust Never Sleeps, which included the anthem "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)," and was both a commercial and critical success. In the 1980s, Young experimented with various styles of music, from computerized sequencers to country music, and most were neither critially nor commercially well-received.
In 1989, Young released the album Freedom, which includes the song "Rockin' in the Free World." The alternative song is often credited with starting grunge music, and earned Young the moniker "Godfather of Grunge," especially after the band Pearl Jam adopted the song and performed it with Young at the 1993 MTV Video Awards. The 1990s also found Young playing with Booker T., touring with Sonic Youth and Pearl Jam, and reuniting with Crazy Horse to record Harvest Moon. Young returned to his roots to create the album, which includes a compilation of folk-rock tunes.
The 2000s found Young reflecting the souls of America, from the patriotic song, "Let's Roll," inspired by the heroism shown after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, to the antiwar-themed album Living with War.
In the 1980s, Young was heavily preoccupied with taking care of his son, Ben, who suffered from cerebal palsy, as did his older son, Zeke.
Young, an avid model-train collector, created a 700-foot model train track within a barn on his property—an idea he developed as a way to interact with Ben.
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