Neil Percival Young, one of rock music’s greatest singer/songwriters, was born on November 12, 1945 in Toronto, Canada. As a teen, Young played folk clubs and was significantly influenced by the music of Bob Dylan. It was during this period that he wrote “Sugar Mountain.” Surprisingly, in 1966 Young began touring with Rick James in a funk band called the Mynah Birds but they quickly disbanded when James was arrested for going AWOL from the Reserve. It was at this point that Young set out for California and his career truly began to blossom as he explored his musical potential with both Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
With Buffalo Springfield, Young broadened his horizons when he was introduced to to the psychedelia infused country music of California. In 1968, after the breakup of that band, he released his first self titled solo album which included “The Loner.” In May of 1969, Young recruited guitarist Danny Whitten, bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina to form Crazy Horse and released his classic Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. Highlighted by monumental hits including “Cinnamon Girl,” “Cowgirl In The Sand” and “Down By The River,” the album displayed Young’s passion for improvisation, accented with his almost spasmodic but highly infectious guitar style. Shortly after that release Young joined Crosby, Stills and Nash and debuted at Woodstock where he was absent for most of the acoustic set and angrily forbade being filmed, warning cameramen that if “one of you fuckin’ guys comes near me.. I’m gonna fuckin’ hit you with my guitar.” The making of their album Deja Vu was marked by internal quarreling, especially between Young and Stills over control of the band.
In 1970 Young began a spectacular solo span that had a revolutionary effect on the music world. After The Gold Rush and Harvest not only set the overall standard for early 70s rock music but also charted the course for folk music. For over 45 years, during which he has recorded 35 studio albums, Neil Young has consistently woven musical gold that stands as a definitive example of the ultimate potential of acoustic based music. His distinctive high tenor and unique picking style, combined with an extraordinary genius for songwriting, have made the world a better place with inspirational storytelling and unforgettably memorable melodies that somehow consistently find their way into special places in our hearts.