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Also Known As: Neil Percival Young, Bernard Shakey, Joe Yankee, Shakey Deal, Phil Perspective, Joe Canuck, Clyde Coil Died:
Born: November 12, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Toronto, Ontario, CA Profession: singer, musician, composer, actor, director, screenwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Canadian-born rock star Neil Young burst upon the music scene in 1967 as the primary creative force behind the seminal folk-rock band Buffalo Springfield. Although Steven Stills' counterculture anthem "For What It's Worth" earned the band nationwide fame, Young drew the most attention for his idiosyncratic style and high-energy guitar playing. Possessing a distinctively haunting, thin tenor voice, Young wrote the signature songs "Mr. Soul" and "Broken Arrow" (which he still performs in his live shows) for their second album "Buffalo Springfield Again" (1967). Following the breakup of the band, he released his debut LP "Neil Young" (1969) but found far greater success with his second solo effort, the platinum "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" (1969), recorded in two weeks with his new back-up band Crazy Horse (Danny Whitten, Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina). He joined David Crosby, Steven Stills and Graham Nash's supergroup in time to appear at the historic Woodstock festival. His most memorable composition for CSN&Y, "Ohio", written in response to the Kent State killings, came out as a single in 1970.

Canadian-born rock star Neil Young burst upon the music scene in 1967 as the primary creative force behind the seminal folk-rock band Buffalo Springfield. Although Steven Stills' counterculture anthem "For What It's Worth" earned the band nationwide fame, Young drew the most attention for his idiosyncratic style and high-energy guitar playing. Possessing a distinctively haunting, thin tenor voice, Young wrote the signature songs "Mr. Soul" and "Broken Arrow" (which he still performs in his live shows) for their second album "Buffalo Springfield Again" (1967). Following the breakup of the band, he released his debut LP "Neil Young" (1969) but found far greater success with his second solo effort, the platinum "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" (1969), recorded in two weeks with his new back-up band Crazy Horse (Danny Whitten, Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina). He joined David Crosby, Steven Stills and Graham Nash's supergroup in time to appear at the historic Woodstock festival. His most memorable composition for CSN&Y, "Ohio", written in response to the Kent State killings, came out as a single in 1970.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Greendale (2003) Director
3.
  Human Highway (1982) Director
4.
  Rust Never Sleeps (1979) Director
5.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Sound City (2013)
2.
3.
 Pearl Jam Twenty (2011)
4.
 Union, The (2011)
7.
 Greendale (2003)
8.
 Greendale (2003)
9.
 Year of the Horse, The (1997) Guitar & Vocals (Crazy Horse)
10.
 Island of Dr. Moreau, The (1996) Boar Man
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Formed his first band, The Jades, and met Ken Koblun, later to join him in The Squires
:
Worked folk clubs in Winnipeg, where he first met Joni Mitchell
:
First major hit as a songwriter, "Flying on the Ground is Wrong"
1966:
Joined the Rick James-fronted rock band, Mynah Birds
1967:
Joined Bruce Palmer, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, and Dewey Martin to form Buffalo Springfield
1967:
Band released debut album, <i>Buffalo Springfield</i>
1968:
Buffalo Springfield disbanded in May, but in order to fulfill a contractual obligation, a final album <i>Last Time Around</i> was released
1969:
Released debut solo album, <i>Neil Young</i> and recorded "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere," backed by Crazy Horse (Danny Whitten, Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina)
1969:
Reunited with Stephen Stills by joining Crosby, Stills, & Nash; second live performance was before half a million people at Woodstock
1970:
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young released their first album, <i>Déjà Vu</i>
1970:
Wrote "Ohio" about the Kent State killings; released as a single by CSN&Y
1970:
Released his third solo album, <i>After the Gold Rush</i>, which featured a young Nils Lofgren, Stephen Stills, and CSNY bassist Greg Reeves
1971:
After Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young disbanded, Young embarked on a solo tour entitled, "Journey Through the Past"
1972:
Recorded the album, <i>Harvest</i>; James Taylor, Linda Ronstandt and the London Symphony Orchestra appeared on album
1973:
Wrote, directed (credited as Bernard Shakey) and starred in the feature, "Journey Through the Past"
1974:
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunited and toured for last time
1975:
Released the album, <i>Tonight's the Night</i>, a musical send-off for Crazy Horse's guitarist Danny Whitten and CSNY roadie Bruce Berry, both dead from drug overdoses
1975:
Recorded <i>Zuma</i> with a new version of Crazy Horse (with Frank Sampedro on guitar)
1976:
Made the duet album, <i>Long May You Run</i> with Stills; the follow-up tour was ended midway through by Young
1976:
Appeared at The Band's "Last Waltz" concert; seen in Martin Scorsese's documentary "The Last Waltz" (1978)
1978:
Performed arena tour with Crazy Horse called, "Rust Never Sleeps"; the following year a live album of same name and a concert movie (directed by Young) were released
1980:
Provided the incidental music to a biopic of Hunter S. Thompson entitled, "Where the Buffalo Roam"
1982:
Co-directed (with Dean Stockwell) the feature, "Human Highway," an anti-nuke comedy in which he also acted
1985:
Appeared at the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia, collaborating with Crosby, Stills and Nash
1987:
Reunited with Crazy Horse for the subsequent year-long tour and album, <i>Life</i>
1987:
Portrayed Westy, a cycle shop owner in "'68"
1987:
Had a cameo as a truck driver in "Made in Heaven"
1988:
Reunited with Crosby, Stills and Nash for the album, <i>American Dream</i>
1989:
Released the single "Rockin' in the Free World" from the album, <i>Freedom</i>
1990:
Played non-rocking role of Rick in "Love at Large"
1990:
Reunited with Crazy Horse, recording the platinum-selling album, <i>Ragged Glory</i>
1993:
Wrote and performed the title track for Jonathan Demme's "Philadelphia"; received an Oscar nomination
1995:
Collaborated with Pearl Jam on the live-in-the-studio album, <i>Mirror Ball</i> and a tour of Europe
1996:
Cast as Boar Man, one of the beast-people resulting from gene-splicing, in John Frankenheimer's "The Island of Dr. Moreau"
1996:
Provided soundtrack for Jim Jarmusch's "Dead Man"
1997:
Released the album, <i>Year of the Horse</i>; also appeared in the Jim Jarmusch directed concert documentary of same name about Neil and the band
2000:
Toured the United States and Canada with Crosby, Stills and Nash for "Looking Forward"
2002:
Released the rock opera, "Greendale," with Crazy Horse members Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina; the project also resulted in a movie written and directed by Neil Young using his 'Bernard Shakey' pseudonym
2005:
Wrote and recorded the album, <i>Prairie Wind,</i> in Nashville; earned two Grammy nominations
2006:
The live premiere of <i>Prairie Wind</i> in Nashville was immortalized by filmmaker Jonathan Demme in the film, "Neil Young: Heart of Gold"
2006:
Released the album, <i>Living With War</i>; reunited with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young for the supporting "Freedom Of Speech Tour '06"; Young directed "CSNY Déjà Vu," a concert film of the tour
2009:
Released the album, <i>Fork in the Road</i>; earned a Grammy nomination for the title track
2010:
Earned three Grammy nominations for the album, <i>Le Noise</i>, including Best Rock Album
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Neil Young recorded ten times for Atlantic Records, six times with Buffalo Springfield and four times with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. As a part of CSN&Y, he performed on "Woodstock" (1970, Cotillion).

About the time of his first collaboration with Crazy Horse, "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere", Young acquired a black 1956 Les Paul guitar which he still uses today. His name for it: 'Ol' black'.

The title track from "This Note's For You" (1988) won MTV's Video of the Year Award. Banned by the network, it lampooned the commercial state of rock, showing a Michael Jackson look-a-like's hair catching fire and a Whitney Houston clone dousing it with Pepsi.

The New Wave group Devo provided the inspiration for the title of one of Young's best albums, suggesting that the Rustoleum slogan, "Rust Never Sleeps" was a catchy phrase.

Young has a passion for model trains and is an investor in the Lionel company.

In spring 2000, Young was sued by former Village Voice writer Jimmy McDonough, with McDonough claiming that Young was blocking publication of an authorized biography

About the special chemistry of Crazy Horse: "Something happens that I still can't explain. But it's like something begins to push all of us, and pretty soon it's one big wave and we're riding it. You don't question or analyze something like that. You just appreciate that you don't get this feeling with any other group of musicians." --Billy Talbot, bassist for Crazy Horse, quoted inThe Chicago Tribune, June 7, 1997

Young has refused to release a boxed-set collection of his music on CDSs. "When you do an analog reording and you take it to digital, you lose everything. You turn a universe of songs into an average. The music becomes more abrupt and more agitating, and all the subtleties are gone. I don't want to release my old analog albums on a CD. My statement is, I'd rather burn the tapes." As for the next technological step, DVD (digital versatile disk): "It sounds a thousand times worse than the CD. They're destroying an art form through greed." --Neil Young in The New York Times, August 11, 1997

About the Jim Jarmusch-directed "Year of the Horse": "We started with the understanding that if it wasn't working, we would stop. We wouldn't have wasted a whole bunch of fuckin' time and money trying to live up to some grand plan we'd sold to somebody we didn't know for a bunch of money, and committed ourselves to have to complete." --Neil Young to Time Out New York, October 9-16, 1997

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Carrie Snodgress. Actor. Together in the late 1960s and early 70s; mother of Zeke Young.
wife:
Pegi Young. Married in the mid-1970s; mother of Young's two younger children.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Scott Young. Sportswriter with TORONTO SUN. Wrote "Neil & Me" (1984) about his relationship with his rock star son; divorced from Young's mother in 1960.
mother:
Edna Young. Divorced from Young's father in 1960; supported Young's musical endeavors, helping his early band Neil Young & the Squires get bookings.
son:
Zeke Young. Born c. 1973; mother, Carrie Snodgress.
son:
Ben Young. Mother, Pegi Morton; born with cerebral palsy.
daughter:
Amber Young. Mother, Pegi Morton.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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