Friday, November 12, 2010

65 years Young

Neil Young was born 65 years ago today on November 12, 1945.  Yes, that's right, that means he is now officially a senior citizen. Well, it's quite an accomplishment to be still actively touring and creating music for an adoring public for the past 40 plus years! I'm sad to say I have never seen him perform in concert. I missed my chance a couple of times now. :(
Although Neil now lives in the United States, he is still proudly Canadian, born in Toronto, Ontario, he lived briefly in Northern Ontario during his youth and performed in a high school band (called The Squires) when he lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I understand that Thunder Bay, Ontario  also has a claim to fame (as the place where Neil first met Stephen Stills).
 He is a singer/songwriter who has been honoured by many musical awards, Grammys, Junos, and even an Academy award for the song Philadelphia used in the film of the same name starring Tom Hanks.

He made a name for himself during the 1960s with his country / folk flavoured Rock sound and most notably for his protest songs against war.  He teamed up with Stephen Stills in the group Buffalo Springfield and then with the supergroup Crosby Stills & Nash who changed their name to Crosby Stills Nash & Young when Neil agreed to join them. Their soaring harmonies and Neil's brilliant songwriting skills added greatly to the fame of that band.
(Neil when young) I like his brooding looks.

Always serious and intense about his music, he was sometimes not the easiest person to get along with. Although he took his music very seriously, he didn't seem as concerned about his appearance and his unkempt, dishevelled appearance is also part of his mystique.

I have enjoyed his music since his Harvest album, released in 1970.  I find his melodies haunting, combined with his warbly falsetto, his sound has an otherworldly quality. But it is his lyrics that really shine. Neil always has something worthwhile to say, but he says it like the poet and troubadour that he is.
There are so many songs of his that I love. I have actually made some fanvids starring Richard Armitage using them. Here is a page at Amazon.com with some song clips you can listen to from his Greatest Hits album.  My personal favourites are: Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Helpless, Needle and the Damage Done, Ohio, Comes a Time and of course, After the Gold Rush.

Because it is this time of the year, here is a song I haven't heard before but it is very much in keeping with the themes of most of his work.  This song is entitled Love and War.

This is one of his newer songs -- It's a Dream. It talks about the memories of his youth in Winnipeg, when he roamed around the banks of the Red River and how things have changed over time. This song touches me deeply and can even bring me to tears.



 This isn't the first time I've posted about Neil Young and it probably won't be the last. But before I'm done just let me say -- Thanks Neil! For all your wonderful music and for your generous spirit to share it with all of us.
Happy Birthday to Neil Young!

11 comments:

Skully said...

Woo! I love Neil Young. Was lucky to see him perform a couple of years ago in the most oppressive Australian heat imaginable! I don't know how he and his band got through the set. Rust Never Sleeps is one of my all time fav records.

phylly3 said...

Hi Skully!
What are your favourite songs from that album? I am only familiar with My My Hey Hey (both versions) and Powderfinger.
Glad you too are a Neil Young fan as well as a Richard Armitage fan. Doesn't seem like there are too many of us though. You, me and TeeTotallyNot are the only ones I know.

Avalon said...

Happy B.Day Neil!

Skully said...

Only the three of us? We need to change that statistic! Perhaps by spreading fictitious rumours that Neil Young is RA's favourite singer... ;)

It's too hard to choose favourites! I think nearly every song from that album has been a favourite at one point or another. My My Hey Hey and Powderfinger are probably the enduring favourites. I have it on DVD too!

phylly3 said...

@Avalon -- Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
@Skully -- Hey, maybe Avalon is a fan of Neil Young's music too? ;) Probably she is only being her polite self. :)
I like the idea of the RA rumour. We should get some Spooks on that right away! :D

Nat at RA FanBlog said...

I saw Neil perform with Crosby, Steals, Nash & Young about 10 years ago with my mom. (I love music from the 60s and 70s.) All the middle-aged fans were looking at me like, "What are YOU doing here?" ha!

phylly3 said...

When CSN&Y performed nearish to where I live I wanted to go see them so badly, but my husband didn't and complained about the cost. I wish I had gone without him! I still regret missing that concert! Some 20ish year olds were there and couldn't say enough good things about it. So I know he has fans of all ages. How nice that you went to see him with your mom! My children don't appreciate him at all. :(

RAFrenzy said...

Phylly,

One of these days you and I have to meet. I think we're clones. :D

phylly3 said...

Love to! Yippee! :) I am guessing this means I have found another Neil Young / Richard Armitage fan! LOL

armitagebesotted said...

Count me in, too! Plus he introduced me to some youngsters with a good band and one with an especially nice voice -- Pearl Jam/Eddie Vedder.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVAS8mYDB_E

Phyllys Faves said...

Well hello armitagebesotted!
I am so glad to find another Armitage / Young fan! Thanks for the video too. I do enjoy how one interest can lead to so many others.(It is also why I am addicted to the internet!) :)