Guide Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History (Book)

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A must for all fan of Neil Young, rock and roll and rock history. Skip to main content. About this product. Make an offer:. Stock photo. New other : lowest price The lowest-priced item in unused and unworn condition with absolutely no signs of wear. Will include dust jacket if it originally came with one.

Text will be unmarked and pages crisp. Satisfaction is guaranteed with every order. See details. Buy It Now. Add to cart. New other : lowest price. About this product Product Information Neil Young has been described as brilliant, cantankerous, enigmatic, and vexing. Regardless, his generation-spanning fan base and his profound musical influencecannot be denied. While a number of narrative titles have chronicled Neil Young in one manner or another, this is the first illustrated history to span his 41 studio albums, 6 live releases, and plus years as a recording and touring musician.

From Young's earliest days in the Canadian rock scene through his tenures with Buffalo Springfield and CSNY and on to his varied solo career, each aspect of the musician's career is covered. Photography from rock photographers of the s to the present, as well as concert posters and memorabilia from around the world, are complemented by commentary from notable musicians around the world and a discography. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Voyageur Press's high production values provide the ace in the hole. The beautifully designed layout, studded with the foreign record sleeves and tour posters, show Neil as central to the living embodiment of the ongoing evolution of West Coast art.

Exhaustive picture research stretches back to his schooldays with The Squires and his short-lived hook up with Rick James in The Mynah Birds, and there are sections on everything from his movies to female accomplices, family members and trust les Paul guitar Old Black. Daniel and Gary master the meticulous task of both a written and visual documentary celebrating Neil's legacy. And those pages! Seldom allowed to be merely white, they are colored and loosely patterned when not entirely filled by a photo.

Even the dullest old snap shot of kid Neil's family or his first band lushly glows from matte pages as if printed on silk. There are testimonials, first-source quotes from David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, various Crazy Horse dudes and the kooky old codger himself. Visually, Voyageur does the same excellent job here as has in the past with Led Zeppelin and Queen projects.

The first impression one gets from leafing through the pages is the high quality of the printing and presentation by the publisher Voyageur Press. It's a coffee table type of book with large pages, nice grade paper stock, and fine reproductions of photos and memorablia.

Neil Young - Long May You Run (Live)

And it was so laden with talent, this bunch, that we just hit the track going too fast that we went into the wall with no skid marks. It was just. We spun out. Luckily he was with us long enough we learned from him. He just kept things coming back and kept me moving along. Everyone else was telling me how great it was. It was great, but forget about that because what was wrong was. He ultimately landed a job as a staff producer at Tetragrammaton Records, a label owned by Bill Cosby, where Briggs first worked with comedian Murray Roman.

His wife, Bettina Linnenberg, often worked alongside Briggs as his production coordinator. Lofgren said: David really took us under [his] wing and taught us so much, not just about recording but about writing songs and performing and just making music—and life.

It was like being in a master class on music every time you were with him, and I really treasured that. Briggs also played the role of Dr. Decibel in the theatrical Rust Never Sleeps show. And he worked on some material that posthumously surfaced on Year of the Horse and on the Archives Vol. He got a job first as a copyist and then as a writer and arranger at the Specialty, Capitol, and Original Sound labels. Nitzsche had acknowledged battles with depression and substance abuse.

Nitzsche died on August 5, , after suffering a heart attack in Hollywood at the age of sixty-three. Neil once said that Niko is God. Among the latter have been Fakespace Music, which created virtual reality music experiences; the Internet radio receiver Sonicbox; and the Just Great Entertainment music marketing company.

Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History

He also met and married Susan Acevedo, an earthy, no-nonsense woman eight years his senior who ran a local diner called the Canyon Kitchen. But the loose, spontaneous style he would develop with Young as years progressed is not in evidence on Neil Young. Thank God I got that out of my system at an early age. They recorded a single that went nowhere before moving to San Francisco and picking up instruments—guitar, bass, and drums, respectively. They recorded another single, this time as the psychedelic Psyrcle, but failed to break through once again. Back in L. For the occasion, he broke out his new guitar—a sonically unwieldy Gibson Les Paul that had previously belonged to Jim Messina.

It had been daubed with black paint and christened Old Black. Matched with a vintage Fender Deluxe amplifier, the guitar would inspire Young to create some of the most exciting electric music of his career. And so would the Rockets. Neil loved it. He then unleashed it on his self-titled solo debut and, to better effect, on its successor, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.

Old Black has a well-worn exterior and a strip of exposed wood along the backside. After inviting Whitten, Talbot, and Molina to jam at his house in Topanga, Young sensed the moment was there to be captured and booked studio time immediately. As a consequence, the Rockets were history. The new band was called Crazy Horse. But the truth is, I probably did steal them away from the other band, which was a good band.

But only because what we did, we went somewhere. But the other thing could have gone on, I guess. It was hard to explain to my wife. Bolstered by the vocal harmonies of the Horse, he sings with heretofore unheard confidence. He set the band aside and agreed to work again with his chief Springfield antagonist, Stephen Stills. Despite their fractious past, Stills wanted Neil Young for the job.

As offered, it was something less than a full partnership. Choosing to remember the good times, Young claimed that reuniting with Stills was a major factor in his decision to join the group. But he also acknowledged that the job put him in the catbird seat: There was much to gain and little to lose in joining a group already on top. Young told Rolling Stone: I knew it would be fun. I could lay back. They were a big group and it was easy for me. I could still work double time with Crazy Horse. It was easy. And the music was great. CSNY, I think, has always been a lot bigger thing to everybody else than it is to us.

His refusal to commit percent to the band gave Young an inordinate amount of power, and he had no misgivings about wielding it. As a result, only CSN are seen in the resulting movie. Because we were playing music. To me it was a distraction—because music is something that you listen to, not that you look at. And it worked. As vocalists, CSN and sometimes Y were capable of tight and gorgeous harmonies. But inevitably, it all went to their heads, as did, in the case of Crosby and Stills in particular, copious amounts of cocaine and other drugs.

We were just showy. And it was because we had no idea what we were doing. The crowd, the adulation, the roaring sound. It changed us. Predictably, it was a torturous experience. Stephen was staying up all night trying to write and trying to create. And there was one point towards the end there where I started crying and I said.

Very easy, very unstable, very easy for us to come unglued at any point.

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In my case, hard drugs were damaging me enormously at that point and made it difficult for me to do a good job or be a good brother to my brothers. He also chafed at the method of recording, which emphasized overdubbed perfection over the live, on-the-fly method he now preferred.

All the other ones were combinations, records that were more done by one person using the other people. It was a great live record, man. Everyone played and sang at once, Stephen sang the shit out of it. The track was magic. Then, later on, they were in the studio for a long time and started nitpicking. They did a lot of things over again that I thought were more raw and vital sounding.

They turned out really fine. And we love it, man. The title and the inspiration for some of the songs was a script written by actor and Topanga resident Dean Stockwell. Young told Mojo: It was all about the day of the great earthquake in Topanga Canyon when a great wave of water flooded the place. But that fell through because it was too much of an art project. I think, had it been made it would stand as a contemporary to Easy Rider and it would have had a similar effect.

It was very unique actually. I really wish that movie had been made, because it could have really defined an important moment in the culture. The shows represent the original Crazy Horse at its creative peak. But it was short-lived. Danny Whitten had begun using heroin, and his ability to play—and indeed, to even maintain—atrophied quickly. When Whitten nodded off onstage, Young became resolved; as soon as the tour ended, he fired the band. After scrapping most of the earlier sessions with Crazy Horse, Young began the Gold Rush album again, this time recording in the basement of his house in Topanga.

But as the group prepared to perform live, it was clear that another musician was needed to deliver a fuller sound and to free up Stills—who had been dubbed Captain Manyhands for his prodigious work on the album—on the stage. He needed another solo axe to play off, to converse with. And he had just spent the previous six years playing against Neil in the Springfield.

Stills eventually changed his mind, but Crosby and Nash had to be convinced. He had such an incredible outlook on music, an incredible outlook in life. He was funny as fuck. And he picked up the check—not necessarily in that order. It was only our second show. Everybody we knew or cared about in the music industry was there.

They were heroes to us—The Band and Hendrix and the Who. Show us. Young wrote the song immediately upon hearing the news, and the group recorded it less than two weeks later. It was out the following month, peaking at No. He was pissed. And sad. CSNY considered touring again that year, but it never materialized. Their vocals were subsequently yanked from finished recording.

Young was particularly impressed that the three had left their longtime label, Atlantic Records, and were financing what became Looking Forward themselves. We should just treat it like journalism and go for it and try to do this. I think we just took advantage of the situation. Young himself rejects the leadership mantle, however. This group is like juggling four bottles of nitroglycerin. We knew nobody in the world was doing what we were doing. No one had four guys writing those kind of songs that were also that good as musicians, all at the same time.

There was nobody like us. So we were a little punkish about it. We thought we were kings of the world, so it was exciting to us. We are who we are. When they got together with Stephen, and I came and joined them, we already had our history. We already had roots in playing together and developing our music styles and learning how to play guitars together, Stephen and I. And, unfortunately, brothers fight occasionally. I mean, this band can sing like the Byrds and jam like the Dead.

I know how to support his guitar playing. I have no problem finding things that will make him sound better just by finding certain little things underneath it that support it. And when I feel like playing lead, he can support me. Sometimes we both play lead at the same time. I mean, this band can space out for 45 minutes.

We loved Buffalo Springfield; that was one of the inspirational bands we tried to copy. The course of events that led to the non-feud between Young and Skynyrd is easy enough to trace. We might not have those attitudes. We were just cutting him down since he cut Alabama, and we loved Alabama. VH1 named it one of the Top 40 Celebrity Feuds. But then again, maybe they did! But not in a way that matters. I first heard it and really liked the way they played their guitars. He, in turn, gave it to Van Zant to consider the songs for Street Survivors.

And then, of course, came the plane crash that took the lives of Van Zant and two other band members on October 20, , and there were no later dates. I think he was buried in that, yeah. A lot of hard work went into it. After the Gold Rush was the spirit of Topanga Canyon. Crosby fired him on the spot. Johnny Barbata, formerly of the Turtles, stepped in, and the show went on. A reality check was on the way, however. Crosby showed Young the now-famous photo of a female student sinking to her knees, her arms outstretched over a fallen protester.

It was quickly recorded and released as a single in just a few weeks. Several dates were recorded for the bloated live album 4 Way Street. It would be three years before they joined forces again. National Guardsmen fatally shot four unarmed students and wounded nine others—not all of whom were part of antiwar protests taking place throughout the first four days of the month on the Kent State University campus in Ohio.

He was silent for a long time, then picked up his guitar and twenty minutes later had this song. We gave the master to Ahmet Ertegun, who flew it to New York the next day and it was released within the week. Probably the biggest lesson ever learned at an American place of learning. There we were, reacting to reality, dealing with it on the highest level we could—relevant, immediate.

It named names and pointed the finger. How many more? He knew how important it was that this song be out there. But in a historical perspective. The real difference is in America, not in the band. Returning to California, Young was determined more than ever to remove himself from the public eye. Instead, he bought a ranch just south of San Francisco and moved there—without his wife, Susan. She filed for divorce in October Young went on a solo tour that included two sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall. In a move befitting his status as rock royalty, a smitten Young sent two roadies as emissaries to ask her to call him.

When she did, Young was literally flat on his back. He wound up in a back brace, zoned out on medication. Still, Young and Snodgress met and quickly fell in love. She moved to the ranch and set about dismantling her career in favor of playing the role of Earth Mother. She became pregnant and even skipped the Academy Awards ceremony. Their son, Zeke, was born in September While in town, he also booked Quadrafonic Sound Studios to record a raft of new songs. In typical fashion, Young handed Taylor a banjo to play, the first time Taylor had ever touched one.

When it was released in February , Harvest was an instant sensation, rising to No. It was very intense. The producer of Crazy Horse [David Briggs] felt like that was a sellout record. The fact is, nobody wanted it. And then I went home and went into the barn and then I went back to London and recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra. And that was Harvest, and I just kept going. Young filmed documentary footage of himself on tour as well as scenes concocted with some of his oddball neighbors. The process sucked in his CSN partners as well, and no one associated with the film acquitted themselves particularly well.

It does lay a lot of shit on people though. I made it for me. I never even had a script. Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there. He could already see the bodies piling up. Danny Whitten, the heart and soul of Crazy Horse, was the first to fall.

He had been a drug casualty waiting to happen for several years. Young decided to give the guitarist one last chance, inviting Whitten to join his band from Harvest, the Stray Gators, as he undertook his first major tour as a solo superstar.

Young must have known he was flirting with disaster, having fired Whitten for being too drug-addled to play once before. After several weeks, Whitten was fired and given a plane ticket back to L. That night, the call came in: Whitten was dead of a drug overdose. I mean, he was responsible. But I thought I was for a long time. It just all came down on him. He was engulfed by this drug. That was too bad.

Because Danny had a lot to give, boy. He was really good.

Thanks to the success of Harvest, the tour was sold out, and the shows were to be held in arenas to boot. Young sensed that the chances of making any real connection with audiences of that size were slim. Buttrey, accustomed to the softer work schedule and substantial salary of a Nashville studio pro, demanded a bigger slice of the financial pie. An angry Young agreed to higher wages, but the conflict soured him on the tour before it even began. Having tried and failed to record a new album during the troubled rehearsals, Young decided to tape the concerts instead, shifting the focus of the shows away from his established hits and toward material that was raw, unwieldy, and wholly unfamiliar to the audience.

Already isolated from his band and turned off by the large, inattentive crowds, things got even worse for Young when his voice gave out. A string of shows set for Europe was canceled. Time Fades Away, the live album that emerged from the tour, retains nearly all of those bad vibes, but it also reveals an artist remarkably unafraid to dance out on the edge.

Crazy Horse is, in fact, a little bit of both. It was a group in its own right—originally known as Danny and the Memories and, when Young started jamming with it in , the Rockets. It has even recorded a few albums on its own and survived the death of original guitarist Danny Whitten from a heroin overdose. Conventional wisdom says he makes that call when he wants to rock out with heavy feedback and buzzsaw guitars, and he leaves the group on the sidelines when he wants to explore other styles. It goes off on tangents and returns. There are no rules of the road in this band. The band moved to San Francisco and then Los Angeles, picking up instruments along the way and renaming itself the Rockets.

The group put out an album under that name in , the same year Whitten met Young and invited him to start jamming with the six-piece Rockets at their place in Laurel Canyon. Stellar reviews and a Top 40 showing on the Billboard Pop Albums chart indicated that the audience felt that way, too. We capture as much as we can of the real stuff.

Whitten was already in the throes of a heroin addiction at this point. He returned to Los Angeles and suffered a fatal overdose the same day. It takes a lot of instinct. The group—which released four more albums apart from Young— has had its ups Ragged Glory and downs Life. There were also more than a few occasions when the band was put on the sidelines, sometimes abruptly, in the midst of an already-started project, or when it contributed small bits to albums such as Trans and Are You Passionate? You have to give it a rest.

Then again, Talbot, Molina, and Sampedro would probably be delirious if they only had to wait a year between projects. Young has offered no scientific rhyme or reason for the timing of his returns to the Horse. And then I go for it. Something to avoid repeating is how I looked at it. Everybody likes [Harvest]. Meanwhile, the body count continued to rise. Roadie Bruce Berry, a longtime member of the CSNY camp, became another drug casualty, dying of an overdose of heroin and cocaine. When we played that music we were all thinking of Danny Whitten and Bruce Berry, two close members of our unit lost to junk overdoses.

The musicians would turn up in the evening, shoot pool and drink tequila until midnight, then start recording. It was spooky. But Young kept toying with the tapes, the song selection, and a string of oddball observations that he inserted between the tunes and later removed. The album, initially recorded in , would not be released for nearly two more years.

Regardless, Young took his new songs on the road. Perhaps to distance himself from the pain of the material—or maybe it was just the Cuervo Gold talking—Young put on the persona of a sleazy nightclub emcee. Everything is cheaper than it looks. They started yelling a lot. They started booing. They started complaining and whining at every show. Young upped the ante on the confrontational shows during a swing through the United States. It seemed to many that Young was purposely dismantling his career or possibly was strung out himself.

Throughout the album, Young seems isolated and morose. David Crosby played guitar on the song, but it hit too close to home. It was spooky times. I knew Charlie Manson, so it spooked the hell out of me. He was like a song-spewer. But he got. He refused all interview requests and traveled apart from the band in a motor home, his two-year-old son, Zeke, and dog, Art, in tow.

The tour pulled in the numbers, but it was an artistic disaster. Stills and Young settled their differences with guitars, each trying to play louder and longer than the other. And only Young had any new songs to add to the mix. The others rehashed past glories, reveled in rock-star excess, and collected their substantial paychecks. Well, nearly everyone. But first came more tinkering.

The songs were compiled into an album titled Homegrown, and everyone who heard it felt like it would be a blockbuster along the lines of Harvest. So why film? I wanted to express a visual picture of what I was singing about. His camera work was none too steady, and thus gave birth to the alter ego Bernard Shakey. Nothing is too solid about the guy. Young has both succeeded and failed as a filmmaker, but most feel that the filmography of Mr. Film Festival in Dallas. There are scenes of a junkie preparing to shoot up and of Young and his girlfriend, Carrie Snodgress, smoking a joint which reportedly cost the actress her contract with Universal Pictures.

Young stars as Lionel Switch, an auto mechanic who dreams of being a rock star. Human Highway premiered in June in Los Angeles, where it bombed. It did not surface on video for another dozen years. Built around ten lengthy and largely instrumental songs, the film featured a cast combination of actors and Young cronies—including his wife, Pegi, musician Ben Keith and his wife, Elizabeth, and members of the rock band Echobrain—lip-synching the lyrics. It looks like it was done on an absolute shoestring. Cerre, who had been on assignment in Iraq, also helped Young hook up with war veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam, as well as family members of slain troops.

Young moved to Malibu, lived the bachelor life, and began writing and recording at a frenetic pace. Two guitars, bass, and drums. Fucking unbelievable. And I used to sit around and jam to that quite a bit. I never really sat down and studied his parts. But it is kind of interesting. When I first joined the band, I was doing heroin and a lot of dope myself. And probably through having a job and making the money I had and having the success I had helped me along the road to finally end up quitting all that stuff. So we kinda like lost one guy and saved another guy.

The band members partied and played like lunatics during the Zuma sessions, but they bonded all over again. As evidence of what a closed fraternity Crazy Horse became, consider that, decades later, Sampedro is still hazed for his lack of seniority. The song catalogues the idyllic civilization that the natives had built, only to have it wantonly destroyed by the Spaniards. But just as the Horse was primed to take America by storm, Young shifted gears dramatically and canceled the dates.

But the principals rarely shared studio time. Despite such obvious signs of trouble, the sessions almost blossomed into a full-blown CSNY reunion after Young played some of the tracks for Crosby and Nash and asked if they thought something was missing. The move cut Nash to the quick. Despite their lackluster performance in the studio, it seemed likely the pair could still shoot some sparks in concert. Sometimes it works incredibly, but sometimes, it gets a bit too intense.

The pair hit the road, but the road hit back. A frustrated Stills teed off on crew members, sometimes onstage, enraging Young. Eat a peach, Neil. Eat a peach, indeed. But the older you get, the more you realize how much that hurts people. I chose to put the energy into the records. Mercifully, it was removed from the final cut of the film. Those songs are as much fun to listen to as they likely were to make.

The lyrics are a revelation as well, as Young uses the metaphor of a fish swimming upstream to explain his complex feelings about life, love, and art. These five women have made significant contributions since the early s. Treasury Department. San Francisco eventually became home base, though her professional singing debut was opening for Eric Andersen in Vancouver.

Larson died on December 16, , in Los Angeles following a cerebral edema at the age of forty-five. Her husband, drummer Russell Kunkel, organized a pair of tribute concerts in and In , she moved to Los Angeles and co-founded the rock group Stone Poneys, which released three albums in fifteen months during and She set off on her own in —among her first works was a commercial with Frank Zappa for Remington shavers —and the musicians from one of her early backing bands went on to form the Eagles.

After the show, Young invited her to his studio to provide backing vocals for the album. Her career includes thirty-two studio albums, twenty Top 40 singles, and eleven Grammy Awards. After a prolific musical career, Ronstadt has spent most of the twenty-first century in semi-retirement, raising her two children in Arizona. Astrid Young Neil Young gave his half-sister—the daughter of his father, Scott Young, and his second wife, Astrid Mead—her first amplifier. Astrid has released two albums of her own: Brainflower, which she released independently in , and Matinee on the Inbetweens Records label in She also paints and has written several screenplays as well as a book, Being Young, published in Pegi Young Pegi Young has loved music all her life and started writing songs when she was in high school.

The plunge has only gotten deeper. That was my dream, but to actually be realizing it is huge. He can almost be a bit elusive, but the things he emotes in his music are so palpable. I remember we were playing on the H. There was a huge storm that blew in, pouring down buckets of rain, and the wind was actually blowing the rain up into the stage. I read into the lyrics in a totally different way watching him with rain dripping off his hood and his guitar just singing that song to his son.

It blew me away. His songs tell a story like few can. I identify with the rebel in him.

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When his label heard it, they suggested he flesh the recordings out a bit by adding a backing band. Usually loathe to accept direction under any circumstances, Young acceded for once, heading to Nashville where he assembled a crew that included Ben Keith, Tim Drummond, drummer Karl Himmel, noted songwriter and session keyboardist Spooner Oldham, Cajun fiddler Rufus Thibodeaux, and a horde of guitarists and string players.

He dubbed the aggregation the Gone with the Wind Orchestra. Its recording coincided with his brief relationship with Nicolette Larson, whose harmony vocals shadow Young throughout, reflecting a mood of happiness and contentment. But there were other, more significant changes afoot as well. Having split with Larson, Young met Pegi Morton, a local who had caught his eye while waitressing in a diner near his ranch. They married in August , and their son, Ben, was born the next year.

By that time, Young was up and running on several projects, including a film titled Human Highway, which bore no relation to the track from Comes a Time nor the aborted CSNY album of the same name. Initially conceived as an improvisatory film based on Young and the mad swirl of hippies and hangers-on that surrounded him, it evolved into something else entirely.

What it lacked was a script. The project was taken to another dimension, though, when Stockwell turned Young on to a band of oddball art-punks from Akron, Ohio, known as Devo. Or so they thought. He was really far out. I mean really loopy, almost like a mad scientist.

So when he asked us to participate in the movie and he said he wanted us to be nuclear waste workers, any resistance we had was gone. Young played Lionel Switch, a hapless mechanic, and Tamblyn played his clueless friend. Hopper was a jabbering short-order cook and Kirkland a fired waitress who refused to leave the premises.

Stockwell was their evil boss, Otto. The members of Devo, who toil at the local nuclear plant, glow red from radiation poisoning. Wackiness ensues, but not much of the film is coherent. Young got more than a whacked-out movie scene from Devo. Young took the idea and ran with it. Rust Never Sleeps became the title of his next album and the concept behind the tour with Crazy Horse which itself would become a concert film wholly separate from Human Highway. There was a giant prop microphone, tuning fork, amplifiers, and road cases that dwarfed the performers.

The soundmen wore makeshift Conehead costumes, while producer David Briggs donned a lab coat and became Dr. In the show, Young, who is first spied sleeping atop one of the amplifiers, wakes up and grabs his guitar, playing a solo acoustic set that eventually gives way to the thundering Horse. But the real triumphs of Rust Never Sleeps have less to do with concept than content.

There are people who get into this business for a lot of different reasons—some of them have to write and some of them have to perform. I love listening to his stuff. It stops you in your tracks. These songs that are so simple and yet they are brilliant. And the [guitar] solo on it is just beyond. The whole show was great, and then he did this solo at the end where he just got the whole band together and the solo was really the whole band playing with the solo—it was kind of like putting a stamp on it, just after all the music and all the lyrics it just cut loose and was about three minutes of manic chaos and everybody was involved and he just led the charge.

Strings were breaking on his guitar and it was really amazing. I got another chance to see him play in Pittsburgh a couple of tours ago. We were there, and I think they were playing the next night so we stayed the next night to see him. I got to go on his tour bus, his fabled tour bus, which is unbelievable. It looks like a throwback to The downstairs where they usually put the bags is a playroom for the kids, so he opened this hatch up in the lounge area and we climbed down there and there were couches and TV and places for kids to play.

You can just tell he plans on being out there forever. He taps into some kind of, like, primal vein, these songs that feel like they were discovered more than written. Kids were tired of the rock stars and the limousines and the abusing of stage privileges as stars. There was a new music the kids were listening to. And a lot of them are biting it this year. People are not going to come back to see the same thing over and over again. Punk music, New Wave. You can call it what you want. Young proved his devotion to reinvention with Rust Never Sleeps and the Live Rust album and concert film that followed closely on its heels.

The period is marked by an acute artistic restlessness that found him flitting from one genre to another, resulting in inconsistent and sometimes slapdash records that, in turn, led to feelings of confusion, frustration, and downright anger in even his most ardent fans. Record sales plummeted. Predictably, Young has a different perspective. Why are you doing this? His son Ben, born to Young and wife Pegi in , was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. What the hell caused this?

What did I do? There must be something wrong with me. Pegi required brain surgery to repair an arterial problem that, left unchecked, could have killed her. Not so much. But little it is, clocking in at barely half an hour. In it, Young even volunteered his life, or at least his checkbook, for service. By that time, he and Pegi had enrolled Ben in a radical therapy program designed by the Institute for the Awareness of Human Potential. Its sole lyrical content is a koan that most found a bit too Zen for the room.

But those who paid attention to album art must have known something was up. But when the Geffen deal was signed, Young set the tracks aside and, with Springfield bassist Bruce Palmer in tow, headed for Hawaii to make an album called Island in the Sun. But Geffen rejected it. So much for artistic freedom.

To handle the pressure, Young said, he completely shut himself down emotionally. If you read the words to that song—and look at my child with his little button and his train set and his transformer—the whole thing is for Ben. Some of the dates were canceled. Several ended in riots.

The shows left audiences puzzled and Young awash in red ink. He never lost his locomotive jones and for a time wound up running the most famous model train manufacturer in the world. Young owns one of the most extensive model train collections in the world, rolling them around an elaborate layout in a separate barn on his property in Redwood City, California.

The spread is decorated with landscapes made from real redwood trunks, living plants watered by an internal irrigation system, ponds stocked with real goldfish, handmade wooden trestles, and a variety of accessories acquired during his travels. Young formed his own short-lived company, Yardmaster, in the late s and then worked for a time with Quinn-Severson Industries QSI to develop new and more realistic sound systems for the trains. But all roads led to Lionel. Kughn, through QSI.

And having Neil Young involved in the company—especially as he was at a music career high with the Freedom, Ragged Glory, and Harvest Moon albums—boosted morale at Lionel, too. And he loves trains, which kind of makes you part of the family out here. Young eventually became a father figure in that family. In , when Kughn was unable to hang on to Lionel, Young joined a partnership that purchased controlling interest in the company, with his share a reported 20 percent.

In a world increasingly dominated by video games, however, the model train industry suffered. It was all too much, especially given that the audience was completely unfamiliar with the new material. So feel that. Clear showed video clips and interviewed the crew, members of the crowd, and even Young himself, who offered a halftime assessment of his performance. Anxious once again to move on to the next thing, Young took a brief break from performing to record in Nashville with familiar faces Ben Keith, Tim Drummond, Rufus Thibodeaux, and Spooner Oldham, among others.

by Gary Graff; Daniel Durchholz

Young returned to the road but canceled the tour after he collapsed backstage in Louisville, Kentucky. Who could blame his fans for wondering if this was just another put-on? However sincere his retro trip, Young put the Shocking Pinks to rest and attempted a reunion with Crazy Horse, which produced a pair of explosive shows at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, California, but fell apart in the studio. Rather than bow to the pressure of the lawsuit, Young simply dove deeper into his latest country excursion.

He swore off rock, booked tours with Waylon Jennings and other country artists, and even played the Grand Ole Opry. He wanted to sell lots of records. But, Young counters, he also presented the label with albums he felt were definitely saleable that Geffen ultimately rejected, including the tropical-flavored Island in the Sun and a version of Old Ways that he described as Harvest II.

Needless to say, the rapport between them was a bit. Young recorded several more studio albums for Geffen, including an even more country-flavored Old Ways in and a set with Crazy Horse, Life, in , as well as the compilation Lucky Thirteen. Young agreed to take a smaller advance for future recordings, and Geffen agreed to release his previously rejected country album, albeit in a completely revamped form. Old Ways bore little resemblance to its earlier version. Only a couple of the original songs survived, including the title track, which was recast as a duet with Willie Nelson. In short, the album became another case of style over substance.

As before, it was difficult to tell where the real Neil Young ended and the role he was playing began. Indeed, it would take Young years to rebuild his relationship with his fans abroad. Under-rehearsed, plagued by monitor problems, and thrown off by a drug-addled Crosby, the two-song CSNY reunion was a disaster. Young even made that a condition of any future get-together. I actually did meet Neil, and, of course, the Bob Dylans and Neil Youngs and Willie Nelsons, and all those guys from that era are fantastic poets, songwriters.

He entered and abandoned numerous treatment programs and established a substantial rap sheet along the way. The only way he would quit hard drugs, it seemed, was by doing hard time. Not everyone was in such a charitable mood, however. Whether to placate his increasingly difficult label chief—which is unlikely—or because he sensed his time as a country artist was at an end, Young returned to the studio to record a rock album, Landing on Water. Initially, Young was fired up. Prior to the concert, Young wrote an open letter to President Ronald Reagan, which was published as a full-page ad in USA Today and read aloud at the concert.

What will this do to the American spirit? Young has remained an outspoken proponent at each of the concerts, including a memorable diatribe against Vice President Al Gore and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy for not attending the show in Ames, Iowa. Farm Aid is not an American tradition.

We ought to get rid of it. We want more from Washington! The shortcomings of Farm Aid are many, and the accomplishments are many. The show became an annual event, and the involvement of Young and other noted musicians has raised millions of dollars for the cause. Despite having cast Crazy Horse aside for the recording of Landing on Water, Young hired them to go on tour in support of it. The shows mixed high concept and low comedy, evidenced by a stage set that brought back some of the oversized props from the Rust era with a few new twists.

Along the way, they were forced to endure the same type of indignities as a genuine garage band: a mother who phoned in, asking that the music be turned down; household pests, including mechanical insects and giant talking mice actually a couple of roadies in rodent costumes ; and a team of exterminators who interrupted the proceedings. Yet he makes them and he puts them out and seems to love them all equally. And he was incredibly nice to us when we did the Bridge School thing; there were 18 million people playing there, and he made everybody who came feel like they were his favorite band and he was as happy as could be to have them there.

More than anything, Life seems like a missed opportunity. The Muddy Track film, incidentally, has yet to be released. Young was unceremoniously dumped from the label. But even as that process began, Young went back on the road, heading to Europe for a dismal tour that proved he had yet to regain his star power overseas. Returning to the United States, Young inserted into his concerts an impromptu blues interlude, featuring guitar tech Larry Cragg on saxophone.

Ever anxious to get into the music by playing a character, Young slipped into a ratty suit coat, fedora, and some shades and transformed himself into a bluesman known as Shakey Deal. The video channel banned it, but after being embarrassed by the obvious overreaction, reversed course and not only played the video but awarded it honors as the Video of the Year. I made Trans because I wanted to. What are these guys saying?

That the cool thing is just to do the same thing over and over again and not be a weirdo? But he was still in horrific physical shape and, indeed, would eventually be diagnosed with hepatitis C and require a liver transplant. Stills, too, was in a bad way. Though American Dream was eventually completed and released, the album was doomed from the beginning. Young likely knew it was a blind alley.

As the decade neared its close, he found himself once again looking for a new direction. And what magic he did create, onstage or off, during those years was rarely made manifest in the studio. But at a time when many were ready to dismiss Young as a hippie star who had long ago lost his way, Young set his course for a major comeback that found him stripping his music back to an elemental level: guitar, bass, drums. Both freedom and ragged glory awaited. In many ways I admire him not only for his music and his creative spirit but also for his entrepreneurial spirit and his philosophical spirit.

But it became a major news story when MTV banned one. Young, not surprisingly, had problems with the decision—especially since he and Temple had submitted a script prior to shooting the video that MTV had approved, and since Reprise Records, his label, had offered to indemnify the network against any lawsuit. Young and Temple even offered to re-edit the clip. I just want to get my video on the air so people can see it. He just pays no attention to public opinion; he wants to do it, he does it.

Young had often spoken of destroying his career in order to save it, casting off fame in favor of his artistry. A decade of what seemed, to some, to be mere genre exercises and indifferent efforts had nearly done the trick. To do so, he cut his big band, the Bluenotes, back to just two pieces: bassist Rick Rosas and drummer Chad Cromwell. He called the band Young and the Restless. He told the Village Voice: I thought people were so used to me doing a style they might think I was just doing a style.

I think it was a paranoid kind of a thing. I did that for me. What I did was take all the sweetness out of Times Square and made it more abusive than it already was and put it out of reach. I put Eldorado out so people would know I was still here. Pick the artwork, do everything with my friends, and put out this little record. I only made 5, I feel my feelings coming back. Having indulged his electric side, Young balanced his approach with a solo acoustic tour of the United States and worked on new music that balanced the two extremes.

The resulting album, Freedom, was easily his best effort since Rust Never Sleeps.

Neil Young: Long May You Run - The Illustrated History

Like that album, it was bracketed by two versions of the title track, the first one acoustic and the second a barnburning rocker. Its anthemic chorus begs to be shouted along with, while ambivalent verses offer a complex vision of the state of the world. He blasts through it with gale-force guitar and proto-punk attitude.