Happy Birthday to Neil Young, who turns 76 today (November 12th)!!! Young and Crazy Horse will release their latest album, Barn, on December 10th. The set marks the group’s followup to 2019’s joint effort, Colorado. Young announced the new album on his official Neil Young Archives website, writing, “We are so happy to be back in the barn. A barn built to replicate the 1850’s barn that had collapsed in exactly the same place, high in the mountains of Colorado.”
Neil Young hasn’t played a public show since Farm Aid in 2019 and criticized concert promoters for booking super spreader events, writing, “They hold the power to stop shows where thousands congregate and spread. It’s money that keeps it going. Money that motivates the spreading.” On September, Young pulled out of Farm Aid 2021, posting a message to fans on his NeilYoungArchives page: “Lots is going on in our world right now. I find myself wondering whether Farm Aid will be safe for everyone with the Covid pandemic surging. I worry about that. I don’t want to let anybody down, but still can’t shake the feeling that it might not be safe for everyone.”
In October, Young released the official bootleg, Carnegie Hall 1970.
Last November saw the release of Young’s vault collection, The Archives Vol. II: 1972-1976. The package featured a wealth of material spanning from just after the release of 1972’s Harvest through Young and Crazy Horse‘s 1976 Eurasian tour. As a teaser to the set, Young has just posted the audio to live version of “The Losing End (When You’re On),” which was captured live on September 23rd, 1973 at L.A.’s Roxy Theatre.
Last week, Young released Return To Greendale, a live album and film, which chronicled his 2003/2004 Greendale tour with Crazy Horse. The limited edition box set includes two LP’s, two CD’s, and a documentary focusing on the making of the 2003 album, titled Inside Greendale.
In 2019, Young, who is Canadian but has lived in California for the past 56 years, finally became a U.S. citizen.
Neil Young married actress Daryl Hannah on August 24th, 2018.
Although Neil Young has tried extremely hard to keep his life private over the course of his career, he wants it known, he’s hardly a recluse: “The fact that I don’t, y’know, that I don’t go out of my way to be seen and go to places where I know that my picture’s gonna be taken and things like that makes them think that I’m hiding. I’m not hiding from anything. I’m just not interested in any of it. I have other things that I’m more interested in that don’t have to do with getting my face on People magazine.”
Graham Nash says that making music with Young as part of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young has always led to fascinating results: “I love to make music with Neil. It’s very different with Neil. Y’know, it’s a very different band — there’s more edge, it’s darker, it’s funkier. It’s just different.”
Although Waging Heavy Peace marked Neil Young’s own personal autobiography, 2002’s semi-authorized Shakey, written by Jimmy McDonough, was based on 300 new and exclusive interviews — including a reported 50 hours of taped chats with Young himself. Graham Nash told us at the time, that like many readers, he found Shakey to be illuminating, particularly its anecdotes about Young’s often nasty treatment of his musical colleagues: “I learned a lot about my friend that I didn’t know, and I learned a lot about my friend that I thought I knew (laughs). To me, that’s not the way I want to live my life. I am consumed by creation, but in my life, creation takes a second. . . not second, but a, certainly an equal footage to my life. I don’t want to hurt people — ever — because to me, there’s enough pain in this world.”
Retired Crazy Horse guitarist Frank “Poncho” Sampedro says that despite Young’s constant need to shake things up by playing with different musicians, he seems to consider the band his musical home: “When you look at it, there is only one band that Neil continues to play with. He’s played with a lot of different bands, but I’d have to say that we are, overall, the most consistent of all the bands he’s played with — even though he’s played with Crosby, Stills & Nash quite a bit, but I think he’s even played with us more than them.”
David Crosby told us that Neil Young’s moral integrity has always stood side-by-side with his talent: “That’s basically the deal. I think it’s one of the things that I’ve always admired about him, is that right, wrong or indifferent, he continues to grow. And I think that’s always been something that I’ve always wanted to do and continue to do.”