Without a doubt, Neil Young is one of the most important and influential rock composers and performers North America can claim. Time has proven this to be true. His signature nasal tone, guitar playing, highly personal and political lyric writing, and hippie cowboy stance have helped shape rock and roll as it has advanced from it’s earliest days until now. His experimentation with every genre, from folk to heavy metal to rockabilly, Young has created a sound and feel that is unique and his own.
Neil Percival Young was born November 12, 1945, Toronto, Ontario. His picking style, similar to Jerry Reeds claw method of picking an acoustic guitar and often quirky soloing on electric guitar are the anchors of a sometimes ragged, sometimes polished sound.
Realistically speaking, there is nothing I can say that is not already been written about Neil on his accomplishments, and contributions to society in other areas. The monumental amount of information is spread everywhere on the internet and most of it is very similar in content. I am not going to repeat what is accurately detailed so well in Wikipedia.
Most Neil Young fans have been obsessed with his brand of lyrics and his personal vibe from the start. One of the things a lot of folks don’t know about him are the guitars and equipment he uses. His passion is for second hand guitars, account for at least ten different models he has played on stage and in the studio. Mostly purchased directly or indirectly from some of his favorite artists, such as a Martin D-28—Nicknamed “Hank” after its previous owner, Hank Williams.
We saw Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in concert several years ago. The concert theme seemed appropriate and timely. It was very political. Especially against the war in Iraq and President Bush. The highlight for me was when they sang the protest song “Lets Impeach The President”. We all sang along (except for the Bush supporters), the words were posted on a giant monitor. Protest songs and politics aside, this is an assembly of some of the most prolific artists ever, either in solo or playing together as CSNY.
While it was hard not to hear Neil Young and or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young ten times a day on the radio when I was a teenager, it still has the same values as it did 30 years ago, and there is still so much Neil Young has to offer. Guitar Players Center puts him right at the top of the list of great artists like Bob Dylan being one of the most high impact artists of our generation. Fortunately they are still alive and doing the deal.
FYI Biodiesel has powered tour buses for Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, and Willie Nelson. Neil Young is transforming a 50-year-old Lincoln Continental into a plug-in hybrid biodiesel-electric that could cross the country on just a couple of stops at a filling station. When complete, the twin-engine car could get 100 mpg, using a hybrid engine that can run on a battery or burn biodiesel fuel. Pretty impressive for a 19-foot boat that weighs two and a half tons.
Says Neil Young, “By drawing on entrepreneurial companies’ advanced technology and good old American ingenuity, we intend to transform one of the largest and heaviest gas guzzling vehicles of our generation into a highly energy efficient vehicle, and demonstrate to the American public that we can re-power the American dream by demanding environmentally-friendly vehicles now,” Young said. “Our country is full of innovative entrepreneurs and advanced technology companies, like H-Line Conversions and UQM Technologies, who have the capability and drive to make big things happen.”
Lets make it happen. Enjoy