Young performing in Nottingham in 2009
|Birth name||Neil Percival Young|
|Also known as||Bernard Shakey, Phil Perspective, Shakey Deal, Clyde Coil, Ol’ Neil, Joe Canuck, Joe Yankee, Marc Lynch, Pinecone Young|
November 12, 1945 |
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Origin||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer-songwriter, producer, director, screenwriter, humanitarian, entrepreneur|
Gretsch White Falcon
The '60s was one of the first times the power of music was used by a generation to bind them together.
When people start asking you to do the same thing over and over again, that's when you know you're way too close to something that you don't want to be near.
I can get away with saying a lot of ideas that are young and naive. I'm liberated.
I didn't really know what I was doing when I started. I just started writing songs. After two songs I just continued to explore it.
This thing called Patriot Act, through which we abdicated a lot of our civil rights to defend the country against terrorism, it's a four-year story.
When the punk thing came along and I heard my friends saying, I hate these people with the pins in their ears. I said, Thank God, something got their attention.
I don't think there is one president that's come down the line that hasn't done something good somewhere.
I feel like I could be likened to an old hound circling on a rug for the last five years.
Commitments are one of the worst things to have in the music business. They're very annoying.
The rockets and the satellites, spaceships that we're creating now, we're pollinating the universe.
I was a Reagan backer. It was a shock for some people that I could agree with anything that man would say.
The cutthroat avenues of rock 'n' roll, I am fed up with. I don't want anything to do with it.
As you go through life, you've got to see the valleys as well as the peaks.
It's a blue album, but it's not a blues album. I'm not pretending all of a sudden now I'm blues.
I don't like war. I particularly don't like the celebration of war, which I think the administration is a little bit guilty of.
I think I'm going to be making country records for as long as I can see into the future. It's much more down-home and real.
I live for playing live. All my records are live, since After the Gold Rush, with the exception of Trans and the vocals on Landing on Water.
Back then people closed their eyes and listened to music. Today there's a lot of images that go with the music. A lot of music is crap and it's all commercial and the images are all trying to sell the record.
I don't think I'm a thorn in the industry, I'm just another part of it.
Of course you have to support the troops. They're just kids. They're doing for their country what's expected of them.
I don't like to be labeled, to be anything. I've made the mistake before myself of labeling my music, but it's counter-productive.
I totally have no other talent and I would be totally out of work if I did anything else.
I go in and sing the song and arrange it and mix it and that's it. It's no different than playing in clubs.
My music isn't anything but me. It has jazz in it, and rock'n'roll, and it has an urgency to it.
With Crazy Horse, it's all one big, growing, smoldering sound, and I'm part of it. It's like gliding, or some sort of natural surfing.
To protect our freedoms, it seems we're going to have to relinquish some of our freedoms for a short period of time.
Some people put down all presidents. If you say anything good about any of them, they think you're supporting everything they do.
I'm not into organized religion. I'm into believing in a higher source of creation, realizing we're all just part of nature.
I just wrote one song at a time. Kinda like an alcoholic. One day at a time.
Studios are passe for me. I'd rather play in a garage, in a truck, or a rehearsal hall, a club, or a basement.
We need to spread out now in the universe. I think in 100 years we'll be living on other planets.
I don't look at a knife the way I used to. I'm more aware of what it is. I think twice. This is a key finger. It's in every chord.
When you're young, you don't have any experience – you're charged up, but you're out of control. And if you're old and you're not charged up, then all you have is memories. But if you're charged and stimulated by what's going on around you, and you also have experience, you know what to appreciate and what to pass by.
I have so many opinions about everything it just comes out during my music. It's a battle for me. I try not to be preachy. That's a real danger.
As I get older, I get smaller. I see other parts of the world I didn't see before. Other points of view. I see outside myself more.
Something comes along and you have to jump on and do it. You can't stop until it's done.
There's an edge to real rock 'n' roll. It's all that matters.
All that stuff about heavy metal and hard rock, I don't subscribe to any of that. It's all just music. I mean, the heavy metal from the '70s sounds nothing like the stuff from the '80s, and that sounds nothing like the stuff from the '90s. Who's to say what is and isn't a certain type of music?