Friday, November 12, 2010

Hey, Hey, My, My: Celebrating Birthday #65 For Neil "May He Always Be" Young

AP Photo/Tony Avelar
On November 12, 1945, Neil Percival Young was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

By the time he was 20, he had met both Stephen Stills and Joni Mitchell, written "Sugar Mountain" and toured Canada as a solo artist.

Subsequently, he formed Buffalo Springfield with Stills, recorded solo and with Crazy Horse as his backing band, and added himself onto Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Ever since he has hopscotched across modalities while creating some of the best rock music ever made (even if Rolling Stone has tended to overrate many of his later albums). In doing so, he has inspired countless bands, most notably Pearl Jam, and has raised millions for the Bridge School--the Northern California facility that assists children with severe physical impairments and complex communication needs--through his annual star-studded Bridge School Concerts. He also helped start FarmAid and continues to perform in their yearly benefit shows.

And the man who sang "and I'm getting old" when he was looking for a heart of gold in his late 20s doesn't seem to be slowing down much at 65. Even through a life that has seen band mates die, two of his children stricken with cerebral palsy, another battling epilepsy like he has and just yesterday, a fire that destroyed a warehouse with much of his memorabilia, rather than burning out or fading away, Neil has remained quite Young indeed.

While a Southern Man might not have needed him around, as Lynryd Skynyrd jested in "Sweet Home Alabama," I for one, am glad he's still "Rockin' In The Free World."

So as I say Happy Birthday #65 to Neil Young, here are some great videos I found on YouTube from throughout his amazing career. (Note: The last video is a compilation of all the others that runs continuously; easier for those who just want to hear the music.)

This is a compilation cycling through all the above videos.

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