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12 November 1945 (age 72)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Neil Young was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on November 12, 1945. He is a singer-songwriter with a long and extensive musical career. He has become one of the most respected and influential musicians of his generation.
Neil started his professional music career in the mid-1960's with a number of bands in Canada, notably the Mynah Birds, which also included fellow future Buffalo Springfield bassist Bruce Palmer and future funk star Rick James. When the Mynah Birds broke up, Young and Palmer headed to California to meet Stephen Stills, whom he had met in Winnipeg, and the result was Buffalo Springfield. That band split up after three albums, and Neil soon started his solo career with the release of Neil Young November 12, 1968. The album did not do very well commercially, but included several strong tracks, including The Loner, said to be a portrait of Stephen Stills. On May 14, 1969 he recruited Crazy Horse and made the critically acclaimed Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. This was a much more consistent album, the first to introduce longstanding collaborators Crazy Horse, and built around the balanced interplay between the guitars of Young, and the talented Danny Whitten. The album also featured two lengthy classics, Down by the River and Cowgirl in the Sand, but it was Harvest in 1972 that would make Neil Young into a well-known star with his first solo hit "Heart of Gold".
During this time he also enjoyed considerable success as a quarter of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Neil's subsequent work has zig-zagged across genres - dabbling in Country Rock on Old Ways; electronics on Trans; hooking up with the Shocking Pinks in a homage to old-time Rock 'n' Roll on Everybody's Rockin'; creating a wall of feedback on the live Arc-Weld; and cementing his status as Godfather of Grunge when collaborating with Pearl Jam on Mirrorball.
His idiosyncratic approach to genre even led to him being sued by his record company (Geffen) in the 80's for making "uncharacteristic" music.
Young has also dabbled in film, most recently on the album/concert series/dvd Greendale.
60 years and still going strong the very special and often strange Neil Young keeps on making music. His latest release is Living With War, a rock protest against George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.
The film Canadian Bacon includes the line "Canadians are always trying to figure out a lot of ways to ruin our lives. The metric system, for the love of God! Celsius! Neil Young!"
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