Neil Young is one of my favourite artists of all time. I was a late convert. I didn’t get him until I was in my late 20s – but, when I did, when the songs finally permeated my spirit, when I realised that that odd, slightly high-pitched, reed-frail voice was in fact imbued with magnificent power, insight and wisdom, he took on a significant role in my life, the singer who songs I never grow tired of.
He’s 70 today. Still rockin’, still raging against the aspects of the world that annoy him (which are mainly the environment and in particular gasoline emissions, and really poor quality sound recordings being sold to kids), still playing his guitar solos for perhaps a few minutes too long, still touring and recording and making records which are worth listening to.
We’ve had a few Neil Young songs on this site in the last five years, each one an absolute corker – we’re yet to feature this wonderful song from the superb 1972 album Harvest. It’s a lovely piece and this is a nice recording of it. In his biography, Young recounts how his father believed that it was written about him, and how he’d refused to contradict him, even though, in fact the Old Man in the song was the caretaker of the ranch he’d just bought after becoming a ‘rich hippie.’
It seemed apt now that Young has become an old man.
Happy Birthday Neil.