Y – is for Neil Young – This Century – A Never Ending Story

Tuesday 12th December

The pace of Neil’s releases has not slowed down.  If anything it has increased, and alongside his new stuff he has embarked on an Archive series of old live concerts and even old abandoned albums.  He has also written two autobiographical books and is trying to develop an electric car.

Rarely has there been such an Artist.  Most artists find a ‘groove’ and stick to it, giving their fans much the same fare album after album.  I can only really think of Bowie and Dylan who have never been concerned about what their fans want to hear. A couple of years ago Neil left his long-term wife Peggi for a younger actress, and has got himself a new band.  I haven’t bought the last few albums – not because I don’t want them, but more because I simply cannot keep up with him.  If Neil were my only favourite artist maybe I could…but as you probably realise he is one of many.  Besides I already own over 50 Neil young albums and don’t really have time to listen to these that often.  But, even though a few have been challenging, or even a bit boring, they have all contained a few gems.

My life would have been poorer without Neil Young.  But I could easily say the same about BobDylan, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Joni…and so many others.

Our generation have been so lucky to have known and lived through so much wonderful music.  I almost pity the youngsters, their heads buried in computer games and Social Media.  Everything is so available, so immediate – with Youtube you never need buy a single record.  We had to discover it all by ourselves from songs heard on the radio or on a jukebox or at a party.  Walking home from the record shop with our new album and putting it on the turntable and reading the lyrics and sleevenotes – nothing can replace that feeling. For each of us it was a road to discovery – one I am still happily treading.