So Happy Birthday Neil Young an independent, creative and inspiring 67 years old today.
He is one of my favourite Canadians of whom I have many. It is an excellent way to endear ones self to a Canadian to know that Neil, Joni and others actually are from the land to the North.
He sings his songs in a shaky voice that are real as the day is long and plays a guitar that will often, still, strip the paint from your walls. And lets not forget who gets invited to guest as a harmonica player. Is it Bob Dylan? No it certainly is not. Its Neil, oh yes it is.
And while Father Ted Criley said, quite correctly, that ‘it’s funny how much more right wing you get as you get older‘ that rule seems not to have touched Neil. He’s as active and involved as ever he was and age has only brought a degree of gravitas ‘to die for’ as the young people would say. He survived a brain aneurism a few years back and hasn’t let that or much else slow him down.
Here are a couple of performances from either end of his long, long career.
Farm Aid 2011
So many happy returns Bernard Shakey (his movie directing alter ego). And long may you run.
Oh yes and that guitar...