5 Things Neil Young Has Taught Us
Neil Young has always been around.
He may not be your favourite artist, he may not even claim a space in your record collection, but his music has almost definitely crossed your path at some point. With a career as long as his, it would be more surprising if it hadn’t!
To commemorate Neil Young’s release of his live album, “Noise & Flowers”, let’s take a look over what this rock ‘n’ roller has taught us over the years.
- Hold Strong Values
Gen Z may be more familiar with the name Neil Young over his dispute with Spotify over Joe Rogan and his various Covid claims.
Whichever side of the argument you fall on doesn’t really matter. On his website, Young claims that Spotify accounts for 60% of his streaming listeners worldwide. A number he was willing to sacrifice in the name of what he believed to be right and true.
This over-dramatic news story showed us that Young holds strong moral values and isn’t afraid to put action behind those words.
2. Your Childhood Doesn’t Define You
When Young was around 5 years old, he contracted Polio. A horrific disease which caused the singer to be hospitalised and left him unable to walk, something he would have to re-learn after his recovery.
Not only did Polio shake up Young but he also suffers from diabetes and epilepsy; conditions you have to consistently monitor and take into account in your daily life.
To add the cherry on top, the rocker’s parents’ marriage disintegrated causing his family to split in two; Young staying with his mother, and his brother, Bob, staying with the siblings’ father.
All this strain on a young man could cause some serious damage during the transition into adulthood. The musician, however, didn’t let his rocky childhood determine his future and, as we all know, became one of the biggest names in classic rock.
3. Awards Don’t Equal Success
Getting caught up in surface-level awards can be fun (if you’re winning) but they don’t mean everything.
Although his career has spanned over 50 years, Young has only ever been awarded one Grammy. I think we can all agree that the artist certainly deserves more.
The lack of recognition awarded to the artist explicitly demonstrates how little weight these accolades truly hold in the eye of the public. If people were so concerned with trophies, Young wouldn’t have had half the career he can proudly look back over.
4. It’s Never Too Late
Like most musicians in the second half of the 1900s, drugs were an ever-present cloud hanging over the heads of everyone who moved in those circles.
Although perhaps not as abusive as some of his peers, Young has talked about his use of drink and drugs which he dabbled with for 40 years.
Now, the singer has ditched the mind-alterers and wishes to focus on who he is as he tells the New York Times “Now I want to see what it’s like to not do it. It’s just a different perspective.”
5. If You Love Something, Don’t Give Up on It
Young’s long career proves to even the biggest doubters that the rockstar loves what he does. There’s no way that he would still be creating music if his heart wasn’t in it anymore.
With 40 solo albums recorded and the same manager he had in the 1960s, Young’s clearly found a comfortable formula and isn’t about to divert from it anytime soon.
Neil Young’s live album “Noise & Flowers” releases 5th August 2022!