Neil Young’s legendary songwriting skills and daring eclecticism has made him an icon for at least two generations of music fans, and as he gets more and more inventive with each new album, that trend seems unlikely to stop any time soon. Here are a few bits of trivia about Neil Young that most people aren’t aware of.
1. He owns Hank Williams’ guitar. Neil Young is, quite obviously, a Hank Williams fan, and he’s owned one of Hank Williams’ guitars for about thirty years. Young told Guitar Player Magazine, ” It’s an old Martin D-28. I bought it from Tut Taylor. It’s always great when someone understands what this is that they’re holding, who understands the effect Hank Williams had on all of us. They are sort of awestruck by being in the presence of anything that he touched—to the point that to actually play his instrument elevates them to another level. It’s a wonderful thing to have a guitar for that reason. A lot of people who should have played it, have played it. I’m careful about it, but I use it all the time. It’s not on a wall in a museum.”
2. He’s a train freak. Model trains, that is, to the point of owning part of the Lionel Train company, at least until the company was dissolved. According to Wikipedia , his current status with the company is unknown, but Young is certainly a dedicated fan of the pastime.
3. Young’s sons have cerebral palsy. Neil Young himself is a fairly private individual, which is why this fact receives little focus in his music or in interviews, nor should it, but Young’s albums Reactor and Trans were written when his son Ben was in a rigorous training program to help with his condition, as Young told Village Voice . Young said, “People completely misunderstood Trans. They put me down for fuckin’ around with things I shouldn’t have been involved with. Well, fuck them. But it hurt, because this was for my kid.”
4. In 2005, Young had a brain aneurysm. He had to be rushed to the hospital, and had to undergo serious surgery to correct the issue. Young told Reader’s Digest , “I had to sit down because the room wasn’t easy to deal with. The left-hand side was getting bigger, the right-hand side was getting smaller, and I was not able to see much.” After surgery to correct the aneurysm, Young wrote his album “Prairie Wind.”
Do you have any other trivia about Neil Young? Post in the comments section below.
Alanna Nash, “Neil Young: Aneurysm Survivor,” Reader’s Digest.
Obrecht, Jas, “Neil Young’s Guitar Equipment.” Guitar Player Magazine, 1992 (reposted on Thrasherswheat.org).
McDonough, Jimmy, “Fuckin’ Up With Neil Young: Too Far Gone.” Village Voice Rock ‘N Roll Quarterly, 1989 (reposted on Thrasherswheat.org).
“Neil Young,” Wikipedia.