Sydney Recording Studios: Born in Canada in 1945, Neil Young arrived in the U.S. in the mid-1960s and co-founded the band Buffalo Springfield. He earned fame both as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSN&Y) and as a solo artist, writing and recording such timeless songs as “Old Man,” “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black),” “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Heart of Gold”—a No. 1 hit. Nicknamed the “Godfather of Grunge” for his undeniable influence on that genre, Young is also a strong advocate for environmental and disability issues, as demonstrated by his co-founding of the Benefit for Farm Aid and the Bridge School Benefit Concerts. More than 50 years into his musical career, he continues to record and tour on a regular basis.
Sydney Recording Studios: Neil Young – Starting Out
Neil Young was born on November 12, 1945, in Toronto, Canada. Four years later, his parents, Scott and Edna, who went by the name Rassy, moved to the small rural town of Omemee, where Neil and his older brother, Robert, spent their early youth. Despite the idyllic setting, however, Neil’s boyhood was a complicated one. Suffering from epilepsy, Type 1 diabetes and polio, by 1951 his health had deteriorated so far that he was unable to walk.
With time, Neil was able to overcome his ailments, and with his mother’s encouragement he began to nurture an interest in music, learning to play both the ukulele and banjo. However, his parents’ marriage, which had been strained for some time, did not recover, and in 1960 they finally divorced. Following the split, Robert stayed with his father in Toronto and Rassy relocated to Winnipeg with the teenage Neil, who by this time was far more interested in his musical pursuits than he was in academics. Over the next few years, he would play with several bands before forming the folk-rock group the Squires in 1963. Intent on a career as a musician, he dropped out of high school and started performing at clubs and coffeehouses in the area, first with the Squires and later as a solo act.