The ups and downs of 12 month's in the artist's life

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“After the Crazy Horse tour finished,” remembers Poncho Sampedro. “I wrote to Neil and I said, ‘I’m home, I’m relaxed, I’m with my girl, we’re really settled in and I’m really enjoying life.’ I said, ‘I know you’re probably still working on something at this point. You haven’t stopped since the last day I shook hands and said goodbye to you and gave you a hug. You’re probably working on a couple of different projects. I just want you to know, I feel as if I could walk out in front of my house and put up a sign that says, “Mission Accomplished”.’ But I know Neil doesn’t feel that way.”

Although Sampedro isn’t certain what the future holds for Crazy Horse, he admires his old friend’s astonishing workrate during 2014. “Neil is ready to live until he’s 100 and something years old,” he laughs.

There are others, though, who draw different conclusions from the bustling narrative of Young’s year. Niko Bolas, for instance, makes a surprising deduction about how he believes all Young’s many different projects will shape the next period of his life. “If anything, he may have completed a lot of things so that he can take the next decade and triumph in the other things that he’s concerned about. I don’t think it’s a musical decade coming up, as much as it is one of fighting for mankind. He’s stood in a tar sand field and looked at dead animals and come out thinking, ‘Why isn’t anybody doing anything about this?’ If anybody has the ability to use fame to affect change, even in the slightest bit, he’s the guy that has the courage to do that.”

“He’s become quite an activist,” confirms Rick Rosas. “He’s done things I’ve never seen him do before, like book signings and a lot of media. Which was never the case. Before, you’d be surprised if you saw Neil on TV. So things are changing. Obviously, he feels it’s time for him to be spoken on his environmental thoughts and hopefully provide awareness to people. It’s a good thing. But there are only forks in the road with Neil. Anything could happen. I wouldn’t put it past him.”

Click here to read Neil Young on the making of his greatest hits

  1. 1. Introduction
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