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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

ASCAP Bestows Highest Honors to Neil Young

photo by Chris Pizzello

Neil Young was presented the ASCAP Founders Award last night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The ASCAP Founders Award honors influential songwriters who have made outstanding contributions.

According to a Reuters News report, Young was introduced by former Warner Bros. Records chairman Mo Ostin, who said that working with Young posed its fair share of challenges. He recalled that the environmentally conscious rocker wanted to issue his 1972 album "Harvest" wrapped in biodegradable paper that would turn to dust after a few years.

From a Rolling Stone report, Mo Ostin said:
"There is only one Neil Young.

Neil's first album for Reprise had a great song, 'The Loner.' Looking back, it defines Neil: a man willing to stand alone. He follows his own brilliant -- and shaky -- muse.

When he'd finished recording a new album, Neil would come to the label's offices to play it and invite comments.

We'd tell him what we thought, and then Neil would decide whether he wanted to make any changes.

Young's musical legacy will continue to rock the free world and enrich generations to come."

From a Los Angeles Times report, Neil's six-minute acceptance speech started with a heartfelt tribute to his wife, Pegi, for sticking through his career changes during their 27-year marriage. With their children, Amber and Ben, as well as Zeke, Neil commented:
"A lot of relationships have gone down the tubes at the hands of the muse."

Continuing his rambling acceptance, Neil said:
"I should have written something down!

I've been at the top and I've been at the bottom. I've been a has-been. But I just do what I do and every few years things come back around again.

It's great to be able to do what you want to do. I can't get up and rap. If I do that, I think you'll get up and shoot me. Most things I soak up, and it comes out here and there, so keep your eyes peeled.

Anyway, I guess my mission now is to boldly go where no hippie has ever gone before."

Young also remarked that he will deliver his latest album to Warner Music Group's Reprise Records on Tuesday morning. As Neil exited to a standing ovation he played a little air guitar.

The Indigo Girls performed an acoustic version of "Down By the River" as part of the ceremony.

In a comment below, Laurel reports:

"Later that evening, Neil did a surprise appearance at The Joint. He played "Down By The River" for 30 minutes. He followed it with "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere". Here's a link for the bit-torrent download.

Awesome indeed. And not too bad for a guy recovering from having brain surgery last month!!!

Also, here's a link for the ASCAP Awards with a biography of Neil Young and photos.


At 5/18/2005 08:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats to Neil & nice photo
(even if it does make Neil look bit short-sighted !)

At 5/18/2005 06:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like a great evening, laurel!
"Anyway, I guess my mission now is to boldly go where no hippie has ever gone before."

Oh yeah......let's go.
and the best part......
Neil turning in a new album!!!!

At 5/19/2005 05:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing how Neil's speeches have been so poor lately. He is an incredible public speaker with a comedic touch. Farm-Aid was a platform for so many great moments for him. One I think of alot is the 1993 farm-aid press conference. Neil started his little rant bumbling, mumbling and disinterested. Than he hit top gear and really gave an incredible speech.



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