Canadian artist Neil Young has had a stellar music career, propelled ever forward by his tendency to experiment and do things a lot musicians wouldn’t even think of. And nowhere was this more apparent than in the recording of his seminal album Harvest, America’s best-selling album of 1972. An intriguing rumor has persisted for years about how he put it together. It took Young many decades to speak out about the story, but come June 2016 he finally did.
Neil Young might have been born in Canada, but he loved American music. Growing up, Young listened obsessively to the songs of Elvis Presley, as well as other ’50s rock’n’roll artists. He began to teach himself the ukulele, before graduating to other instruments. Realizing that his future lay in the world of music, Young then dropped out of high school to pursue his dreams.
And it turned out those dreams were well within reach. While working the Canadian music scene Young met lots of future big names, including Joni Mitchell, Stephen Stills and the Guess Who. He joined a band in the ’60s called The Mynah Birds, but the group split before achieving any joint success. Subsequently, Young decided to try and make it in Los Angeles.