Almanac Music: Neil Young – Happy birthday!


Neil Young celebrated his 76th birthday last week.


And, what a career! After more than 50 years, Neil Young’s music still continues to provide pleasure and great joy among his many followers whether performing solo or in a band with Crazy Horse, CSNY, and others, he has been at the forefront of contemporary music.


I first heard Neil’s music during his time with Buffalo Springfield but it wasn’t until he joined CSNY that I started to take notice of his music. His distinctive voice attracted me as did his guitar playing. I’d bought CSNY’s first two albums and a friend gave me After The Goldrush as a 21st present.



I first saw Neil playing live in 1985 at Festival Hall, and of all the times I saw him perform that show was the best. I nearly did not go to the show as that morning had been my brother-in-law’s funeral, however my sister convinced me her late husband would be very disappointed if I wasn’t singing along with Neil on his behalf at the concert.


As I remember the show it was in two parts; first half acoustic with the International Harvesters, then second half, a change of bands with Neil joined by Crazy Horse. The sound during the acoustic set was fantastic, very crisp and clear as Neil performed on guitar or piano and harmonica. After an interval Neil returned to the stage with Crazy Horse, and the first thing I remember thinking at the time was how much louder the sound was, but it was fantastic, and it was the first time I’d heard ‘Powderfinger’ and Neil blew me away. And of course ‘Like A Hurricane’ and ‘Hey Hey My My’ also blew me away.


Please enjoy the following three clips  featuring the aforementioned songs, and probably my three favourite Neil Young songs.


Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Powderfinger – Red Rocks – 8/5/2012


Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Like a Hurricane London O2 Arena 17th June 2013


Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Hey Hey, My My ( Into the Black ) live 1991 HD


More from Col Ritchie can be read Here.


We’ll do our best to publish two books in the lead-up to Christmas 2021. The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020  and the 2021 edition to celebrate the Dees’ magnificent premiership season(title is up for discussion at the moment!). These books will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers and Demons season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from these two Covid winters. Enquiries HERE


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About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. Thanks Col. No argument on your top 3 from me!

  2. Peter Crossing says

    Well done Col.
    Neil Young: “Heart of Gold put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch”.
    We’ve had some great music from the ditch.

  3. Wayne Matthews says

    Well done CGR. Excellent retentive memory you have from those concerts. Heart of Gold was the first LP I acquired. Cost a fortune in those days.

  4. He’s a genius songwriter. I always go back to old Neil. The breadth of his writing and styles is magnificent. Played some real shit in the early – mid eighties but soon came good. I’ve seen him live on plenty of occasions. He’s still got it.

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