Neil Young Annotated Biblography: Ha Get It?


So here’s the links to all the resources I used for my project.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -This is a biography of Neil Young done by the rock and roll hall of fame, and it is also where I got the idea for doing my speech like an acceptance speech.

Another Biography– I got a bunch of Information about his childhood from this biography, which helped me with my intro post.

Ahmet Ertegun– This is a wiki page on Neils long-time producer Ahmet Ertegun, who originally signed Buffalo Springfield and has been Neil’s good friend ever since. He was very important in the making of Neil’s career.

Farm-Aid– Is a benefit concert that Neil Young founded along with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp. The concert takes place every year and all money goes towards helping family farmers in the U.S. Neil plays at the concert every year along with the rest of the all-star lineup.

Bridge School– The bridge school is a non-profit charity organization that Neil and his wif Pegi founded in 1967. The foundation gives aid to children with communication disabilities. The foundation has an annual concert in the Bay Area of California where the school is located.

Crosby,Stills, Nash and Young– A wikipedia page on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young a band that Neil was a part of for a number of years before he returned to Crazy horse. This link helped with research for my speech.

Buffalo Springfield– The band that Neil started with and gained most of his fame with. He moved to California with the band in 1966 and the band broke up 2 years later after releasing just three albums. They were later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Those were the sites that I got most of my information from. I also got a lot from reading his book “Waging Heavy Peace” which mentioned all of these things, and many first-hand accounts of events from his life.




It’s Over: NotN Reflection 2015


Wow, it’s weird to think that this is my last post about eminent ever. For me it marks TALONS 10 being a third of the way done; the other two thirds being in-depth and the adventure trip. So this is a bitter-sweet moment because I got it all done and it was great, but it went by so fast. It feels like just yesterday it was the beginning of October and I had no idea who my person was, so to think that it’s all done now its pretty sad.IMG_9182IMG_9183

So, let’s see, where to start? Going into the big night I wasn’t super nervous. It was probably because I was busy with a whole bunch of other things like putting the finishing touches on my learning center, or getting my costume together. The night itself was a blast. It was so cool to see all the different learning centers come together and see all the people in costume. There was also a different feeling the on the night of compared to last year. I wasn’t worrying about doing my committee work or setting everything up. Instead, I just had to make sure that my learning center was done and I was ready to deliver my speech. Speaking of the speech, it was pretty much what I was told it would be, “Not that bad.” It really wasn’t that bad, at all. Watching the speeches and seeing all the work that everyone put into their projects was amazing. I liked the fact that I presented mine after the intermission because it gave me a chance to catch my breath before I went on stage. IMG_9180

As for my learning center, I created a recording studio like the one that Neil Young has on his property. My dad and I built a recording booth and table, and the rest of the items were found in my house. I had some Neil Young tunes playing and had a notepad for people to write there own song on. It ended up becoming one collaborative song with each person adding a couple lines as they came by.
So that concludes eminent for this year, and for me. It was a great experience and I had an absolute blast. All the hours of work and lost sleep were totally worth it, and I learned a ton. I can’t believe it’s actually over and I’d totally do it again.


Talk With an Old Friend: Eminent Interview 2015


I ended up interviewing an old music teacher of mine, Jim Burton from Maple Creek, about Neil Young this year.  Along with being a music teacher he’s very musically talented, has been in many bands over the years, and has written a lot of his own music so I figured he’d be the perfect candidate. He’s also just a generally cool guy and I know him well from when I went to Maple Creek, so it was easy to contact him for help with my project. We conducted the interview over the phone, on a Saturday morning, so it was pretty laid back. I got to sit in my pj’s and talk about Neil Young for a while so I wasn’t complaining. Another reason for choosing to interview Mr. Burton was the fact that he was very knowledgeable about Neil Young but he isn’t a huge fan of him so the information he gave me wasn’t clouded by bias. The information he gave me was really good, and I learned more about Neil than I ever could have on the internet. Most of the information he gave me goes well with the way I wrote my speech and I think I will add some of it into my speech or learning center.  Below is a written copy of the interview, I’d like to give a big thank you to Jim Burton for agreeing to do the interview and for the wonderful information gave to me.


  1. So first question, are you or have you ever been a fan of Neil Young? Why?

I used to be more of a fan than I am now.  Probably because I only liked about the first three albums of his, and then after that I didn’t like it as much.

  1. What is your opinion on Neil Young’s music?

His music had a lot of meaning which had to do with his writing which was good and sometimes not as good. He’s written some really remarkable stuff, stuff that got to a lot of people, but also some stuff that’s more just filler which I felt as he got older there started to be more filler writing.

  1. What is something you think most people wouldn’t know about Neil Young?

Most people don’t know that he was from Winnipeg, but more importantly he had a connection with Northern Ontario around Kenora and in the song ‘Helpless’  he did with Crosby, Stills, and Nash that he wrote. And in that song when they talk about blue-ridge mountains all around, they’re talking about that town in Ontario.

  1. What is the most powerful Neil Young song in your opinion?

I would say my favourite song is cinnamon girl, but the most powerful song would be the needle and the damage done.

  1. What would you say sets Neil apart from other singer-songwriters of his generation?

His voice, it’s a weird thing because his voice has been his strongest asset and in later life his weakest point. His voice has a very odd sound and it was never a particularly beautiful voice so when he used to sing with his raspy voice he would sing on key which sounded good. But in his later years when he hasn’t been singing on key as much the hard raspy voice hasn’t helped him.

  1. Anything else you might want to tell me?

His father was a reporter and writer, he lived in Toronto in the 60’s and he bought a hearse and drove it California with all his band equipment in it.  I’d also like to share a quote from one of his lyrics… A good lyric should be simple and poetic and this is from a song called “Love is a Rose” and the lyric goes “love is a rose but you better not pick it, it only grows when it’s on the vine, handful of thorns and you know you’ve missed it, lose you love when you say the word mine.” I think this quote has a lot of meaning, and it says a lot about how you need to respect the one you’re with for who they are.

Speech Draft/Doc of Learning


For my document of learning I have chosen to share a speech draft and to just talk about the project so far. My speech is set as an acceptance speech after getting inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame. I think it will be a cool setting and it leaves lot’s of opportunity for me to add in all the content I want to. A big part of my speech is trying to convey that Neil is more than just a rock star so when I first thought of the idea of an acceptance speech I thought it wouldn’t work. In the end I realized that it was a good idea because the hall of fame part gets the point across that he’s a rock star, but it’s what I actually say that shows the different aspects of his life.  So here it is..

I’d like to thank the Rock and Roll hall of fame for this moment; it’s a real privilege to be added to a list of such amazing artists. As a kid with epilepsy growing up in Winnipeg, Canada during the 50’s, I never thought that one day I’d be standing here. I’d like to thank my mom for everything she’s done for me over the years.  My band, Crazy Horse, I couldn’t have done it without you guys, that’s for sure.  We’ve been so many places together, done some great things…  Playing at Farm Aid or the Bridge School Concerts, it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to play with you guys. Thank you to my producer over the years Ahmet Ertegun, from the moment you signed Buffalo Springfield, you were nothing but the best to me, you believed in me and for that I am forever in debt to you. It’s been a crazy ride, and my family is what kept me sane. My wife Pegi, my daughter Amber and my two sons Zeke, and Ben, I love you guys more than anything. Pegi, the love of my life, who devotes a huge portion of her life to the bridge school for children with communication disabilities we founded back in 87, and still manages to take care of the kids. Without you I would be nothing, you keep me on track with all of the projects I start, and you never doubt my ideas. Things like Puretone, and the Lincvolt would have been nothing but that, ideas, without you believing in me and encouraging me. So thank you. See I’ve done a lot over the past 70 years, created a lot of music, touched a lot of lives, well hopefully, and proved that if you give a hippy too much money, anything can happen.

So yeah, this year’s eminent has been going well. There haven’t been many hiccups yet; my speech is coming along well, my learning center is planned, I have an interview set up and I found a sick hat for my costume. I’ve also learned a ton about Neil Young and how important it is to see people for more than what they first appear as. Neil Young is a perfect example. At first glance anyone would think that he’s just another rock-star who’s time has passed, oh and he’s Canadian, that’s cool. They wouldn’t see him though, as the entrepreneur or environmentalist that he is. So that’s what I really want to show in my speech, and that’s what I really admire about Neil Young. It’s already been a really cool experience so far this year, and, even though I’m fairly nervous already, I can’t wait to get out on that stage and deliver my speech I just have to finish it first!


A Stroke of Luck: Library Post

This year’s library trip was a blast, and turned out to be a pretty lucky day for me. Going into the trip I had made some goals for the day; one being to get to know a lot of the nines that I hadn’t had time to get to know, but more importantly to find someone to study. I ended up completing both, so it was a good day.


As for the Vancouver library, I had never been before the day we went. I’d driven past it tons of times but never actually been inside, so I was really looking forward to checking it out.  I was amazed by how big it actually was; as soon as we walked into the main foyer area where the shops and seating were I was like, “Whoa, this is big.” Standing outside the doors waiting for the library to open I was actually a lot more excited than I thought I would be. The doors opened at 9:00 am sharp and I was consumed by a crowd of people each heading in different directions. All of them knowing exactly where they were headed, while I found myself utterly lost with no idea where to start. I decided to take a moment and just watch all the commotion. I took a deep breath and a seat at a table and just took it all in.

IMG_8962After a few minutes of just ‘coolin’ it I decided to take a complete tour of the library so I headed up to the top level and slowly made my way down through the floors, which ate up a bit of time, but it was worth it. Row after row of books of all shapes and sizes, more than anyone could read in a lifetime. I finally made it to a computer and searched for any books about lists of famous people, explorers, visionaries, or sports players. After taking note of a variety of call numbers, I set out on the hunt. After the better part of an hour I had gone through about a dozen books, and was still out of luck so I decided to retire to some overly comfy chairs with a couple other people. We had some good conversation for the remainder of the time where I learned a lot about some people I really knew nothing about.

IMG_8966When it was time to leave and we met at the entrance to the library before heading to lunch I was kind of bummed out about not finding an eminent person. As I sat and ate some wonderful sushi and then pizza with Andrea, Connor, and Emma, I realized that I still had one last chance to find someone at the book store. After lunch we headed down to the book store, which was probably even more interesting than the library even though it was a 100th of size.        IMG_8973At first all I could think was that it was complete chaos. Books literally stacked to the ceiling. It was one of the coolest stores I had ever been in. Like at the library I spent most of the time taking everything in. Walking through the pathways cut out from the mountains of books. This is where I ended up getting lucky, but it just didn’t seem like it at first. I found myself stuck in a very tight spot with people on either side of me so I knew that I was going to have to do a slightly tedious shuffle past one of them. I had nowhere to go, so I just went for it and as I tried to pass by an older woman, who was reading a book in a rather inconvenient spot, disaster struck. I stepped over a small pile of books and lost my balance. To prevent myself from falling right over I grabbed for the nearest thing which happened to be a stack of books. Not a great idea because I ended up bringing a bunch of books down with me causing even more of a scene. Fast forward a couple of seconds and I found myself collecting all the books I knocked over as fast I could before anyone saw what had happened. As I did this, out of the corner of my eye I saw a book that had fallen further than the rest. I reached down to pick it up and read the cover, “Neil Young, Waging Heavy Peace.”  I knew Neil Young, rock-star right? Yeah. I had heard a couple of his songs and I was pretty sure my grandma was a fan. I was just about to put it back down on the shelf with the rest of the books I had disturbed, but I little voice in the back of my head said “give it a read,”  and so I did. I’d read the first chapter and I loved it; nine dollars later I was on my way. So just like that I went from not knowing who I was going to study, to complete embarrassment, to having an eminent person all in the span of about 10 minutes.  All in all it was a good trip; I got a lot done, made some good connections, experienced new things, and most of all enjoyed some quality pizza.


Rockin’ Kickoff to Eminent 2015!

I’ll admit, this year I had a really hard time picking and eminent person, which is weird because I started thinking about people I was interested in towards the end of the summer. More than anything I wanted to pick someone that interested me, and whom I knew very little about, so when I came across Neil Young I was quite intrigued. I knew he was a musician and had heard a few of his songs here and there because my mom is a fan of him, but that was about it. So when I came across his book “Waging Heavy Peace” I decided to get it, and immediately liked what I read. After doing a bit off research too, I realized there was much more to Neil Young than just classic rock.


Neil in 1983



Obviously Neil is a very famous Canadian singer and songwriter; he’s been in several influential rock bands including Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, not once, but twice as both a solo and group artist. However he isn’t “just a rock-star,” Neil is and environmentalist and advocate for people living with special needs. In 1985, along with John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson, he co-founded Farm Aid, a benefit concert that raises money for family farmers. To this day Farm Aid works with, and stresses the importance of family farms. Throughout his life, Neil struggled with epilepsy as did his daughter, and both of his sons Ben and Zeke were diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Neil and his wife Pegi founded the Bridge School, a center for children with communication disabilities, in San Francisco in the mid 80’s.

If I didn’t choose Neil because of his musical career, social services, or environmental impact, I did because he’s just a super cool dude. Neil has always been a laid-back, down to earth kind of guy that lives a super simple life (for a rock-star). He loves paddle boarding during his free time, saying that “it’s a beautiful thing” that helps him get away from distraction. He also owns part of Lionel toy trains, and has a 700 foot long train track, that he built in a barn on his ranch as a project with his son. Along with his extensive train collection, Neil has collected a wide variety of classic cars over the years. I myself am very interested in classic cars as well, but I’m a bit more of a muscle car guy than Neil who owns more vintage Lincolns and Buicks.
Neil YoungI think that despite us being born decades apart, on opposite sides of the country and him being a white rock-star while I’m a Fijian kid with no musical talent, we are quite similar. We’re both Canadians, love classic rock, cars and living life free. Our personalities are very similar as well. We both live life our way, without letting anyone telling us how to be. Neil once turned down a million dollars to play at Woodstock because he thought is was too commercial and took away from the spirit of the 1969 original. He also ignored advice for writing commercially successful songs from Bono because he wanted to write songs that he enjoyed. We share pretty much the same environmental and social views too, so there’s a lot for me to work with. As for goals for this project, I really just want to do a good job and finish my second and last eminent project strong and have fun doing it. I think the speech is going to be a bit freaky, but it’s also going to be a big confidence booster so I’m looking forward to it.  Although it took me a while to find the right person I think I really settled on a good choice as there is a ton about Neil that interests me, so I’m sure I’ll have a blast this year.