Neil young - on the beach

In 1965 Young toured Canada as a solo artist. In 1966, while in Toronto, he joined the Rick James-fronted Mynah Birds. The band managed to secure a record deal with the Motown label, but as their first album was being recorded, James was arrested for being AWOL from the Navy Reserve. [38] After the Mynah Birds disbanded, Young and the bass player Bruce Palmer relocated to Los Angeles. Young admitted in a 2009 interview that he was in the United States illegally until he received a "green card" ( permanent residency permit ) in 1970. [39]

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Following the 1973 Time Fades Away tour, Neil Young wrote and recorded an Irish wake of a record called Tonight's the Night and went on the road drunkenly playing its songs to uncomprehending listeners and hostile reviewers. Reprise rejected the record, and Young went right back and made On the Beach , which shares some of the ragged style of its two predecessors. But where Time was embattled and Tonight mournful, On the Beach was savage and, ultimately, triumphant. "I'm a vampire, babe," Young sang, and he proceeded to take bites out of various subjects: threatening the lives of the stars who lived in .'s Laurel Canyon ("Revolution Blues"); answering back to Lynyrd Skynyrd , whose "Sweet Home Alabama" had taken him to task for his criticisms of the South in "Southern Man" and "Alabama" ("Walk On"); and rejecting the critics ("Ambulance Blues"). But the barbs were mixed with humor and even affection, as Young seemed to be emerging from the grief and self-abuse that had plagued him for two years. But the album was so spare and under-produced, its lyrics so harrowing, that it was easy to miss Young 's conclusion: he was saying goodbye to despair, not being overwhelmed by it.

The second half of the decade would prove to be a more positive one for Young, who teamed up once more with Stephen Stills to record Long May You Run , which reached No. 26 on the charts and went gold. In 1977, he released the more country flavored Stars ’n Bars as well as the triple-LP compilation Decade , which featured a handpicked selection of his work up to that point. Things got even better the next year, when Comes a Time broke into the Top 10, he married Pegi Morton (who was waitress at a restaurant near his ranch and would inspire many of Young’s songs in the future, most notably, “Unknown Legend”) and embarked on a tour with Crazy Horse called “Rust Never Sleeps,” during which they showcased songs from an upcoming album. Released in 1979, Rust Never Sleeps echoed the structure of the concerts, alternating between quiet, acoustic tracks and aggressive electric numbers. Among its highlights is one of Neil Young’s best-known tracks, the anthem “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black).” A double LP recording from the tour, Live Rust , was released later that year, reaching No. 15 on the charts.

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