"Here We Are In The Years," an in-depth Neil Young documentary tracing the range of artists and genres he's influenced and drawn from, will be released on DVD June 21.
This film traces the musical journey of Young from the day he first heard Elvis to his most recent offerings. Extra features include extended interviews, digital biographies, beyond-DVD and more.
Across a career spanning almost 50 years, Neil Young has never been immune to the influence of others. This will be no surprise to anyone with even a hint of interest in Young and his music. But only those who have studied their subject in depth will be aware of the range of artists and genres Young has been affected by -- and drawn inspiration from.
As with many of his contemporaries, his first love was the classic rock of the mid-1950s, but as the '50s tuned into the '60s, twangy guitars courtesy of Duane Eddy, The Fireballs and Hank Marvin of The Shadows took over. In fact, Young's first band, The Squires, were dead-ringers for The Shadows.
The folk-revival of the late 1950s didn't pass Neil by, and from this genre he was moved by fellow Canadians Ian & Sylvia, whom Young would never forget, recording their "Four Strong Winds" in 1978. Bob Dylan's affect on Young is well known, but by mid-decade, British folk-blues guitarist and composer Bert Jansch had hit a note with Young, and years later they would tread the boards together on many occasions.
Throughout the late 1960s and the 1970s, Young kept an ear to the ground and, despite claiming in 1975 that he had given up listening to other people's records, he was enthralled by the impulse and the sounds of the punk revolution, giving Johnny Rotten equal credit to recently departed hero Elvis Presley, on his 1979 opus "Hey Hey, My My." His work with new-wavers Devo compounded this ongoing delight in new sounds and the technology that accompanied them, and by 1982's Trans, it was no secret he'd had Kraftwerk on heavy rotation.
And while during the 1980s he often harked back to styles previously toyed with - country, rockabilly, folk, R&B - his early '90s salutations from grunge's finest weren't shrugged off with the kind of disinterest that may have been forthcoming from others of his vintage. Young made records with and wrote songs about some of the best of these young upstarts, and the teacher became the pupil in a wholly bewildering chain of events.