Five things nobody needs to know about Neil Young

You've heard the man's songs – but did you know he's really into model trains and Mumford & Sons?

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1. He once made an album consisting entirely of feedback.
For the Neil Young fan who has everything, ‘Arc’ offers a 35-minute audio collage of very loud white noise from various Neil Young and Crazy Horse gigs. It’s not conducive to many lighters-in-the-air moments.

2. He’s big on big cars.
Before Young made his millions, his ride of choice was a hearse – the only vehicle large enough to transport band kit and band members, yet cheap enough for a teenager driving to LA from Ontario to buy. It was in a traffic jam, while sat in his 1948 Pontiac hearse, that he bumped into Stephen Stills and formed Buffalo Springfield. Together they would become purveyors of the world’s most prolific sideburns.

3. He’s also big on little trains.
In common with Rod Stewart and Bruce Springsteen, Young is an avid model train collector. He dedicated a 2,800-square-foot barn on his ranch to building a 750-track layout, then bought a stake in struggling manufacturer Lionel rather than lose it as a supplier. He even founded a company, Liontech, to help equip his mini-trains with high-grade sound systems.

4. He’s worshipped by rock gods. But he likes Mumford & Sons.
Kurt Cobain’s suicide note quotes Young’s song ‘My My, Hey Hey’ (‘It’s better to burn out than to fade away’); Pearl Jam have performed their cover of ‘Rocking in the Free World’ more than 100 times, and anyone who has screamed a throaty chorus owes him a debt. But in his autobiography, ‘Waging Heavy Peace’, Young confesses an admiration for our very own Hovis advert extras.

5. He just made an album in a fairground booth.
Young and Jack White recorded covers album ‘A Letter Home’ live in White’s 1940s Voice-O-Graph fairground vinyl-recording booth. The result sounds pleasantly like it was dropped in the bath while they were scrubbing each other’s backs.


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