It was recently announced that Neil and Pegi Young are divorcing after 36 years. More accurately, Neil filed for a divorce at the end of July. I don’t know what Pegi’s official stance is, but I’ll bet she’s on board with the idea.
I’ve always been under the impression that Neil is kind of an ass. Maybe it’s the way he comes off in interviews. My feelings are pretty unsubstantiated; I’ve heard some apocryphal stories about him being distant and neglectful to the people he supposedly loves, including his disabled children (two from two different mothers, plus another non-disabled child with Pegi). I can’t remember any of the stories well enough to recount them, or refer you to any sources. All I know is I don’t like him that much as a human being.
As an artist and musician, Neil Young is above reproach. His work is stunning in its diversity and creativity. He can croon the tenderest love songs, and spew the most vitriolic rage. I love Neil’s music.
Which complicates my feelings about him as a person. I guess I believe the stories I’ve heard because he is so brilliantly talented. Brilliantly talented people tend to have other glaring flaws. They can be difficult to deal with because their devotion to their art is so uncompromising. There probably is some truth to the stories, but that truth must be incomplete. After all, the marriage lasted for 36 years. Maybe he’s a really lovable sweetheart in private, and they just decided to call it quits because they’d grown apart. I don’t know.
And, ultimately, I don’t care. What’s important to me is the music. His life, their lives, are something that has no effect on me whatsoever. Although I bet this means there’ll be an awesome break-up album in the foreseeable future.