Hear Scott Simon's full interview with Neil Young
The creation of Neil Young's latest album, Prairie Wind, was punctuated by a life-changing "medical event" for the singer-songwriter.
As he was preparing to record the song "The Painter" in Nashville, Young was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. He recorded eight of the songs before surgery for the aneurysm, and two afterward as he recovered.
Young was born in Toronto in 1945 and moved to Los Angeles in 1966, forming the seminal rock band Buffalo Springfield and later Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He also released several albums with longtime backing band, Crazy Horse.
The songs "Old Man," "Heart of Gold" and "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" are well-known examples of Young's folk- and country-laced rock.
Young wrote some of the songs on Prairie Wind in 15 or 20 minutes, he tells Scott Simon. "It doesn't take me very long when I get started. I just try to remain open." The album is released Sept. 27; a concert film directed by Jonathan Demme is also forthcoming.