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Paul McCartney’s opinion on Neil Young

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


Paul McCartney’s opinion on Neil Young

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada back in 1945, Neil Young started his musical career in 1963 at the age of 18 and first achieved fame as a member of the band Buffalo Springfield, that released their self-titled debut album in 1966. In the following years, Young continued to show his talent with solo records and with the supergroup formed with Stephen Stills, David Crosby and Graham Nash.


Only in his solo career, the musician has released 45 studio albums until 2022 and 21 of his records and singles have been certified Gold and Platinum in the United States.

Over the decades many of his peers gave their opinion on the Canadian artist and one of them was the legendary Beatle Paul McCartney.

What is Paul McCartney’s opinion on Neil Young

Like almost all Rock and Roll musicians that started in the 60s, Neil Young was heavily influenced by The Beatles and the first song that he ever sang live in public was composed by the Fab Four. “I remember singing Beatles tunes. The first song I ever sang in front of people was ‘It Won’t Be Long’. Then ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’. That was in Calvin High School (Winnipeg, Canada) cafeteria. My big moment,” Neil Young told Cameron Crowe in an interview for Rolling Stone magazine back in 1975.

So the Canadian always admired the British group and the feeling is mutual when it comes to Paul McCartney. The Beatle loves Young’s songwriting and even said in an interview with B&N CEO James Daunt in 2021 that the Canadian artist is one of his favorite songwriters of all time.

“I think there’s a lot of great songs that weren’t written by me or us. And those two people I have mentioned – Paul Simon, particularly, Dylan, I think Neil Young has come up with some classics, Beach Boys, ‘God Only Knows,’ I think that’s a great classic.”

“And in a way, I could say I wish I’d written them, but I’ve written enough. I’ve got enough to go on with. But yeah, there are some great writers and artists out there. And I love to feel that when I’m writing something here, they’re writing something there, and you get a little bit of rivalry going,” Paul McCartney said.

He thinks Neil is uncompromising like Bob Dylan

Paul McCartney and Neil Young are good friends and they have played together live in concert multiple times over the decades. In a conversation with Adam Buxton back in 2020 the Beatle commented that he had watched Bob Dylan’s concert. But that he was surprised how the American artist changed the arrangement of his classic songs that sounded unrecognizable sometimes. However, he said that he loved Dylan’s “uncompromising stance” and the interviewer asked about Neil, who had an approach that could be compared to that one sometimes.

Paul replied, saying: I love Neil. He’s pretty uncompromising, too. You know, I’ve known him a long time. I don’t really know Bob too much. I’d run into him. I say I just admire who he is, what he is, is a poet.”

“You know, I like that, I love his songs. But Neil is the same. He’s so… so Neil Young. And he’s influenced a lot of people. I’ll often hear records on the radio, and I’ll just go ‘Oh, is that Neil’s new one’. And then ‘no, it’s another band’. And he’s a great bloke, too. I mean, I do know him quite well. I’ve known him since the 60s. He is a cool guy,” Paul McCartney said.

Young inducted Paul McCartney into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The admiration and friendship between the two artists is so big that Neil Young was the one who inducted Paul McCartney as a solo artist into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 1999.

During his speech, the Canadian artist recalled how much The Beatles influenced him and praised Paul’s bass playing. (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) “When I first heard The Beatles back in 60 somewhere, the first thing that I noticed was that ‘I might be able to do this kind of thing myself’.”

“So the first song that I ever sang was a Beatles song saying ‘Give money, that’s what I want’. Saying that at the school cafeteria didn’t go over that good. So we tried ‘It won’t be long, yeah’, that was better. The Beatles meant a lot to me. Paul’s music, particularly his bass playing at that time, was something that a lot of the bands were very impressed. He is just one of the greatest songwriters, perhaps ever. So I think he will be remembered hundreds of years from now for the work that he did,” Neil Young said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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