cover image Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years

Sharry Wilson. ECW Press (Legato Publishers Group; U.S. dist.; Jaguar Book Group, Canadian dist.), $18.95 trade paper (456p) ISBN 978-1-77041-186-9

Wilson's debut work chronicles the formative years of 1945 to 1966 of Toronto-born guitarist singer/songwriter Neil Young. Using first-hand accounts from Young's family and friends, she meticulously recounts Young's childhood and teen years, focusing on the people and events that influenced his musical growth. Readers meet Young's father, Scott, a journalist and author, and his mother Rassy, and get an intimate view of their rocky marriage and eventual divorce. Wilson details Young's parents' struggles to get their son to apply himself to schoolwork, which ended when he dropped out of high school to become a musician. The book examines musical influences right from Young's father, who introduced him to his first instrument (a ukulele), to the music he listened to on his transistor radio, to the bands and guitarists that he encountered. Wilson also traces Young's beginnings with various bands and the path that led him to Fort William, Ont., where he met Stephen Stills, his soon-to-be bandmate in Buffalo Springfield. Enriched with more than 100 photos, this is a book written by a true fan for true fans. (Oct.)