Today I’m going to tell you a story about a boy named Neil.
Born in a major Canadian town in 1945, young Neil became infatuated with music, playing guitar and singing in local bands.
He made it big on the local music circuit playing in a band called the Mynah Birds.
Reaching the height of popularity for the region, he enlisted some of his Canadian musician buddies to head south to the music mecca of Los Angeles California to make it big.
Upon reaching la he was immediately noticed by folks in the music industry and invited to play with some of the most well-known musicians at the time… and gained a recording contract with RCA.
Neil and his friends moved out of the motor hotel they were staying at on the Sunset Strip and moved into houses of other musicians in the famed Topanga Canyon, where they began playing gigs for other well-known musicians of the era.
Neil recruited other musicians to form popular and influential bands in the early 70s before striking out on his own as a solo act in 1974.
Now, I know you’re saying to yourself “Mark what the heck is going on? You just wrote about Neil Young yesterday!”
Well, yes I did… but this is not Neil Young I am referring to it is Neil Merryweather!
Born Robert Neilson Lillie on December 27th in Winnipeg, Neil Merryweather adopted his stage name from the title of a song that he had written and the band name that he was pursuing when he moved to LA.
I picked up his record Space Rangers over the summer. I had not listened to it yet but broke it out, cleaned it up and gave it a spin today:
Fantastic! It sounds like a cross between Marc Bolan and Ziggy Stardust at a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Really good and interesting original songs as well as great interpretations of Eight Miles High and Sunshine Superman.
I forecast that Neil Merryweather will become my new obsession! He’s got a great back story; check out this blog interview from 2011:
It’s got it all, sex, drugs, rock and roll! Curbside chats with Linda Ronstadt, his missed chance to become the bass player for Crosby Stills and Nash, jamming with Steve Miller, Dave Mason and Rick James… even his planned meeting with Janis Joplin that was supposed to happened just hours after she died of a heroin overdose.
Hollywood! If you are listening this would be a great subject for a biopic.