LOS ANGELES – Property from the Collection of Neil Young will close out Julien’s Auctions’ 2017 season on Dec. 9. Julien’s Auctions will honor the two-time inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend in a never before seen auction event presenting the multi-Grammy and Juno award-winning singer/songwriter’s extraordinary personal collection of model trains, classic cars, guitars, recording gear, clothing and memorabilia. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
Neil Young has forged a 50-year-long career that has been revered by legions of fans, peers and critics around the world and earned him recognition as one of the greatest artists of all time.
After embarking on a music career in the 1960s Toronto folk scene, the Canadian native moved to Los Angeles where in 1966, he formed with Stephen Stills and others the groundbreaking supergroup Buffalo Springfield, who along with the Byrds, became the forerunners of the Americana folk-rock and country roots rock music movements of the ’70s and beyond.
While joining Stills in the iconic band Crosby, Stills and Nash in 1969, Young began his prolific solo career as a touring singer/songwriter with his self-titled debut album Neil Young. In the next three decades, Young produced over 35 albums that demonstrated his uncompromising and shape-shifting musicology – from the jam rock inflected Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, his first album with his fabled long standing backup band Crazy Horse, featuring “Cinnamon Girl” to the folk acoustic flavored Harvest that produced the no. 1 hit “Heart of Gold” to the electric/punk rock insurgent Rust Never Sleeps to the bluesy This Note’s For You that was banned by MTV and whose title track ironically won him an MTV Best Video Award to his freedom protest anthem “Rockin’ in the Free World.” Despite their unshackled musical genres and experimentation, Young’s consciousness-raising songs have always been marked by his distinct voice, raw and emotional guitar playing and his transcendent, poetic songwriting.
Young’s standing as a cult hero has influenced and ignited other works: from touring with grunge rock icons Pearl Jam to three documentaries on Young’s concert tours produced by the late famed director Jonathan Demme to collaborations on the film soundtracks of Dead Man directed by Jim Jarmusch and Demme’s Philadelphia, which garnered Young an Academy Award nomination.
Political, environmental and humanitarian awareness, advocacy and activism have been consistent threads in Young’s life’s mission and music. In 1985, Young co-founded Farm Aid with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp. Neil Young and Pegi Young organized the Bridge School Benefit Concerts, which for three decades had become an annual, all acoustic, nonprofit charity event. The Bridge School ensures that children with severe speech and physical impairments achieve full participation in their communities through the use of assistive technology and the development, implementation and dissemination of innovative educational strategies. The weekend concerts have drawn an international array of musical artists from Bruce Springsteen to Elton John and have raised significant resources for the school. A portion of proceeds from this auction will benefit the Bridge School.
In addition, Young is the author of several books including the best selling 2012 autobiography Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream. His critically lauded personal memoir about his career, family life and pursuits reveal his passions for collecting model trains to classic cars, items which will be offered at auction for the first time.
Young forayed found success as a producer, director, screenwriter, entrepreneur and inventor. He invented the CAB-1, the first user-friendly remote control in the toy train industry, and Train Master Command Control, which allows hobbyists to run multiple trains at once, as well as RailSounds, which provides realistic railroad audio. Young is revered for his passion for model railroading, magnificent layouts, ownership in Lionel beginning in the early 1990s.
Julien’s Auctions will present over 230 items from Young’s vast collection of Lionel trains. Included are dozens of rare and unique items such as prototypes for Lionel production locomotives and rolling stock, many of them from the fabled Lionel Archives; prototypes for Young’s RailSounds and Trainmaster inventions for Lionel, and several one-of-a-kind Lionel products featuring hallmarks of Neil Young including his name, his home Broken Arrow Ranch and his record company, Vapor Records. Many of these items have been run on his monumental Broken Arrow Ranch model train layout that he built with his son, Ben Young. He designed train control devices for Ben, who has cerebral palsy, and others with disabilities so they can enjoy the thrill of running a model train layout.
Highlights from the collection on offer include the Lionel Hudson Factory Prototype locomotive (estimate: $4,000-$9,000), the Lionel Western Pacific “1954” Blue Feather Boxcar Factory Prototype (estimate: $3,000-$6,000); the Lionel Santa Fe “Clear Shell” F-3 locomotive (estimate: $2,000-$5,000); the HORDE Tour Psychedelic Vanderbilt Hudson locomotive (estimate: $3,000-$6,000) that ran in a layout Young brought to the Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere touring summer rock music festival; RailSounds prototype diesel locomotives and Trainmaster transformer prototypes and other items.
Young’s classic cars that have also served as muses in many of his songs are also featured including a 1954 Cadillac Fleetwood Imperial 8-Passenger Limousine (estimate: $30,000-$40,000) with the Cadillac crest styled “Broken Arrow” emblem found on the rear passenger door that harkens back to Buffalo Springfield’s 1967 song and ranch of the same name in Portalo Valley, California); a 1948 Buick Roadmaster Hearse built by Flxible (estimate: $8,000-$10,000) identical to the one used by Young and his band, The Squires, to haul their equipment to gigs in the early 1960s, decorated with backstage passes and bumper stickers and served as the theme of Young’s song, “Long May You Run;”
A Body #1 first in production 1953 Buick Roadmaster code 76X Skylark Convertible Buick’s 50th anniversary special edition, body number one from the assembly line (total production 1,690) with a steering wheel hub that denotes “customized for Neil Young” (estimate: $200,000-$300,000); and a 1941 Chrysler Series 28 Windsor Highlander 2-Door 3-Person Coupe (estimate: $15,000-$20,000).
Several of Young’s guitars, recording equipment and instruments will be offered including two Studer A800 Mark III Master recorders known as “The Twins” and used together in Young’s studio (estimate: $10,000-$12,000); four Marshall Full Stack Amplifiers (estimates ranging from $2,000-$3,500); a 1935 Martin F-7 acoustic guitar (estimate: $4,000-$4,500); a 1965 Gibson ES-345 left handed electric guitar, with a Varitone, original tailpiece, original pickguard, a strap and a handwritten chord chart (estimate: $3,500-$5,000); a 1999 Gretsch White Falcon SS (estimate: $2,000-$2,500) 16 Universal Audio 610 preamp console modules (estimate: $9,000-$12,000); and a hurdy gurdy used on Young’s song “Red Sun” from his album Silver and Gold (estimate: $200-$400).
Young’s clothing worn on stage and at events will also make an appearance including an Abercrombie & Fitch red and blue plaid flannel shirt worn in a performance with Paul McCartney at a benefit concert for the Bridge School (estimate: $300-$500); a tan and cream striped seersucker J. Crew jacket, worn in a performance at Hard Rock live in Hollywood, Florida (estimate: $400-$600) as well as bolo ties and designer jackets.
“Collecting all of these items have been my great joy. They have provided a source of inspiration, fun and creativity throughout my life,” said Young. “Now it is time to share them with others in the world, whom I hope will enjoy and love them as much as I have.”