Pegi Morton Young

Pegi Morton Young

I heard in a belated catching up session with friends on last year’s significant events, that Neil Young has traded in his wife of 36 years (and partner in his band) for a younger model. I could not believe it and was shattered by this news. I don’t know why exactly, but part of it is that I had put Neil on a pedestal and thought Neil to be above this trendy and superficial, but apparently inherent benefit of rich and famous men.

I find it a shame that Neil was unable to stay grounded and loyal to his family and his wife of many years, although this seems to be a fate of many celebrities: they cannot handle the temptations. Only Love Can Break Your Heart. Neil made it come true for Pegi. I am with her and on her side, when sides need to be chosen.

I suspect (hope?) that he will be one of those men that when it is too late, when he is lonely and dissatisfied with life, old and cranky, he wished he would have never left his wife. Loyalty and commitment is hard to find these days…

On the other hand, maybe she threw him out, tired of all his escapes and narcissistic antics, after all these years under his controlling ways. Who knows? Just saying, that picture might be another reality. What do you think has happened here? I delved in and found some public facts known about Pegi on the Internet.

Initially, my company and I spent some time on determining that the names of the celebrities were correct and that we were all talking about the same people. You know, as we get older, retaining names in our memory gets less reliable, so we had to make sure.

The Internet had to be recruited for the final determination and yeah, there were the photos of Neil and the new woman, a mediocre actress with a light-weight (in my eyes) affinity with ecological matters including the seal hunt, an issue where the parties divide themselves in a simplified “pro seal” versus “pro Inuit”.

Pegi Morton Young just turned 62 in December. She is an American born singer and song writer, an educator and environmentalist, and a philanthropist. She has a step-son with Neil who was born with cerebral palsy. Zeke was the reason she and Neil have extensively fundraised over the years for the cause of physical disabilities, in particular for children with speech and severe, physical challenges, putting the supports in place for those who need it, as there were not any when Neil and Pegi were looking for support for their son.

Her son’s CP affected his ability to speak and he has severe physical challenges.  Together with Neil, she has two other biological children, Amber and Ben. She entered the world of music publically, when she was one of the back-up singers in the Academy Awards event in 1994 for the song Philadelphia that Neil had written for the movie.

Pegi and Neil were married for 36 years and a lot of Neil’s love songs were inspired by Pegi. They met when she was waitressing in a cafe in his home town; that must have been in the early seventies; they married in 1978. (Song: Unknown Legend, 1992). Since the 1990s, Pegi performed with Neil on stage in the band. That’s how I saw them in concert together a few years ago, in Kelowna. The couple impressed me then with their performances, as well as that of the rest of the band: a tight group, completely professional and supportive of each other, to bring the best life concert to the audience, even in this relatively small venue in a small city.  The whole event was run like a well-rehearsed show. Two other facts were obvious: Neil is one of the ugliest looking front men on a stage, at least in my mind, and that he is completely in control of the band, as the ultimate conductor. According to Rolling Stone, Pegi last performed with Neil and his band in October 2013.  Neil filed for divorce in July 2014, according to the Internet source, Wikipedia.

Pegi is more than a pretty face and she has an impressive career on her own accord. In 1986, Pegi had initiated a special school program, The Bridge, for children with severe speech and physical challenges. She has ever since fundraised for the program that expanded and became a well-respected international program. Together with Neil, she organized an annual Benefit concert for The Bridge program in Mountain View, California, in which many other celebrity musicians participated.

She served on the executive board of The Bridge, as well of on boards of other institutions for the development of better programs and supports, especially through the arts, to serve people with severe challenges.

Pegi also is an environmentalist and has fundraised for Farm Aid, together with her ex, and joined the board of Directors of The Rainbow Connection in 2013, concerned with deforestation of the Rain Forrest.

Pegi has her own musical career with her band, The Survivors, and has recorded since 2007 three albums at her home studio at The Broken Arrow Ranch in California, where she lived together with Neil before their break-up. (I have no idea if she or Neil got the ranch in the divorce proceedings or whether there is a settlement). She also tours with her band and by year’s end had completed a tour in North America. She was on the performers’ list for the Farm Aid concert in Raleigh, scheduled for September13 2014, but was removed from the list.

I hope that Neil and Pegi can be level-headed in the future for the benefit of the children and themselves, and allow each other an afterlife post-divorce.

About BABYBOOMER johanna van zanten

My name is Johanna van Zanten. I am a baby boomer, interested in writing and connecting with other writers and readers to engage in discussions and information sharing, to share a point of view about current global issues, writing, and publishing, diversity, immigration, travel, music, life, specific baby boomer issues, and dating/relationship issues. I have written a novella, ON THIN ICE about baby-boomer Adrienne and will link this blog with the information website for this novella. Right now, I am trying out the blog.
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4 Responses to Pegi Morton Young

  1. Luuk Upuuk says:

    Bad research, it’s not stepson Zeke but son Ben that has been the cause for the founding of the Bridge School. Both of Young’s sons, Zeke (with Carrie Snodgress) and Ben, were diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after birth.

  2. It is sad. I loved what she brought out in him over the years. She gave him a lot of freedom to do what he needed to do to make records, movies, whatever. He made a comeback, I think, when he showed up on SNL singing RTFW, and she was the reason why. His career was on the skids making records that weren’t making any money. When a person suddenly ends a relationship after 36 years, it’s because they’re ready to move on or it could be a Captain and Tenille thing where they got a divorce for financial/medical reasons. It’s funny how private both Pegi & Neil were about being photographed in public and suddenly Neil shows up in photographs with Darryl Hannah all over the place. Almost like it’s being staged to make it look like he’s having an affair. Unbelievable. Can he be that insensitive and disrespectful to his wife and family? Well, yes, he had his mother throw Zeke’s Mom, Carrie, off the ranch while he was partying pretty heavily down in Malibu and Hawaii. However, Neil’s style is that he falls for somebody, writes about it, walks out later, writes about it, and moves on to his next adventure. It’s always been about him. I think it was probably very hard on Pegi being married to someone whose musical career was always front and center. On the other hand, all their kids are grown, independent, so divorce only becomes a complication for them around the holidays. She is an amazing women, Pegi Morton Young, and has been an inspiration for so many families who have children with special needs. I wish her nothing but joy and happiness. I hope she is feeling fulfilled. I really love that you wrote about her the way you did because she is a special lady!

  3. I hope she is happy and feeling fulfilled.

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