Neil Young surprises Standing Rock protesters on 71st birthday

A picture of Neil Young
Neil Young (Image credit: Getty)

Neil Young surprised environmental protestors in Dakota by performing with his acoustic guitar on his 71st birthday.

The rock icon turned up unannounced at the Standing Rock site of protests against the planned Dakota Access Pipeline in the US state. He walked through the crowd strumming his acoustic guitar and playing a harmonica.

Posting a video of his appearance to Facebook, Young says: “Got my birthday wish today, my girl took me to #StandWithStandingRock #WaterIsLife.

“Those who damage Mother Earth, damage us all. Forgive them, they don’t yet see.”

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a controversial proposed $3.7 billion, 1,172-mile long underground oil pipeline.

It has been opposed by Native American groups in Iowa and Dakota who say it is unnecessary and will harm the environment.

Neil Young recently announced he will release his new album Peace Trail on December 2 via Reprise Records. It was written and recorded shortly after he released live album Earth earlier this year.

Peace Trail was recorded at Rick Rubin’s Shangi-la Studios and will feature mostly acoustic tracks. It’ll also include bassist Paul Bushnell and drummer Jim Keltner. Young co-produced the album with John Hanlon.

Neil Young Peace Trail tracklist

  1. Peace Trail
  2. Can’t Stop Workin’
  3. Indian Givers
  4. Show Me
  5. Texas Rangers
  6. Terrorist Suicide Hang Gliders
  7. John Oaks
  8. My Pledge
  9. Glass Accident
  10. My New Robot

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Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.