Neil Young has filed for divorce from Pegi Young, his wife of 36 years and frequent musical collaborator. A petition for dissolution of marriage was filed by Young in their hometown of San Mateo, California, on July 29th. A hearing is scheduled for December 12th. A rep for Neil Young had no comment.
Pegi is the inspiration for some of Young’s most enduring love songs, including “Such a Woman,” “Unknown Legend” and “Once an Angel.” She began serving as his background singer in the 1990s, sharing the stage with him at the 1994 Academy Awards and numerous tours over the past 20 years. They last performed together at the Bridge School Benefit in October of 2013.
Neil first met Pegi when she was working as a waitress at a diner near his California ranch, a story he tells in the 1992 song “Unknown Legend.” “I used to order just to watch her float across the floor,” he sang. “She grew up in a small town/Never put her roots down.”
Pegi has released three solo albums since 2007 and she’s toured extensively on her own, occasionally with Neil on guitar. Inspired by the lack of educational opportunities for their son Ben, who suffers from cerebral palsy, they co-founded the Bridge School in 1986, which educates children with severe physical impairments. They raise funds for it every year with an all-star concert in Mountain View, California.
Neil recently wrapped up a European Crazy Horse tour and is slated to play American solo acoustic dates in October. Pegi just concluded a brief U.S. club tour. They were both slated to play Farm Aid in Raleigh, North Carolina, on September 13th, though Pegi’s name was recently removed from the lineup.