Neil Young:Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)”

ALBUM: Rust Never Sleeps

YEAR: 1979

WRITER: Neil Young

Peaked at number-79 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Neil Young’s line “It’s better to burn out than to fade away,” which appears in full in “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)’s” acoustic counterpart “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue),” is one of rock’s most famous and debated lyrics. It drew scorn from John Lennon and was repeated in Kurt Cobain‘s suicide note. Here’s what Young has to say about why he wrote it. “People want a star to by flashy and they want something that they don’t have to relate to as being human – you have your moment, then you go away. But stars are supposed to represent something else, I guess, in sort of a super quality of it’s great and once it isn’t great, people don’t want to hear about it, because it doesn’t satisfy your illusion. They want something to be bigger than life, or whatever. That’s where that came from. It’s better to burn out than to fade away, or rust, because it makes a bigger flash in the sky.”

Neil Young and his manager, Elliot Roberts, announced the start of their Vapor Records label on July 18th, 1995.


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