Rock veteran Neil Young has been sued by a writer who claims that Young contracted him to write the musician’s biography, then blocked publication of the text.
Jimmy McDonough, a former writer for the “Village Voice,” has sued Young to the tune of $1.8 million for refusing to allow the publication of a Young biography, which the suit claims was written by McDonough with Young’s permission and assistance.
In addition to the monetary damages sought for the time McDonough claims he spent on the bio (eight years), the suit also seeks to allow publication of the biography.
Henry Gradstein, who serves as McDonough’s attorney, wrote in an official statement, “Young and McDonough entered into a written agreement dated on or about August 21,1991, which granted McDonough the artistic freedom to write a biography of Young, entitled ‘Shakey: The Biography of Neil Young,’ with Young’s assistance and blessing, subject only to Young’s right to request edits or changes
with regard to his then-immediate family.”
Gradstein alleges that his client, McDonough, also signed a written agreement with publishing company Random House, Inc., and with Young, to pen the bio.
The suit claims that after eight years of hard work, and Young assuring McDonough that the book would be published, Young “used his wealth and power to squelch the publication of the biography.”
In regards to the case, Gradstein said, “the loss of almost a decade of Jimmy McDonough’s creative life has been devastating to him. The lawsuit alleges that it is the final result of Young’s actions.”
Neil Young was not available for comment at press time.