Neil Young has filed for divorce from his wife of over three decades, Pegi Young. The highly respected rock and folk musician filed a petition for dissolution of marriage back in July in the couple’s hometown of San Mateo, California, according to Rolling Stone—and links to the city’s open access court files confirm the news.
A hearing for the divorce has been scheduled for December 12, but Neil Young has not yet issued a statement about the split.
The couple first met when Pegi was a waitress at Bella Vista restaurant in Woodside, California near Young’s ranch, and he tells something close to the story of those moments in the song “Unknown Legend” off Harvest Moon. The couple were married in 1977, and she began to provide backup vocals for Neil on tour during the 1990s.
Their son Ben was born with cerebral palsy, which inspired the musical couple to start the Bridge School—an education center for kids with extreme physical impairments—back in 1986. Each year, the couple host a star-studded music festival that helps support the school. Their last performance together was actually at the 2013 Bridge School benefit in October of last year.
Pegi is musical herself and has put out three solo albums since 2007, occasionally accompanied by Neil on guitar. Although they were slated to appear together to perform at Farm Aid in Raleigh, North Carolina, on September 13, Pegi’s name was recently taken off the lineup.
This is all very sad, but it’s even more sad if you’ve ever listened to the beautiful, touching “Unknown Legend.” RIP, true love, we hardly knew ye.