Yes. That is correct. Neil Young and Rick James played in a band together. Rub your eyes. Re-read that statement and think to yourself “Well, ain’t that some shit.” It’s okay. I did the exact same thing you just did. Turns out Rick James had a band in the Toronto area but battled with a steady lineup until bassist Bruce Palmer brought in Neil Young. They jammed, gigged a bit and got signed to Motown Records, the first white band to do so apparently. During initial recording sessions, the U.S. gov’t busted into the studio and took James away for going AWOL from the Navy. Bruce and Neil had no idea Rick was on the lam, so you can imagine their surprise. Songs from that session have been leaking out as of late starting with The Complete Motown Singles release in 2007 and it turns out The Mynah Birds were throwing out some serious garage rock in the vein of The Rolling Stones, Chocolate Watch Band and perhaps a touch of The Sonics thrown in for some extra bad-assery. Neil and Bruce headed west shortly after and founded Buffalo Springfield, while other members of the band stayed in the Toronto area and started Sparrow with John Kay, who later became better known as the lead singer of Steppenwolf. And what of Rick James you say? Well, Rick fucking James morphed into the Superfreak. Done and done.
Thanks to Dangerous Minds for the heads up on these gems!