It’s like the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase used to say: Everybody’s got a price. It’s pretty common to see big stars earning astronomical fees by performing at private parties. Earlier this year, The New Yorker ran a fascinating feature on this quietly lucrative side of the music business, and it included writer Evan Osnos shadowing Flo Rida as he hit the bar mitzvah circuit. Neil Young might be willing to pull his music off of Spotify to prove a point, but he still reportedly played a billionaire’s birthday party in Toronto last week.
According to Rolling Stone, multiple fans are reporting that Neil Young and his longtime backing band Crazy Horse performed for billionaire executive Dani Reiss last Saturday. Reiss is the CEO of Canada Goose, the winter clothing company. Reiss’ grandfather founded the company in 1957, and he replaced his father as CEO in 2001. Reiss’ 50th birthday was three days after the party, which was at the Rivoli, a 200-capacity venue.
According to Rolling Stone, some fans heard rumors about the show, saw stagehands bringing in gear, and listened outside the venue. (Some of them might’ve made it inside for the encore, since the back doors were left open.) The band apparently played the entire 1990 album Ragged Glory, with the exception of “Mother Earth,” straight through. They’ve never done that before. Neil Young did his first full-album concert this past September, when he and Crazy Horse did Tonight’s The Night and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere at the 50th-anniversary celebration for the Roxy, the Hollywood club. If those reports are true, that means the Toronto party was Young’s first time performing “White Line” with Crazy Horse since 1976. The Arkells also played the party.