Posted on 12 November 2009.
Apologies to those offended by including Canadian national treasure Neil Young and child-star-turned-Oscar-nominee Ryan Gosling in the same post, and the same sentence, but it’s a multi-generational birthday celebration today.
Neil Percival Young was born 64 years ago today in Winnipeg, before moving to the Greater Toronto Area and eventually becoming one of the most influential rockers of the 20th Century. Some 35 years later, Ryan Gosling was born in London, Ontario, and went on to star in “The Mickey Mouse Club,” take the lead in one of the most popular recent romance movies, “The Notebook,” and earn serious actor cred with acclaimed roles in “Half Nelson” and “Lars and the Real Girl.” All before the age of 29, which he marks today.
To mark their combined 93 years on Earth, here are 10 fun facts* about today’s most famous Canadians…
1. Guitarist Randy Bachman, a founding member of The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive, suggested in the mid ’60s that Neil Young try another line of work because he couldn’t play along on guitar to the Top 40 songs of the day.
2. Ryan Gosling starred alongside Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Keri Russell on “The Mickey Mouse Club.”
3. In the ’60s, Neil was in a band with Rick James (yes, of “Super Freak” fame) called the Mynah Birds.
4. Ryan co-owns a Moroccan restaurant in Beverly Hills called Tagine.
5. Neil admitted he lived in the U.S. illegally for much of the second half of the ’60s until getting his green card in 1970.
6. Ryan played the title role in “Young Hercules,” in the early ’90s. It aired on the Fox Kids Network and was produced by the same folks who did “Xena: Warrior Princess.”
7. Neil has been named co-inventor on seven different patents related to model trains and once was part owner of a model train company.
8. Ryan has a dog named George, which he rescued from a shelter in L.A.
9. Neil has a species of trapdoor spider named after him after a fan and East Carolina University biologist discovered the new spider and named it Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi.
10. Ryan is in a band called Dead Man’s Bones. Check them out at MySpace.