The Squires

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The Squires
Neil Young The Squires poster.jpeg
Poster for The Squires
Background information
OriginWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
GenresSurf, rock
Years active1963–1965
LabelsV Records
Associated actsBuffalo Springfield
Past membersNeil Young
Allan Bates
Jack Harper
Ken Smyth
Ken Koblun
Jeff Wuckert

The Squires or Neil Young & The Squires were a Canadian band formed in 1963 in Winnipeg. It was one of the first bands of singer-songwriter Neil Young.


Young formed the Squires in 1963, and the group played at community clubs, high school dances and proms in Winnipeg with Neil on electric guitar.[1][2] The They played a lot of The Shadows, The Ventures, The Fireballs songs.

Young began writing songs, which the band played regularly. On July 23, two of these were recorded by Harry Taylor of local radio station CKRC in a tiny two-track recordings studio.[3] The recordings, "Aurora" and "The Sultan". were released later that year as a single released by V Records.[4] 300 records were pressed, only around 10 are known to still exist.[5]

Don and Dewey's song "Farmer John" was a regular staple of their live set, a song Young would eventually record with Crazy Horse on his 1990 album Ragged Glory. The Squires recorded the song "I Wonder," three different times; it became the basis of Young's song "Don't Cry No Tears" on his 1975 album Zuma. "Aint It the Truth" was performed by the Squires, and later recorded by Neil Young & The Bluenotes on his 1988 album This Note's For You.

The band played engagements out of town, including as far away as Churchill, Manitoba and Fort William, Ontario,[1] traveling in a 1948 Buick Roadmaster hearse, dubbed Mortimer Hearseburg, or Mort.[6] In April, 1964, the group again entered CKRC studios to record with Harry Taylor, and, according to Young recorded "about twenty songs." According to drummer Ken Smyth, these were for a possible deal with London Records of Canada.

Young's song "Sugar Mountain" was written while on tour in Fort William with The Squires. In November of that year the band was invited by Fort William CJLX radio DJ into the station studio, where two versions of "I'll Love You Forever" were recorded.[7] By this time Young had dropped out of high school to concentrate on the band and his music.[8] In 1965, with a new drummer, Bob Clark, the band moved to Fort William.[9] It was here that Young met Stephen Stills. By early 1966 The Squires had disbanded, and Young had joined the Toronto band the Myna Birds.

Years after the group's disbandment, Young's 2009 collection "The Archives Vol. 1 1963–1972" opened with six recordings by The Squires, including the V Records single, mastered from a vinyl copy.[10]



Year Title Label
1963 The Sultan / Aurora V records
2008 Mustang / Aurora Reprise Records


Year Title Label
2009 The Archives Vol. 1 1963–1972

Tracks featuring the Squires[edit]

  1. Aurora [V Records 45"] - 2:10
  2. The Sultan [V Records 45"] - 2:35
  3. I Wonder [2 Apr 1964 CKRC studios] - 2:24
  4. Mustang [2 Apr 1964 CKRC studios] - 2:26
  5. I'll Love You Forever [23 Nov 1964 CJLX studios] - 3:25
  6. (I'm A Man And) I Can't Cry [Winter/Spring 1965, Winnipeg] - 2:35
Reprise Records


  1. ^ a b "Neil Young Searching For A Heart Of Gold". Exclaim!, Jason Schneider, Aug 01, 2003
  2. ^ Brian Keizer; Dave Marsh (1996). Neil Young. Boulevard Books. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-57297-123-3.
  3. ^ "The Squires Sound", Neil Young: Don't Be Denied: The Canadian Years, by John Einarson, 1992
  4. ^ "The Squires". AllMusic Biography by Richie Unterberger
  5. ^ Neil Young news,
  6. ^ "Neil Young at 70: Ten things to know about the music icon". Peter Edwards. Toronto Star, Nov. 12, 2015
  7. ^ "Four Strong Winds", Neil Young: Don't Be Denied: The Canadian Years, by John Einarson, 1992
  8. ^ Alfred William Cramer (2009). Musicians and Composers of the 20th Century. Salem Press. p. 1659. ISBN 978-1-58765-517-3.
  9. ^ Jimmy McDonough (13 May 2003). Shakey: Neil Young's Biography. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 164. ISBN 978-1-4000-7544-7.
  10. ^ "Neil Young, The Archives Vol. 1: 1963-1972". Pitchfork, June 17 2009. Stuart Berman.

External links[edit]