They married on his yacht, the Ragland, anchored in a cove of a little island off Washington State. A blood moon rose in the sky as Neil Young and Daryl Hannah exchanged vows
They married on his yacht, the Ragland, anchored in a cove of a little island off Washington State. A blood moon rose in the sky as Neil Young and Daryl Hannah exchanged vows.
It was a deeply spiritual moment and even the presence of a charter yacht nearby, which had stumbled across this remarkable scene and whose passengers were watching through binoculars from a respectful distance, could not lessen its potency.
The ceremony took place in Echo Bay in the San Juan Islands on July 27, timed, it seems, to coincide with the lunar eclipse.
Then last weekend, the couple held a second ceremony for their friends after sending out invitations on recycled paper saying simply: ‘We’re having a shindig. Come as you are. Neil + Daryl’.
The ceremony was held at the Santa Margarita Ranch in San Luis Obispo, California. The newlyweds and guests then spent the night at the Carlton Hotel in the nearby city of Atascadero. Atascadero has a special place in the couple’s hearts: it has one of the few garages in these parts that stocks eco-friendly ethanol fuel.
Neil and Daryl, both passionate environmentalists, pass through here once a month or so to fill up the rocker’s custom-built hybrid 1959 Lincoln Continental.
This week, news of the marriage leaked out. Initial reports were unconfirmed, but the Mail has seen the couple’s wedding certificate confirming that Neil Young, the legendary 72-year-old Canadian rocker, and Daryl Hannah, the willowy blonde actress who remains most famous for playing a mermaid, are indeed man and wife.
At 57, the actress has become a bride for the first time. She wore a long, flowing gown; the groom a dark jacket and hat.
At the conclusion of the ceremony on the deck of Young’s 101-year-old Baltic schooner, they threw flower petals into the air.
Ron Fugere, who owns North West Sailing Adventures, which takes charter groups on trips around the islands, was skippering his own yacht, the Diminuendo, with a group of charter guests when he caught sight of the Ragland in Echo Bay.
‘The sun was about to set and there was a full blood moon rising,’ he told the Mail. ‘We were preparing to drop anchor when I saw the boat and thought we’d go and take a closer look.
‘I had a group of guests on board on charter and we stayed a discreet distance away. But you could see the ceremony aboard.
‘Daryl’s long blonde hair and light dress were glinting in the light of the setting sun.’
Last weekend was the ‘shindig’ at the Santa Margarita Ranch, which was first settled by monks in 1774 and is set in 14,000 acres, including vineyards.
According to one local, Karen McNamara, 58, before the ceremony Daryl had her nails done at a shop in Atascadero and bought two parasols in an antiques shop. ‘I spoke to one of the guests and she said the ceremony was beautiful,’ she says.
Unsurprisingly, Young’s ex-wife, Pegi, 65, was not in attendance.
Daryl and Neil got together four years ago in startling circumstances. Young, then 68, had been married to his second wife, Pegi, with whom he has two grown-up children, for 37 years.
Then last weekend, the couple held a second ceremony for their friends after sending out invitations on recycled paper saying simply: ‘We’re having a shindig. Come as you are. Neil + Daryl’
No one was more shocked at the end of the marriage than Pegi. After Young left her, she wrote an album, Raw, with songs on it such as ‘Why’, which included the plea: ‘Why’d you have to ruin my life? Why’d you have to be so mean?’
No prizes for guessing whom she was talking about.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 2016, she said of the break-up: ‘We were having a rough patch. But I never would’ve thought in a million years we would be getting divorced.’
Her former husband and Daryl Hannah might counter that they are soulmates, twin souls.
At the outset, however, there was opposition. David Crosby, fellow former member of American supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, with whom Young still occasionally plays, reportedly said: ‘I happen to know that he’s hanging out with somebody that’s a purely poisonous predator now.
So has Daryl Hannah finally found the happiness that seems to have eluded her until now?
‘And that’s karma. He’s gonna get hurt. But I understand why it happened. I’m just sad about it. I’m always sad when I see love get tossed in the gutter.’
In response, Young said: ‘It doesn’t matter. We don’t give a s***. We don’t care, because they don’t know what they’re talking about. And if they do know what they’re talking about, we still don’t care, but we’re happy for them.’
So has Daryl Hannah finally found the happiness that seems to have eluded her until now?
All her life she has suffered debilitating shyness and in 2013 she revealed that as a child she had been diagnosed with autism. She lived in a dream world, communicating with imaginary friends instead of real people.
When she was a child her mother, Susan Metzger, a teacher, divorced her father, Donald Metzger, who ran a barge company, and married Jerrold Wexler, a multi-millionaire property magnate. The family lived in luxury in Chicago; young Daryl often travelled by private jet.
But she was struggling with everyday life to such an extent her mother took her out of school for a year and doctors even recommended she be institutionalised.
In acting she found an outlet — in pretending to be someone else she could lose her inhibitions. Hannah first came to attention in the 1982 movie Blade Runner, alongside Harrison Ford, but it was her turn as a mermaid in Splash, in 1984, with Tom Hanks, that made her famous.
She had a number of doomed romances, most notably a 14-year relationship with singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, then a six-year romance with John F Kennedy Junior, son of the assassinated President,
‘John was madly in love with Daryl,’ a friend of Kennedy’s tells the Mail. ‘He saw himself as her knight in shining armour. But from the start, there were issues and Daryl got back with Browne on a couple of occasions. John felt she never really let go of Browne.’
Neil and Daryl, both passionate environmentalists, pass through here once a month or so to fill up the rocker’s custom-built hybrid 1959 Lincoln Continental
Eventually they split for good and Kennedy went on to marry Carolyn Bessette in 1996. The pair died three years later when Kennedy’s plane, which he was piloting, crashed into the Atlantic off Martha’s Vineyard.
Daryl had stayed friends with Kennedy and was devastated. His death marked the beginning of a retreat from Hollywood.
She bought a plot, an old stagecoach stop, in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and lived in a teepee while her house was being restored. Her companions were her horses, dogs, sows and alpacas. But she still dated, from
time to time. There was a fling with magician David Blaine; from 2011 to 2013 she was going out with a musician called Rami Jaffee.
Then in 2014, she met Neil Young.
Young was famous for songs such as Heart Of Gold and After The Gold Rush. He and his wife, Pegi, were devoted to their children, Amber and Ben, who has cerebral palsy. The split came as a complete shock to their friends.
But just one month after the divorce was announced, Young and Hannah were pictured arm in arm at a restaurant in California, sharing kisses as they made their way to the entrance.
In 2016, Hannah’s Malibu property, comprising three eco-lodges, was bought for $3.6 million by a blind trust controlled by Young. Hannah and Young are believed to still spend time at the property.
Hannah also spends a lot of time at her Colorado home, riding and skiing. Today many of her Instagram postings feature pictures of a fine dark brown mare which is currently in foal.
Young was famous for songs such as Heart Of Gold and After The Gold Rush. He and his wife, Pegi, were devoted to their children, Amber and Ben, who has cerebral palsy. The split came as a complete shock to their friends
The actress, a vegetarian, also keeps fit doing Pilates and works out in her pool. Of late she has been encouraging Young to do this with her.
Her house has all the usual green accoutrements such as solar power and a bio-diesel generator. Water is from a nearby spring.
The property’s piece de resistance, however, is a couch made out of mossy stone — which has to be watered regularly.
Indeed, Daryl and Neil’s life together is relentlessly eccentric. Earlier this year, Hannah filmed a ‘fantasy western musical’ on her iPhone, featuring Young.
Then last month, they travelled up to the San Juan islands for their wedding on board the Ragland (his mother’s maiden name).
Ron Fugere first saw the Ragland in Friday Harbour, a few days before the wedding. ‘I saw Neil Young himself on board,’ he says. ‘He said “Hello” but you could tell he didn’t want to be disturbed.’
Then, on July 27, Mr Fugere witnessed the secret nuptials. ‘I feel honoured to have been an accidental witness to their wedding. It was a memorable occasion.’
Last week, the newlyweds were back in San Luis Obispo for the second ceremony. They stop here when they’re en route from the estate in Malibu to another property in San Francisco.
As usual, they stopped at the 76 Gas Station in Atascadero to fill up. ‘Yes, Neil was here,’ Bob, one of the cashiers, told the Mail. ‘He didn’t say he was getting married but he was his usual friendly self. I just asked him how he was doing and he said he was good.
‘I had no idea they’d got married. They managed to keep that a secret.’
Following Saturday’s ceremony, Hannah posted a picture of a white owl in the rafters of a barn on her Instagram page alongside the caption: ‘Someone’s watching over us . . . love and only love.’
Whether they have gone on honeymoon isn’t clear — perhaps that would be a convention too far.
It’s more likely they’re simply back in the Rocky Mountains, curled up on Daryl’s mossy stone couch, at one with nature, and each other.
Additional reporting: Annette Witheridge and Hugo Daniel