- The first instrument he learned to play as a boy was a plastic ukulele.
- Played with Rick James in one of his early bands, the Mynah Birds.
- In 1986, inspired by his two sons, both of whom have cerebral palsy, he and his wife, Pegi, founded California's Bridge School, which strives to help children with speech and physical impairments learn to communicate.
- Played Boar Man, one of the beast-people, in John Frankenheimer's 1996 remake of The Island of Dr. Moreau.
- Was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 1995 and as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.
- Was honored in 2008 by East Carolina University biologist Jason Bond, who discovered a new species of trapdoor spider and named it after the musician: Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi.
- Was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2009.
- Has directed several films under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey.
- Collects classic cars and model trains. Has amassed an extensive collection of rare Lionel variations, and uses a barn to display a diorama that features 750 feet of track.
- Is an active environmentalist and has toured the country in vehicles that use environmentally sustainable fuels.