Sustaining a head injury in a car accident in Apr 2009 changed Andrew Neil’s life. Shortly after the accident he had his first Psychotic episode and his troubles began. However…another element entered his life after the head injury….that was Music. In the fall of 2009, Andrew started writing songs on the keyboard without ever having any music training. In Apr 2010, he picked up a guitar for the 1st time and began writing songs based on what he heard as his fingers explored the bass strings up and down the fret board. His first song, written just days after picking up a guitar was titled “Fire is Born”.
Since the accident, Andrew has struggled with depression, PTSD, and the terrible ups and downs of Bi-polar disorder, but music gave him a source of inspiration, hope and purpose. He has written over 300 songs. His songs reflect his struggles with themes of loneliness, loss, abandonment, and past loves, yet in many of the songs there is this glimmer of hope that seems to seep through the melancholy lyrics.
In Jul 2013, an incident occurred during a bad Psychotic episode which landed him in a jail cell for 8 months. He was committed to a State Hospital, and has been there for three years. During the first year and a half of his hospitalization time he wrote numerous journals of poetry and wrote and recorded over 70 songs in his hospital room. Although not perfect recordings, he is able to convey a melody, Lyrics and sound uniquely his own. His songs provide a window into his very soul, yet they are very relatable to many who listen.
There is a wonderful raw, unpolished innocence in his writing. His Lyrics, at first were generally melancholy, reflecting the realities of living w/ severe depression. During the last months of his hospitalization, his lyrics still had that melancholy feel….but began to take on a more positive and upbeat tone. Andrew Neil evokes a distinct style and sound, yet one can hear subtle influences of artists like Kurt Cobain, Elliot Smith, Nick Drake and Donovan, as well as outsider artists like Daniel Johnston, Syd Barrett (After Pink Floyd), Michael Hurley and Alexander Lee “Skip” Spence. Some have referred to his raw style as Outsider Grunge Folk.
This limited edition Vinyl Album and CD is called “Code Purple – Andrew Neil”. The Album will include a selection of songs written and recorded during his early period at Western State Hospital.
Proceeds of the Album will assist Andrew Neil in his reintegration back into society upon release from the State Hospital. A Percentage of the proceeds will also be donated to the NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. This will be the first of many Albums from this truly unique and prolific artist.
Your support by purchasing this Album is greatly appreciated By Andrew and his family. Andrew is grateful for the treatment he is receiving to give him the tools to better manage this chronic illness of the brain. It is unfortunate that so many cannot get the help they need unless something bad happens first. Even then, help is not a given. Some killed, many are thrown in prison to languish without treatment or they are just ignored and alienated from friends and even family and wander homeless on our city streets. Andrew would like to help change this through his music and poetry. As Andrew always says….”Music makes a positive difference in this jello world”.
Peace to You and Thank you. Ray (Andrew’s dad)