Neil Young said Sunday that he couldn't see performing in the area devastated by Superstorm Sandy without doing something to help people who were affected by it.
Young and his longtime backing band, Crazy Horse, will hold a benefit concert for the American Red Cross' storm relief effort Thursday at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. The New Jersey coastline areas were hit hard by the storm in late October.
People in the New York area who suffered damage in the storm have been supporting him for 40 years, he said.
"I couldn't see coming back here and just playing and have it be business as usual," he said. Young is touring in the area, with concerts scheduled for Monday in Brooklyn and Tuesday in Bridgeport, Conn.
Minimum ticket prices for the standing-room show in Atlantic City will be $75 and $150, although Young notes there's no maximum. He hopes to raise several hundred thousand dollars for the Red Cross.
Young said he was invited to join the Dec. 12 benefit at New York's Madison Square Garden that will feature Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, the Who, Kanye West and others, but had other obligations. Besides, there's enough star power there, he said.
"It wasn't going to make much difference whether I was there or not, so I decided to go someplace where I could make a difference," he said.
Young performed at a televised benefit in 2001 following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, memorably covering John Lennon's "Imagine."
Fans can expect a two-hour plus rock show on Thursday with opening band Everest. No special guests are planned, although Young issued an invitation to "anyone who wants to come in and play with us that we know and we know can play."
It's hard to resist wondering whether Young's epic "Like a Hurricane" will make it onto the set list, given the occasion.
"Anything's possible," Young said. "We have the equipment."