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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Full Statement by Neil Young on Donald Trump's Use of Song "Rockin in the Free World"

Neil Young has issued a statement on Donald Trump's use of the song "Rockin in the Free World" during his U.S. presidential candidate announcement. From Neil Young | Facebook:
Yesterday my song "Rockin in the Free World" was used in a announcement for a U.S. presidential candidate without my permission.

A picture of me with this candidate was also circulated in conjunction with this announcement but It was a photograph taken during a meeting when I was trying to raise funds for Pono, my online high resolution music service.

Music is a universal language. so I am glad that so many people with varying beliefs get enjoyment from my music, even if they don't share my beliefs.

But had I been asked to allow my music to be used for a candidate - I would have said no.

I am Canadian and I don't vote in the United States, but more importantly I don't like the current political system in the USA and some other countries. Increasingly Democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests. The money needed to run for office, the money spent on lobbying by special interests, the ever increasing economic disparity and the well funded legislative decisions all favor corporate interests over the people's.

The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling is proof of this corruption as well as are the proposed trade deals which would further compromise our rights.

These Corporations were originally created to serve us but if we don't appropriately prioritize they will destroy us. Corporations don't have children. They don't have feelings or soul. They don't depend on uncontaminated water, clean air or healthy food to survive. They are beholden to one thing - the bottom line.

I choose to speak Truth to this Economic Power. When I speak out on corporations hurting the common man or the environment or other species, I expect a well financed disinformation campaign to be aimed my way.

Such is the case with the reaction to my new album The Monsanto Years, which covers many of these issues. I support those bringing these issues to light and those who fight for their rights like Freedom of Choice.

But Freedom of Choice is meaningless without knowledge.

Thats why its crucial we all get engaged and get informed.

That's why GMO labeling matters. Mothers need to know what they are feeding their children. They need freedom to make educated choices at the market. When the people have voted for labeling, as they have in Vermont, they need our support when they are fighting these corporate interests trying to reverse the laws they have voted for and passed in the democratic process.

I do not trust self serving misinformation coming from corporations and their media trolls. I do not trust politicians who are taking millions from those corporations either. I trust people. So I make my music for people not for candidates.

Keep on Rockin in the Free World.
Neil Young

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At 6/18/2015 09:10:00 AM, Blogger Peacelover Doc said...

Well said.

At 6/18/2015 09:23:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

A fantastic and true statement by Neil...thanks Neil,for everything !!!

At 6/18/2015 10:00:00 AM, Blogger sab1024 said...

Anyone know exactly what Neil's status is in US? I thought he was maybe a dual citizen. If not he pays a lot more in taxes.

At 6/18/2015 07:16:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

Very thoughtful and appropriate letter ... hats off to Neil, he's doing a pretty good job standing up to the injustices while we're still 'lookin' for a leader' ...

At 6/18/2015 07:56:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

You'd be hard pressed to find a better statement than this. Hope it goes viral.

A Friend Of Yours

At 6/18/2015 08:14:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Peacelover Doc - indeed. timely as well.

@Robert - right. And who else is making statements like this? Bob? Bruce? Paul? Madonna? Taylor? Kanye? Anyone? The silence is deafening and disappointing.

@sab1024 - Neil is not a dual citizen -- only Canadian. And yes, he's indicated he pays considerable US taxes, as well.

@ Dan1 - thanks. ya' know, we're no longer comfortable with the 'lookin' for a leader' approach. It's a false hope for us.

It's now all about you ... and you ... and you...

"We're The Ones We've Been Waiting For"

@Greg "A Friend Of Yours" - Neil's statement seems well on it's way of going major viral. 150,000+ Likes and 70,000+ Shares on Facebook already. 10K comments.

Lot of passion out there that Neil is tapping into.

At 6/18/2015 10:15:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

This kind of lucid statement from Neil is one of the reasons why I love the man so much and have done so for the last 43 years. The man's greatness cannot be overstated. Dylan is great too of course, but it's Neil's understanding of the capitalist mode of production and the short-term rush for profit that this implies, as well as the negative consequences this has for mother nature and, by extension, the human race, which separate him from his peers. Neil is unwavering in his commitment to the kind of hippie ideals I grew up with as kid growing up in the county in the south east of England where the great man recorded the orchestral parts for Harvest back in the day.

At 6/18/2015 10:53:00 PM, Blogger Fort Mac said...

As an outsider , peering in through the shrinking bubble of the Americana Dream , these issues , as significant as they are to those self promoters ..... pale in shame , to the human Americana issue , unique to your great democracy .... gun control , where is Mr Earth's compassion for the present day human cost of your so called freedom ?
You may not like , but need to hear , this is no longer the Wild West , curious to my simple mind , Americana , the only land left with such need for guns .......... Tell me Why !
Hippie Dream , what a pile of bullshit !

At 6/18/2015 11:26:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

Yes yes, totally agree!!
My sarcasm was too subtle ...

False hope indeed ...

At 6/19/2015 01:35:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

@John EH Connelly Okay, that's it, I've had just about enough of your sanctimonious holier-than-thou fucking attitude. What kind of horse is that, the one you sit up on so high and mighty?

Yesterday was a horrible day for America, one of the worst in my over half century of memory. But to you, it's just another debating point to pass judgment with your relentless criticisms of Neil, his fans, and his adopted country, which he obviously loves so much. What are you doing, and just what the hell is wrong with you? I truly love Canada, and I'm certain that most of its citizens don't have the permanent smirk that's plastered on your smug face.

Yes, guns are a huge problem here. "No longer the Wild West" long did it take you to come up with that one? I have a Class A License and really enjoy target shooting--but I sold my Walther PPK after Sandy Hook, and haven't fired a shot since then. The 21st Century has been a time of turmoil and strife, nothing like what most of us thought it would be. It's going to take a mountain of teamwork and an ocean of love and compassion for human beings to pull themselves out of the bog and get the World back on track.

That takes a lot of work, belief and faith, which is way harder than being sarcastic and ironic. It's much easier to roll your eyes than it is to see Life as it is and what it can be. I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that people like you don't have a clue or any real interest in finding one.

Charleston is a beautiful city, full of so much culture and rich history. Walk down King Street and Bay Street, sit in the park by the water, see the rainbow houses that inspired George Gershwin to write maybe the greatest piece ever in American music. And then take the ferry to Fort Sumter and see the cannonballs that are still embedded in the wall from the first shots fired in The Civil War. That's all the history lesson you need sometimes. It's a big, hard world, but it's the only one we've got.

God Bless the Charleston Nine, America and all the citizens of Mother Earth...give them hope in a hopeless world.

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
--Matthew 24:12-13

At 6/19/2015 02:35:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Jeremiah 17:9

John 4:23

At 6/19/2015 05:42:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Unknown - yes, it seems another indicator that which separate Neil from his peers.

@ Dan1 - yep, that sarcasm was too subtle ... right by us. That said, see comment on today's post. ;)

@ Mr Henry - thanks for addressing John EH.

His comment does strike us as inappropriate given this week's latest tragedy. Or maybe he's just being callous and opportunistic by taking advantage of a tragedy to advance personal grievances?

You're right about our world and we must learn to coexist or perish.

@ Jonathan - Ragged Glory, Side B, Track #4

At 6/20/2015 07:53:00 PM, Blogger Fort Mac said...

Mr Henry .... When Americans jump on bandwagons , and preach to Canadians , and tell us to Honour our Treatys , you can be damn sure to have the pendulum pushed back and a mirror to the blemishes in your idea of A Free World questioned , that is the free world we know up here .
We all have blemishes , there is a word and an education ....a movement happening up here long overdue , but genuine in it`s chatter amongst the masses , a word I don`t here in the Americana vocabulary ...... reconciliation ... the start , hopefully of the healing process of the generations of atrocities , the genocide done within the residential school system , the sixteys scoop . Terms as an American , I wouldn`t think you aware .

You want talk about Rockin in the Free World , your world is not as Free as you may thinkd , and very scarey ..... EH !


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