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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Donald Trump Discusses Neil Young

Donald Trump - Baltimore, Maryland, June 26, 2015

As you may recall in June 2015, Donald Trump's quixotic Presidential campaign announcement began to the music of Neil Young’s "Rockin’ in the Free World."

The song choice struck many as strange, given that the song mocks the elite for their lack of compassion for the plight of those less fortunate. Neil Young immediately issued a statement denouncing his song's use by the Trump campaign on the appropriation of his tune:
"Donald Trump was not authorized to use "Rockin' In The Free World" in his presidential candidacy announcement. Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America."
At the time, we wrote that the song's selection as campaign theme music raised very serious concerns about the candidate's judgement and wisdom, as well as, that of his staff's who appeared to be either totally inept or merely sycophantically obeying orders from "The Donald" in fear of being a victim of Trump's anger and "You're Fired!" mentality. Clearly, the campaign seemed totally oblivious to the song’s lyrics and themes and was a very poor fit for the Trump campaign's issue platform based on divisive rhetoric.

Make no mistake, Donald Trump is a huge Neil Young fan.

Donald Trump has been to so many Neil Young concerts that Rolling Stone reporter Andy Greene interviewed him in 2008 about his Neil Young fandom. Trump said: “I’ve met him on occasions and he’s a terrific guy. … Whatever the hell ‘it’ is, he’s got it.”

Commenting on attending the Bob Dylan Tribute at Madison Square Garden in 1992:
Donald Trump: “He’s got something very special.

I’ve listened to his music for years and I’ve seen him before that, but I went to the concert where they were honoring Bob Dylan and Neil got up and totally brought the house down. There was nobody close.

He’s performed for me at my casinos over the years and he just brings it down. I’ve met him on occasions and he’s a terrific guy.”
Donald Trump attended Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at Madison Square Garden in 2006, Young’s solo show at the United Palace Theater in 2007 and Crazy Horse at Madison Square Garden in 2008. Trump also attended at least one of the 4 Carnegie Hall solo concerts by Neil Young in 2014.

As we have extensively chronicled in the past here on TW over the years (and here), not since Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" has a song been so misunderstood and misappropriated.

Which all brings us to the video clip above of Donald Trump in Baltimore, Maryland on June 26, 2015. As you can see, Trump attempts to explain his relationship with Neil Young and the arrangements made to license the song. [Full speech here.]

When we were first directed to this clip back in 2015, we did not even bother to post it for a number of reasons. Primarily, the statement is very convoluted, disjointed and fails to reach a takeaway point. Fail. Secondarily, we pretty much assumed -- like everyone else -- he was not a serious candidate and would quickly fall off the radar screen. Wrong.

In the meantime, Neil Young continued to let it be known that he did not approve of Trump by saying "Fuck You, Donald Trump" while onstage and then posting the clip to his Facebook page.

Ultimately, while Bernie Sanders took back Neil Young’s Song "Rockin’ In The Free World" , The Donald did prevail -- at least in the electoral college.

NEW LYRICS: "Rockin In The Free World" - Neil Young + Promise of the Real, Antwerp, Belgium Concert - June 24, 2016

"Got a water cannon for the standing man
Got misinformation from the corporation
In the endless search for a drop of oil
People's lives get shattered while we suck it from the soil
Gotta show the children
We just don't care
So we keep on burnin' it
And put it in the air"

So why post the video now, Thrashers?

Well, obviously because, tomorrow this man will be inaugurated as President of the United States of America.

And let us hope that he's able to speak more coherently tomorrow, for everyone's sake. That said, it is instructive to watch and listen how Mr Trump thinks and acts. From what we gather, this performance is fairly typical. Maybe he will be a great President? We shall soon find out. The whole world is watching.

Donald Trump & Neil Young - 2014

Also, see:

(NOTE: Post updated include RITFW video.)

Labels: ,


At 1/19/2017 02:13:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Funny stuff - he didn't invest in PONO I guess ?

At 1/19/2017 03:41:00 AM, Blogger TOM said...


Your motives are suspect re posting this.
Lame and shame on you.

At 1/19/2017 07:10:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

well well this is quite easy to's leftists have no standards except double standards....& Neil had to stay in good standing with his left wing buddies so obviously he had to denounce DJT despite being quite cordial with him previously for many years....look at Wikileaks....the Democrats loved Wikileaks & Assange when they were leaking US military secrets from sexually confused Bradley Manning (traitor recently freed by another traitor)....but when Wikileaks began exposing the corruption from the DNC & the way Crazy Bernie Sanders was swept aside then Wikileaks was just awful, right?

It's not that complicated.....DJT saw an opening & he succeeded by going over the heads of the phony media & the corruption from both major parties....I don't like everything about DJT - not at all....and he will do many things I likely disagree with....but when he does I will remember who didn't(Hillary/Bernie) get sworn in on January 20, 2017....then I will smile......

At 1/19/2017 09:30:00 AM, Blogger Maheto said...

Donald Trump is a piece of crap. He's a car salesman, a grifter, a con man. He's a bulsh*tter. He's a secular prosperity gospel televangelist. He's petty. He's ignorant. He has no inner awareness except an incessant need to measure his self worth in dollars. I pray for the William Henry Harrison solution, but I rather suspect that he will be immediately ensnared in the Emoluments Clause and will be driven crazy by the ways the Constitution limits his mania for power. Donald Trump is and will be a disaster. I just hope the damage done will not exceed that of George Bush II. Like Captain Queeg, the burdens of his job will, sooner rather than later, I hope, necessitate the use of the 25th Amendment, Section 4, as it relates to relieving him of command...unless he's first arrested for treason due to his traitorous relationship with the Kremlin. James Buchanan's ghost must be thrilled that he will no longer be considered the worst president ever, and the still living George Bush can also rest easy knowing the shame will not fall to him. More here....

At 1/19/2017 09:56:00 AM, Blogger Hayo said...

“well well this is quite easy to's leftists have no standards except double standards....”

As opposed to yesterday’s “leftists”?

“Neil had to stay in good standing with his left wing buddies so obviously he had to denounce DJT despite being quite cordial with him previously for many years”

Or there is a difference between business and politics?

“the Democrats loved Wikileaks & Assange”

They did? Could you point us to the source of this?

“sexually confused”


“another traitor”

And you base this on…?

“Crazy Bernie Sanders”

What makes him crazy?

At 1/19/2017 10:43:00 AM, Blogger rrolandr1952 said...

Tom-what motives? This site is about all things Neil Young..because you disagree with a post it shouldn't be posted? That's like saying saying you deem a highly respected news organization as irrelevant because you don't agree with what they report..wait..what?

At 1/19/2017 10:45:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

It seems clear to me that the next four years, things are going to be messy. My hope is that the checks and balances set up in our constitution will prevent the worst case scenario that may create the fall from grace that appears inevitable. I'm praying that the worst will be diverted, and logic and unity will prevail.

I would not accept candy from this man, let alone trust him to lead our nation responsibly.

At 1/19/2017 11:15:00 AM, Blogger rrolandr1952 said...

Left wing buddies? You know NOTHING about Neil Young!!

At 1/19/2017 11:42:00 AM, Blogger rustedbugs said...

I'm glad Neil raises so high in our next president's thoughts. We'll get a bad reality TV actor for 4 years. But then we got a mediocre TV actor for 8 years a while back for pres.

...I posit that "buyers remorse" will gnaw at the innards of more than a few hundred thousand in Michigan, Ohio, and Pa sometime soon. the good doctor said before taking his life because he couldn't stand the bullshit anymore.....

" the ticket, take the ride"

At 1/19/2017 12:28:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thrasher, I agree with Tom on this. This post adds no real value or insight into Neil or his music, so why post it? You had to have known that posting this would cause a flurry of responses that would degrade into name calling and disparaging remarks, and that is exactly what happened. Perhaps that was your goal. I for one, am not taking the bait. I have very strong political opinions, but this is not the place for that.

At 1/19/2017 12:59:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks to all for the spirited debate! Looks like it's going to be a bumpy next 4 years.... kind of like the last few decades...

@Dayton Dave - Well, we're not going to take the bait either.

We thought we were pretty clear above about why we posted this clip, but maybe not?

So we'll try again. This man, DJT, will be the US President in less than 24 hours.

In this clip, President Elect Trump discusses the subject of this blog: Neil Young.

This is relevant on 2 fronts: DJT re: NY and vice-versa. That is, these two men clearly have a bit of history together. DJT likes NY's music. NY apparently was interested in DJT being a PONO investor.

But most importantly, this is all about the song RITFW and its themes.

Shall we continue?

Lastly, regarding bait. Your point is well taken.

But less us say this in advance of tomorrow's post which will go into more detail, what is happening here is actually VERY clear. Civil War #2 is the objective. Divide & Conquer. Same as it ever was. can you not see how perfectly DJT & Hillary perfectly polarized the country on every level? The gasoline has been poured and they are waiting to light the match.

So maybe think about that. Everyone stop hating on these "characters" and your neighbors. Stop with the left vs right nonsense. It's a "duality trap" being setup that folks like our dear friend Jonathan are paralyzed inside. (Actually, the real schism is Up vs Down, not L v R) If we can all come together, we really can bring about the change we all really want.

But as long as we're yelling and screaming at one another, the elite just laugh their way to the bank. Open up the tired eyes and see the illusion.

Winterlong has the answer....

At 1/19/2017 01:11:00 PM, Blogger mrtew said...

Rustedbugs: " ...I posit that "buyers remorse" will gnaw at the innards of more than a few hundred thousand in Michigan, Ohio, and Pa sometime soon." ??? Hey don't blame Michigan!!! The final electoral results were certified weeks before they even determined who won Michigan!!! We are ashamed of who won our great state but we deserve no blame for the election outcome! :-(

At 1/19/2017 03:33:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Maybe Trump's election will cause Neil to write some good music for a change...

At 1/19/2017 05:05:00 PM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Didn't help ole Neil when Reagan came to town.

At 1/19/2017 05:49:00 PM, Blogger TOM said...

Come on, Thrasher

Dredging up an old quote from a guy you don't like serves no useful purpose, except to rile up the masses.

At 1/19/2017 08:16:00 PM, Blogger Joel_Grant said...

"Sing goddess, of ruinous wrath."

The Iliad

At 1/20/2017 12:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can separate yourself from your political opinions long enough to read a few sentences with an open mind reread Thrasher's comments & you'll probably interpret them differently. Don't pick a side until you understand the fight. Most of us have been watching ABC or NBC or CBS, Fox News, CNN etc for so long that we tend to accept a lot of what they say as fact & don't think to question it. Don't let yourself be programmed, you're not a robot

At 1/23/2017 10:01:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Sorry that I'm a bit late to this party, but I feel it's important to say this, re: "riling up the masses". We are all responsible for the tone of conversation on this site. Thrasher choosing to post something that may be controversial does not give license for poor behavior or unkind words. Regardless of whether someone is trying to stir the pot, each individual has the responsibility to remain civil and constructive. I think we all know how it feels to feel "triggered" by something somebody said or did, but an important part of the solution to that problem is a bit of insight: what part of this situation is baggage that I brought to it? Did I do everything I could to defuse things, or try to achieve the optimal outcome? Did I react in anger or compassion?

That said, I given the history of postings on this blog (and I've been here for a few years now), this post does not read to me like flame bait. Neil himself has always been pretty forthright about his views, if not blunt. There's a shining example in this very post of Neil letting it all hang out ("Fuck you, Donald Trump!") It shouldn't be a surprise that at least some of his fans see this sort of uncompromising, unfiltered honesty reflected in themselves. Nor is it odd that many of Neil's fans (though certainly not all) would share some aspects of the ideology he expresses in his songs. I could be wrong, but my estimation is that most of the regulars around here are not Trump fans. In point of fact, I don't think most of this country consists of Trump fans, but I won't go down that rabbit hole here and now.

Point is, the material Thrasher posted here strikes me as being wholly appropriate and really quite interesting for those keen to document Neil's long, storied career. Not to mention that this is definitely a blog with a political and social conscience, something I came to understand and respect some time ago.

@John Tewks--Speaking as a PA voter, I will add that my state was one of the most painfully close in the popular vote. I can at least say that my county did not vote for Trump.

@Dayton Dave--Got strong opinions? Join the club. If there was a time when Thrasher's Wheat was shy about strong opinions, I do not remember and was not there.

At 1/24/2017 01:01:00 AM, Blogger TOM said...

I did not vote for HC or DT

HC lost.

It's time to stop whining and complaining and buck up

DT is the President of the United States of AmeriCa.

It's a hard job in a complicated world

Do something constructive beyond recycling lyrics from the past, no matter how great they are.

Achieve balance and perspective.

At 1/24/2017 10:35:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Ian - You're never too late to a TW party! The lights are always on here.

Thanks for the gentle reminder on our ground rles here for discussion. Good points.

"We are all responsible for the tone of conversation on what part of this situation is baggage that I brought to it? Did I do everything I could to defuse things, or try to achieve the optimal outcome? Did I react in anger or compassion?"

Couldn't frame it better.

Yes, we are a blog with a political and social conscience. More importantly, we are real humans w/ love in our hearts seeking fellow travelers on the journey into the past, present & future. Glad to hae you along for the ride dear Ian.

@ TOM : "Achieve balance and perspective." good words and a mantra for action.


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