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Monday, March 02, 2020

Chrissie Hynde and Neil Young: Rock of the Aged Protesters | National Review

Chrissie Hynde & Neil Young
The Pretenders Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Neil Young - 2005
(Click photo to enlarge)

A rather provocative article on the politics of Chrissie Hynde and Neil Young.

Claiming that Neil Young is a "rock-and-roll bully" and Chrissie Hynde is "an American pragmatist with a heart of gold", the article Neil Young and Chrissie Hynde: Rock of the Aged Protesters | National Review by Armond White hits all sorts of discordant notes.

The setup is Neil Young's "Open Letter to Donald Trump" saying: ‘You Are a Disgrace to My Country’ and Chrissie Hynde's tweet to President Trump on Julian Assange's extradition.

From Neil Young and Chrissie Hynde: Rock of the Aged Protesters | National Review by Armond White:
Both artists stepped outside their usual medium of the rock-and-roll record that brought them fame; their passion and creativity won our attention and instilled our fondness. Politics is not what we want from them, though, except in compelling tunes that describe the human condition and sustain our moral beliefs. Who doesn’t like “Heart of Gold” and “Brass in Pocket”? Who can resist the former’s sensitivity or the latter’s scintillation?

Pop music no longer represents the counterculture. Rolling Stone magazine hasn’t caught on, but it’s time that rock-and-roll politics change and shift.

Only the recent antagonism in current affairs of state could cause crowd-pleasers Young and Hynde to draw such startling political contrasts and reveal their divergent, individual styles. Pop artists are not role models so much as bellwethers of human potential, and though it’s usually best to ignore their off-stage actions, the two musicians’ difference in behavior can reveal our moral and political options.
National Review's White suggests that both Hynde and Young work their messaging on liberal or conservative audiences and that "Hynde trumps Young because her middle-American brashness instills a blue-collar noblesse oblige greater than Young’s Canadian guilelessness." It should be noted that author White seems to misinterpret Young's song "Rockin' in the Free World", which is a critique of America under George H.W. Bush. In addition, "Rockin' in the Free World" came out in 1989 on the album Freedom -- not after 9/11/01.

Full article @ Neil Young and Chrissie Hynde: Rock of the Aged Protesters | National Review by Armond White.

Neil Young Inducting The Pretenders @
2005 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony

More on Chrissie Hynde and Neil Young Inducting The Pretenders into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Also, see:


Neil Young Speaks Truth to Power
Neil Rocks on CNN

Labels: , ,


At 3/02/2020 07:25:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Artists have the same rights as anyone else. Just because their platform may be larger than mine shouldn’t prevent them from speaking their minds. To agree or disagree with the way things are is a fundamental right for everyone; at least in the United States (for now) anyway. I don’t always agree with Neil on everything he says or does, but that is no reason for him not do or say these things. Fame brings with it a certain amount of attention, and not everyone handles that attention gracefully, but they are still free to handle it in the way they see fit.

John Lennon was ridiculed for spending a week in bed for peace, and although it may not have been as effective as he and Yoko had hoped; they certainly did get people talking. Just getting people to wake up for a few minutes and talk about peace was a success in itself. This may not be the best example, but it was the first thing that came to mind. There have been countless examples of musicians working together to get out the vote, or help someone who has been wrongfully accused of something. Raising funds for disaster relief or cancer, the list goes on.

Fame carries a very powerful position in this crazy world, and if someone with it can help make the world a better place then I have no
problem with it. As politics goes, we all have the same rights. Use it or not, it’s a personal choice everyone has. Famous or not.


At 3/02/2020 10:50:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Armond White has a long and controversial history as a critic:

At 3/03/2020 12:10:00 AM, Blogger Ross said...

Armond Who?

At 3/03/2020 01:12:00 AM, Blogger Babbo B. said...


At 3/03/2020 01:42:00 AM, Blogger Happy Andy said...

Almond Paste

At 3/03/2020 07:03:00 AM, Blogger Peacelover Doc said...

People have told me 'I came to hear Neil's music, not his politics' for years & even though I don't agree with everything he says I've always replied that I came to hear both. I will also say I agree with a lot more of what Neil says than I disagree with but we live in such different circumstances it would be foolish to expect either of us to completely embrace the other's viewpoints on everything.

At 3/03/2020 09:45:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Dan - thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts here with us. Appreciated.

At 3/03/2020 10:49:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Simply a writer looking for some attention...

At 3/03/2020 12:03:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ unknown- but aren't we all? We include ourselves and you.

Some have meaningful words to say. Unknown others ...


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