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Young writes: "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."

Neil Young. (photo: Getty)
Neil Young. (photo: Getty)

Keep on Rockin in the Free World

By Neil Young, Neil Young's Blog

19 June 15


Link to Neil Young's new album, The Monsanto Years:

esterday 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 your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

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Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+62 # hoodwinkednomore 2015-06-19 09:47
Thank You, Mr. Neil Young!
+29 # goodsensecynic 2015-06-19 09:59
I presume that Mr. Trump obtained permission from someone - though not, I am sure, from Mr. Young. It seems to me that more care could/should be taken by performing artists to limit distribution of their materials.

That said, I would only question Mr. Young's apparent belief that corporations were first established to "serve us," but that somehow that noble purpose has been corrupted.

I respectfully demur. Corporations were set up from the outset to limit the liability of investors for legal actions taken against their firms. Their evolution from the late 18th-century to the present has been nothing other than a gradual expansion of corporate rights leading to the infamous "Citizens United" decision giving 1st Amendment freedoms to entities that aren't even human.

Mr. Young correctly says that corporations lack "feelings" and a "soul"; he might have added that they also lack a conscience and that, unlike Mr. Young, you and me, they are immortal! ... Or is that "zombies"?

As a fellow Canadian and an admirer of your father's newspaper columns, I say this: "Rock On, Neil Young!"

PS: For all the "political economy" fans in the audience, it's worth mentioning that Adam Smith, the intellectual godfather of modern capitalism, condemned the theory and practice of corporations. They were, he believed, an abomination that would ultimately destroy "free enterprise" and "free markets"; he was right.
-35 # John S. Browne 2015-06-19 11:17

It won't be a free world for long, if it even still is, if the corporate-fasci st globalists get their way. They want us all enslaved with little or no free will and free choice, and they also want to exterminate most of us. "Eugenocide" as I call it, is very real, and big billionaire names like Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, support it (as did Bill's father who raised his son to be a "true believer" in it). These people therefore support mass-murder; thus, we should really boycott the Windows operating system, etc.; otherwise, we are financially supporting our own demise, a favorite deception and tactic of the neo-fascist globalists to get us to fall for and to play right into, while they laugh at us all as being stupid fools; which, unfortunately, because most of us do fall for it and finance our own demise, we are. Sadly, though, because you endorse military-indust rial sellouts like Bernie Sanders, you are one of them, Neil (and all others who support such madness).

+17 # Jim Rocket 2015-06-19 11:51
Do you have a better candidate than Bernie that you would recommend or do you suggest not voting because that will really teach them a lesson?
-20 # John S. Browne 2015-06-19 13:31

Facetiously-speaking, have at it with the vote for the lesser evil(s). Make yourself(ves) even more complicit in the evil(s) itself and/or themselves. Help bring about your own demise, and the demise of all of the rest of us. Vote for "Hitlery", or "Burnished-Fool s-Gold" Sanders, or one of the other died-in-the-woo l politicians and professional liars, and you'll get more of the change that you (CAN'T!) believe in. Do you recall that saying about insanity being doing the same stupid thing(s) over and over again? Yep, you're a part of the mass-insanity just as most people are. If you support evil, you're a part of that evil, and you're responsible all of the evil(s) that evil commits. But, oh, no, you've convinced yourself(ves) that you supposedly "aren't" responsible for that; and, just because you believe it, that (supposedly) means "it's true". Yah, that's right, you supposedly don't have any responsibility for the evil(s) that politicians and people you helped put in power perpetrate and perpetuate. Keep convincing yourself(ves) of that, and enjoy becoming more and more insane. Heck, we who face what's really going on, don't care what evil you support and help to expand, aiding in bringing about the demise of us all, right?... NOT! Enjoy our slavery!

-12 # John S. Browne 2015-06-19 13:12

I see I'm in a particular thread filled mostly with people who don't like, and don't want to hear, the truth. Am I surprised?... NOT! The mass-insanity, by design and effectiveness, is rampant.

+13 # vitobonespur 2015-06-19 15:36
You still haven't answered Jim Rockets question.

"Do you have a better candidate than Bernie that you would recommend or do you suggest not voting because that will really teach them a lesson?"

That was a pretty smooth side-step. Perhaps you should be a dancer.
-15 # John S. Browne 2015-06-19 16:35

Actually, I was an amateur dancer in college. I took five dance classes during my last year, just for the fun of it (and because I was in love with a young woman in several of those classes---no, I never got anywhere with her). I admit that I was a terrible dancer.

But, as far as sidestepping goes, I just don't do it at all, let alone even try to; although, when it's a waste of time, etc., to respond to certain people, like I said below, I don't bother. I will in this case, though, tell him, and you, that I do NOT have a "better" candidate to suggest; although, that does not whatsoever excuse, once again, voting for a "lesser evil", such as "Bernished" Sanders or any other "lesser evil"; which I don't do either. Unlike the voters for "lesser-evil", I don't have any complicity in the evil(s) perpetrated by those "lesser-evil's" once (s)elected, & don't have any blood on my hands.

-1 # tomwalker8 2015-06-22 16:01
"...I do NOT have a "better" candidate to suggest; although, that does not whatsoever excuse, once again, voting for a "lesser evil", such as "Bernished" Sanders or any other "lesser evil" ...I don't have any complicity in the evil(s) perpetrated by those "lesser-evil's" once (s)elected, & don't have any blood on my hands."

Actually, you and those like you are awash in blood. Our pathetic voter turnout is encouraged and perpetuated by the kind of drivel you spout. Voters have the ability to enact real change, but they have to vote if they're to do it. And the idea that the greater of two evils is acceptable (which refusing to vote for the lesser essentially endorses) leaves you dripping with blood - smeared all over your sanctimonious and non-participato ry self.

You think posting in articles' comments sections represents any kind of worthwhile activism? How about this? You're a lazy troll encouraging others to adopt your lazy trollness.

You disgust me and don't deserve the voting franchise bought so dearly by men and women so manifestly your superior.
-1 # John S. Browne 2015-06-22 17:18

Ah, another hater. What you're saying is absurd! How, "rhetorically-q uestioning" (if you know what that means), are voters to have "the ability to enact real change", when the electronic voting machines are all controlled by the corporate- fascists who are erecting the U.S. and global slave state under a totalitarian militarized police state with no more True Dignity, Freedom, Justice, Liberty, Privacy and Security, and when they can, and do, flip the votes to the other side, for the candidates who are in their pocket that they want in whatever office it is? That makes it irresponsible to vote on those machines; and, by doing so, people might as well vote for candidates on "one-armed bandits", aka slot machines.

But you haters will rationalize anything, thus making you and all of your ilk the true disgusting trolls encouraging others to adopt the irresponsible "voting-by- chance", "hit-or-miss" strategy to voting, thus also making all those who do so complicit in whatever evil(s) the evil people, who are (s)elected because the votes of the disgusting, absurd willful-morons like yourself were flipped over to them, perpetrate in and out of office.

So, again, it is your kind that have the blood on your hands and are saturated in it, not those who refuse to take part in the "lottery", and totally sick, not funny joke, that (s)elections have become under hacked voting technology. No, your ilk can have all of that willfully-blind , irresponsible, "crapshoot" voting.

+12 # Dust 2015-06-19 13:14
Well, first of all - I completely agree regarding getting rid of Windows. I assume that that you use Linux/BSD/Menue tOS/Haiku on your computer?

Secondly - how is Bernie a military-indust rial sell-out?
-8 # Roland 2015-06-19 13:48
Amazing! That is what you are going to ask John S Browne about? He says that Bill Gates and his wife support mass murder and you ask him what operating system he uses and how Bernie is a sell out? Amazing!

Bill and his wife donate huge sums to charity and you accept his incredibly perverted view that corporate-fasci st globalists, like Bill and his wife, want to exterminate us? You don’t ask how he came to learn this or what proof he has?
-12 # John S. Browne 2015-06-19 13:53

"Bernished-Fools-Gold" supported, and still supports, that trillion dollar fighter jet boon- doggle fiasco, that's how. If that isn't more than enough reason to not support him in any fashion whatsoever, than there's little or no hope for those who do, and who keep doing it.

And, think about something important: You think if "Bernished" was a True Progressive candidate (anymore than Warren would be, too; who is another sellout that I see right through---like I did "OdronaCON/FRAU D" from the very start), he stood a chance in hell of getting into the White House, and he succeeded and did become president, that he wouldn't be read the riot act about what he can and cannot do while in office, and who he really works for (hint: the corporate-fasci st globalists), and that he wouldn't bow down? He would sellout to it, if he wasn't already, or die (at the hands of the puppeteers), it's as plain as that!

-9 # John S. Browne 2015-06-19 16:47

"Odrona" admitted it outright when he stated what he did a few weeks ago about recalling what happened to MLK [and he should have, more accurately said, JFK, because JFK was a U.S. president and MLK was not (though he should have been), but "Odrona" wanted a black-American example, which I understand]. It's extremely unfortunate that "Odrona" was a complete sellout long before he hit the campaign trail, a true "Manchurian candidate", and from the get-go. But I wasn't a particularly wise person, and I recognized that "OdronaFRAUD/CO N" was an "al CIAduh(!)"-groo med, "Manchurianized " candidate, and a total fraud and conman, from the very beginning.

+2 # hkat 2015-06-21 15:17
Mr. Browne, you have made a number of statements defining problems as you see them. But you have made no suggestions to correct them. Perhaps it's not enough to rail against the problem makers. Perhaps one must at least propose a solution or two.
-1 # John S. Browne 2015-06-21 17:16

If you were familiar with most of my comments, you'd know that I constantly suggest standing up against all of this madness. But what can one do up against an increasingly totalitarian and repressive militarized police state? I am NOT stating that we shouldn't still do so; because, actually, I am stating the exact opposite that we MUST stand up against it; but, more and more, anything and everything that we non-violently do to stand up against this insanity is being monitored, recorded, taken note of, and being treated as crime(s) against the state that it won't be long until all those who do so are taken away to the U.S. indefinite military detention gulag system for doing so.

Also, concerning making suggestions for solutions, I and all those like me, if they have any proper sense, have to be very careful that in proposing solutions they aren't misinterpreted as promoting violence against the U.S. government; which, I believe, because the standard suggestions aren't working anymore, means that there's not much that we can say, or that at least I can say, with regards to proposing solutions. Because, to be honest, I'm not sure that there are any anymore, other than continuing to fulfill our DUTY(IES) to non-violently put our liberty and lives on the line even if it's hopeless, and that that's what we MUST do, and not give up AT ALL.

-1 # John S. Browne 2015-06-21 17:23

Otherwise, more specifically, I don't have any other suggestions; and I leave it up to imaginative, resourceful people to come up with their own ideas for doing so. But I keep encouraging more and more people to stand up against this turning of the U.S., the West and much of the rest of the world into a global(ist) neo-Nazi totalitarian militarized police state.

+1 # vicnada 2015-06-22 11:30
You know you're preaching to the choir on this, don't you? So why do you need to be so discordant? Or did you get the same training in carrying a tune as you did dance? You say you have no answers. You say change is hopeless. And your seeming goal at this point is to sink the spirit of any who would campaign for a candidate who offers a vision for the revolution required to follow the vote for change. Read, Bernie Sanders.
-1 # John S. Browne 2015-06-22 13:50

Again more false accusations. I did NOT say that I have "no" answers; I said that I don't have any OTHER answer(s), by way of saying that I don't have all the answers, which one would think that people would appreciate the admission of, and my showing humility and that I don't believe that I know everything or am the last word on anything. But, oh, no, real discordant, cynical, self-righteous, unrighteously-j udgmental, libelous people, and those who twist words around, like yourself, don't appreciate any admission(s) from "the likes of me" that I don't have all of the answers. Why? Because, typically, your judgment(s) of me is and/or are mostly if not completely wrong.

Also, I did NOT say that change is all hopeless, but was alluding that it MAY be too late to bring about true, sufficient change to stop global enslavement under corporate-fasci st totalitarian tyranny, again admitting that I don't know for sure (although it certainly does appear to be too late---as many in these threads also believe, making me far from the only one).

And, it is exactly BECAUSE I'm not entirely preaching to the choir, that I try to wake more people up to the dire need to stand up against this global tyranny and enslavement. We HAVE TO try, even if it is doomed to failure, which I'm NOT saying it definitely is. I truly hope that it isn't, and that it is not too late; but all indicators point to global tyrannical government and its subsequent enslavement being a fait accompli.

+1 # vicnada 2015-06-22 11:32
Cynics abound--especia lly in the ranks of the totalitarian state you disparage. So if your real message is cynicism, I suggest you preach to the right-wing choirs. You'll be paid well for these red votes.
-2 # John S. Browne 2015-06-22 14:08

Unrighteous judges and/or critics, ad hominem attackers, false accusers, and haters abound---especi ally in the ranks of so-called "progressives" and "liberals" (again, I am NOT a "conservative" or "liberal", but am nothing but a constitutionali st and true progressive), completely blind to, and in avoidance and denial of, the truth of what's really going on, and brainwashed, as they are by improbable "pie-in-the-sky ", utopian socialism in the present age of evil going completely out of control and taking over completely.

So, take all of your twisting, defamation and assassination of my character with you as you continue to follow your fellow-lemmings off the edge of the cliff.

+10 # jimallyn 2015-06-19 13:30
Quoting John S. Browne:
we should really boycott the Windows operating system

I certainly won't argue with that. I do not have Windows or any other proprietary software on my computer. I have used Linux and other Open Source software since 2002, and there is nothing that could make me go back to proprietary software. Good quality software, most of which can be downloaded from the internet free of charge, with plenty of knowledgeable people willing to provide support if you need it - what's not to like about that?

P.S. I'm supporting Bernie Sanders for President!
+10 # vitobonespur 2015-06-19 15:30
Quoting goodsensecynic:
I presume that Mr. Trump obtained permission from someone - though not, I am sure, from Mr. Young.

What would lead you to believe that Trump even requested permission to use "Keep on Rockin'"? He doesn't give two shits about anyone that doesn't share his DNA. And I have to wonder about even that. I would bet dollars to donuts that he decided to simply use Neil's piece, figuring it's easier to claim that he DID get the go ahead (and beg forgiveness if necessary) than it would be to getting permission. Donald Trump is one of the vilest people on God's Green Earth.
0 # tomtom 2015-06-22 18:35
Fox "NEWS" is always playing music by groups whom, I am sure oppose their pro hate agendas. And as much as I love some of Lynard Skynard, Kid Rock, Charlie Daniels and Ted Nugent music, their lack of empathy for black Americans and their denial of our history/present barbaric treatment of an entire race,offends the shit out of me. The southern states have so much to be proud of, if the stars and bars reminds Americans of an evil part of our past, be nice, let it go, show some love, mend fences, move on to an honorable united future.
0 # John S. Browne 2015-06-24 05:39

That's "Lynyrd Skynyrd", Bro.


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