By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Living with Neil Young

Here is a blog dedicated to Neil Young’s forthcoming anti-album, “Living with War.” It includes a long interview he did with CNN, a task made excruciatingly difficult by the fact that he was the only sentient being taking part in the conversation.

Young has never been a knee-jerk lefty. His 2001 song “Let’s Roll” showed he was deeply affected by the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In the ’80s he was seen as something of a Ronald Reagan supporter. Which makes it all the more sad that he’s going to be dismissed as a burned-out hippie when “Let’s Impeach the President” hits (or, more likely, doesn’t hit) the airwaves a couple of weeks from now.

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  1. MeTheSheeple

    It’s easier to dismiss him than that. I’m not sure he became an American citizen: “If he can’t vote, why care?” Somehow the first Rolling Stone article about the song left that tidbit out.I’ll be curious to see the actual product, free of spin any way.

  2. Lex

    I pretty much tuned out Young between “Rust Never Sleeps” and “Rockin’ in the Free World,” but I can’t see how anyone hearing the latter could think Young was pro-Reagan. And although it came out after the elder Bush had taken office (if memory serves), it’s hard to see how it could NOT be taken as a comment on Reaganism.

  3. Steve

    Utterly amazing interview technique.Sabila Vargas: “You’ve got one song that’s called ‘Let’s Impeach the President’. What is this song about?”I wonder what Neil would have answered if he wasn’t “on the record”?Well, DUH, Sabila – the song is called “Let’s Impeach the President”! What do YOU think it’s about?

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Sheeple: Watch the CNN interview if you can. Young talks quite eloquently about being a Canadian citizen, coming to the United States 40 years ago, paying taxes here, having American kids, etc., etc. You can buy it or not, but he addresses the issue head-on.Lex: “Kinder, gentler machine-gun hand” is clearly a reference to Bush Sr., not Reagan.

  5. Anonymous

    Even Richard Nixon has got soul

  6. Anonymous

    Dan, how does being deeply affected by 9/11 preclude one from being a knee jerk lefty? As a knee jerk lefty, I’m offended. You’re implying that 9/11 didn’t affect me.I’m a fan of the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville folk scene, not exactly a hotbed of conservatism. Everybody and his brother has at least one traumatized 9/11 song and is still performing it in concert.

  7. Lex

    Tangentially related, and pretty funny: The Red State Update (not to be confused with, Ben Domenech’s outfit) has declared War! On Neil Young! Part 1! Part 2! Part 3! (Some language NSFW)

  8. MeTheSheeple

    The link has moved, oddly, to 2007: might work as a direct link: interviewer is appalling.I’m glad to see Neil Young being upfront about being Canadian. Now I have to wonder if he was equally upfront with Rolling Stone, which should have known anyway, and the magazine just decided it somehow wasn’t relevant.

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