Neil Young And His Politics Are Getting Harder To Follow
Neil Young and his band, Promise of the Real, will return to the road beginning Oct. 1. That night they’ll perform at the Adam Center on the campus of the University of Missoula in Missoula, Montana.
The following evening, look for Young and Promise in Spokane, Washington at the Spokane Arena.
There are eight more dates on their docket before their tour wraps at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California on Oct. 17.
Rebel Content Tour
This is the second trek for Young and PotR in 2015. They played 12 dates in July including a two-night stand at Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado.
Both of the previously mentioned outings are part of the artist’s “Rebel Content Tour.”
Young’s backup band, Promise of the Real, is led by Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson, sons of Willie Nelson. Also in the fray are Anthony Logerfo, Tato Melgar, and Corey McCormick.
Not only is the band joining Young on the road but they also helped to record his latest album, The Monsanto Years.
The Monsanto Years
The Monsanto Years dropped June 29 and is Young’s 36th studio release.
The opus is a concept album disparaging Monsanto, a billion dollar corporation in the agrochemical and biotechnology fields.
One of the few songs from The Monsanto Years that you might hear at an upcoming Neil Young concert is “A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop.”
Yeah, I want a cup of coffee but I don't want a GMO
I like to start my day off without helping Monsanto
Young will turn 70 in early November but in many ways he thinks like a 20-year-old…
…or at least a 20-year-old from a liberal college campus.
In The Monsanto Years, Young harangues the use of genetically modified organisms or GMO.
Yet, Young suffers from type 1 diabetes and needs insulin. Nowadays, the insulin he uses is manufactured by genetically engineered microbes (it used to come from slaughtered pigs).
In the previously mentioned “Star Bucks” song, Young sings that “mothers want to know what they feed their children,” but “GMO” isn’t an ingredient. It’s a set of processes.
Young also croons: “Let our farmers grow what they want to grow” but farmers of all sizes utilize GMO. They use them because an overwhelming amount of scientific studies reveal that GMO increases crop yields, reduces the use of pesticides, and increases profits.
Also, there’s tons of research supporting its safe use
Robb Fraley, the Chief Technology Officer at Monsanto, and a self-described Neil Young fan, invited the rock and roll hall of famer to visit his company.
As Fraley so cleverly put it, “He might even find that a lot of us—this old man included—are a lot like he is.”
Young declined Fraley’s offer and responded with a tripe 10-minute YouTube documentary.
You can understand why Young declined Fraley’s offer.
What if Young went to Monsanto and learned that they “are a lot like he is?” That would certainly take the air out of his latest album.
Young has a vested interest in keeping the anti-GMO movement alive and pressuring companies like Monsanto.
I wish Young would have visited Monsanto and done so with the wisdom that usually comes with being 69. Perhaps such a visit would have bridged the gap between the opponents and proponents of GMO.
Instead, Young reacted like a college student wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt. He ignored the other side of the issue and just doubled down on his own opinion.
In June, Donald Trump announced his bid for the White House. In doing so, he played Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
For the sake of this article, we’ll ignore the fact that this probably isn’t the best song for a GOP candidate to use in his campaign.
Trump legally secured the rights to the song but not Young’s permission. In a statement, Young said the use of his song was “unauthorized.”
Trump’s camp responded by saying they won’t use it again.
Like Fraley, Trump is also a Neil Young fan.
Young then issued a lengthy statement in which he berated corporations, the Supreme Court, GMO, and the media.
He also used the phrases: “speak Truth to this Economic Power” and “Freedom of Choice.”
I didn’t think anyone over 40 used the terms “speak truth to power” and “freedom of choice.”
Once again, Young seemed to have taken the immature, activist position instead of the sagacious, considered one.
He should have allowed Trump to use his song. That would have kept him permanently in the conversation and showed everyone that he’s all about “freedom of choice.”
Great White North
In the aforementioned statement, Young “confessed” that he’s Canadian. He does, however, life in United States.
So you can either pity him for living in a place where he lacks the vote or you can question his intellect for choosing to live in a country that he finds so distasteful.
Young has done a lot of great charity work over the years. Not only was he a co-founder of Farm Aid but he helped build The Bridge School, an educational institution for children with disabilities.
Without a doubt, Young is a world class humanitarian.
He’s also a bona fide rock star.
Young recently put his two-acre Hawaiian lot, the one with a 4,530-square foot bungalow on the property, up for sale. The asking price is $24.5 million.
His spread looks like someplace a Bond villain would live. It’s breathtaking.
For all of Neil Young’s rebellious bluster, and standing up for the so-called common man, he’s still closer to the one-percent then he is to the other ninety-nine.
Very few people who use the term “speak truth to power” have Hawaiian estates with 830 feet of ocean frontage.
Maybe I’m missing the point.
Maybe it’s a good thing that a 70-year-old man still has the convictions and the energy to fight, what many believe is, the good fight.
Perhaps speaking truth to power is better than listening to both sides.
Or maybe none of this matters. It’s inconsequential where you stand on where Neil Young stands. After all, what’s really important is the music.
Like Young said:
“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.”
Check out Noiz's Google+ profile