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Rocker Neil Young talks U.S. presidential politics

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 01:39

Canadian rocker Neil Young says he had nothing against Donald Trump using 'Rockin' in the Free World' at his presidential campaign launch, even though Bernie Sanders is his pick for president. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: As a Canadian citizen, rocker Neil Young can't vote in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, but he still has plenty to say about it. In an interview with Reuters ahead of the release of his new album "Earth," the Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter said he supports Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders for president. "He's the only one talking about the issues, about issues that matter to me, the issues on my mind -- problems of corporate control of democracy and everything slippping away and not being able to have six major companies owning all the media in the United States," he said. Although Young, 70, says he doesn't "see the other candidates," Donald Trump's use of his song "Rockin' in the Free World" during the launch of the presumptive Republican nominee's campaign in June 2015 raised his heckles. Young's management company released a statement at the time saying, "Donald Trump was not authorized to use 'Rockin' in the Free World' in his presidential candidacy announcement." Now, Young says he had nothing against Trump using his song. He would just like to have been asked. "The fact that I said I was for Bernie Sanders and then he didn't ask me to use 'Rockin' in the Free World' doesn't mean that he can't use it. He actually got a license to use it. I mean, he said he did and I believe him. So I got nothing against him. You know, once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything. But if the artist who made it is saying you never spoke to them, if that means something to you, you probably will stop playing it. And it meant something to Donald and he stopped." Trump's campaign said they had a license agreement with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) that paid for the legal right to play the recording. Young, who has long lived on a ranch in California, has retained his Canadian citizenship. Although becoming a U.S. citizen would allow him to vote in the country's November presidential election, he dismisses the notion. "I'm a Canadian. There's nothing I can do about that." But, he says, he will keep on talking politics, in his music and elsewhere. "I vote in my own way, by making a lot of noise. If you don't want to listen to me, fine. If you don't want to vote like I would, don't. But I still have a voice." Young's latest album "Earth", featuring live recordings of songs from thoughout his career, will be released on June 17 on Reprise Records.

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Rocker Neil Young talks U.S. presidential politics

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 01:39