Uh-oh… Neil Young has long been famous for speaking his mind on a breadth of things that betray his sense of justice and morality, but this may be the first time we’ve heard him cry blasphemy at his own show. Following last month’s announcement of a massive co-headlining performance with Bob Dylan at London’s Hyde Park next summer, Young posted a diatribe on his subscription-based Neil Young Archives in which he condemns the show’s announcement as a “massive fuck-up.”
As Young explains in a Neil Young Archives post made on 12/7/18,
You. . . . . . . who were taken by surprise waking up to the BOB DYLAN / NEIL YOUNG – HYDE PARK CONCERT announcement posted on every outlet except NYA [Neil Young Archives], might wonder why it was not on NYA. . . .and you should. We’re sorry. Like you, I had no idea the announcement was coming that day… I was still finessing the art for the poster and trying to make sure that all the details of the show were agreeable to me. Then, suddenly, someone jumped the gun. The tickets were put on sale and the announcement was made, all without my knowledge. …
We promised you that you would learn first at NYA about all of my activities and have first access to pre-sale tickets. You didn’t. I was angry.
However, the lack of pre-sale love for his Neil Young Archives subscribers only scratches the surface of why Neil Young is upset with this show’s announcement. For the humanitarian Young, it goes much deeper than that.
As he continues in his NYA post,
In addition, I learned that the show had a sponsor, ‘Barclays Bank’, a fossil fuel funding entity. … That doesn’t work for me. I believe in Science. I worry about the Climate Crisis and am deeply concerned about its massive global ramifications and my beautiful grandchildren’s future. …
There’s no doubt about it – It’s been a massive fuck up!
He includes an image of Barclays’ eagle logo dripping with oil and ascribed with the tagline, “The Dirty Bank.” He also includes a snippet of anti-corporation lyrics from the title track of his 1988 album, This Note’s For You: “I ain’t singin’ for Pepsi; Don’t sing for Coke. I won’t sing for nobody makes me feel like a joke…”
[Image via Neil Young Archives]
Neil Young continues with the assurance that he and his team have had many ‘Come to Jesus’ meetings in the days since the fraught announcement. “At the moment,” he explains, “We are trying to rectify the situation and will soon update you on the status of the Hyde Park show. We have been talking about requiring a different sponsor as one option.”
As Young notes in finishing his NYA post,
We are quite confident that nothing like this will ever happen again. We’re sorry for this situation – it is – and shall remain an anomaly. … All of us here at NYA are continuing to work to provide you with the best, no bullshit, immersive quality experience, exactly what you deserve, without compromising our integrity. It’s on the line.
We’ll keep you updated as the to the status of the high-profile double-billed show as more developments come to light. As of now, tickets are still on sale via the British Summer Time website.