Published Jul 27, 2020After trying to play nice with Donald Trump, Neil Young is now "reconsidering" suing the U.S. president for using the musician's famed "Rockin' in the Free World."
Early this month, Young took issue with the president using his music during recent campaign rallies, but at the time, he was avoiding legal action toward Trump — something the songwriter said would "potentially distracting from your important work at hand protecting and saving American lives."
Now, however, Young has drastically changed his tone.
In a new open letter posted on his Neil Young Archives site, Young wrote: "I am changing my mind about suing President Trump. Reconsidering. I'm looking at it again. There is a long history to consider and I originally considered it, deciding not to pursue. But then President Trump ordered thugs in uniform onto our streets. His idea. He ordered it himself. This is all DJT."
Young added: "Trump has no respect for our military. They are not to be used on the streets of America against law-abiding citizens for a political charade orchestrated by a challenged president…These are thugs with no IDs shooting Americans on the streets. They are not our police. Our police should arrest these untrained thugs for breaking our laws."
Young also criticized Trump's COVID-19 response — or lack thereof — saying "this rogue president is creating a much worse problem with his street thug army of uniformed hatred."
Ultimately, Young said that the meaning behind "Rockin' in the Free World" was never intended for such a situation, with Trump repeatedly twisting the song's meaning.
"Imagine what it's like to hear 'Rockin' in the Free World' after this president speaks, like it is his theme song," he said. "I did not write it for that."
You can read the scathing letter in full over here.
Young most recently unearthed his long-lost album Homegrown.