Neil Young Calls Out President Obama and CSNY at Philly Show

Neil Young's Storytone album
Neil Young's Storytone album

On the cusp of releasing two versions of his latest album, Storytone, and a new autobiography about his first love (Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars), Neil Young caused a stir during his recent sold-out shows at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music by dissing President Obama, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and the curious state of married bliss (remember, he did just leave his wife of 36 years Pegi Young, for actress Daryl Hannah).  Then again, it wouldn’t be much of a Neil Young event if the veteran songwriter didn’t raise some sort of ruckus.

The news that Young would release two different takes on Storytone’s ten songs on November 4 – one  spare and solo, one more lush, recorded with an orchestra and a big band – as well as this week’s release of Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars – would be enough to top headlines where fans were concerned. Young had just dropped his newest single, "Who's Gonna Stand Up?," and was ramping up to create an initiative to rally listeners behind protecting the Earth's ecosystems for future generations (more can be found here:

On October 8 and 9, Young played two acoustic solo shows at the Academy of Music, with controversy unfolding during the second show. First, he sang one of his rarely-played songs, "From Hank to Hendrix” (1992’s Harvest Moon), with the line "I always loved your smile, now we're headed for the big divorce, California style,” sticking out like sore thumb to gossip mongers looking for Young to discuss his ex-wife or his new girlfriend. Next, he gave President Obama grief about his environmental record, awkwardly adding the name “Barack Obama” into an otherwise gorgeous version of “Pocahontas.” After that came his CSNY dis: after a particularly potent rendition of the quartet’s 1970 protest song "Ohio," someone in the audience yelled out "CSNY!" and inquired about a possible tour, to which Young grouchily responded, "Never again."

Rolling Stone magazine picked up on Young’s comment, then printed the contents of a series of tweets between Young’s CSNY bandmate David Crosby and his fans." He is very angry with me…" Crosby responded to one Tweet, before making his own disparaging remark: "I know at least 20 better guitar players than Neil.”

The final two dates of Young’s current tour – October 25 and 26 – are benefits for the Bridge School, a non-profit organization in Hillsborough, CA, founded by Pegi Young and dedicated to helping physically challenged children overcome impairments through technology. The shows will take place at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA, and will also feature Pearl Jam, Florence & The Machine, Tom Jones, Soundgarden and Norah Jones’ Puss 'N Boots.

For more of Glamorosi Magazine's Neil Young coverage click here.

Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2014