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Monday, May 15, 2006

Hey, Neil Young: We Young Singers are Hog-Tied, Too

Dear Neil,
 
You recently said that you felt compelled to write your new album "Living With War" because you got tired of waiting for young protest singers to pick up the torch. I'm compelled to tell you that young protest singers are here, and we're holding the flame. I'm one of them.
 
The trouble is, you can't hear us on major radio stations for the same reasons you noted last year when you poignantly stated, "I can't do anything in the record industry, or especially radio, because it's so controlled by corporations."
 
While established artists like yourself may have felt your hands tied, the truth is far worse for upcoming artists: Even booking agents and managers won't touch us for fear that we will offend their audiences in a country where consumerism and patriotism stand united, as your song "Restless Consumer" makes clear.
 
Bono was right when, at U2's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, he said, "There is very little chance for there to be another U2 the way the business is constructed right now." Describing corporate dependency on the toothless hit single, he said, "You have to have the hit single immediately. Bruce Springsteen didn't have a single for 10 years. Neil Young, I'm not sure, he ever had a single."
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