Neil Young’s most recent Fireside Session featured a new rendition of his 2006 song “Lookin’ for a Leader” that lambasted President Trump and urged people to vote against him in the 2020 election. He’s now calling the song “Looking for a Leader 2020” and he’s released it onto streaming services; he’s also posted a standalone video on the Neil Young Archives.
“Yeah, we had Barack Obama,” Young sings, “and we really need him now/The man who stood behind him has to take his place somehow/America has a leader building walls around our house/He don’t know black lives matter and we got to vote him out.”
The song was part of a special politically charged Fireside Session that also included “Ohio,” “Southern Man,” “Alabama” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin.'” Young has been a consistent voice against Trump from the earliest days of his administration, even though the president continues to play “Rockin’ in the Free World” at his rallies. Earlier this week, Young said he’s contemplating a lawsuit over the issue.
“Imagine what it feels like to hear ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ after this president speaks, like it is his theme song,” Young wrote. “I did not write it for that.”
Young’s most recent release is Homegrown, an album he originally shelved in 1975 because he felt that the songs, which chronicle the dissolution of his relationship with girlfriend Carrie Snodgress, were too personal. “I just couldn’t listen to it,” he wrote in 2019. “I wanted to move on. So I kept it to myself, hidden away in the vault, on the shelf, in the back of my mind….but I should have shared it. It’s actually beautiful.”
In a letter to subscribers of the Neil Young Archives this week, Young promised that previously unheard outtakes from Harvest and Zuma were coming to his website along with vintage concerts. He’s also working on a movie titled The Timeless Orpheum, which chronicles a January 2019 solo acoustic gig at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis.