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Neil Young Talks Music and Politics, and Battles Corn, on “The Late Show”


Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesNeil Young appeared on CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Thursday night to promote his upcoming live album with Promise of the Real, Earth. He also chatted about politics and fought with corn — really.

The episode began with a sketch in which Stephen Colbert pointed out that Young is allowing the candidate he supports, Bernie Sanders, to use his hit “Rockin’ in the Free World,” but in the past has spoken out against Donald Trump using it. “I didn’t like that idea because of the misogyny and the racism,” he argued.

Colbert then asked, “What if somebody had a late-night talk show and they wanted to use “Rockin’ in the Free World” for their theme song? Would you be OK with that?”

After Young replied in the negative, Colbert instructed his crew to not use the song in the intro. But he was cut off by the music, and “Rockin’ in the Free World” was indeed played.

For the record, the Canadian musician can’t vote in the upcoming election, and has said in recent interviews that he would permit Trump to use his music if asked.

Later in the show, Young sat down with Colbert for the interview segment. The wide-ranging conversation covered Earth, Young’s Pono music player, and his preference to market albums, rather than singles.

He joked about his career, “I’m saying what I’m saying in all these songs I’ve written in the last 40 or 50 years…I’ve been singing the same thing. It’s like I’m a broken record.”

When the topic shifted to Young’s anti-GMO stance, an intern dressed as corn walked onto the stage and began verbally sparring with the rock legend. The corn claimed that if Young had his way, it would be banned.

“I’m delicious. Everybody loves me!” the corn protested.

On Friday evening, Young will appear at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to help present a playback of Earth. He’ll also take part in a Q&A. The album is due out June 24.

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