Saturday, February 09, 2008

Neil Young: Music can't change world

BERLIN - Neil Young has a pessimistic message: Music has lost its power to change the world.

The 62-year-old singer brought his new movie, "CSNY Deja Vu," to the Berlin film festival Friday. The film was shot during the 2006 Freedom of Speech tour by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Young, who directed the movie under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey, wasn't making any big claims about its effects.

"I think that the time when music could change the world is past," he told reporters. "I think it would be very naive to think that in this day and age."

Young added: "I think the world today is a different place, and that it's time for science and physics and spirituality to make a difference in this world and to try to save the planet."

"CSNY Deja Vu" intersperses footage from the tour, which featured performances from Young's "Living With War" album, with archive and television news material — and unfavorable reactions from critics.

"If we didn't do that, it would just feel like a bunch of old hippies up there saying what they thought — and who cares?" Young said.

Young said he called his fellow band members before the tour and told them: "This is all I'm going to do, I won't be doing anything else and I don't want to sing any ... pretty songs; we can only sing about war and politics and the human condition."

"The goal was to stimulate debate among people, and I hope that to some degree the film succeeds in doing that," he said.

"CSNY Deja Vu" is showing outside the main competition at the annual Berlin festival, which runs through Feb. 17.

I think Neil is right. Unfortunately, music doesn't influence people the way it did back in the late 60s and early 70s. It seems no one gives a shit anymore.


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