Neil Young Silently Protests “Old Man” Beck’s NFL Ad




		Neil Young Silently Protests Beck's NFL Ad

Neil Young may have given away some of the rights to use his music in advertising when he sold 50% of his publishing house to Hipgnosis Songs in 2021. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t retain the right to intervene – subliminally – when his music is cleared for future commercials.

Young doesn’t seem to fully approve of the NFL ad over the weekend that featured Beck’s remake of “Old Man” as the soundtrack. The veteran rocker did not comment on Beck’s cover or its use directly, and could not be reached for comment. But Young seemed to say it all with an image he posted on his official Instagram account on Monday.

The photo is posted along with a spot from his music video for “This Note’s for You,” a protest song denouncing the use of music in advertising, from 1988, when selling out to Madison Avenue was still a hot topic in rock music circles. ‘n’ roll. (The title was a rip-off of the catchphrase “This Bud’s for you” that was ubiquitous at the time.) “Sponsored by nobody,” reads the caption on the fake beer bottle Young is holding up to the camera in the photo. which he reproduced on Tuesday.

As longtime fans will recall, Young tackled corporate blackmail in the song with lyrics like, “I don’t play for Pepsi / I don’t sing for Coca-Cola / I don’t play for nobody / I make it sound like a joke .”

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In an advertisement for a game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs, the NFL ad shows Beck doing an acoustic version of “Old Man” as a playful commentary on the idea that the teams’ respective quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, are authentic “old men” in their profession.

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When the deal was signed in 2021, Merck Mercuiadis, founder of Family (Music) Limited and Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, said he was confident he and Young would be on the same page about how to license their catalog: “We’re in sync . integrity, ethos and passion that comes from believing in these important music and songs,” said Mercuiadis. “There’s never going to be a ‘Burger of Gold,'” he said, referring to “Heart of Gold,” “but we’ll work together to make sure everyone gets to hear them on Neil’s terms.”

If Young has any issues with this usage, we look forward to hearing his response if anyone ever suggests a “Cinnabon Girl” dub.

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