This Video’s For You, Neil Young, Or, Well, It Would Be…
Mondays can be rough.
And so, every Monday, we give you a music video.
A fun, funny music video. Something that’ll make you smile, make you laugh, make you reminisce, and make you realize that back in the day, music video creators were probably either insane or heavily intoxicated.
But were also incredibly entertaining.
We call this feature, The Video You Deserve, and you can find it every Monday on your site for fun, free entertainment and features, QuadCities.com.
Our latest video is from a guy who’s been in the spotlight a lot lately — Neil Young.
Of course, he’s all over the media now for giving Spotify an ultimatum and saying that if they didn’t ditch Joe Rogan for interviewing folks presenting anti-vaccine and pseudoscience views, he was going to yank his music from the service. Spoiler alerts: Spotify didn’t pull Rogan, and Neil did pull his music from the service.
The entire standoff was pretty predictable. Rogan is Spotify’s golden calf now, pulling in millions of dollars as the top rated podcaster in the U.S. (yes, believe it or not, he gets even bigger ratings than my podcasts here at QuadCities.com!), so they weren’t going to drop him. But I give Neil kudos for sticking to his guns.
And they’re guns he’s been sticking to for a while. Young has always been a counterculture icon of the ’60s who remained a counterculture icon, unlike most of them who sold out in a huge way. In fact, today’s Video You Deserve highlights one of Young’s most famous moments in telling corporate entertainment to stick it.
Back in 1988, as those hippies were all becoming yuppies and boomer icons like Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood were taking big paychecks to have their music featured in beer commercials, Young came out with an album and song called “This Note’s For You,” a play on the famous This Bud’s For You ad campaign featuring a bunch of those sellouts.
The video for the title track – directed by Julien Temple and written by Charlie Coffey – included a Michael Jackson lookalike whose hair catches fire. The video also featured parodic inserts from commercials featuring impersonators of Jackson and Whitney Houston, as well as popular characters such as a Spuds McKenzie lookalike.
It was initially banned by MTV after legal threats from Michael Jackson’s attorneys, although Canadian music channel MuchMusic ran it immediately. After it was a hit on MuchMusic, MTV reconsidered their decision and put it into heavy rotation, finally giving it the MTV Video Music Award for Best Video of the Year for 1989. It was nominated for a Grammy in the category of “Best Concept Video” of 1989 but lost to “Weird Al” Yankovic‘s spoof of Michael Jackson‘s “Bad“, “Fat”
So, whether or not you agree with Young, or if you’re a fan of Rogan or not, you’ve got to give the guy credit for consistently sticking to his guns, following his own path, and going against the grain (and any other like cliche terms you can think of to describe a guy who isn’t afraid to turn down a payday or large scale adulation to stand with his own values.)
And, whether or not you agree with Young, this note — and this Video You Deserve — is for you… or, rather, it would be, if his record company didn’t block it from our site. Ironic. But, it’s worth checking out on YouTube if you get a chance.