Rolling Stones Target 'Hypocrite' Patriots in 'Sweet Neocon'

posted by Last Night in Little Rock

The Rolling Stones, a group not known for political advocacy, has entered the political arena with a political track on its newest album, "A Bigger Bang." The album will be released in the U.S. on September 6th.

The track, "Sweet Neo Con," boasts the line, "You call yourself a Christian, I call you a hypocrite/You call yourself a patriot, well I think you're full of s---," according to the weekly newsmagazine[Newsweek].

"It is direct," singer Mick Jagger was quoted as saying, adding that his collaborator, Keith Richards, was "a bit worried" about a backlash because the guitarist lives in the United States and Jagger does not.

I first saw the Stones in concert in 1967. What a flashback.

"If you think that Mick Jagger will still be doing the whole rock star thing at age fifty, well, then, you are sorely, sorely mistaken."
--Almost Famous (2000), spoken by record producer Dennis Hope (played by Jimmy Fallon).

As an aside, David Crosby and Graham Nash just finished a tour. They were interviewed on Air America last week, reminiscing about writing, recording, and releasing Ohio in seven days in May 1970 with Neil Young and Stephen Stills.

I miss protest songs. Peter Seeger wrote a Waist Deep in the Big Muddy in 1967 which he sang on the Smothers Brothers Show. The song ostensibly was about WWII training but really was about the Vietnam War. Back then, Vietnam War protest songs on TV had to be disguised to get by the CBS censors because protest was not tolerated. Shortly thereafter, the Smothers Brothers were bounced off the air for their opposition to the Vietnam War on CBS.

I can see and hear it in my mind's eye and ear right now:

Knee deep in the Big Muddy
And the damn fools keep yelling to push on
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the damn fools keep yelling to push on
Waist deep! Neck deep! we'll be drowning before too long
We're neck deep in the Big Muddy
And the damn fools keep yelling to push on

Seeger's words still apply today. The Right still controls the media. Back then it was fear of Richard Nixon and the FCC. Today is is fear of the Neo Cons. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Update (TL): Mick Jagger says the song is not directed to Bush (or he wouldn't have called it "sweet" neocon. He says it is critical of the Administration's policies, but so are lots of people.

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    One of my favorites is Buffy Ste. Marie's Univeral Soldier. It was one of the first songs I learned to play on the guitar.

    Pete Seeger rerecorded and released his classic anti-Nam song "Bring Them Home" at the start of our war against Iraq. It has updated lyrics pertinent to the current agression and has Ani DiFranco, Steve Earle, Billy Bragg, and several other patriots playing and singing along with Pete. It's just as great now as it was in 1967. And Pete Seeger is right, Bring Them Home.

    Democracy delivered by the bomb & the gun, that's terror elsewhere in the world I'm from. -MC Frontalot

    Re: Rolling Stones Target 'Hypocrite' Patriots in (none / 0) (#4)
    by skippybkroo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:09 PM EST
    seen the stones twice, and seriously thinking about seeing them this time, because i can't imagine they'll be rolling much longer...

    If the ReichWingers are after the Stones for a fairly innocuous statement of fact , like calling the NeoCons hypocrites, then I sure hope they don't ever start listening to my favorite song right now "Now You've Got Something To Die For" by the less then liberal, red state livin', scary as all hell Lamb of God. As far as political/war songs go this one blisters the paint of the wall and puts it to all the Chickenhawks that populate our country. Real quick, I love how music is now starting to mirror the growing displeasure the citizens of this fair country are starting to have over the way Fearless Leader has prosecuted his war. Eventually goons like BB, Dick Aubrey, and the lovely PPJ will be resigned to fringe, which is exactly where they belong.

    Is Mick collecting social security yet? They're playing at Wally Wade and I was going to spiff up for the $250 tix for myself and my wife. Once again some superstar opens their ill-informed mouth and saves me money. I guess I should be thankful - it's enough cash to fund 1.5 habitat houses in Honduras. -C

    Re: Rolling Stones Target 'Hypocrite' Patriots in (none / 0) (#7)
    by yudel on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:10 PM EST
    No protest songs? Try some Dan Bern!
    Take back the new millenium. This one was gonna be ours!

    Nice to see the Stones at it again. I'm reminded of a tune I heard a couple of times in the 80's, that seem even more appropriate today: Killing for Jesus "Now I'm never bored...when I'm a-killing for the lo-ord...." Saw a picture of the Stones the other day though....Vincent Price would be so proud.

    Re: Rolling Stones Target 'Hypocrite' Patriots in (none / 0) (#9)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:10 PM EST
    Jagger is from England. He doesn't (or won't) receive SS.

    Re: Rolling Stones Target 'Hypocrite' Patriots in (none / 0) (#10)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:10 PM EST
    Nowadays I don’t like my music to be overtly political; I get enough of that frustration here and elsewhere. When I listen to music I want to relax and forget all that crap. And anyway, it is the rare musician, or actor, or any other artist that has real unique insight. Really, I read the sentiments of sweet neocon here every day. I guess the novelty is in hearing Jagger parroting your rhetoric of choice. I’ve got an interesting story about the last time I heard and Englishman bagging on the US. In April I was in Cambridge for a conference, which incidentally required I take the same line through Kings Cross (due to construction) that was bombed last month. One of the presenters finished his ppt slideshow with a cartoon he called US foreign policy; a cowboy stood over a corpse, smoking gun in hand, asking it questions. I interrupted, ‘you mean UK foreign policy?’ I don’t think he understood my point, which was obviously that the US has a willing ‘partner in crime’. Maybe the stones figure there is less political hey to be made back home.

    Re: Rolling Stones Target 'Hypocrite' Patriots in (none / 0) (#11)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:10 PM EST
    um, hay rather

    Actually, I believe if Mick paid SS taxes he will receive SS benefits regardless of his country of residence or citizenship. IIRC, all the retired Japanese citizens, living in Japan, who used to work in here in the US for the US subsidiary of the huge Japanese company I used to work for, are drawing SS. Also, Pete Seeger's son is a pretty close friend of mine. I can report with some confidence that Pete is flat-out against the war - his son is somewhat less dogmatic about it. Although, for obvious reasons, his son and I don't spend a whole lot of time talking about politics...

    Forget these geriatric bandwagoners and let me take you way back to the Autumn of 2001 when everyone was scared as hell and totally on board with the Violent Monkeys From Hell and their plan to get even with the A-rabs. Well almost everyone... Check these lyrics here:
    "And while Reichstag burns I see the public buy it/I see the profilin, see the media's compliance/War is good for business see the vicious make a savior/Hope you understand the time brother cause its major"
    Oh yes...at this point the Neocons are desparately hoping for yet another "New Pearl Harbor" so it can once again be made taboo (or downright illegal) to criticize them and their violent monkey frontman.