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Rolling Stones “Sweet Neocon” Criticizes Bush Policies

The Rolling Stones have a new album out, including a single called “Sweet Neo Con” which lambasts the Bush administration.

Conservatives likely won’t find tune so sweet (Chicago Tribune)

The Rolling Stones are taking aim at elements of the American right with a new song on their upcoming album. 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 …” Newsweek reports.

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

The song also includes the line: “It’s liberty for all, democracy’s our style/Unless you are against us, then it’s prison without trial.” “It is certainly very critical of certain policies of the [Bush] administration, but so what! Lots of people are critical,” Jagger told TV’s “Extra” on Wednesday.

“Sweet Neo Con” is one of 16 tracks featured on the Stones’ new album, “A Bigger Bang,” which drops in the United States on Sept. 6.

Mick Jagger has apparently decided that he wants to be more like Bob Dylan.

I haven’t heard the song, so have no opinion of its artistic quality. Certainly, Jagger and company are entitled to express their views in their work, although doing so always runs the risk of alienating fans.

However, if a band is going to get into politics, they should at least have the fortitude to stand up for their statement.

Jagger: ‘Neo Con’ song isn’t anti-Bush (AP – MSNBC)

The Rolling Stones’ upcoming album contains a song seemingly critical of President Bush, but Mick Jagger denies it’s directed at him, according to the syndicated TV show “Extra.” “It is not really aimed at anyone,” Jagger said on the entertainment-news show’s Wednesday edition. “It’s not aimed, personally aimed, at President Bush. It wouldn’t be called ’Sweet Neo Con’ if it was.”

The song is from the new album, “A Bigger Bang,” set for release Sept. 6. There is no mention of Bush or Iraq. But it does refer to military contractor Halliburton, which was formerly run by Vice President Cheney and has been awarded key Iraq contracts, and the rising price of gasoline.

Stones’ latest album takes political turn (NYDN, Seattle Times)

The normally apolitical Rolling Stones have no sympathy for President Bush. In the refrain of the 13th track on their upcoming album, frontman Mick Jagger belts out the refrain: “How come you’re so wrong, my sweet neo-con?”

[…]

Fans have been buzzing about the tune for months, with many up in arms over rumors that Virgin Records cut it, fearing America’s conservative-owned radio networks and big box-chain stores would refuse to play or stock it. But it’s there, even though Jagger told Newsweek magazine that Connecticut resident Keith Richards is “a bit worried” about the song because he lives in the United States.

Even though nothing sells a new album better than a little splash of controversy, the wrinkled rockers’ people seem a mite jumpy, too. Stones publicist Fran Curtis told the Daily News the song doesn’t mention Bush by name. Amusingly, she told The Washington Post it isn’t even about Bush, though the term neo-con is indelibly linked to the neo-conservative policies behind the invasion of Iraq.

The album — “A Bigger Bang” — isn’t even out, yet right-wing Internet discussion groups were already fizzing with anti-Stones vitriol. “The Rolling Stones’ main audience these days is that segment of the Boomers that has refused to recognize that the 60s have been over for almost 40 years, and so they’ll lap this slop up and beg for more. … while they tie their hair back into gray ponytails and stretch those old tye-dyed t-shirts over their pot bellies,” wrote one particularly vivid poster at Free Republic.

Heh.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Lunacy says:

    More like Bob Dylan?

    Dylan got his antiAdministration songs done with decades ago.

    Mick is nothing like Dylan and never could be.

    A. He’d need more talent.

    B. He’d need more class.

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  2. LJD says:

    Jagger doesn’t care about politics, and no one cares about his opinion. This is about the almighty (U.S.) dollar, which he has no quarrel with. $150 a seat for a decades-old act, performed by geriatric musicians?

    Bush bashing makes money with the masses. This is no more than a cash-grab a la Michael Moore.

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  3. ICallMasICM says:

    Maybe it’s the combination of Geritol and mind altering drugs? Or maybe just a desparate attempt to appear relevant?

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  4. Rodney Dill says:

    It’s a recurring theme. If you don’t have a real message you resort to pop culture and innuendo to influence the masses.

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  5. Lt bell says:

    its about time someone had the guts to call the bush crime family what it is.

    A CRIME FAMILY

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  6. Jim Henley says:

    Maybe the song is Jagger-Richards’ attempt to express their opinions in musical form? Could it be that simple? Gosh.

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  7. slickdpdx says:

    Merely a bid for free publicity, cheap rich old bastards. Now the Stones’ tour and new album can be covered in the news sections in addition to the entertainment sections.

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  8. Demosophist says:

    I was never much of a Stones fan, even in the sixties. They had a couple of good songs, like “2000 Man” and “Sympathy,” but nothing that warranted the sort of fame they achieved. Most of their albums just weren’t worth buying. And absent talent what you’ve got left is a nostalgic appeal to the sixties “anti-establishment” schtick. It’s the coming of age syndrome that creates the judgment lapse that many of us boomers have, and that a few modern wannabes want to recapture.

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  9. Bachbone says:

    Geez! With The Dixie Chicks, I could at least mute the sound and enjoy ogling the singers.

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  10. George says:

    You right wing slaves, poor ignorant red necks!!!!

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  11. kim says:

    as usual with the neocon minority, demonize the messanger rather than respond to the message.

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  12. […] coverage anymore, what to so? Well, this, so they’ll fall in love with you again.   [link] Comments policy, read and heed! A. No – means no – profanity! B. No personal attacks on meany other commenter or author. C. No commercial commenting, but links to your own blog site or relevant other web pages are fine. D. I rarely answer comments – I justin a comment – WordPress emails me every comment so I do see it. F. If you include more than two links in your comment, WordPress automatically slides it into the “awaiting moderation” file. EventuallyI will notice but probably not quickly. G. I reserve the right to delete or edit a comment for any reason I see fit, but it is almost unheard of for me to edit one. If you left a comment and either don’t see it or it disappeared, 99.9% of the time it means you broke one of these rules. Do not email me asking what happened; I will not reply. H. Please keep your comments relevant to the topic of the post. I. Remember Rule No. 6! […]

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  13. LJD says:

    Typical liberal idiot response. You have no correct answer to a problem, so you call people names and launch personal attacks…

    Almost as funny as a musician or actor that thinks their money entitles them to a more weighted opinion of public affairs.

    Stupid dumbocrats.

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  14. jackey says:

    It’s about time the Stones joined the rest of us in condemning the Neo-Con-Zionist traitors that have
    destroyed our country, killed our young men, and made America the most hated nation on Earth! The only thing that will save your Dick-traitor Bush is another terrorist attack supplied by our old friends at the Mossad with-in days.

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  15. kaz says:

    Fantastic!

    Hypocrite and Full of Shit!

    This is an accurate description of George Bush !

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  16. IDI AMIN DADA says:

    Rock On Stones
    They have free speech just olike others
    They are on of the gretest bands ever
    Theve been singing political sons for decades
    Neo Cons most of America hates you – the world loathes you. When the Democrats win they should ship youn all to Afghanistan and then Osama will deal with you.

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  17. toby928 says:

    “The only thing that will save your Dick-traitor Bush is another terrorist attack supplied by our old friends at the Mossad with-in days.”

    Or another crushing defeat of the Democratic Party at the polls.

    Tob

    1994,1996,1998,2000,2002,2004…Read ’em and weep Chomsky.

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  18. taz says:

    i found in life the loudest critic is the culprit of war

    using music and art to expose and express is a peaceful way

    i am ashamed of the actions of this administration and it’s attempt to strip that right to self expression away
    simply by blinding the spiritually deprived with repeated labels
    and attacking more viciously than any world power

    yet they can’t handle a song

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  19. RipVanRaver says:

    Message to the neo cons: You’re the same type of people that burned people for saying the world was flat and not the center of the universe. Your the same type of people who followed Hitler all the way into the abyss. Your the same type of people that history is riddled with: Life fearing, death fearing, small minded people who hide behind the baddest fascist (and god) you can find to protect you from all that you don’t know or understand. But just like in the past science and reason will mow you down and turn your memory into compost from which enlightenment will once again grow. That is if you and your fearless leader don’t end up blowing up the world first.

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  20. pez says:

    war is not freedom

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  21. David McGraw says:

    It is refreshing to hear that the some of the world’s premier musicians are finally stepping up to the plate. Some of us recall the CSNY classic “Four Dead in Ohio” from 1970 which helped to galvanize opposition to a war 35 years ago. Congratulations to Mick and the Stones! Now are there any bets on if this song will get any airtime whatsoever? This summer I doubt that we will hear. Dare I suggest that the broadcast media congomerates ARE the tin soldiers in Bush’s army? ‘just a thought.

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  22. Harvey says:

    Hopefully this will encourage more musicians to speak up for what they believe in. Music is so disgustingly “safe” now.

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  23. connie light says:

    maybe it’s time some real artists stand up to the real enemies of peace… war never brought any good…
    well, maybe it brough money to those who initiated the war… the neo-cons are definitely not US patriots…
    connie light, Austin, TX

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  24. Hound Dog says:

    Bush is not full of **** or a hypocrite! Bush and his party are war criminals. They have committed crimes against humanity and need to be feared as long as they are in power. These people need to be taken seriously until they are removed, prosecuted, convicted, and executed. Perhaps Sir Jagger should have the courage to ask for the investigation of the crimes of Tony Blair instead. It nevertheless does not hurt if well known musicians spread the news that what war criminals are trying to tell us is only propaganda. It could be a tipping a point but I doubt it is. You see, no free speech in the world is going to overthrow a malicious war criminal. People like that need to hear a knock on the door before they will leave.

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  25. American says:

    I have yet to meet a truly intelligent person who is Republican. The ignorant comments here only underscore this.

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  26. Eddy says:

    I find right-wingers sad because they have trouble tolerating ambiguity and are unable to engage in sophisticated public deliberation. On the other hand, they are our brothers and sisters.

    Consider that Stones fans are likewise your brothers and sisters.

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  27. Jared says:

    Cheers to Mick and crew for writing something good! Who knows? Maybe the music will got well too and it’ll hit number 1 on the charts.

    Now that would make me happy (and lots of others very “annoyed”).

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  28. robert says:

    WELL, HIGH TIDE AND GREEN ASS KMART SHOPPERS..OH TIME IS NOT ON THE REPUBLICANS SIDE…AND I WOULD THINK THAT DESPITE THEIR AGE..YOU THINK THEY DON’T CARE AND DINT SEE WHAT THE IDIOT FROM TEXAS AND HIS FAT TOAD HAVE DONE TO MY COUNTRY OF IDIOTS WHO ACTUALLY VOTED THE DEMONS IN?? AND THE IDIOTS SEND MONEY TO GOOD OLD SENILE PAT….WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE? I DO REMEMBER WHEN THE STONES WERE ON THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE..THAT WAS DEAN MARTINS SHOW..HE THOUGHT THEY WERE A NO TALENT BAND..A JOKE..HEY AND RAQUEL WELCH..AND THOSE LEGS..MY FIRST HARD ON..THATS WHY I ALWAYS WATCHED..SHE WAS THE BILLBOARD GIRL..THINK OLD DEAN WAS A DUMB GREASE BALL..AFTER ALL?? AND WHO STILL RULES AFTER 43 YEARS..? AND I STILL CANT GET NO SATISFACTION..THE DAY THEY KILLED KENNEDY..THE DAY THEY STOLE MY COUNTRY..BUT YOU ALL KNOW THAT BY NOW..OR DO YA?ITS ONLY ROCK AND ROLL..BUT I STILL LUVE IT. THANKS MICK AND KEITH..BUSH COULDN’T PLAY A NOTE TO YA..BUT HE LIKES SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL.

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  29. Steve says:

    It’s so pathetic the way artists and entertainers avoid speaking out just because they’re afraid of alienating their markets (then again I suppose a large segment of them are just spoiled, amoral and clueless–Paris Hilton comes to mind). I really admire the ones like Michael Moore who spoke out early on, when it was a huge risk (and he has paid the heavy price of the corporate media’s smear, demonize, and ridicule campaign for his courage). It’s nice to see the Stones have some integrity at this point.

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