November 1, 2018 12:18 pm

Neil Young re-releases new version of ‘Ohio,’ takes aim at NRA

Neil Young performs as part of the 20th Annual Bridge School Benefit at Shoreline Amphitheatre on Oct. 21, 2006 in Mountain View, Calif.

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Rumoured newlyweds Neil Young and Daryl Hannah released a powerful video targeting the National Rifle Association on Wednesday afternoon. The video features footage from a recent live performance, which included a short speech by Young and footage from gun violence protests.

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The Canadian icon performed the ’70s protest anthem, Ohio, in light of the recent mass murders in the United States, including the Pittsburgh synagogue and Sante Fe High School shootings.

The original Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tune was released following the National Guard shooting at Kent State University in 1970.

WATCH BELOW: Neil Young’s powerful live performance of the 1970 protest anthem, Ohio

READ MORE: Neil Young to NRA spokesperson: ‘Why doesn’t she just shoot me?’

Young wrote on his official website that he hopes the video will encourage Americans to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, which take place on Nov. 6.

He has been very vocal about his political opinions and is an anti-NRA advocate, and wants his new Ohio recording to help change American gun laws.

“With no real laws protecting us from guns, and with politicians supporting the NRA because the NRA supports them, we are not well represented,” he said.

He advocates protection for all people, including “schools, places of worship and people on the streets.”

“Today’s students are brave, demanding change in violent times. We stand with them. They are us. We are them. This has been going on for too long. My wife and I put this video together for you to reflect on. Support the students. Support our children. They want protection. Not more guns. Vote!”

(L-R) Neil Young, David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young pose for a composite publicity photo circa 1970.

Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

READ MORE: Neil Young, Joni Mitchell lost concert recordings uncovered by archivists

In his performance, Young reflected upon when Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young heard the news of the fatal 1970 shooting.

“We were overcome with grief and sadness,” he said. “We realized how much had changed.”

For those unaware, on May 4, 1970, four students attending Kent State University were shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard following a protest against the Vietnam War. The militia opened fire and critically injured nine other students.

Ohio was written immediately after the supergroup saw a story about the shooting. Young described the massacre as a pivotal moment for him.

Neil Young performs during the 30th Anniversary Bridge School Benefit Concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre on Oct. 23, 2016 in Mountain View, Calif.

C Flanigan / FilmMagic

READ MORE: Neil Young declares ‘Canada is back’ with Liberals in charge

As of this writing, there are no upcoming plans or tour dates for the rocker. Young concluded his 2018 solo tour in Philadelphia on Oct. 1.

His full statement regarding the re-release of Ohio is available to read in the Neil Young Archives.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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