Neil Young Seemingly Responds To Use Of Beck’s ‘Old Man’ Cover In NFL Ad

Young posted a screenshot from his "This Note's For You" video.

By Scott Bernstein Sep 27, 2022 6:41 am PDT

Neil Young has historically been against corporate sponsorship of his music and rock in general, so eyebrows were raised when Beck's cover of “Old Man” premiered in a commercial for the NFL. For those wondering how and when Young would first respond to the promotional usage of his song, it appears we have an answer.

Young posted a screenshot from the video from his 1988 song “This Note’s For You” on Instagram. The image was used sans caption. Neil addresses his distaste for musicians who sell the rights to their songs for commercial usage in the lyrics to “This Note’s For You” including the verse “Ain’t singin’ for Pepsi, Ain’t singin’ for Coke, I don’t sing for nobody, Makes me look like a joke.” The video for the title track to Young’s 1988 studio album is a parody of both Michelob ads from the period featuring rockers and Michael Jackson’s spot for Pepsi.

Beck released his cover of “Old Man” as a digital single on Monday. However, Beck’s take on the song from Young’s iconic Harvest album first appeared on Sunday in a commercial for next week’s Sunday Night Football game featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The promo combines clips of Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes with footage of Beck performing “Old Man.”

It’s unclear whether Young explicitly gave permission for the “Old Man” cover to be used in the commercial. As Stereogum pointed out, Neil sold half of his song catalog to Hipgnosis Songs Fund last year. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Stereogum reached out to Young’s reps, so stay tuned.

[via Stereogum]

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