Neil Young and wife Daryl Hannah have released a new live video of Young performing Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young staple “Ohio.” Just a week before the midterm elections, the duo is releasing the video to encourage “common-sense gun laws.”
The video opens with Young, alone on stage, telling the legendary story behind the creation of “Ohio.” A track brought on by the Kent State Massacre of 1970—in which four students protesting the Vietnam War were killed by the Ohio National Guard—Young describes the moment that he realized “how it’s all changed” before easing into the famed guitar riff that weaves throughout the historic protest song.
With instrumentation just as biting as the original recording, despite being drastically scaled back, Young’s live performance is backed visually by infamous shots of the tragedy at Kent State. Voiceovers of broadcasters reporting on recent school shootings join Young’s music as the visual transforms, eventually accompanying the newscasts with footage from the events. It’s a poignant comparison and Young’s message is clear.
On his website, Young released a statement on the release.
“Today we see what we have become,” said Young. “Today’s students are brave, demanding change in violent times. We stand with them. They are us. We are them.”
Young has been touring the U.S. over the past few months, performing an ever-shifting set list. However, he’s made time for “Ohio” at each stop.
“Support the students. Support our children. They want protection,” he continued. “Give us common sense gun laws that protect our people, in schools, in places of worship, in the workplace and on the streets. VOTE.”
Check out the video below and revisit a 1970 full-band performance of the track from the Paste archives further down.