Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Radio station bans Young after 'Hiroshima' comment

  • Print

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. -- Neil Young can keep on talking in the free world, but Fort McMurray won't be listening.

A local rock radio station stopped playing the Canuck singer's music for a day after he compared the northern Alberta oilsands city to Hiroshima after the atomic bomb.

On-air personality Chris Byrne at Rock 97.9 then asked his listeners if the ban should be extended indefinitely.

Neil supporters were in the majority, but when station staff looked closely at their emails, most came from out of town.

So with local opinion firmly against him, Young has been pulled from the station's playlist. No more Heart of Gold in the heart of the oilsands.

"We're going to continue with our ban," said Byrne, who said he used to play two or three Young tunes a day.

Byrne had declared Wednesday to be a "No Neil" day after a news conference Young held the previous day in Washington, D.C. It was there that he declared Fort McMurray to be a wasteland.

"The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima," said Young, who visited the city earlier this summer. "There's fumes everywhere. You can smell it when you get to town."

About 600 replied to Byrne's survey. About 44 per cent wanted to keep Young on the air, 36 never wanted to hear him again and the rest asked, "Who cares?" or "Who's Neil Young?"

"Rock listeners are pretty apathetic people," said Byrne.

"It takes a lot to get their ire up. But based on the number of emails and voice mails that I've gotten, I don't think ... a topic ... has caused more people to call in or write in than this -- including our MLA getting caught with a prostitute."

People in the city of 76,000 get used to being tarred with the brush of the oilsands, but Young went too far, he said.

"To (put) Fort McMurray on the same level as a nuclear bomb, dropped to end a world war -- when you get to that extreme, you kind of have to get into specifics."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 13, 2013 D2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Tree remover has special connection to Grandma Elm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(  Standup photo)-    A butterfly looks for nector on a lily Tuesday afternoon in Wolseley-JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- June 22, 2010
  • Winnipeg’s best friend the dragon fly takes a break at English Gardens in Assiniboine Park Wednesday- A dragon fly can eat  food equal to its own weight in 30 minutes-Standup photo- June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which of Manitoba's new landlord-tenant rules are you looking forward to most?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google