There are some things that are tough to watch—or to listen to. In the case of a new video of Secretary of State Antony Blinken trying to play rock ‘n roll on a bright red guitar, it’s definitely both. 


On a previously unannounced trip to war-torn Ukraine, Blinken showed up at the watering hole Barman Dictat and took to the stage with local Ukrainian rock band 19.99. Before hitting the chords, though, he had some words for the crowd:

And listen, I know this is a really, really difficult time.

Your soldiers, your citizens, particularly in the northeast in Kharkiv, are suffering tremendously. But they need to know, you need to know, the United States is with you, so much of the world is with you. And they’re fighting not just for a free Ukraine but for the free world, and the free world is with you too.

Then he launched into Neil Young’s 1989 rebellious classic rock tune “Rockin’ in the Free World.” Now let me just say that I give a man points for trying—I’ve tried to master the fretboard forever but can never seem to get that good at it, and putting yourself onstage to play in front of an audience does take some cojones.

But that doesn’t mean it’s good:

His guitar playing isn’t bad actually, but his singing voice… ahem. No. One social media commenter pointed out that he plays the axe better than he does some other things:


RedState’s Bonchie and Susie Moore were less than impressed:

It might be better for the country if Blinken did give up his day job to pursue music, although I doubt it’d be good for the music industry.

Earlier in the day, the Secretary had touted the $60 billion aid package recently passed by Congress and pledged America’s full support as Ukraine battles Russia.

The choice of “Rockin’ in the Free World” is an interesting one, since Blinken works for the most anti-freedom administration in perhaps American history. Even as he’s singing in Ukraine, Biden’s chief political rival sits in a courtroom most days in a show trial seemingly straight out of the Soviet Union that observers on both sides of the aisle agree is purely political.


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Meanwhile, the Biden regime has sicced the Department of Justice against Trump and their other perceived enemies while (successfully) pressuring Big Tech to censor the views of anyone (including RedState) who doesn’t agree with their approved thought. Democrats are also hell-bent on taking guns away from law-abiding Americans while simultaneously throwing law and order out the window. Many in big cities don’t feel like they live in a “free world,” because they’re scared to leave their houses.


Zelensky, meanwhile, may be in a fight for his life, but he also consolidated Ukrainian TV outlets into one state station and dissolved rival political parties. Doesn’t sound like a free world to me.

Ironically, Neil Young’s song bashes then-president George H.W. Bush, Ayatollah Khomeini, and homelessness, among other grievances, and when it came out it reminded some of the more political, angry, rebellious rock and roll of the late ’60s. It became a staple anthem for those outraged by “the system.”

But what’s funny is, like so many musical artists and Hollywood stars who used to be edgy, he turned into yet another conforming leftist who spouts from the same playbook as the rest of them. To wit, he boycotted Spotify for two years because they wouldn’t censor Joe Rogan. Some rebel.

That being said, Young’s version was actually catchy if cacophonous, and the guitar solo somehow works despite it seemingly being one note played over and over. I’m sure there are plenty of folks who think it’s terrible, but there’s far worse music out there: