Rock legend Neil Young has written and recorded a song about the passengers who fought back against their Sept. 11 hijackers – a song described by one record company executive “as so chilling you feel like you are on that plane.”
The song, a salute to heroism called “Let’s Roll,” was shipped to radio stations this week but will not be sold in stores, Young’s recording company Reprise Records said Wednesday.
It was inspired by the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11 who apparently decided to fight back against their hijackers after hearing by telephone of the three suicide plane attacks earlier that day on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
Flight 93 crashed into a Pennsylvania field shortly after passenger Todd Beamer was heard on an onboard phone telling fellow passengers “Let’s Roll”.
Young wrote the song after reading a newspaper article about Beamer and recorded it two weeks ago. It was sent out to radio stations around the nation and is now getting airplay.
“It’s a Neil Young song all the way. It starts kinda ominously. You can hear cell phones ringing,” said Reprise spokesman Bill Bentley.
“I got the chills when I heard it. You feel like you are on that plane,” Bentley said.
Bentley said the song would not be available commercially, although it may appear on Young’s next album, which is due out in February or March.
“Neil felt this song, and wanted it to be heard. But he thought that commercializing it would be the wrong way to go,” he said.
“Let’s Roll” joins a number of charity singles and re-releases of patriotic songs following the Sept. 11 attacks, including new recordings by Michael Jackson and former Beatle Paul McCartney.