Neil Young attends his opening night reception for "Special Deluxe" at Robert Berman Gallery on Nov. 3, 2014 in Santa Monica, Calif.
Chelsea Lauren—Getty Images
By Tessa Berenson
September 27, 2015

Neil Young appeared at a dinner event at the Nantucket Project Saturday night to speak about his music. But as with most interviews these days, there had to be at least one question about Donald Trump.

As attendees sipped wine and the aging rocker drank a beer onstage in a tent by the Nantucket waterfront, the interviewer asked the musician what he thought of Trump using his song “Rockin’ In The Free World” on the campaign trail.

“Well, it was a surprise,” Young said to laughter from the audience.

“Donald Trump is Donald Trump, and I don’t dislike Donald,” he said. “I don’t agree with his policies … But Bernie [Sanders] has been using it now. Donald just never asked me, that’s all. If he’d asked me I would have said, you know, I really like Bernie. But he didn’t ask me. It’s OK.”

But then Young said that he and the business mogul actually had met before.

“I had gone to Donald’s office and asked him to finance my company,” he said. Young is developing Pono, a music download service and player focused on high quality audio. “He wasn’t running for president at the time. And I thought maybe trying to rescue the art form of recorded sound would be a great thing for his legacy … So I thought I had a shot. It didn’t work out. But he was very gracious.”

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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