"I’m not telling people what to do or think, the government is doing a great job of that already," the 75-year-old singer said in a statement announcing the protest anthems. "It’s about freedom of choice, I believe people should have the right to think for themselves.”
Morrison has been campaigning for a re-opening of performance venues at full capacity, with the statement noting that he "feels strongly" that the ongoing lockdown presents an existential threat to the future of live music venues. The U.K. has allowed some socially distanced gigs since Aug. 1, but, as in the U.S., there have been few other shows since the pandemic caused a worldwide lockdown in March.
Proceeds from "Stand and Deliver" will benefit Morrison’s Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, which aims to assist musicians who are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, Variety reports.
“There are many of us who support Van and his endeavors to save live music; he is an inspiration,” Clapton said in a statement to Variety. “We must stand up and be counted because we need to find a way out of this mess. The alternative is not worth thinking about. Live music might never recover.”
Hear a snippet of Morrison and Clapton's "Stand and Deliver" below.