Trump’s not Rockin’ in the Free World, insists Neil Young

Republican candidate not authorised to use tune with speech, says singer’s management

 Donald Trump  announces his candidacy for the US presidency at Trump Tower  in New York City. Mr Trump is the 12th Republican who has announced running for the White House. Photograph: Christopher Gregory/Getty Images

Donald Trump announces his candidacy for the US presidency at Trump Tower in New York City. Mr Trump is the 12th Republican who has announced running for the White House. Photograph: Christopher Gregory/Getty Images

 

Canadian rock veteran Neil Young has continued a American tradition of recording artists asking Republican candidates to stop playing their music after Donald Trump used Young’s 1989 song, Rockin’ in the Free World, three times during his US presidential campaign announcement.

 “Donald Trump was not authorised to use Rockin’ in the Free World in his presidential candidacy announcement,” a representative of Young’s Lookout Management said in a statement, according to Rolling Stone.

“Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for president of the United States of America.”

Trump entered and exited to the song during his announcement, and it played briefly in the middle of his speech.

A Trump campaign representative said the campaign had paid for the right to use the song through a licence agreement.

Young is only the latest artist to take issue with what they see as conservative appropriation of their patriotic- sounding anthems.

Michelle Bachmann

In 2011, then-Representative Michele Bachmann, a Republican from Minnesota, was using the Tom Petty song American Girl at her presidential campaign rallies. The artist sent her a letter asking her to stop, Rolling Stone wrote.

It wasn’t Petty’s first Republican rally rodeo. In 2000, he asked then-presidential candidate George W Bush to stop using Won’t Back Down. 

John McCain

In 2008, Jackson Browne sued the GOP for its use of  his song Running on Empty in a campaign advertisement supporting John McCain.

In July, 2009, the Republican Party paid Browne an undisclosed amount and issued a public apology, pledging to respect the rights of artists in the future, Billboard reported.

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin took the stage at the 2008 Republican National Convention to the strains of Heart’s Barracuda. As it turns out, “Sarah Barracuda” was the former vice presidential candidate’s nickname during her days on the basketball team at Wasilla High School.

Heart issued a statement saying Ms Palin did not represent the group’s views and asking her to stop using the song at events, Rolling Stone wrote.

Mitt Romney

  Mitt Romney used the catchy 2010 summer hit Waving Flag during his 2012 bid for the White House until artist K’Naan asked him to stop. 

“I have not been asked for permission by Mitt Romney’s campaign for the use of my song,” the rapper said in a statement, according to MTV News.

“If I had been asked, I would certainly not have granted it. I would happily grant the Obama campaign use of my song without prejudice.”

Ronald Reagan

  Ronald Reagan referred to Bruce Springsteen at a campaign event in the Boss’s native New Jersey.

According to Politico’s retelling of events, Mr Reagan said, “America’s future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts. It rests in the message of hope in the songs of a man so many young Americans admire” - Bruce Springsteen.” In late summer 1984, Mr Reagan likely would have been talking about the songs on Born in the USA, Springsteen’s then recently released and wildly successful album.

 Its chronically misinterpreted title track does not bear a message of hope but addresses disenfranchisement in the wake of the Vietnam War.

 Springsteen pointed this out to the president at the next show on his tour.

Bloomberg