Donald Trump has come under fire a few times for using songs without permission or payment in his campaign. Musicians are kind of protective of their material and picky about which politicians they allow to use it. Trump appears not to give a damn and uses whatever he likes, drawing ire and cease & desist orders.
First, he used Neil Young’s “Rocking In The Free World” when he announced his candidacy last year. Young, who is a Bernie Sanders supporter and an avowed liberal, told Trump to stop. Then British singer Adele had to tell Trump to stop using her songs, “Rolling In The Deep” and Skyfall.”
At the GOP convention, Trump played the anthemic, “We Are The Champions” by Queen as his entrance music on the first night, before introducing his wife. That didn’t sit well with the remaining members of the band, who issued a cease & desist letter. And on the last night of the convention, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” played as balloons dropped. The Rolling Stones, who had demanded Trump stop using their music in May, were not happy.
Trump also used R.E.M.’s “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” before an appearance at a rally against the Iranian nuclear deal last year. Really. John Oliver, in a July 24th segment of Last Week Tonight, noted:
That is just too perfect. Trump may as well have been riding out on stage with the three other horsemen of the apocalypse.
Oliver then recited a litany of artists whose songs had been used without permission or who asked for their work not to be used. Heart, John Mellencamp, Survivor, Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper and Bruce Springsteen have all heard their music play in association with something they don’t agree with. It is their prerogative to bar their work from being used in such a fashion. Always.
This happens every election, Oliver points out. And it is time for the artists to come together to put a stop to it. In this brilliant video, the artists explain the best way they know how, why they don’t want their music appropriated by political campaigns. Even Trump should be able to understand this.
See if you can name all of these artists. Enjoy!
Featured Image via Screen Capture