It may not be the “End of the World” as Donald Trump as Ted Cruz “Know It,” but it’s probably best for them to quit using R.E.M.’s music. Michael Stipe, the leader of the band, and his former band mates are not exactly the shiniest, happiest, people after right-wing politicians used their music to promote hate. On Wednesday at a “Stop the Iran Deal Rally” hosted by the Tea Party Patriots in front of the U.S. Capitol, the billionaire, racist GOP frontrunner came onstage to the tune of R.E.M.’s “It’s The End Of The World.”
The use of the band’s music at the conservative event, which also featured Senator Ted Cruz, did not go unnoticed by the band’s former frontman Michael Stipe. On behalf of the band’s frontman, who apparently does not tweet, bass guitarist Mike Mills published a series of tweets containing Stipe’s thoughts on the matter:
“Go f*ck yourselves, the lot of you — you sad, attention grabbing, power hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”
Asked by political journalist David Corn if he approved, Mills indicated he doesn’t feel fine about the use of the band’s music:
Shortly afterward, Mills released a more thorough response in which he explained that he is not fond of giving any attention at all to the “Orange Clown” Donald Trump:
“Is orange clown a dig on his tan or hair,” Twitter user Jesse Scott asked in response to the post. Mills answered simply, “Yes.” Other tweets were much less kind, with conservatives setting upon Mills as news spread that the band did not appreciate Trump using their music, but the bass guitarist shut them down masterfully:
In a more official statement, the band reminded the public that there are much larger issues than politicians posturing for attention — but made it clear that they “do not authorize or condone the use of our music at this political event, and do ask that these candidates cease and desist from doing so”:
R.E.M. is not the first musical entity to demand that Trump stop using their music. In June, Neil Young not only condemned Trump’s use of “Rockin’ in the Free World,” but rubbed salt in the wound by informing Trump that he is a “longtime supporter of Bernie Sanders.”
Right-wing bigot superstars Mike Huckabee and Kim Davis may be facing a huge lawsuit after their unauthorized use of “Eye of the Tiger” during Davis’ big “hero moment.” Band co-founder Jim Peternik told Billboard that the use of the song, which has “motivated thousands” over the years, “for the release of Kim Davis does not support my views or my politics.”
Frankie Sullivan, co-writer of the song, says that the band may very well sue. “What upset me most was that, once again, my song was being used to further a political agenda – and no one even bothered to ask for permission,” he explained. Sullivan sued Newt Gingrich in 2012 after the right-wing politician used “Eye of the Tiger” as his entrance theme at rallies. Gingrich settled for an undisclosed amount of money.
“I do not agree with Kim Davis’ stance and do not believe in denying gay rights and the freedom for all individuals to choose the lifestyle they want to live,” Sullivan told Rolling Stone. “Our Constitution, and the words of our Founding Fathers, stand tall for freedom, which is what America is all about. I find it ridiculous in this day and age that this fight against gay marriage has gone on, even after the Supreme Court’s ruling. Let’s stop!”
Now that Trump has lost yet another entrance theme, the questions remains: Who among the musical community is so terrible that they would want to promote Trump?
…excluding country artists, of course.
Featured Image via The Guardian