Donald Trump is the latest politician to get told off for using a popular song in a campaign without the artist’s permission, with Neil Young now telling the business magnate that he’s not free to use his song “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
The scolding comes after Trump took the stage at Trump Tower on Tuesday to the rock anthem and announced himself as the newest Republican presidential candidate, making for his fifth run ever.
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Since “Rockin’ in the Free World” was written as a critique of the Republican George H. W. Bush administration and how it did not care about America’s poor, you can see why Young wouldn’t be very excited about the conservative multi-billionaire appropriating his tune and misrepresenting its message.
“Donald Trump was not authorized to use ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ in his presidential candidacy announcement,” said an official statement from Young’s camp. “Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America.”
It’s far from the first time Young’s iconic song has seen appropriation. After it came out in 1989, it became an anthem for the collapse of communism.
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Trump’s use of the famously liberal Young’s song raised some eyebrows in the music community, leading Young’s former Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmate David Crosby to check in with his old chum.
On Twitter Tuesday, Crosby verified that Trump did not have permission to use the song and added, “Trump has picked a fight with the wrong guy …bad idea”
@PrezidentTrump @shar418 @SmileyTownz @realDonaldTrump Trump has picked a fight with the wrong guy …bad idea
— David Crosby (@thedavidcrosby) June 16, 2015