Neil Young Vs Trump

Neil Young isn’t too happy about Donald Trump using “Rockin’ In The Free World” to launch his campaign for the Republican presidential ticket.  But “The Donald” doesn’t seem to be worried about incurring the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s wrath.

Yes, it’s that time again when those hoping to find a new four-year home in the White House are out stumping, often to the tune of a popular song.

And artists take notice when one of their songs is used by someone whose politics don’t necessarily mesh with the performer.  John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne and Tom Petty are just a few of the songwriters who have objected to their songs being used in political campaigns.

Now Trump entered the song fray.  Yesterday, the incredibly rich real estate developer announced his run for the Republican ticket during a media event at Trump Tower in Manhattan.  Of course, one needs music for such a momentous occasion, and someone in the Trump camp must have felt “Rockin’ In The Free World” was the right tune for the right time.

Young’s manager at Lookout Management fired off an announcement decrying the song’s use.

“Donald Trump was not authorized to use ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ in his presidential candidacy announcement,” Lookout Management said in the statement.  “Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America.”

So it looks as if Young may have won the battle.  For now.

“Through a license agreement with ASCAP, Mr. Trump’s campaign paid for and obtained the legal right to use Neil Young’s recording of ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ at today’s event,” a  Turmp organizer said, according to Variety.  “Nevertheless, we won’t be using it again – there are plenty of songs to choose from. Despite Neil’s differing political views, Mr. Trump likes Neil very much.”

Photo: Richard Drew/AP
Announcing he will run for president of the United States, in the lobby of Trump Tower, New York.

Now it’s just a matter of time before Trump selects another song.  Any suggestions?