He might not be a Southern Man, but Neil Young doesn’t want Donald Trump around his music anyhow.
Truthfully, it was a mismatched pairing from the start.
Descending down an escalator that will match his position in the polls in the US, Donald Trump decided to go with Young’s classic song when making his not-at-all-surprising announcement Tuesday that he was running for president. While the late night talk shows went completely insane – look up the Daily Show clip if you missed it – Young politely (not really) demanded that not happen again.
While stating he’s glad that his music is universally appreciated, even by people who don’t share his politics, Young took to Facebook to make his point.
“I am Canadian and I don’t vote in the United States, but more importantly I don’t like the current political system in the USA and some other countries,” he wrote. “Increasingly Democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests. The money needed to run for office, the money spent on lobbying by special interests, the ever increasing economic disparity and the well funded legislative decisions all favor corporate interests over the people’s.”
He added that “The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling is proof of this corruption as well as are the proposed trade deals which would further compromise our rights.
“These Corporations were originally created to serve us but if we don’t appropriately prioritize they will destroy us. Corporations don’t have children. They don’t have feelings or soul. They don’t depend on uncontaminated water, clean air or healthy food to survive. They are beholden to one thing – the bottom line.”
Without referring to Young’s statement, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign said he would respect Young’s wishes and stop using the song, but remains a fan of Young’s music.
In the meantime, Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi has compiled a list of the 47 funniest things about Trump as listed by his Twitter followers. Included on the list:
“His commitment to overcomb any obstacle”
“It’s like that earwig thing from Wrath of Khan”
“He looks like someone turned Conan O’Brien upside down.”
Meanwhile, the Future of Music Foundation said Trump’s first offense was not asking Young’s permission to use the song.
“Licensing for public events like rallies is relatively straightforward,” writes FOM staffers Kevin Erickson and Bryce Cashman.
“When a song is played at a rally, a candidate must ensure that they have a public performance license covering the song. Most major public venues (arenas, conference centers, hotels, etc) typically purchase blanket licenses from performance rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) allowing campaigns to “publicly perform” any song in their repertoire of which includes the vast majority of compositions; these licenses may not cover all uses so campaigns can also purchase their own blanket licenses. Indeed, Trump’s team asserted that they had such a license from Young’s preferred performance rights organization, ASCAP, clearing the use of the song.”
However, even if a candidate had received a blanket license to play a song, “Candidates could still face potential legal action from annoyed artists under legal provisions unrelated to copyright, such as right of publicity, trademark dilution under the Lanham Act, or false endorsement.”