@realDonaldTrump Just Won’t Learn

Once again, “The” Donald Trump is on the receiving end of an angry letter from a band for using one of their songs without express permission.

This time, the band is Aerosmith. The song? “Dream On.”

No, really.

The current front-runner for the 2016 Republican nomination to be president of the United States, Trump was notified on Saturday of a cease and desist letter from Steven Tyler, frontman for the Boston-based Aerosmith. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tyler’s people told Trump’s people they can no longer use “Dream On” at campaign events, marking not the first but the second time he’s been ordered to pick another tune. The first letter reportedly came in August after an event in Mobile, Alabama.

The kicker is that Tyler was Trump’s guest to a candidates’ debate back in August, and last year Trump attended an Aerosmith show and raved about Tyler’s performance.

This marks at least the third band to warn Trump about using their songs for his campaign. In June, Neil Young angrily called on Trump to stop using “Rockin’ in the Free World”; last month REM bassist Mike Mills called Trump an “orange clown” and demanded he stop using “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” during rallies.

In the latest letter to Trump, the band’s attorneys states that the candidate “does not have our client’s permission to use ‘Dream On’ or any of our client’s other music in connection with the campaign because it gives the false impression that he is connected with or endorses Mr. Trump’s presidential bid.”


Eriq Gardner, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, notes that any performance licenses obtained by Trump’s campaign from ASCAP or BMI might not absolve him of any legal wrongdoing in this situation. In addition to the possible false sense of endorsement, a violation of the Lanham Act “as well as an infringement of Tyler’s publicity rights,” the buddy-buddy relationship between Tyler and Trump might complicate any legal action the band takes against him. 

“The legal warning sent by Tyler’s reps at LaPolt Law also suggests use of ‘Dream On’ could constitute tortious interference as well as a privacy violation,” Gardner writes. “Trump is being given 24 hours to acknowledge receipt of the letter. ‘If Trump for President does not comply with our demands, our client will be forced to pursue any and all legal or equitable remedies which our client may have against you,’ the letter concludes.”

What’s really fun is in a statement released by Tyler’s attorney, Dina LaPolt, it’s noted that Tyler is a “registered Republican.” So, y’know, it’s not a party matter or anything. By the way, at this pace, if Trump stays in the race through the election next November, he’ll have received cease and desist letters from roughly a dozen additional bands. (I did the math.)

For our previous coverage of Trump’s musical woes, read here and here.

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