And Finally Artist News

Neil Young still on the anti-Trump list after all

By | Published on Monday 13 June 2016

Donald Trump & Neil Young

Good news for fans of less complicated categorisation, Neil Young is back on the list of musicians unhappy that Donald Trump has used their music in his campaign rallies. In fact, he says, he was never off that list.

In a recent interview with Reuters, Young was quoted as saying: “The fact that I said I was for Bernie Sanders and then he didn’t ask me to use ‘Rockin In The Free World’ doesn’t mean that he can’t use it … You know, once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything. But if the artist who made it is saying you never spoke to them, if that means something to you, you probably will stop playing it. And it meant something to Donald and he stopped”.

But if you read that as Neil Young saying that he was actually fine with Donald Trump using his music, then you’re an idiot. “The headline created by Reuters is titillating and it is purposely misleading, it is not journalism it is tabloid reporting”, says Young in a new Facebook post.

He seems particularly angry because Trump appears to have read the story as Young giving his blessing for his music to be used at the presumed Republican US presidential candidate’s rallies. “When I discovered that the candidate first used my song at his campaign launch, my management called his office and immediately requested he stop”, writes Young. “We thought he had. But now, unfortunately, I understand he is still using it”.

Noting that, of course, direct permission from an artist is not required when playing music at a venue covered by a blanket licence for public performance, Young adds that “I believe using an artists work for a specific politicians campaign represents ‘implied consent'”.

Young continues: “After we asked him to stop using my music, he began hurling insults and then immediately released a photo to the media (again without my permission) to further mislead the public. The picture was taken when I visited his office while conducting various meetings with potential investors for my amazing sounding music company Pono, many months prior to his decision to become a candidate”.

Although, as a Canadian citizen, he is unable to vote in the presidential election, Young reiterated his support for Bernie Sanders, who is still battling Hilary Clinton for the Democrat nomination. “I still support the issue focused, straight shooter Bernie Sanders, in my opinion, the best person for the job, hands down”, he said. “The process is not over until it’s over. I do not endorse hate, bigotry, childish name calling, the superficiality of celebrity or ignorance”.

He closed off the message with a video of himself shouting “Fuck you, Donald Trump” on stage at a recent live show.