Neil Young

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Neil Young is suing Donald Trump over use of his music at campaign rallies
Neil Young in 2011
Neil Young in 2011 Credit: Ross from hamilton on, Canada / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Neil Young has filed a claim in US federal court in the Southern District of New York against Donald Trump for copyright infringement over the use of his music at Trump's campaign rallies, which the artist refers to as a "campaign of ignorance and hate". The lawsuit further names two songs specifically: "Rockin' In The Free World" and "Devil's Sidewalk" that both have been used "numerous times at rallies and political events for the entertainment and amusement of those attending those rallies and political events."

"This complaint is not intended to disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing. However, [Young] in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate," so the complaint.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Neil Young publishes open letter to Donald Trump
Neil Young performing with Paul McCartney on October 8, 2016
Neil Young performing with Paul McCartney on October 8, 2016 Credit: Raph_PH / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Neil Young, who previously voiced his aversion over the president's usage of his music, has published an open letter to Donald Trump on the official Neil Young Archives website.

Young writes: "Dear Mr. President: Although I have repeatedly asked you to please not use my music because it indicates that I support your agenda, you have always played my songs anyway at your gatherings, with no regard for my rights, even calling me names on twitter. I did notice that you played my music at your latest rally in Dakota despite my previous requests."

Young, who has condemned Trump and his actions on multiple occasions, further states that he wouldn't sue Trump as he was in charge of the Covid-19 response and wouldn't want to distract him from "protecting and saving American lives". He ends the letter with the suggestion that Trump might listen to his song "Looking For a Leader 2020," as Young believes "it would be an interesting addition to your next rally."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Neil Young tweets "This is NOT ok with me" regarding Trump using his songs
Neil Young tweets "This is NOT ok with me" regarding Trump using his songs
Credit: Raph_PH / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

A tweet by @NeilYoungNYA retweeted a video of footage of Trump's visit to Mount Rushmore, adding "This is NOT ok with me." He later added a second Tweet, stating "I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me." Trump played three Neil Young songs during his speech at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

"Donald Trump was not authorised to use ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ in his presidential candidacy announcement," so an official statement from Neil Young's management.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Tom Petty family issues cease and desist notice against the Trump campaign
Tom Petty
Tom Petty Credit: Takahiro Kyono (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Tom Petty's family issued a cease and desist notice against the Trump campaign for using the song "I Won't Back Down" the president's Tulsa rally on Saturday.

In a tweet, the Petty family stated: "Trump was in no way authorised to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,"

The Trump campaign received other cease and desist notices from musicians, including R.E.M., Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Neil Young.