Web Only / Features » June 22, 2015
Neil Young: Donald Trump Shouldn’t Use My Music. Bernie Sanders Can, Though
Young managed to decry Trump’s use of his song, lament rising inequality and endorse Sanders all at the same time.
Last week Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign. While riding down an escalator into a crowd of supporters—some of whom were paid to be there—Trump chose to play Neil Young’s song “Rockin’ in the Free World” during his entrance.
Neil Young immediately released a statement arguing that Trump did not ask for permission to use the song and even if he had, Young would not have allowed him to use the song. Trump’s campaign fought back, claiming that they had paid the ASCAP and BMI rights to use the song.
That didn’t placate Young. His manager released a statement to Mother Jones quoting that, “Donald Trump’s use of ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ was not authorized. Mr. Young is a longtime supporter of Bernie Sanders.”
Consequently, Sanders used the song as he entered a rally in Denver yesterday and focused his passionate speech on the greed of the ultra-rich. There was an overflow crowd of over 5,000 supporters (none of which seem to have been paid to attend).
Young has long been known to push unabashedly progressive themes through his music and used his statement against Trump to say, “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.”
Young has always been socially and politically active, even using “Rockin’ in the Free World” as a criticism of George H. W. Bush. Next week, Young’s new album The Monsanto Years will be released, featuring hyper-political critiques of the food industry including Monsanto, Chevron, Starbucks and of course, Walmart.
What do you want to see from our coverage of the 2020 presidential candidates?
As our editorial team maps our plan for how to cover the 2020 Democratic primary, we want to hear from you:
It only takes a minute to answer this short, three-question survey, but your input will help shape our coverage for months to come. That’s why we want to make sure you have a chance to share your thoughts.
Lauren Gaynor is a Summer 2015 In These Times editorial intern. She is a senior English and Professional Writing major at Michigan State University and enjoys theater, music and everything that Chicago has to offer.
if you like this, check out:
- Sanders and Warren Released Criminal Justice Plans This Week. Here’s What’s Good, Bad and Missing.
- Bernie Sanders Calls To Seize the Means of Electricity Production
- Bernie Sanders’ Labor Plan Could Put a Union in Every Workplace in America
- At First-Ever Native American Presidential Forum, Candidates Answer to Centuries of Injustice
- When ICE Comes for Their Neighbors, These Community Defense Brigades Will Be Ready