Neil Young: ‘I Should Have Been Asked About Donald Trump Song’
The veteran musician became headline news this week when he released a statement distancing himself from The Apprentice star after the rock anthem was played during a press conference on Tuesday, June 16th, when Trump announced himself as a candidate for the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Young’s statement alleged Trump was “not authorized” to use Rockin’ In the Free World, but the business mogul’s team subsequently hit back, insisting they “paid for and obtained the legal right” to play it.
“Through a license agreement with ASCAP, Mr. Trump’s campaign paid for and obtained the legal right to use Neil Young’s recording of ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ at today’s event,” said a spokesperson for the Trump campaign. “Mr. Trump is a huge fan of Neil Young and his music and will continue to be regardless of Neil’s political views The rocker has now shared a lengthy essay on the subject in which he insists he should be allowed to decide who is granted the right to use his songs. In the letter, which was posted on his Facebook.com page, Young writes, “My song Rockin’ in the Free World was used in a (sic) announcement for a U.S. presidential candidate without my permission… Music is a universal language. So I am glad that so many people with varying beliefs get enjoyment from my music, even if they don’t share my beliefs. But had I been asked to allow my music to be used for a candidate – I would have said no.” Young, who is a longtime activist, goes on to declare he would deny all politicians the chance to use his music, not just Trump, because he wants to distance himself from both authorities and big businesses. He adds, “I don’t like the current political system in the USA… Increasingly Democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests. The money needed to run for office… (They) all favor corporate interests over the people’s… I do not trust politicians who are taking millions from those corporations either. I trust people. So I make my music for people not for candidates. Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World. Neil Young.”