Neil Young Pens Letter to Trump Over Use of His Music

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In the hours following President Trump’s unauthorized use of several of his “Rockin’ in the Free World” and other songs at a July 3 rally at Mount Rushmore, Neil Young tweeted “This is NOT ok with me.” On July 6, the musician posted “A Letter to President Trump” on his website, Neil Young Archives.

The exchange followed a similar response from Tom Petty’s estate when “I Won’t Back Down” was played at the President’s rally in Oklahoma on June 20.

Young’s note was dripping with sarcasm. “I know you will do your best for all Americans,” he wrote, “regardless of political leanings. I give you my encouragement in your efforts to Unify America.”

The musician became an American citizen earlier this year.

The organizers of Pres. Trump’s rallies continue to use classic rock anthems from the Rolling Stones, as well, despite the left-leaning artists’ repeated cease-and-desist notices. At the Oklahoma rally, the Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was played as the walk-off song.

Young’s “A Letter to President Trump”:

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.

Because you are in charge of the Covid 19 response here in the USA, I will not sue you, (as certainly is my right) potentially distracting from your important work at hand protecting and saving American lives. With the enormous power you wield on our behalf, I wish you all the best in your critical battle to save American souls from this threat. I know you will do your best for all Americans, regardless of political leanings. I give you my encouragement in your efforts to Unify America.

I suggest you listen to my song ‘Looking For a Leader 2020,” available on my website, neilyoungarchives.com as part of a work I recently completed with my wife- ‘The Porch Episode,’ as I believe it would be an interesting addition to your next rally.

With respect for your office,
Neil Young

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  1. MILES BEYOND
    #1 MILES BEYOND 9 July, 2020, 21:13

    OK. Checked out a couple of videos from the Musicians Hall of Fame featuring Neil talking about his influences, guitars, nuances of his playing style and the gear he’s owned over the years. Fascinating for this fan to see. The real bummer about Classic Rock artists is that anything they do in the political arena now seems to overshadow the real reason they got our attention in the first place. The first thing that pops into your head now when a favorite tune comes on is “Oh yeah- I forgot about that political thing they did.” So you try ignore it, but it’s there. The sad thing is, their music is not central to the media’s interest anymore. They’re only accumulating political ammo. Otherwise,you might not see any mention of some acts at all.

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