Neil Young wants everyone to know that he does not support Donald Trump, and recently dissed the Republican candidate during a performance of “Rockin’ in the Free World.” The song is the very one that Young took issue with Trump using during rallies.
Young even sung a few lines of “Rockin’ in the Free World” and then yelled “F*ck you, Donald Trump,” into the microphone in a video of a recent performance.
Young also wrote in a Facebook post as reported by Billboard, “When I discovered that the candidate first used my song at his campaign launch, my management called his office and immediately requested he stop. We thought he had. But now, unfortunately, I understand he is still using it.”
“Though there is a considerable legal difference between obtaining music rights for commercial use and obtaining a license for public venues (When licensing music for public events - artists permission is not required) I believe using an artists work for a specific politicians."
Reuters had published an article last month which asserted that Young was OK with Trump playing his music at rallies. Young later retracted the Reuters statement by asserted that he does not “endorse hate, bigotry, childish name calling, the superficiality of celebrity or ignorance.”
Originally, Young had issued a cease and desist order through a publicist in order to bar Trump from using the song in his campaign. Trump’s campaign reportedly fired back that they had paid ASCAP and BMI for the legal rights, but did stop using it out of respect for the musician. Following the dispute with Trump’s camp, Young granted Bernie Sanders permission to use it at his rallies.
Young then went back on the cease and desist order in an interview, saying that “Once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything.”