Neil Young Is ‘NOT Okay With’ Trump’s Use of His Songs at Mt Rushmore Event

Musician has voiced disapproval over use of “Rockin’ in the Free World” in the past

Last Updated: July 4, 2020 @ 10:42 AM

Neil Young has vetoed President Trump’s usage of the rock musician’s songs “Like a Hurricane,” “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Cowgirl in the Sand” at an Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore on Friday.

“This is NOT ok with me,” Young tweeted Friday. He later replied to another user’s tweet about the song’s use, saying, “I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me.”

Young has spoken out before in opposition to Trump’s use of his songs, specifically to his 1989 classic “Rockin’ in the Free World.” In 2015, the musician, who had voiced his support for Bernie Sanders, expressed dismay over Trump’s use of the song on his campaign trail and said that he had not been consulted or asked for permission to use the song.

The Trump campaign insisted that they had gotten the necessary license to use the song, but agreed to stop using it at Young’s request, according to Rolling Stone. Young later walked back his disapproval, telling Reuters in a May 2016 interview that he would have preferred to have been asked personally for permission, but that “once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything.”

In 2018,  however, Young renewed his request to Trump not to use the song, even though he acknowledged that he had no means to stop him.

“DT does not have my permission to use the song ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ at his appearances,” Young wrote on his website in an old post, according to Rolling Stone. “Legally, he has the right to, however it goes against my wishes.”

Representatives for the White House did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the use of the songs on Friday.

The news comes a week after the Rolling Stones partnered with music publishing rights organization Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) to stop Donald Trump and his campaign from using the band’s song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at campaign rallies.

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