Artist News

Neil Young’s perfectly happy for Donald Trump to use his music after all

By | Published on Wednesday 25 May 2016

Donald Trump & Neil Young

Right, so despite all that shouting and lengthy statement giving a year ago, Neil Young now says he’s not bothered if Donald Trump uses ‘Rockin In The Free World’ at his campaign rallies. Which means we’ll have to update our list.

In a new interview with Reuters, Young says that he was just miffed that Trump hadn’t asked first before using the song last year. “The fact that I said I was for Bernie Sanders and then he didn’t ask me to use ‘Rockin In The Free World’ doesn’t mean that he can’t use it”, he said.

“He actually got a licence to use it [from ASCAP]”, he continued. “I mean, he said he did and I believe him. So I’ve got nothing against him. You know, once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything. But if the artist who made it is saying you never spoke to them, if that means something to you, you probably will stop playing it. And it meant something to Donald and he stopped“.

Trump didn’t so much get a specific licence for Young’s song as use the blanket licence available from collecting societies for such events, but whatever. You heard the man, you can use his songs for anything you like, so long as you mention it to him first. I can foresee no instance where that policy might become problematic.