And Finally Artist News

Ozzy Osbourne tells Trump not to use his music, suggests alternatives

By | Published on Monday 1 July 2019

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne have told Donald Trump that he is forbidden from using any of the former’s music, after the US president posted a video on Twitter featuring the track ‘Crazy Train’. They then suggest some other music Trump might like to use instead.

The video showed footage of the first televised debate, on MSNBC, between Democratic Party candidates that are hoping to become the 2020 presidential candidate. The broadcast was hit with technical difficulties, which are shown in the clip. It is then edited (quite badly) to fade to black, before showing Trump at a podium applauding as presenters talking about the technical problems and ‘Crazy Train’ clash underneath.

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne said: “We are sending notice to the Trump campaign (or any other campaigns) that they are forbidden from using any of Ozzy Osbourne’s music in political ads or in any political campaigns. Ozzy’s music cannot be used for any means without approvals”.

This particular clip is technically not an actual campaign video, because it was put together by Carpe Donktum, an “eternally sarcastic meme-smith specialising in the creation of memes to support President Donald J Trump”. So, it wasn’t put together by the Trump campaign at all. But then Trump did tweet it. Does that make it part of a campaign?

Anyway, the Osbournes’ statement went on to namecheck several musicians who have put their weight behind Trump, saying: “Perhaps he should reach out to some of his musician friends. Maybe Kayne West (‘Gold Digger’), Kid Rock (‘I Am The Bullgod’) or Ted Nugent (‘Stranglehold’) will allow use of their music”.

Of course, Trump’s entire political career – even though, relatively speaking, that’s been quite short – has been beset with musicians complaining about him using their music.

Generally this has been at rallies, where his use of this or that pop star’s music is likely covered by the blanket licences of the venues where he speaks. Nevertheless, it has often been suggested that he should just use music by artists who like him. Although that gives the President a very small pool of tracks to choose from, and even those acts who do express support have sometimes objected to having their music directly linked to a campaign.

Also, at this stage, Trump and his campaign team are well aware that using music without asking frequently rubs artists the wrong way. Their complaints then get a lot of press coverage, but actual legal repercussions don’t generally follow. And while there’s the moral argument that politicians shouldn’t grab other people’s art and use it for political purposes, given that Trump got elected with very little moral standing back in 2016, I’m not sure anyone’s that bothered about any of that.