May 25, 2016


Neil Young is Fine With Donald Trump Using His Music on The Campaign Trail

Getty Images
Getty Images

Neil Young is a music icon, an avowed champion of rock 'n' roll counterculture and a die hard Bernie Sanders supporter. But that doesn't mean that he objects to Donald Trump using his music to rally support on the campaign trail. 

Speaking with Reuters on Tuesday (May 24), Young was confronted with a familiar question, which is whether or not the Republican frontrunner has a right to use "Rockin' in the Free World" as his official campaign song. Young, in pretty unusual form, offered the verbal equivalent of a shoulder shrug. 

Young said: 

"He actually got a license to use it...I mean, he said he did and I believe him. So I got nothing against him. You know, once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything."

That's a sharp divergence from earlier this year: In June, when Trump played the song at an event before announcing his demonic presidential bid, Neil Young's reps called for him to stop misappropriating the Canadian folk singer's music. At the time, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said that the campaign had "paid for and obtained the legal right to use" the song, although it would stop, as per Young's wishes. Lewandowski noted that there's "plenty of other songs to choose from," or to painfully misinterpret, depending upon your view.  

During the original fiasco, Young clarified his support for Democrat Bernie Sanders, which apparently hasn't waned. Young—who is a Canadian citizen and will not vote in the November 2016 elections—told Reuters that Sanders is still closest to his heart because "he's the only one talking about the issues, about issues that matter to me."