Neil Young Will Never Let Donald Trump Use His Music At Rallies

Neil Young’s song “Rockin’ in The Free World” remains a classic rock standard among radio stations, and it’s been the center of attention this week after its use at a Donald Trump rally.

According to Metro, Young had to clear up misconceptions that he was in favor of the New York billionaire using the song during one of Trump’s rallies. He made himself quite clear that he is opposed to Trump using his music in a Facebook post on Saturday that ran with the headline, “YOUNG CONTINUES TO DENY TRUMP PERMISSION TO USE HIS MUSIC.”

“When I discovered that the candidate first used my song at his campaign launch, my management called his office and immediately requested he stop,” wrote Young. “We thought he had. But now, unfortunately, I understand he is still using it.”

Further, Young said that when his management asked Trump to stop using his music, Trump insulted him and released a photo of the two of them “to further mislead the public.”

“The picture was taken when I visited his office while conducting various meetings with potential investors for my amazing sounding music company Pono, many months prior to his decision to become a candidate,” said Young.

Along with the post, the Canadian rocker shared a short video where onstage he shouted, “F**k you, Donald Trump!”

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Donald Trump at a rally in Tampa, Fla. [Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images]
The controversy surrounding Neil Young’s classic song stems from a May 24 Reuters article, where it was alleged that he had no problem with Donald Trump using it, despite a note from his management saying that Trump wasn’t authorized to do so.

“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,” said Young, at the time.

He continued, “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.”

Young further called the Reuters report “purposely misleading” and compared it to tabloid reporting. He also shared the lyrics of “Rockin’ in The Free World” and continued to show support for Bernie Sanders.

“I still support the issue focused, straight shooter Bernie Sanders, in my opinion, the best person for the job, hands down,” he wrote. “I do not endorse hate, bigotry, childish name calling, the superficiality of celebrity or ignorance.”

Olivia Waring of Metro, found it ironic that Trump would pick Young’s song because it was about “the plight of America’s poorest citizens and the futility of war.”

NME reported that in late May, Neil Young appeared on Late Night with Stephen Colbert and clarified his comments from Reuters. He noted that even if Trump may legally be allowed to use his music, he still wasn’t thrilled about it.

“I didn’t like that idea because of the misogyny and the racism,” said Young, who also shared his enthusiasm for the Presidential election, despite not being a U.S. citizen.

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Neil Young and Chris Stills performing onstage at the 4th Annual Light Up The Blues at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. [Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Autism Speaks]
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the singer/songwriter spoke about the Presidential candidates and said that while he thought Hillary Clinton has experience, he called Bernie Sanders “the one.”

“I agree with his message, and my way of thinking is more important to me than whether the media thinks Bernie Sanders has a chance at winning. So many people love him,” said Young.

Neil Young also called Donald Trump “an interesting guy” and jokingly said there may not be room at the Canadian border if Trump wins.

“Parts of his personality and his upbringing are like George [W.] Bush, insomuch as you can’t tell if he really believes what he’s saying,” said Young.

[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]

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