Neil Young Blasts Donald Trump For Using His Songs At Mount Rushmore Event, ‘This Is NOT OK With Me’

Neil Young performs at Harvest Moon: A Gathering to benefit The Painted Turtle
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Rocker Neil Young is not at all happy with President Donald Trump using his song “Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World” and others at his Mount Rushmore rally on Friday night, HuffPost reported. It’s the latest in an ever-growing list of incidents in which a politician has used a musician’s work at a political rally without their permission or approval.

Trump actually played three Neil Young songs at the South Dakota event: “Like A Hurricane,” “Cowgirl in the Sand,” and the aforementioned “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

Young, through his Twitter account, made it clear that he’d rather Trump hadn’t played any of his songs at the Mount Rushmore rally or any future rally.

“This is NOT ok with me,” he tweeted, along with a video of one of his songs being played at the event.

In another tweet, also accompanied by a video of one of his songs being played before the rally, he referenced the fact that some area tribal leaders believe the Mount Rushmore monument is on sacred land.

“I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me,” he said.

KEYSTONE, SOUTH DAKOTA - JULY 03: Fireworks light up the sky above Mount Rushmore National Monument on July 03, 2020 near Keystone, South Dakota. President Donald Trump spoke before the start of the fireworks display, the first at the monument in about a decade. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
  Scott Olson / Getty Images

In fact, Young has specifically taken aim at Trump using his songs in the past, including “Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World.”

In January of this year, Young called Trump a “disgrace to my country” in an open letter to the president.

“‘Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World’ is not a song you can trot out at one of your rallies,” Young said at the time.

Young had also told Trump not to use his music at his rallies back in 2016, as well.

It was the second time in two weeks that a song played at a Trump rally raised the objections of the performer. At Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June, Tom Petty’s song “I Won’t Back Down” was played for the audience.

Petty’s family sent Trump a cease-and-desist letter, telling the president that the family collectively “stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate,” as Rolling Stone reported.

So, can Young, or any artist, legally prevent Trump, or any politician, from using their music at their campaign events? Probably not, according to Entertainment Weekly. Effectively, the facility hosting the event pays for a public performance license that allows them to play any song covered by the license.

However, in almost all cases in the history of politics in which an artist has asked a politician to stop playing their music, the politician has complied, rather than battle things out in court.

As for Neil Young, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Canadian-born rock star recently became an American citizen specifically so he can vote against Donald Trump.