Earlier today, billionaire reality tv star and operator of his own Twitter parody account, Donald Trump announced his bid for the the Presidency of the United States and did so by strutting out on stage to Neil Young‘s 1989 rock anthem Rockin’ in the Free World. Now it seems that Young is not very pleased about it.
In a scene straight out of a the Marvel universe, Trump took to the stage at his very own Trump Towers today as the rock anthem blared and, in an hourlong ceremony, announced to the world that he was seeking the Republican nomination for the US Presidency, for the fifth time.
Turns out though that old mate Trump skipped that whole “getting permission” step to use Young’s song, which was an odd choice anyway for a conservative candidate given that it was actually written as a critique of the George H. W. Bush Republican administration, and featured in the end credits of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.
As a supporter of leftie Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders, and as a Canadian, Young was not happy about the whole thing.
“Donald Trump was not authorized to use ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ in his presidential candidacy announcement,” said an official statement from Young’s management. “Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America.”
Even Young’s former Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmate David Crosby weighed in on the controversy, tweeting “Trump has picked a fight with the wrong guy …bad idea”.
According to Variety, Trump’s campaign dispute those claims and say they did secure permission to use the song. “Through a license agreement with ASCAP, Mr. Trump’s campaign paid for and obtained the legal right to use Neil Young’s recording of ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ at today’s event,” a campaign spokeswoman said.
“Mr. Trump is a huge fan of Neil Young and his music and will continue to be regardless of Neil’s political views.”
It’s worth noting though, as Billboard points out, that this is hardly the first time Rockin’ In The Free World has been misappropriated, given that it became the unofficial anthem for the collapse of communism after it was released in 1989.
Have a listen to the song in question below, then enjoy a selection of the internet’s reaction to Donald Trump’s presidential announcement.
Watch: Neil Young – Rockin’ In The Free World
— David Crosby (@thedavidcrosby) June 16, 2015
A tiny, tiny part of me wants to see what Donald Trump is like as President, for the laughs… from my house in Canada.
— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) June 17, 2015
— The Sixth Spence (@Todd_Spence) June 16, 2015
— Mike Thomsen (@mikethomsen) June 16, 2015