Neil Young on His Music at Trump's Rally: 'This Is NOT OK With Me' - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music News

Neil Young on His Music at Trump’s Mount Rushmore Rally: ‘This Is NOT OK With Me’

Five years after sparring over “Rockin’ in the Free World,” Freedom song is again played at president’s campaign event

Neil YoungBob Dylan & Neil Young in concert at Hyde Park, London, UK - 12 Jul 2019Neil YoungBob Dylan & Neil Young in concert at Hyde Park, London, UK - 12 Jul 2019

Neil Young has again voiced his disapproval with Trump rallies playing his music following the president's Mount Rushmore event.

Richard Isaac/Shutterstock

Neil Young has again voiced his disapproval of his music featuring at Donald Trump rallies after the rocker’s “Like a Hurricane” and “Rockin’ in the Free World” were played during the president’s Mount Rushmore event Friday night.

“This is NOT ok with me…,” Young tweeted after video of his music being played at the rally surfaced on social media.

“I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me.” The Black Hills, where Mount Rushmore was carved, are sacred to the Lakota Sioux, and a group of Native American protesters attempted to block Trump’s path to the South Dakota rally.

The family of Tom Petty and the Rolling Stones have similarly stated their displeasure with the president, now back on the campaign trail, playing their music at rallies, with the Stones even threatening legal action.

The use of Young’s music at Trump’s Mount Rushmore rally marks the latest chapter in a now-five-year battle between the rocker and Trump over “Rockin’ in the Free World”: In June 2015, after Trump played the Freedom track immediately following announcing his intention to run for president, Young’s rep said that the singer did not authorize the song’s usage and also voiced Young’s support of then-Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.

At the time, Young admitted that the Trump campaign had purchased the license to play “Rockin’ in the Free World” at rallies. “Once the music goes out, anyone can use it for anything,” Young said in May 2016. Trump’s then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski pledged not to play the song again at Trump campaign events, but Young’s music has continued to appear at Trump rallies, despite the singer declaring “Fuck you, Donald Trump” at a 2016 concert.

Recently, Young, now an American citizen, penned an open letter blasting Trump — “You are a disgrace to my country. Your mindless destruction of our shared natural resources, our environment, and our relationships with friends around the world is unforgivable” — and staged a Fireside Sessions concert that featured political songs from his catalog, including a new version of “Lookin’ for a Leader” tailored for Trump’s presidency.

“We had Barack Obama and we really need him now,” Young sang. “The man who stood behind him now has to take his place somehow/America has a leader building walls around our house/Don’t know Black Lives Matter and we gotta vote him out.”


In This Article: Donald Trump, Neil Young


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.