UPDATE: Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he will stop using Aerosmith’s “Dream On” at campaign rallies, laying into frontman Steven Tyler in the process. “Even though I have the legal right to use Steven Tyler’s song, he asked me not to,” he wrote. “Have better one to take its place!” Trump added, “Steven Tyler got more publicity on his song request than he’s gotten in ten years. Good for him!”
Donald Trump has already drawn the ire of artists like Neil Young and R.E.M. for using their music at the Republican frontrunner’s campaign stops without permission, and now another rock legend is threatening legal action against the mogul: Aerosmith has filed a cease-and-desist letter to Trump demanding that the candidate stop using “Dream On” at his rallies.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was singer Steven Tyler‘s reps specifically who sent the legal notice. “Trump for President does not have our client’s permission to use ‘Dream On’ or any of our client’s other music in connection with the Campaign because it gives the false impression that he is connected with or endorses Mr. Trump’s presidential bid,” the cease-and-desist letter read.
This was actually Trump’s second warning: He was initially asked to refrain from utilizing “Dream On” after an August 21st rally in Mobile, Alabama, yet Trump continued to play the track at rallies, including his stops in Las Vegas – where he air-drummed along with “Dream On” – and Atlanta this weekend. This time around, Tyler’s legal team gave Trump a 24-hour window warning the mogul’s campaign, “If Trump for President does not comply with our demands, our client will be forced to pursue any and all legal or equitable remedies which our client may have against you.”
Whereas it’s common for Republicans to receive blowback for using songs written by liberal-leaning artists, the GOP would likely feel more comfortable employing Aerosmith’s music, especially considering that guitarist Joe Perry proclaimed that he is a “definite old-school Republican” in a 2012 interview. However, this could be a case where either the band collectively wants to stay politically neutral, or Perry or Tyler support a non-Trump Republican as the GOP presidential candidate.
However, the fact that Tyler’s reps sent the cease-and-desist is especially surprising, since Tyler was reportedly Trump’s personal guest at the first GOP debate in August, The Hollywood Reporter writes. Tyler has also served as a judge on Trump’s Miss USA pageant and, in September 2014, Trump tweeted that he had attended an Aerosmith concert and lauded Tyler’s performance.
“Dream On” is the latest classic track to be employed without authorization by the Trump campaign, joining R.E.M.‘s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” and Neil Young‘s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
“Go fuck yourselves, the lot of you — you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men,” R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe said of Trump’s use of the Document track in a statement via bassist Mike Mills’ Twitter page. “Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”
A spokesperson for Young said in June, “Donald Trump was not authorized to use ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ in his presidential candidacy announcement. Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America.” Soon after, the Trump campaign stopped using the Freedom song, and Bernie Sanders’ campaign started using it.