Neil Young on Donald Trump using his music: ‘I make my music for people, not for candidates’

Star of The Apprentice in the US played 'Rockin' In The Free World' at the launch of his US Presidential candidacy campaign

Neil Young has spoken out about Donald Trump using his song ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ to mark the launch of his US Presidential candidacy campaign earlier this week.

The businessman and TV personality announced that he will run in the race to be the Republican candidate in the 2016 election. Holding a press conference at Trump Towers in New York on Tuesday (June 17) to confirm the news, Trump took to the stage with Young’s 1989 song playing in the background. However, Young’s representatives later criticised Trump’s actions, claiming that they hadn’t approved for the song to be used.

SEE ALSO: Neil Young calls vinyl resurgence ‘nothing but a fashion statement’

Now, the singer himself has taken to Facebook to clarify his viewpoint on the situation. “‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ was used in a announcement for a U.S. presidential candidate without my permission,” Young writes. “Music is a universal language. So I am glad that so many people with varying beliefs get enjoyment from my music, even if they don’t share my beliefs. But had I been asked to allow my music to be used for a candidate – I would have said no. I am Canadian and I don’t vote in the United States, but more importantly I don’t like the current political system in the USA and some other countries. Increasingly Democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests. The money needed to run for office, the money spent on lobbying by special interests, the ever increasing economic disparity and the well funded legislative decisions all favor corporate interests over the people’s.”

After detailing his political views, Young conludes: “I do not trust self serving misinformation coming from corporations and their media trolls. I do not trust politicians who are taking millions from those corporations either. I trust people. So I make my music for people, not for candidates. Keep on Rockin in the Free World.”

Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s camp have claimed that they did in fact have approval to use the track, but won’t be utilising the song again. “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 [Tuesday’s] event,” a spokesperson told Billboard. “Never the less, we won’t be using it again – there are plenty of songs to choose from. Despite Neil’s differing political views, Mr. Trump likes Neil very much.”

Watch footage of Trump taking to the stage to Young’s ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ below.

Earlier this week, David Crosby took to Twitter to express his views on Trump’s use of the song, writing: “Trump has picked a fight with the wrong guy …bad idea”. See that tweet beneath.

Meanwhile, Young will release his 36th studio album, ‘The Monsanto Years’, later this month. He recorded the LP with Promise Of The Real, his new band featuring Willie Nelson’s sons, Lukas and Micah. The record features protest songs aimed at Monsanto, a controversial agricultural company that Young has been publicly condemning for years. The singer will release a documentary film about the making of the record alongside the LP.

Neil Young recently shared the tracks ‘Rock Starbucks’ and ‘Wolf Moon’ from the aforementioned album.
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