The band have already served the US President with multiple cease and desist directives after he began playing their songs at events on his 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump has continued to use the band’s music despite those messages and, now, the veteran rock group are looking to take further steps to stop him from continuing to use their songs without their permission. According to a press release, the Stones’ legal team are working with BMI, the world’s biggest performing rights organisation, to prevent the President from being able to play their music at any future political events.
President-elect Trump, Melania Trump walk down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the Rolling Stones' 'Heart of Stone' pic.twitter.com/30foTDZgE5
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) January 19, 2017
BMI has notified Trump’s campaign that any unauthorised use of The Rolling Stones’ music will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement. Should Trump continue to ignore the band and organisation’s warnings, he will face a lawsuit “for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed”.
Trump played songs including ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ and ‘Start Me Up’ during his 2016 rallies, causing the Stones to follow in the footsteps of Adele, Neil Young and Steven Tyler to request that he stop. However, Trump continued to use the music as his campaign continued. After winning the election and being sworn in as US President in 2017, he walked on stage at his inauguration concert to the band’s 1965 song ‘Heart Of Stone’.
According to an ex-event promoter for the Stones, the 2016 campaign wasn’t the first time the band had taken steps to avoid being affiliated with Trump. Michael Cohl claimed that a 1989 concert in Atlantic City was “unfortunately” sponsored by one of Trump’s casinos and that Trump took over the band’s after-show press room to hold his own press conference.
Cohl said that when Keith Richards found out what Trump had done, he “pull[ed] out his knife and slam[ed] it on the table and sa[id], ‘What the hell do I have you for? Do I have to go over there and fire him myself? One of us is leaving the building – either him, or us”.