Can’t stop the music

The arrogance of Hollywood knows no bounds.

Musicians are more than happy to flog off their music to anyone at all, except when Donald Trump plays it.

Trump campaign rally photo credit Washington Times

They are embarrassed at being associated with him through their music being used in his campaign.

A Washington Post reporter alerted Rihanna that her music being played at a recent Donald Trump campaign rally. Quote.

“It’s been said a million times, but here’s a million and one — Trump’s rallies are unlike anything else in politics”, before describing what was unfolding before his eyes:

‘Currently, Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” is blaring in Chattanooga as aides toss free Trump t-shirts into the crowd, like a ball game. Everyone’s loving it’.

Rihanna fans began to tag the singer in the tweet, asking, “Does Rihanna know her music is being played at a rally? I bet she doesn’t.” Eventually, the tweet found its way onto Rihanna’s timeline and the 30-year-old singer, businesswoman, diplomat and actress responded to it. She wrote:

Not for much longer… me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies, so thanks for the heads up Philip!” End of quote.

Sorry, Rihanna, you can’t stop the music.  You absolutely sold your music rights and you absolutely don’t get to choose who buys it or where they play it and you also absolutely upset a few fans with your little tantie.

Rihanna is not alone, there are other musicians embarrassed to have their music played at Trump rallies because they think it means their tacit approval to Trump’s campaign.  Adele is an outspoken anti-Trump musician and a Hillary Clinton supporter.  Quote.

 [Adele] had a spokesperson express that “Adele has not given any permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning”, after Trump used a medley of her songs on his tour of the United States. Adele also publicly backed Hillary Clinton and told fans at an American concert, “Don’t vote for him.” End of quote.

Taylor Swift’s music probably wouldn’t make the cut anyway, but that didn’t stop this well-known airhead from making her political viewpoint known at the 2016 election.  Quote.

Taylor Swift caused a bit of hubbub when she shook off her reputation of not talking about politics to encourage voters in Tennessee to vote for the Democratic candidate in the Senate.

She then doubled down this week after she went to fill in the blank space on her ballot and vote early.” End of quote.

Sorry sweetie, you can’t have it both ways either.  You take the money and shut up, or you get out of the music business.

Steven Tyler from Aerosmith was aggrieved by the association with Trump when their music was played during Trump’s 2015 campaign. Tyler took the legal route, obviously money no obstacle, with some success. Quote.

[He] had representatives reach out with cease and desist letters twice that year. Trump eventually gave in, but chanced his arm again this year when he used Aerosmith’s ‘Livin’ on the Edge’ at the same series of presidential rallies that he used ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams. Tyler’s attorney issued another letter:

‘What makes this violation even more egregious is that Mr. Trump’s use of our client’s music was previously shut down, not once, but two times, during his campaign for presidency in 2015. […] As we have made clear numerous times, Mr Trump is creating the false impression that our client has given his consent for the use of his music and even that he endorses the presidency of Mr. Trump.’ End of quote.

Some musicians are more bothered about their music being used for political purposes, rather than a particular political viewpoint.  Neil Young is one of these.  Quote.

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.“ End of quote.

Fair enough, but Young is in the same boat – nobody asked for your permission because they didn’t have to.

Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones has a good handle on how these things work.  Quote.

The thing is, when you appear in America… if you’re in a public place like Madison Square Garden or a theatre, you can play any music you want, and you can’t be stopped. So, if you write a song and someone plays it in a restaurant that you go to, you can’t stop them. They can play what they want.” End of quote.

Even dead musicians have a voice.  Representatives of the estates of George Harrison, Luciano Pavarotti and Prince have whined about Trump’s use of their music.

Hollywood knows full well the power of the media because it is the backbone of their financial success.

If I was on Trump’s campaign team, I’d be sure to include music from those musicians who took the trouble to publicly speak out against him, just to rub their noses in it, although I’d leave out anyone with very deep pockets who is also legally savvy.


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The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

Pablo Picasso
Glass and bottle of Suze (after 18 November 1912)
pasted paper, gouache and charcoal

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