Trump’s Biggest Music-Related Hissy Fits, Fights And Standoffs

By Mason Johnson

Donald Trump has angered about half the bands K-HITS plays.


He’s used there songs, often without permission from the musicians themselves.

Not while he’s home, alone and in the shower, mind you. He has a habit of playing any music he wants at the public rallies he holds. Sometimes he has paid for the rights of the music… Sometimes he hasn’t. For someone who claims to be so wealthy, you’d think he could afford to shell out the cash for a sweet entrance song for his speeches.

Since the list of bands who are mad at Trump is literally too long for me to list, here are the five bands Trump’s angered the most.


The most recent offense. Apparently Brian May, the epic Queen guitarist, had no idea Trump was going to play “We Are the Champions” at the Republican National Convention.

This is AFTER Trump used their music without permission at multiple rallies. Last month, May wrote, “My personal reaction to Donald Trump using our music … We’d never give permission.”

And yet Trump still uses it.

It’s not that May is opposed to Trump politically (though that seems likely), in this matter, Trump’s views aren’t what’s annoying to May. He simply wants Queen’s music out of politics altogether.

“Regardless of our views on Mr Trump’s platform, it has always been against our policy to allow Queen music to be used as a political campaigning tool,” May wrote. “Our music embodies our own dreams and beliefs, but it is for all who care to listen and enjoy.”


Donald Trump used Aerosmith’s “Dream On” at several different events last year because he is was a big fan of the rock band.

After Steven Tyler’s attorneys sent Trump for President Inc. two cease and desist letters, Trump graciously stopped using the song.

“Steven Tyler got more publicity on his song request than he’s gotten in ten years. Good for him!” Donald Trump wrote on Twitter.

The Rolling Stones

“Can you imagine President Trump? The worst nightmare. But we can’t say that. Because it could happen,” Keith Richards commented last year.

Despite openly despising him, Donald Trump was happy to play The Rolling Stones’ music throughout at least May of this year. He was using it in February when a spokesperson of the band complained that Trump had not obtained permission to use their music, and he continued to use it until at least early May, when the band outright told him to stop.

The band also apparently has history with Trump. In 1989, the band and Trump crossed paths, and rumor has it that their meeting did not go well. Keith Richards may or may not have whipped out a knife because of Trump…

Neil Young

American musicians have told Trump to stop using their music, English musicians have told Trump to stop using their music – even Canadian musicians, polite as they may be, have put their foot down.

After Trump used “Keep On Rockin’ In The Free World,” Young complained that he’d rather Trump not use it in the future. It bears mentioning that, in this instance, Trump’s campaign did legally license the song via ASCAP and BMI. Technically, he did not need Young’s permission to legally use it.

After Young complained, Trump fired back on Twitter.

“Neil Young’s song, ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ was just one of 10 songs used as background music. Didn’t love it anyway,” Trump wrote.

Of course, young has since softened on Trump’s use of his songs.

“He actually got a license to use it,” Young said in May. “I mean, he said he did and I believe him. You know, once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything. But if the artist who made it is saying you never spoke to them, if that means something to you, you probably will stop playing it. And it meant something to Donald and he stopped.”

No word on whether Young’s music had made it back into the Trump rotation.


Michael Stipe’s response to Trump’s use of “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”?

“Go F*** yourselves…”

The more official statement, released on the band’s statement, was a bit more reserved:

“While we do not authorize or condone the use of our music at this political event, and do ask that these candidates cease and desist from doing so, let us remember that there are things of greater importance at stake here. The media and the American voter should focus on the bigger picture, and not allow grandstanding politicians to distract us from the pressing issues of the day and of the current Presidential campaign.”

A bit more polite than Stipe’s comment, which was shared on Mike Mills Twitter, and reads, “Go f*** yourselves, the lot of you – you sad, attention grabbing, power-hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”

“It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” eh? Seems like an oddly appropriate song to listen to right now at this very moment.



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