REM's Michael Stipe to Trump: "Go fuck yourselves!"

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This is such a common trend these days It’s hard to keep track. From FiveThirtyEight:

  • Springsteen objected to Reagan’s use of the song “Born in the U.S.A.” during the 1984 election.
  • Reagan also got dinged in 1984 by John Cougar Mellencamp for “Pink Houses.”
  • Bobby McFerrin objected to George H.W. Bush using the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” in 1988.
  • Sam & Dave objected to Bob Dole using the song “Soul Man” in 1996.
  • Springsteen objected to Dole using “Born in the U.S.A.” in 1996.
  • Mellencamp didn’t grant any more leeway to George W. Bush than to Reagan. Mellencamp complained when Bush used “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” in 2000.
  • Tom Petty objected to Bush using the song “I Won’t Back Down” in 2000.
  • That same election, Sting objected to Bush using “Brand New Day.”
  • In a rare bit of bipartisanship in 2000, Sting also objected to Al Gore using “Brand New Day.”
  • John Hall of the band Orleans objected to Bush using the song “Still the One” during his re-election campaign in 2004.
  • Boston objected to Mike Huckabee using “More Than a Feeling” in 2008.
  • Van Halen objected to John McCain using “Right Now” in 2008.
  • Mellencamp is back! He complained about McCain using “Our Country” in 2008.
  • In the same election, Mellencamp had a problem with McCain using the song “Pink Houses.”
  • Heart objected to McCain using “Barracuda.”
  • Jackson Browne objected to McCain using “Running on Empty.”
  • Bon Jovi objected to McCain using “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.”
  • The Foo Fighters stopped McCain from playing “My Hero.”
  • Tom Petty objected to McCain using “I Won’t Back Down.”
  • ABBA complained about McCain using “Take a Chance on Me.”
  • Sam Moore of Sam & Dave objected to Barack Obama using “Hold On, I’m Coming” during the 2008 election.
  • Survivor objected to Newt Gingrich using the song “Eye of the Tiger” in 2012.
  • Gingrich also was dinged by The Heavy for “How You Like Me Now.”
  • Also in 2012, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister objected to Mitt Romney using “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
  • Silversun Pickups stopped Romney from playing “Panic Switch.”
  • K’Naan objected to Romney using the song “Wavin’ Flag.”
  • Survivor objected to Romney using “Eye of the Tiger.”
  • Tom Petty complained about Michele Bachmann using “American Girl” in 2012.
  • Katrina and the Waves objected to Bachmann playing “Walking on Sunshine.”
  • And finally, now we have Young’s complaint about Trump’s use of “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

(Note that there have been only two instances of artists publicly objecting to Democrats using their music, and in both instances the artists also objected to Republicans using their music.)

Add to that this week:

  • Survivor getting pissed off at Kim Davis & Huckabee using “Eye of the Tiger”
  • REM’s aforementioned “go fuck yourselves” to the Trump campaign.

The big takeaway: Republicans love music by musicians who hate their guts. Especially “Eye of the Tiger.”


If you are a Republican / social conservative Democrat, you’re a bit shafted when it comes to finding popular music from people likely to share your views, I guess.

Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, Gene Simmons…?

The Tories have the same problems in the UK. See the times David Cameron talked about how he liked the music of The Jam and The Smiths.

(note that The Jam at least claimed to be Tories back in the day, but that might just have been to piss The Clash off)


I dunno. I have to respect the man for at least giving truth in advertising.


I read books by people I’m sure would hate me.

That said, what’s the legality here: are these guys covered by an ASCAP license or fair use or what?

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Ted Nugent is awesome.

He was from a time when there wasn’t so much estrogen in the tap water.

Oh wait! Are these the same guys who are working to gut fair use?


Trump et al: A pure sample of neoliberal barbarism

So where’s the fucking MPAA, RIAA, and gang? Oh yeah, they’re busy chasing piratez


How awesome could Ted Nugent possibly be if you can’t praise him without resorting to casual sexism?

Also, regardless of what was or wasn’t in the tap water he drank he’s publicly stated on more than one occasion that he did crystal meth and shat himself to avoid the draft in Vietnam. Which wouldn’t necessarily be a huge moral failing except that he is such a vocal supporter of the very politicians and policies which got the U.S. involved in Vietnam (not to mention a bunch of other wars).

He’s a chickenhawk draft-dodger, a meth-using proponent of the War on Drugs, a twice-married child-support-withholding philanderer who is a vocal supporter of “traditional marriage.” No matter where you sit in the political spectrum Nugent is a huge hypocritical asshole. But hey, maybe that’s why he’s such a big fan of politicians who are huge hypocritical assholes.

Edit to add:

And let’s not forget “self-admitted serial paedophile.


The thing that strikes me as odd about all of this is that these politicians have the cash to pay for use.


The Kangaroo Kourt hereby sentences Trump to listen to “Shiny Happy People” for 24 hours straight.


Will Larry Lessig be using Sad Professor for his appearances?

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Does Trump even understand the song? Or were they playing it ironically? Does his people understand irony?


These are the same people who ok’d nazi soldiers on one of Trump’s campaign posters. Nuance and irony are lost on this lot.


Yes, but he’s more than made up for all of that with his public service work, raising awareness of infectious diseases spread by household pets.


You want ironic? I’ve heard Neil Diamond’s “They’re Coming to America” used as an anthem for *anti-*immigration causes. It’s like people see an American flag and assume that anyone who calls themselves a patriot must share their right-wing xenophobic reactionary views.


You missed that the “estrogen in the water” joke was a joke, but the rest of what you said about Nugent is right on.

We also had the fascist BNP and EDL try to use the Manic Street Preachers song If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, which is about working class Welsh people who went to Spain to fight against Franco.

I don’t know if they understood the line “So if I can shoot rabbits then I can shoot fascists” or just didn’t realise that it also applied to them.


I recognize that the estrogen comment was (probably) a joke, but it’s still an example of casual sexism.