Most times before President Trump hits the stage at his raucous rallies – and always after he finishes a stemwinder speech – his campaign plays a song over the arena loudspeakers: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” the classic song by the British rock band the Rolling Stones off their 1969 album Let It Bleed.
Now, Mick Jagger and the boys are threatening to sue Trump for unauthorized use of their songs at his rallies – despite several cease and desist directives they’ve filed in the past.
The Stones said in a statement on Sunday that they have enlisted a legal team to work with the music rights organization Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) to demand that Trump stop.
The statement said that BMI has already notified Trump’s campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will be considered a breach of its licensing agreement. “If Trump disregards the exclusion and persists, he will face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed,” The Guardian reported.
“Trump was in no way authorised to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,’’ the statement said. “Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his to be used in a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.’’
The family of the late Tom Petty, who died after overdosing on drugs in 2017, also sent a cease and desist letter to the Trump campaign over its use of his song “I Won’t Back Down,” most recently at a rally in Tulsa on June 20.
Petty’s family also said that they support democracy and America, while “Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either. We would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage.”
Others have also objected to Trump’s use of their music. “Elton John, REM, Adele, Guns N Roses, the Rolling Stones, Pharrell, Queen, Prince, Aerosmith and Earth Wind and Fire have also denounced the president’s use of their music,” The Guardian said.
Neil Young admonished Trump in 2018 after hearing one of his songs played against his wishes during the president’s pre-midterm campaign rallies. Trump used his 1990 single, Rockin’ in the Free World, despite earlier warnings.
Among the lyrics of the Stones’ song is this verse:
And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna’ vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a fifty-amp fuse.”
Trump played the Stones’ song at campaign appearances during the 2016 Republican primaries and the presidential election, as well as his nationally televised acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. In 2018, Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards called for the U.S. to “get rid of” Trump.