Neil Young Not Happy That Donald Trump Used "Rockin' in the Free World" When Announcing Presidential Bid

Donald Trump announced that he's running for president yesterday, July 16.

At the event, which took place at Trump Tower, Trump played Neil Young's 1989 song "Rockin' in the Free World" nice and loud—as you can hear in the video below—over the public-address system.

This is something Young is none too pleased about.

A brief statement from Young's longtime management company, Lookout, read: "Donald Trump was not authorized to use 'Rockin' in the Free World' in his presidential candidacy announcement. Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America."

The Trump campaign says it used the song legally through a licensing deal with ASCAP. But as Rolling Stone pointed out, ASCAP's rules are different when it comes to using music as part of political messages. When someone is running for office, he or she needs to reach out to the song's owners.

Check out the video below; "Rockin' in the Free World" plays at the very beginning of the clip.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.