Neil Young blasts Trump campaign use of his songs at rally: 'This is NOT ok with me'

The rock 'n' roller posted his statement with a video of his song “Keep On Rockin In The Free World” playing as Trump supporters found their seats at the Mount Rushmore rally on Friday.
Image: Neil Young performs at Painted Turtle Camp in Lake Hughes, California.
Neil Young performs at Painted Turtle Camp in Lake Hughes, California.Kevin Winter / Getty Images file

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By Phil McCausland

Neil Young blasted the use of his songs at President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Mount Rushmore.

The rock 'n' roller proclaimed on the Neil Young Archives Twitter account, his only presence on the social media platform, that "This is NOT ok with me." The statement was accompanied by a video of his song “Keep On Rockin In The Free World” playing as Trump supporters found their seats at the event Friday.

Young then followed that tweet with another video in which his song "Like a Hurricane" was played at a time the venue was empty. "I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me," he said in the accompanying text.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on Saturday.

Young also objected in 2016 to the Trump campaign's use of his music during that election.

The Canadian-born artist became a U.S. citizen in January and a month later published an open letter to Trump on the Neil Young Archives website that slammed the president as "a disgrace to my country," and announced his support for Sen. Bernie Sanders, who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination this year.

"'Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World’ is not a song you can trot out at one of your rallies,” the letter said. “Perhaps you could have been a bass player and played in a rock and roll band. That way you could be on stage at a rally every night in front of your fans.”

“Every time ‘Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World’ or one of my songs is played at your rallies, I hope you hear my voice,” Young added in the open letter. “Remember it is the voice of a tax-paying citizen who does not support you. Me.”

Numerous other artists have also complained about the Trump campaign's use of their music at campaign events, including Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty's estate, Pharrell, Rihanna and R.E.M.