Neil Young: Donald Trump did not have permission to use iconic song to announce presidential bid

Bandmate David Cosby later tweeted that Trump had picked a fight with the 'wrong guy'

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Only hours into the presidential race and already (if unsurprisingly) Donald Trump has landed himself in hot water.

The US tycoon, who announced his intention to run for the Republican presidential nomination yesterday, used Neil Young’s iconic “Rockin’ in the Free World” to introduce himself to the stage.

There’s just one problem. Turns out, Young is not exactly a fan – and has confirmed he never gave permission for his song to be used in the first place.

"Donald Trump was not authorized to use 'Rockin' In The Free World' in his presidential candidacy announcement," an official statement from Young's camp confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.


It went on to say that Young, 69 and a Canadian citizen, would be supporting Bernie Sanders, who although an independent (he describes himself as a Social Democrat) has announced his intention to run for the Democratic nomination for president.

It also appears as if the song could have been chosen with more care. Released in 1989, the lyrics of “Rockin’ In The free World” criticise Republican president George H. W. Bush’s administration but was later taken up as an anthem celebrating the fall of communism. 

On Twitter yesterday David Crosby, former  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmate and friend of Young, confirmed that the singer did not condone the use of his work.

He added that Trump had “picked a fight with the wrong guy …. Bad idea.”