A-Ha respond to Trump’s ‘Take on Me’ campaign video: ‘Even blind pigs can find truffles’

Band's keyboardist said he only learnt about the clip when it went viral

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Wednesday 02 October 2019 06:43
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Donald Trump 2020 campaign 'Keep America Great'

A-Ha's keyboardist and co-songwriter Magne Furuholmen has responded to a video shared by US president Donald Trump that visually borrows from their classic video for “Take on Me”.

The musician said he had no warning from Trump’s team about the clip, which drew immediate comparisons to A-Ha’s use of rotoscoping. He said that, due to time differences in Norway, by the time he woke up the video was in the process of going viral online.

Instead of using the hit song, the short clip was overdubbed with Trump’s voice: “Treat the word ‘impossible’ as nothing more than motivation and to make a real and lasting difference.” Scenes showed Trump’s inauguration, him dancing, and his hair being ruffled by an unseen hand – presumably Jimmy Fallon’s.

A-Ha’s video for “Take on Me” is famous for its landmark technique of tracing live-action footage frame-by-frame with pencil drawings to form animation. Directed by British videographer Steve Barron, the video was put on heavy rotation by MTV and has become one of the most iconic music videos of all time.

“You write a song in your youth and you don’t write for a particular group of people, one way or another, you write it for everyone,” Furuholmen told Rolling Stone. “But then stuff like this happens.”

Asked about his view on Trump using such a similar style, he commented: “Even blind pigs can find truffles.”

“You want to be careful about deciding who’s allowed to do what with what you put out in the world,” he said. “We make our music for everybody. We didn’t intend to make our music part of a divisive campaign and, all things equal, would preferred it not to have been.” Furuholmen added that a protest song he released last month, titled “This is Now America”, was in direct response to the Trump administration.

“We are Norwegian-born, but we have friends all over the world and are concerned about what the world is coming to,” he said. “In many respects, our heart bleeds for the America we believed in growing up. But when you get dragged into things like this, you have to lie back and laugh.”

Many A-Ha fans found it amusing that this particular song’s video had been replicated, given the lyrics of the chorus seem to forewarn the results of the ongoing impeachment proceedings against him: “Take on me (take on me)/ Take on me (take on me)/ I’ll be gone/ In a day or two.”

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