Steven Tyler to Trump: ‘I do not let anyone use my songs without permission’

Aerosmith at VMA Awards

I’m thinking you can expect to hear a lot more Ted Nugent and Kid Rock at rallies for 45 in the future, as the list of musicians who want nothing to do with him (or any politician for that matter) continues to grow. Aerosmith was already on this list, but lawyers for the band’s lead singer, Steven Tyler, have asked again to not have their client’s music played at any 45-related event.

Back in 2015, Aerosmith’s hit “Dream On” was played during the Commander in Cheeto’s 2015 election campaign. The band’s legal team sent a letter claiming that playing the song violated Steven’s copyright. The song was removed from the 45 playlist, but Trump made sure to have the last word, tweeting, “Even though I have the legal right to use Steven Tyler’s song, he asked me not to. Have better one to take its place! … Steven Tyler got more publicity on his song request than he’s gotten in 10 years. Good for him!” Ugh.

Flash forward to Tuesday, when the Aerosmith tune “Livin’ on the Edge” was played at a Charleston, West Virginia rally. Steven’s lawyer, Dina LaPolt, sent another cease-and-desist letter to 45’s people, arguing that by playing the song, it offers the “false impression” that Steven “endorses the presidency of Mr Trump.” The letter also stated that “Mr Trump does not have any right to use the name, image, voice or likeness of our client, without his express written permission.” It also recalled the events of 2015:

“We demanded Mr Tyler’s public performance societies terminate their licences with you in 2015 in connection with Dream On and any other musical compositions written or co-written by Mr Tyler. As such, we are unaware of any remaining public performance licence still in existence which grants Mr Trump the right to use his music in connection with the rallies or any other purpose”.

The full letter was shared on Twitter by Jim Acosta from 45’s least favorite “fake news” outlet, CNN.

Steven also took to Twitter, insisting that, “Protecting songwriters is what I’ve been fighting for even before this current administration took office.” He added that he and guitarist Joe Perry “have been using the Senate to pass the Music Modernization Act.”

I wish that Steven had the cojones to not be so “everything to everyone” with this statement. If only he mirrored R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, who, when he heard “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” played at a Trump rally, rebuked, “Go f—k yourselves, the lot of you — you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.” Now THAT is the appropriate reaction. Take note, Steven.

I do have a question about this Aerosmith situation. Did anyone in 45’s camp actually read the lyrics to “Livin’ on the Edge”? Here are some standout lines: “There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today/I don’t know what it is” and, the incredibly apt “There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today/The light bulb’s gettin’ dim/There’s meltdown in the sky.” I know the answer is “no”, but I just thought this was an interesting song choice. I also fully expect to hear “Cat Scratch Fever or “Bawitdaba” at a future political event.

Embed from Getty Images

2018 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

Steven Tyler and Live Nation presents Inaugural Janie's Fund Gala & GRAMMY Viewing Party

Photos: Getty, WENN

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

28 Responses to “Steven Tyler to Trump: ‘I do not let anyone use my songs without permission’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Lucy2 says:

    I was going to say, living on the edge is not the best message for a campaign! Especially one about to go over a cliff. Perhaps Jailhouse Rock would be better?

    I hate when campaigns use music without permission – an artist should have the right to control their work, and not let it be used for political purposes if they do not approve.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      Remember how Reagan used “Born in the USA” which was actually a condemnation of how our gov’t treats veterans?

      yeah, the GOP ain’t that bright when it comes to song choice. they see the title and go “YEAH ‘MURICA!” and don’t read the lyrics.

      ETA: always wondered why they didn’t just use Nugent or Kid Rock songs to begin with. I mean, those two outright support this yobbo, so why not play their music? I’m guessing because it SUCKS and Aerosmith is good.

  2. Chef Grace says:

    They just liked the catchy tunage. ;)
    None of the dumbheads can read and comprehend.
    I heard that song the other day and thought if any song described our world today, that was it.

  3. Lightpurple says:

    Tyler has to be middle of the road in what gets sent out with Aerosmith’s name on it because Perry is a Republican. Aerosmith has done work on First Amendment and artists’s right issues for ages; it’s something on which the band members have found common ground despite differing beliefs on other political issues.

    Trump won’t care. The Stones have also sued but he keeps playing “You Can’t Always Get W?hat You Want,” which Jagger has pointed out is about a drug deal and isn’t exactly the best song for a marketing campaign.

    • WingKingdom says:

      This is true, and why alienate half your fans?

      For what it’s worth, though, Perry is on the record as strongly anti-Trump.

      • Lightpurple says:

        True. And he would have had to have signed off on this statement because that’s their deal these days. As I’ve said, the whole band has been working on artists’s rights issues and First Amendment issues for ages and their stuff on these issues is always carefully researched but also carefully written, business-like and not emotional.

    • lucy2 says:

      I still think them playing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” when Pence was announced was pretty hilarious. It’s the only point I will ever give anyone connected to that heinous administration.

    • Chrissy says:

      I thought I heard a snippet of “Sympathy for the Devil” when the Orange Turd was in West Virginia the other day. I thought the title, if nothing else, was very appropriate for the setting. Too bad most people there would probably not know that it was based on the novel, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and was written as an indictment of the history of violence in society. I suppose that the only reason it was chosen was that it had a rockin’ beat that everyone there could get into. Only the best people……sigh.

  4. Astrid says:

    A number of years ago, a high end cruise line used part of an Iggy Pop song, that was catchy. I’m going to assume they had permission though I have a feeling none of the cruise line people in charge ever bothered to listen to the lyrics that included

    With the liquor and drugs
    And the flesh machine
    He’s gonna do another striptease
    Hey man where’d you get that lotion?

    • Lightpurple says:

      I would burst out laughing every time that commercial would come on, especially as they were using it to pitch cruises as family vacations. Images of kids jumping into pools on the boat as Iggy’s Lust for Life blared.

    • AMA1977 says:

      There was a Garnier Fructis campaign a few years back that used a song that was absolutely filthy if you listened to it. I didn’t know the song previous to the ad campaign, but it was playing on a show I was watching one night and my husband burst out laughing when he heard it and played the whole song for me on his phone. The ads were for a straightening serum. I think ad people and politicians just listen to the beat/musical interludes and don’t really think about the lyrics…

  5. Beth says:

    I hate when people like Trump use songs I love, because that ruins the meaning and I think of Trump when I hear it. Of course, Donnie had to mention there was a “better song” he’d use, after being told to stop using Aerosmiths music. He’s like “I can’t use your song? Well, I don’t like it anyway “

    • Esmom says:

      I know, his response was classic, tantrum-bigly-baby Trump. I saw red when I saw that tweet. I cannot, cannot with him anymore. He’s such a garbage human.

  6. Digital Unicorn says:

    The fact that most celebrities hate him really really stick in Dump’s craw – he’s left with the only celebs that are past their sell by date and no one has really heard off. Kid Rock hasn’t had a hit in years.

  7. InquisitiveNewt says:

    “You can’t stop yourself from falling…are there any more pertinent words for the forthcoming end of the Aperol** presidency? Tangelo Man is heading down the same road as Nixon… Happy days.

    **I’m drinking one, seemed like a good comparison

  8. Incredulous says:

    And at the end of the West Virginia rally, they played You Can’t Always Get What You Want by the Rolling Stones. I had to get someone else to have a listen as well as my brain refused to accept they did that.

    • Lightpurple says:

      They’re doing it despite a cease & desist order. Jagger has said he thinks it is hilarious, especially as the song is about a drug deal.

  9. Aerohead21 says:

    They probably cut the lyrics off before “If you can judge a wise man by the color of his skin, then mister, you’re a better man than I.”

  10. Bella DuPont says:

    Why does this man insist on dressing like an aging gold digging woman?

    I respect his stance though.

    Stand your ground, Steve! ;)

  11. detritus says:

    Sooo embarrassing disclosure time, I find him very attractive. I think it might be because his hair reminds me of Rogue? Or because I’d like to borrow one of the necklaces from his collection(that bird claw one is badass)? I dunno, maybe I’m ovulating or something because this look usually doesn’t work for me, but he looks like he’d smell nice.

    • AMA1977 says:

      LMAO, I admitted that I still would with known douche John Mayer last week, so…no judgment here! Steven Tyler is a legend and you could DEFINITELY do a lot worse. Plus, you could totally raid his accessories closet! Win-win. ;)

    • xpresson says:

      Well, i do as well… i Have always had a thing for Steven Tyler,,, I think that for his age he looks very well,,,

  12. Laura says:

    I am also a part of the “I would date/marry Steven Tyler” club ❤ He just seems like a sweetheart ❤

  13. Ms Lib says:

    Love Steven Tyler and his music! Awesome!!!!!

  14. Blueskies says:

    Haha. I find the eventual mellowing out of a lot of these rock stars makes them extra attractive.

  15. Anare says:

    I’ve always had a thing for Joe Perry just saying…