You can't always get what you want: From The Rolling Stones to The Boss, the VERY long list of rock stars who tried to stop Republicans (and Obama) using their hits
- Candidates have tried using hit songs during their campaign rallies
- But many GOP presidential hopefuls have found getting permission tough
- Trump, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Ronald Reagan were turned down?
- Sarah Palin used Heart's hit song Barracuda as a theme despite band's objection
President Donald Trump’s rallies are famous not just for his statements and the crowd reaction but also for the Rolling Stones hit that plays at the end.
You Can’t Always Get What You Want, the 1969 song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, is always played at the close of Trump’s rallies.
But the band wasn’t happy about it and asked the president to cease and desist.
It didn’t work. Trump was legally permitted to use the song and there was nothing that the Stones could do to stop the president.
Trump has also been turned down by other artists whose songs he either wanted to use or used anyway despite their disapproval.
Neil Young, the Canadian rocker who backed Bernie Sanders, wasn’t happy when Trump used Rockin’ in the Free World at the start of his presidential campaign in 2015.
President Donald Trump’s rallies are famous not just for his statements and the crowd reaction but also for the Rolling Stones hit that plays at the end
You Can’t Always Get What You Want, the 1969 song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, is always played at the close of Trump’s rallies. But the band wasn’t happy about it and asked the president to cease and desist. The Stones are seen above in Dublin this past May
Trump also used R.E.M.’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) on the campaign trail in 2015.
The band leader, Michael Stipe, was furious and demanded Trump cut it out, but no legal action was taken.
Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler did threaten to sue Trump for his use of the hit 1973 song Dream On during the campaign.
Elton John, who has reportedly known Trump for decades, didn’t let him use Tiny Dancer or Rocket Man during his campaign rallies.
When President Ronald Reagan ran for re-election in 1984, he asked Bruce Springsteen if he could use his signature anthem Born in the U.S.A. during his rallies. The Boss said no. Reagan is seen left and Springsteen is seen right
Still, Trump has kept playing Tiny Dancer at his rallies.
The British pop legend also turned down Trump’s request to play at his inauguration.
This brings to mind other instances in which politicians - most of them Republicans - have been denied permission to use songs for their campaign rallies.
When President Ronald Reagan ran for re-election in 1984, he asked Bruce Springsteen if he could use his signature anthem Born in the U.S.A. during his rallies.
The Boss said no, according to 24/7 Wall Street.
Reagan wasn’t the only Republican who was turned down by the Boss.
Former Kansas Senator Bob Dole and longtime Republican Pat Buchanan also tried to get Springsteen’s permission to use the song, but were denied.
John McCain’s (left) campaign used Bon Jovi’s (right) Who Says You Can’t Go Home. The Jersey-born rocker wasn’t happy about it, but there was no further legal action and the song continued to be played.
Springsteen has not been shy about expressing his liberal political views.
One of his songs, We Take Care of Our Own, was played after Obama’s speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and also after his victory speech.
In 1996, when Dole ran against Bill Clinton, he altered the lyrics to Sam and Dave’s Soul Man so that its main them was changed to ‘I’m a Dole man.’
The song’s publishers who held the copyright threatened to sue, forcing Dole to stop using the parody.
Reagan’s successor, President George H.W. Bush, started to play the 1980s era hit song Don’t Worry, Be Happy, which was written and sung by Bobby McFerrin.
Bush used it as his campaign theme song, but McFerrin wasn’t happy about it.
McFerrin asked Bush to stop using the song.
Bush then reached out to McFerrin and invited him to dinner in order to make peace, but McFerrin refused.
Republicans have not had much success in winning approval from artists for use of their songs.
When vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (left) used Heart's song Barracuda as her personal theme anthem, band member Nancy Wilson was furious. Nancy Wilson and her sister Ann Wilson are seen right performing in Canada in 2014
Reagan, George W. Bush, and John McCain all wanted to use John Mellencamp’s songs, among them R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. and Pink Houses for their events, but were denied.
During his 2008 presidential campaign, McCain had to publicly apologize to Jackson Browne after he used his classic hit Running On Empty to make fun of his opponent, Barack Obama.
Browne sued the McCain campaign. The two sides agreed to a settlement.
McCain’s campaign also used Bon Jovi’s Who Says You Can’t Go Home.
The Jersey-born rocker wasn’t happy about it, but there was no further legal action and the song continued to be played.
McCain’s campaign also used the Foo Fighters hit My Hero despite the band’s frontman, Dave Grohl, being a supporter of Obama.
Grohl asked the McCain campaign to stop using the song, but the campaign said it was legally within its rights.
McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, was enamored with the song Barracuda, which was written and performed by Heart.
Palin, who was known in high school as ‘Sarah Barracuda’ for her talent on the basketball court, loved the song so much she wanted to use it as her theme song at the Republican National Convention.
But Heart was not having it.
Mitt Romney (left), who ran against Obama in 2012, was hit with a copyright infringement complaint for using a video of Obama singing Al Green’s (right) Let’s Stay Together
‘I feel completely f****d over,’ band member Nancy Wilson told Rolling Stone.
‘Sarah Palin’s views and values in no way represent us as American women.’
The band sent Palin a cease-and-desist letter, but the then-Alaska governor was not deterred.
She kept using the song at McCain-Palin rallies citing a blanket ASCAP license.
Other Republican presidential candidates also had rotten luck.
Mike Huckabee was asked by the band Boston not to use its hit More Than A Feeling.
Mitt Romney, who ran against Obama in 2012, was hit with a copyright infringement complaint for using a video of Obama singing Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together.
After the complaint, Romney’s campaign briefly removed the clip from YouTube, but then put it back up, citing ‘fair use.’
Romney was also denied permission by K’Naan to use his 2009 hit Wavin’ Flag.
Have any Democrats been asked to cease and desist playing music by artists?
Obama was asked not to use Sam and Dave’s Hold On I’m Coming.
Sam Moore asked Obama’s campaign to stop playing the song during rallies because he did not want to give the appearance that he was endorsing the then-candidate.?