Look, no one wants to talk about it, but eventually we kind of have to. We can't keep living in denial about it. These things happened, as cringeworthy as they are to recount. During the course of the 2016 election, The Donald had a pretty tough time grasping the idea of asking for permission, and has garnered a load of backlash from various big names like Queen and The Rolling Stones for using their work during live events without asking for their consent. Regardless of whether it was legal for him to do so, the idea that those artists work was being used to represent a political campaign they either strongly opposed or wanted nothing to do with is a pretty reasonable justification for their anger, especially when their ‘cease and desist' orders are ignored. It's just outright disrespectful.
Queen 'Frustrated' by Donald Trump After RNC Song Usage
But the big issue here isn't just that he didn't ask the artists' permissions; anyone can use any song for public performance as long as they pay the right license fees. It's the songs he chose, and the dear-to-our-hearts, early-listening, sing-song purity of the tunes that come with them in our minds. We associate certain songs with vivid memories of joy, or love, or that time you first got rejected at a middle school dance (because it felt damn good when you finally worked up the courage to ask). But nope. Not anymore. Now, instead of remembering that ninth grade soccer tournament your team won, you get to think of the Xenophobic Sweet Potato hissing into a microphone every time you hear "We Are The Champions".
Brian May wasn't happy, and frankly, no true fan of Queen should have been. As many things as there are that this song gets plastered onto, the fact that we now get to associate the work of one of the most inspiring men in music history with the face of a racist clementine is gag worthy.
Oh, and let's not forget what came after the nomination speech. Exiting the stage at the Republican National Convention, he was accompanied by the sound of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the Rolling Stones, which was supposedly some jab about voters being stuck with him? Not the most inspiring. You can watch the video here
He also used Led Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown", Elton John's "Rocket Man", and Adele's "Skyfall" at his campaign rallies. Even Pavarotti's performance of the Puccini aria "Nessun Dorma" wasn't safe from the stubby-fingered reach of the Combover Con Man. Nothing is sacred.
The saddest part is that it's reasonable to expect anyone to love these songs, so it isn't shocking that he chose them for his rallies and speeches. It's just… the way he used them, and the context for some of them is just so strange and cringeworthy. Look, politicians missing the mark on song meanings is no new thing, "Born In The USA" is probably the single most politically misinterpreted song in the history of ever. But it reaches a whole new level of comedy when you watch a man give a campaign speech with "It's The End Of The World" as his soundtrack. Which brings us to the final, and most ironic pick from the Cheeto-in-Chief's bid to be President.
That's right, folks. Those memories of Chicken Little fighting off extraterrestrial invaders will have to take the bench now. It's like finding out a childhood friend died in a nuclear tanning salon accident. As much as I'm sure the use of the song was intended as a quip at the Iran Nuclear deal being discussed at the rally itself, I couldn't help but just watch in awe and think ‘some music supervisor actually approved this?' I mean, come on… They had to see how it was going to appear to people. You just can't make this stuff up.