Steven Tyler has asked Donald Trump to stop using Aerosmith’s song Dream On at campaign events without permission.
Attorneys for Steven Tyler have already sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Republican presidential hopeful, saying the use of the song “gives a false impression” the singer endorses Donald Trump’s presidential bid.
Donald Trump has been playing Dream On all summer, even air-drumming to it at a rally in Las Vegas.
Steven Tyler, who is a registered Republican, says it is not a “personal” issue but one of permission and copyright.
It is the third time a musician has confronted Donald Trump about using their songs to promote his presidential bid.
When Donald Trump announced his candidacy, his campaign played Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World – a song that contains the lyrics “He’s just a rich old man / He never cared for anyone”.
Neil Young, a well-known liberal, demanded that Donald Trump stop using the song and declared his support for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders instead.
The tycoon then used REM’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine), prompting singer Michael Stipe to issue a strongly-worded statement, saying: “Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”
Conversely, Steven Tyler is not politically opposed to Donald Trump, who is the current frontrunner in the Republican race for the White House.
Steven Tyler even attended the second GOP debate in August as Donald Trump’s guest, according to the Washington Post, but his representatives issued a legal letter to Trump’s campaign over the weekend.
“Trump for President does not have our client’s permission to use Dream On or any of our client’s other music in connection with the campaign because it gives the false impression that he is connected with or endorses Mr. Trump’s presidential bid,” the cease-and-desist letter read.
“If Trump for President does not comply with our demands, our client will be forced to pursue any and all legal or equitable remedies which our client may have against you.”
Donald Trump was initially asked to stop using Dream On, which features the refrain “dream until your dream comes true” after a rally in Alabama two months ago, but he has continued to use it on the campaign trail, reports Rolling Stone.
Politicians using songs by musicians who do not support them has been a thorny issue for decades, since Bruce Springsteen castigated President Ronald Reagan for planning to use Born in the USA as a backdrop for his 1984 re-election campaign.
Technically, copyright laws give politicians carte blanche to use recorded music at their rallies – as long as the venue has a public performance license issued through a songwriters’ association such as ASCAP or BMI.
However, there is some leeway for an artist to complain their image and reputation is being damaged by the repeated use of a song without their express permission.