R.E.M. Do Not Feel Fine With Donald Trump Using Their Song at a Campaign Rally
Donald Trump can add R.E.M. to the growing list of artists who don't want him using their music at his campaign events.
Former band members Michael Stipe and Mike Mills found themselves responding to calls for comments yesterday after Trump took the stage at a Tea Party-sponsored rally in Washington, D.C., while the band's 1987 single "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" played over the loudspeakers. While the song was admittedly a somewhat clever choice — as ABC News Radio reports, the rally was being held for those who oppose an Iranian nuclear arms deal — neither Stipe nor Mills were amused.
Political pundit David Corn reached out to Mills via Twitter to ask for comment, and Mills' initial response of "cease and desist" quickly drew him into a social media political argument that he deflected by pointing out he'd rather not give Trump any attention at all.
Stipe, meanwhile, offered a far more forceful reaction, sending out a quote that made it clear in no uncertain terms he doesn't stand with Trump — or Trump's fellow Republican candidate Ted Cruz, who also spoke at the rally. "Go f--- yourselves, the lot of you," he wrote. "You sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign."
The band's official Facebook page later offered a more even-tempered response, publishing a post that noted, "While we do not authorize or condone the use of our music at this political event, and do ask that these candidates cease and desist from doing so, let us remember that there are things of greater importance at stake here. The media and the American voter should focus on the bigger picture, and not allow grandstanding politicians to distract us from the pressing issues of the day and of the current presidential campaign."
At this point, Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" seems to be the only song Trump has permission to use — and if his recent PR scuffle with Neil Young is anything to go by, we can presumably expect Trump to hurl a few insults back in R.E.M.'s direction shortly.
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