Upon announcing his run for president in June 2015, Donald Trump pegged Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” as his campaign theme song. However, he was quickly met with a cease and desist, with Young’s publicist saying in a statement that Trump was “not authorized” to use the song.
Trump’s campaign insisted they paid both ASCAP and BMI for rights to the song, but stopped using it “out of respect to Young.” The singer, meanwhile, turned around and gave Trump’s opponent Sanders permission to use “Rockin’ in the Free World” at his own rallies.
A year later, and Young has seemingly had a change of heart. In a new interview with Reuters, Young said he’d be fine with Trump using the song.
“The fact that I said I was for Bernie Sanders and then he didn’t ask me to use ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ doesn’t mean that he can’t use it,” Young said. “He actually got a license to use it. I mean, he said he did and I believe him. So I got nothing against him. You know, once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything.”
Young, a Canadian citizen, said he still supports Sanders: “He’s the only one talking about the issues, about issues that matter to me, the issues on my mind – problems of corporate control of democracy and everything slipping away and not being able to have six major companies owning all the media in the United States.” However, he doesn’t plan on becoming a US citizen in order to vote in the upcoming election.