The songs used by President Donald Trump have come under scrutiny once again. This time, it's the Guns N Roses cover of Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die" at an event in Ohio, which came across as tone-deaf for a number of reasons.
The event was captured on video by The Intercept reporter Robert Mackey, who tweeted out the evidence on Thursday. As he noted, the song was playing during what he called "a thinly-disguised campaign event." Moreover, the governor of the state, Mike DeWine, wasn't able to attend, as he had tested positive for COVID-19. The disease has killed well over 150,000 Americans since March, with roughly 1,400 dying every day as a result.
The White House is playing "Live and Let Die" before Trump's arrival at a thinly disguised campaign event in Ohio that the state's governor cannot attend because he just came down with Covid-19, the disease that killed over 1,400 Americans yesterday. pic.twitter.com/AGumBfSFb8— Robert Mackey (@RobertMackey) August 6, 2020
While this particular instance simply appears to be done in poor taste, Trump's playlists have routinely landed him in trouble. Most recently, Neil Young sued the president's reelection campaign for using his songs without permission. The lawsuit, which was filed in early August, explains that Young's songs "Rockin' in the Free World" and "Devil's Sidewalk" have been played without his permission. He said that no one in the Trump administration had the proper licenses to use those songs. The reason for his frustration also comes from the fact that he isn’t fond of allowing his music to be played as a rallying cry "for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate," as noted by TMZ.
The Canadian rocker is requesting damages and that his music is no longer played at any future events hosted by Trump or his campaign. It's also not the first time Young has crossed paths with Trump for this exact reason after Young was angered to hear "Rockin' in the Free World" used in the background when Trump announced his run for office in front of Trump Tower back in 2015. At the time, a spokesperson for his campaign made the excuse that Trump "is a huge fan of Neil Young and his music and will continue to be regardless of Neil's political views."
Other bands, including Linkin Park and the family of the late Tom Petty, have also publicly trashed Trump for similar reasons. The Rolling Stones are also preparing their own court battle over a lawsuit similar to Young's.