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The Rolling Stones Can’t Get What They Want, Since Trump Keeps Using Their Music

Photo: Michele Eve Sandberg/AFP via Getty Images

Perhaps inspired to reach their full Pet-tential by the recent action of a certain music icon’s estate, the Rolling Stones have threatened to pursue legal action against Donald Trump for his continued use of their music at political rallies. Per Variety, the band’s legal team at BMI, the music rights organization, have issued numerous cease-and-desist letters to Trump’s campaign. “This could be the last time President Donald Trump uses Stones songs,” a statement and excellent dad pun read. “BMI have notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement. If Donald Trump disregards the exclusion and persists, then he would face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed.” Trump most recently played “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at his hot mess Tulsa rally on June 20.

Back in 2016, the Rolling Stones also threatened legal action twice against Trump when he began campaigning around the country for president. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” became a staple during his rallies, as well as “Start Me Up,” which played when Trump clinched the Republican nomination. Mick Jagger later conceded that there was little the band could actually do, from a legal standpoint, to stop Trump from rocking out to their tunes out on the campaign trial. “The thing is, when you appear in America … if you’re in a public place like Madison Square Garden or a theater, you can play any music you want, and you can’t be stopped,” Jagger explained at the time. “So, if you write a song and someone plays it in a restaurant that you go to, you can’t stop them. They can play what they want.”

Other musicians who have publicly expressed anger over Trump using their music include Neil Young, Queen, Adele, Rihanna, and R.E.M. Interestingly, Trump deferred to Young’s request to stop playing “Rockin’ in the Free World” during his campaign trial in 2016, with a spokesperson saying that Trump “is a big fan and likes Neil very much.” Young would go to tell him that “we are going to vote you out and make America great again.” Ouch.

The Rolling Stones Threaten Trump With Music Lawsuit