When Donald Trump uses “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at one of his rallies or public appearances, he’s essentially shoving the face of America into the feces of his so-far successful presidential campaign, nyah nyah nyah. He’s also blithely ignoring what were, for a time, the presumptive wishes of the Rolling Stones, a band with a past that has very little in common with the label “conservative.” Well, those wishes are no longer presumptive, as Mick, Keith and the boys have filed a cease and desist letter against Trump’s campaign.
As reported by The Guardian, political campaigns don’t even necessarily need permission from artists in order to use their songs. Campaigns need to obtain what is actually called a “blanket license” from either BMI or ASCAP that allows organizations to play the songs of musicians without the consent of specific musicians. As the ASCAP website states, “ASCAP gives you a license to entertain your customers, guests and employees with the world’s largest musical repertory.” So, then, if the Rolling Stones had just made a public statement expressing disdain with Trump’s use of their song, it maybe wouldn’t have mattered very much. But the fact that they went through the motions to file an actual cease and desist should put an end to Trump’s use of their sweet tunes.
Adele, Aerosmith, and Neil Young have already told Trump to stop using their songs in less legal terms, and he’s done them the kindness of listening. Chances are, the Stones could’ve just asked and he would’ve listened, because, no matter how much your persona relies on being an asshole, nobody wants to be the dude who blasts “Start Me Up” after Mick Jagger has told him not to.