When I learned that Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, played Queen’s “We Are the Champions” during a campaign speech Tuesday night, I wanted to start a pool on how quickly Brian May and Roger Taylor would send out the “Cease and Desist” letter.
It took less than 24 hours for Brian to post a reaction on his personal website:
I’ve had an avalanche of complaints – some of which you can see in our ‘LETTERS’ page – about Donald Trump using our We Are The Champions track as his ‘theme’ song on USA TV. This is not an official Queen statement, but I can confirm that permission to use the track was neither sought nor given. We are taking advice on what steps we can take to ensure this use does not continue. Regardless of our views on Mr Trump’s platform, it has always been against our policy to allow Queen music to be used as a political campaigning tool. Our music embodies our own dreams and beliefs, but it is for all who care to listen and enjoy.
So yeah, Trump. Stop that. Queen isn’t feeling you. As you can see from the letters Brian posted, some Queen fans were none too pleased, and hoping the band hadn’t approved.
One fan writes: “I find it hard to believe that Trump and his organization have been given permission to use this song for his ‘identity’. This man has done everything he can to insult or dismiss Muslims, Mexicans, women, war heroes, opponents, news media and a long list of specific individuals in our society. His approach has basically been as a bully. I cannot see any correlation between the music Queen produced supporting a man who has turned our country upside down.”
“I will make sure we take what steps we can to dissociate ourselves from Donald Trump’s unsavoury campaign,” Brian assured the band’s fans.
Also making clear he’s not a fan of Trump, is American Idol singer Adam Lambert, who is currently touring as frontman for Queen in Europe. The singer posted a message on Twitter earlier this week, making it clear how he felt about the candidate.
Although I am not firmly educated in politics, for more instinctual reasons, I think Trump would be a highly risky leader. He seems to manipulate fear and ignorance in order to gain popularity. How he is even taken seriously is beyond me. This isn’t the ‘Apprentice’– it’s real life! I want to LIKE our future president. Not be embarrassed by him. I want to be inspired and hopeful in potential times of crisis–not terrified that he’d provoke both national and international chaos and division. Our president doesn’t need to be employing pompous, narcissistic negativity for attention. We should leave that to our tabloid celebrities.
Maybe Trump should just stick to the music of Ted Nugent and Dee Snider–both have given him permission to use their music. But maybe the candidate is deliberately using music without permission for the sake of publicity. If the musician is cool with it, fine. If they aren’t–it’s another round of stories headed to the news cycle.