Trump team stiffs musicians and cities

Estate of Canadian Leonard Cohen among those who oppose Donald Trump’s use of their music

By Byron Toben

As we meander towards December and a choice of many versions of Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, one’s thoughts turn to penny-pinching Scrooge. He denied alms to struggling charities.

The Trump campaign team has done the same to others by using songs without permission and without paying royalties. (Most of these musicians are not Trump voters.) A list follows below.

23 individuals or groups… have voiced opposition to their music being used at the Trump rallies, or for other political purposes.

Among them is Canadian Leonard Cohen, whose estate objected that his Hallelujah was used during the Republican National Convention despite their specific denial for its use.

It has also stiffed many cities by not paying for police protection needed during their giant rallies.

It claims that it is up to the federal secret service to co-ordinate this with local officials. However, the Secret Service does not have Congressional funds for this purpose and cities, deprived of federal funds in general and more so during the added expenses of the pandemic, are strapped for cash. A list of some of these cities also follows.

Village People

Village People are among the groups who protested the use of their music – Image: Mario Casciano, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

List of musicians whose songs were used without permission and without paying royalties

A Wikipedia article lists in detail 23 individuals or groups who have voiced opposition to their music being used at the Trump rallies, or for other political purposes:

Adele, Aerosmith, the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Eddy Grant, Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Leonard Cohen, Linkin Park, Luciano Pavarotti, Neil Young, Nickelback, Panic at the Disco, Pharrell Williams, Phil Collins, Prince, Queen, R.E.M., Rihanna, the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Village People.

Church Street Marketplace, Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, VT, one of the cities that were not reimbursed for expenses related to Trump rallies – Image: Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

List of cities not reimbursed for MAGA rallies

Forbes Magazine, Newsweek and others list 14 cities whose unpaid bills total $1.82 million in public safety costs. Ten examples are:

Arizona – Tucson
Minnesota – Minneapolis
Montana – Billings
Ohio – Lebanon
Pennsylvania – Erie
Texas – El Paso
Vermont – Burlington
Washington – Spokane
Wisconsin – Eau Claire and Green Bay

These ten total $841,219.64 in unpaid expenses.

NOTE: Some cities waive the fees. Others, like Nashville, Tennessee, demand cash in advance.

Feature image: Leonard Cohen in concert 2008, Baggio, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.ca

More articles from Byron Toben

Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.

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