- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Neil Young said he is letting President Trump off the hook for having played his music without permission during an event last week at Mount Rushmore in Keystone, South Dakota.

The legendary musician and frequent Trump critic published an open letter to the president Monday written in light of hearing two of his songs played during the event last Friday.

“Although I have repeatedly asked you to please not use my music because it indicates that I support your agenda, you have always played my songs anyway at your gatherings, with no regard for my rights, even calling me names on Twitter,” Mr. Young wrote.

Mr. Young noted his music was played at Friday’s event but said he will not sue so the president stays focused on countering COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“Because you are in charge of the COVID-19 response here in the USA, I will not sue (as certainly is my right) potentially distracting from your important work at hand protecting and saving American lives. With the enormous power you wield on our behalf, I wish you all the best in your critical battle to save American souls from this threat. I know you will do your best for all Americans, regardless of political leanings. I give you my encouragement in your efforts to Unify America,” Mr. Young wrote.

At least two songs written by Mr. Young – “Like a Hurricane” and “Rockin’ in the Free World” – were played during Friday’s event at Mount Rushmore on the eve of Independence Day.

Mr. Young expressed his disapproval at the time on Twitter in a tweet where voicing his support for a local Native American tribe that was protesting the event.

“I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me,” Mr. Young said in response to a tweet containing a video showing his music being played at the event.

Rather than “Like a Hurricane” and “Rockin’ in the Free World,” Mr. Young suggested in his open letter that the president play another one of his tunes, “Lookin’ for a Leader,” that was recently re-recorded with new lyrics ripping on Mr. Trump.

“I suggest you listen to my song,” Mr. Young wrote. “I believe it would be an interesting addition to your next rally.”

The White House did not immediately return a message requesting comment.
Mr. Young, a 74-year-old Canadian-American, has spoken out against Mr. Trump since the start of the latter’s 2016 presidential campaign.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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