The Canadian rocker was not impressed.
“Donald Trump was not authorized to use ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ in his presidential candidacy announcement,” read a statement from Young’s manager Elliot Roberts.
“Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for president of the United States of America.”
Released in 1989, the song is a criticism of George H. W. Bush’s administration and was adopted as an anthem for the fall of communism.
A Trump spokesperson said the campaign paid for the right to use the song but will respect Young’s wishes and not use it again.
Young’s friend and former bandmate David Crosby tweeted that Trump “has picked a fight with the wrong guy …bad idea.”
Parody Twitter account @PrezidentTrump explained “Neil came to me in a dream and said I should use his song.”
In 2012, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was threatened with legal action after using “Wavin’ Flag” from Canadian artist K’naan. Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider also complained about the Romney campaign’s use of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” at a rally.
The McCain-Palin campaign in 2008 was chastised by artists like Jackson Browne, Jon Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters and John Mellencamp for using their songs.