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During Tuesday’s rally in West Virginia, Aerosmith’s 1993 hit Livin’ On The Edge played over loudspeakers while supporters filled into seats prior to the president stumping for Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey.
In the letter, submitted through Tyler’s attorney, the frontman stated that the president has received cease-and-desist letters on two other occasions regarding his use of Aerosmith songs at rallies and events. Tyler called the use at the West Virginia rally “clearly willful” and is “subjecting Mr. Trump to the maximum penalty under the law.”
“As we have made clear numerous times, Mr. Trump is creating the false impression that our client has given his consent for the use of his music, and even that he endorses the presidency of Mr. Trump. By using ‘Livin’ On The Edge’ without our client’s permission, Mr. Trump is falsely implying that our client, once again, endorses his campaign and/or his presidency, as evidenced by actual confusion seen from the reactions of our client’s fans all over social media.”
Tyler is one of the many artists who’ve spoken out about their music being used to support the president, both while in office and on the campaign trail. Adele, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, and R.E.M. have all asked that their music not be used by the administration.
Dee Snider, frontman of glam metal band Twisted Sister and former contestant on “The Apprentice,” originally allowed his songs to be played in support of Trump but quickly had second thoughts.
Dee Snider told CNN in 2016; “When Donald started running for office, he asked me, he called me. He says, ‘Can I use the song?’ And he’s a buddy. And I said, ‘Yeah. Go ahead.’ But as the months went on, I heard a litany of his beliefs that I’d never discussed with him. I finally called him, and I said, ‘Man, you’ve gotta stop using the song. People think I’m endorsing you here. I can’t get behind a lot of what you’re saying.’ And that night. He has not used it since.”
President Trump is well aware of Tyler’s complaints and criticized the singer on Twitter back in 2015 stating he has legal rights to the song but already had a better one to take its place.
Even though I have the legal right to use Steven Tyler’s song, he asked me not to. Have better one to take its place!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2015
Steven Tyler got more publicity on his song request than he’s gotten in ten years. Good for him!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2015
Tyler defended his letter on Twitter, stating this isn’t a political issue but more about protecting artists.
THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY @JOEPERRY AND I HAVE BEEN PUSHING THE SENATE TO PASS THE MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT.— Steven Tyler (@IamStevenT) August 22, 2018
NO IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE.
After the 2015 incidents, BMI pulled the public performance rights from Trump rallies for Dream On. The public performance rights to Livin’ on the Edge are handled by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.
Chris Illuminati is an author and reporter whose work for the Daily Dot focuses on meme culture. His work has been published in Rolling Stone, FanSided, BroBible, Penthouse, and AskMen.