The Donald Trump campaign ran afoul of rock ’n’ roll early and often. Trump taste veers decidedly to the left when it comes to music. And that got him in to trouble — well, as much trouble as possible to a man tone deaf to the feelings of others — with a rather long list of rock and pop stars.
Elton John wondered why he didn’t ask notorious right-winger Ted Nugent or a country star to use one of their songs. John said he didn’t want his music used anywhere in the American election.
Trump, according to Britain’s The Telegraph, two months later announced he wants John to play at his inauguration. My, my.
Adele doesn’t want her songs in any campaign, either.
Dee Snider told CNN he gave Trump permission to use a Twisted Sister song, only to revoke that permission when he got wind of the candidate’s beliefs.
The rest of the list — The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, R.E.M., Queen and Neil Young — just doesn’t want Trump using their music. Trump did anyway.
Neil Young told Trump to stop using “Rockin’ in the Free World,” then rubbed it in by giving Bernie Sanders permission.
But the best response came from George Harrison’s estate, which said it is lawyered up and ready for a fight if Trump persists in playing “Here Comes the Sun” at his events. It suggested it might not be as upset if Trump had chosen “Beware of Darkness.”
Celebrities and entertainers lined up to back Democrat Hillary Clinton at her convention. And this being America, that was like fingernails on a chalk board to some.
Alicia Keys was one of the first performers at the DNC, where she pushed her campaign against gun violence: “Until we deal with gun violence this country, we can’t claim ‘Home of the Brave.’”
Her Facebook post drew 46,000 reactions, 580 shares and 751 not-always-supportive comments.
“Used to be a fan,” wrote one. “Shows how little we really know about the celebrities we love.”
Paul Simon was a surprise addition. Off key, they railed. Can’t hit the high notes, they said. He’s 74. I’ll be proud to be upright at that age.
Before Demi Lovato sang, she spoke about the need for better treatment of mental illness. She’s bipolar. Cue the hateful comments.
Meryl Streep showed up in a flag dress and had the nerve to talk about the historic night. Duck!
“Meryl Streep has lost her mind,” one sage posted on Facebook. “I love Meryl Streep as an actress. She’s incomparable but her politics are that of a zombie.”
I wondered where Nugent was sheltering during the DNC. Turns out he was out on the road on his “Sonic Baptizm” tour. Thursday, he played at the Arcada Theater in St. Charles, Ill.
How was the show? Ted posted Friday morning: “Good God almighty I love you real soulmusiclovers across America! Real honest to God asskicking hi-energy all American ulraFUN Rock-N-Roll still matters to so many of us! THANKUTHANKUTHANKU!! SONIC BAPTIZM throttles on relentlessly in that not so quiet night nonstop to Sept4!! Gityasum!!”
He’s been leaving the politics to others, mostly posting commentary from other conservatives. Oh, and spewing on Twitter.
And this is where we live these days. Disagree on an issue or a political party and you have mental illness, or worse, you are undead.
But don’t worry. It’s now the general election campaign and things will only get nastier. That’s just over 90 days — but adjusted for putridity, it will feel like 107.