AEROSMITH frontman Steven Tyler says that his effort to stop GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump from using AEROSMITH’s 1973 breakthrough hit, “Dream On”, at his campaign events was part of a broader campaign to help strengthen copyright protection for songwriters and up-and-coming artists. “My intent was not to make a political statement, but to make one about the rights of my fellow music creators,” Tyler says in a new guest column for The Huffington Post.
Earlier this week, Tyler’s attorneys sent a cease-and-desist letter to the campaign, claiming that Trump does “not have our client’s permission to use ‘Dream On’ or any of Tyler’s other songs” and that it “gives the false impression that he is connected with or endorses Mr. Trump’s presidential bid… We are unaware of any public performance license granting Trump For President the right to perform ‘Dream On’ in connection with the campaign. If Trump For President has any such license, please forward it to our attention immediately.”
In his Huffington Post column, Tyler argues that massive changes in technology and and with the way fans pay for music and consume music “can be a good thing for songwriters and up-and-coming artists, if we are paid fairly by those who make money using our work.” He adds: “Everyone deserves to be able to pay their bills, support their families, and do the work they love. Too many can’t because we are being shortchanged by new and old technology companies.”
Tyler goes on to say that he thinks some of the new technologies are “really cool,” especially as they enable the fans to “listen to music wherever [they] are, make up [their] own playlists, and hear what [they] want when [they] want.” But he insists that “the laws need to change” that control how songwriters and artists get paid for their music. He says: “Seventy-five percent of songwriters’ income in the U.S. is regulated by the government? Too much government intervention in art and music is a bad thing… Songwriters, producers and artists can’t survive on what they are being paid.”
Steven Tyler is a registered Republican and attended the first GOP debate back in August.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tyler and Trump are friendly: “Tyler was once a judge at Trump’s Miss USA pageant and they reportedly once traveled to Russia together.” Trump tweeted about attending an AEROSMITH concert and raved about the show.
Both Neil Young and R.E.M. have publicly slammed Trump during the campaign for using their music at their events.