R.E.M. To Trump: Go Fuck Yourself

What is it with Republican presidential candidates and using very non-Republican musicians’ songs without permission? First Donald Trump announced his campaign with Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World,” then Mike Huckabee trotted Kim Davis out to Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” at her release rally yesterday, and now we’re back to Trump, because of fucking course we are. As Mediaite reports, one of his most recent assaults on general human decency was blasting R.E.M.’s “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” as his walk-on music for a speech at an anti-Iran deal rally in Washington, D.C. today, which R.E.M. did not appreciate. Bassist Mike Mills kept his responses short and sweet, answering reporters’ questions on Twitter with a terse “Cease and desist.”

The promised official band response emerged later this evening, and it’s a good one:

While we do not authorize or condone the use of our music at this political event, and do ask that these candidates cease and desist from doing so, let us remember that there are things of greater importance at stake here. The media and the American voter should focus on the bigger picture, and not allow grandstanding politicians to distract us from the pressing issues of the day and of the current Presidential campaign.

Frontman Michael Stipe, however, was a little more direct and aggressive in a statement emailed to The Daily Beast: “Go fuck yourselves, the lot of you — you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”