Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones (Can’t Get No) Satisfaction from politicians using their music, and have taken a stand against this prevalent issue today (29th July 2020). Teaming up with other music industry giants, rock forefathers Jagger and Richards signed their names on the written protest that demands politicians to cease playing artist’s songs at political campaign rallies, unless they have obtained permission first.
The Artist Rights Alliance (ARA), a non-profit organisation that ensures the protection and compensation of songs for songwriters and musicians within the digital realm, led the written protest. The letter was aimed directly at the Republican and Democratic political parties, specifically their senatorial, congressional and national committees. It warns politicians against the unwarranted usage of artist songs, demanding they immediately stop this unfair utilisation, itself a bid to generate public appeal, or to add to their own political gain.
Consequently, Donald Trump playing the Rolling Stones and other politician’s unregulated use of artist’s music has forced musicians to comment upon their own political views, an unfair intrusion of the musician’s private beliefs. The letter expands on this topic, stating: “No politician benefits from forcing a popular artist to publicly disown and reject them. Yet these unnecessary controversies inevitably draw even the most reluctant or apolitical artists off the sidelines, compelling them to explain the ways they disagree with candidates wrongfully using their music. And on social media and in the culture at large, it’s the politicians that typically end up on the wrong side of those stories.”
The Executive Director of the Artist Rights Association, Ted Kalo, spoke about the negative effects of the unwarranted usage of songs for artists, stating during an interview with Variety magazine that: “It is an issue that has come up in previous election cycles, but has happened with much greater frequency in this cycle, so much so that it caught our attention.” The complete letter can be read here.
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Kalo maintained the need for artists to stand up in this transitory period of changing times is greater now more than ever. Kalo stated: “The energy to just not take it anymore was overwhelming. Rather than only taking this on piecemeal, we felt it was time to confront this problem in numbers with a simple request: Ask and receive permission first.”
The letter includes signatures from music’s most esteemed acts across multiple genres. Sir Elton John, Linkin Park and Green Day are amongst the other colossal artists that have joined forces and signed the petition. Other notable signatures include the likes of Lorde, R.E.M, Blondie, Panic! At the Disco, Sheryl Crow, Pearl Jam, and the late great Kurt Cobain’s estate. Jagger and Richards signing their names on the important letter follow Mick Jagger threatening US President Donald Trump with severe legal action. After ignoring multiple warnings from the band, Trump continued to use Rolling Stones’ cult hit, (Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, to heighten the morale at his political rallies.
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On a lighter note, the Rolling Stones recently unearthed the mysterious Scarlet, a previously unreleased track recorded back in October of 1974. Collaborating with fellow rock legends Jimmy Page and Rick Grech, the Rolling Stones shared hidden jewel Scarlet with the world on July 22nd.