He may not have gotten all of those black ministers everyone was talking about, but The Donald has earned the respect (if not the vote) of one influencer of society… Dee Snider. The Twisted Sister front man has allegedly answered the call (literally… on the phone) from Trump and given him the thumbs up to use his song, “We’re not gonna take it” during is campaign events. (Reporting from The Hill)
“He called and he asked, which I appreciated,” Snider told Canadian Business in a recent interview. “I said, ‘Look, we don’t see eye to eye on everything — there are definitely issues that we’re far apart on.’ But thinking back to when I wrote the song and what the song is about, it’s about rebellion, speaking your mind and fighting the system.”
Oddly enough, this didn’t even originate in a political publication. The quotes came from an interview Snider did with a business magazine where he was talking about the business lessons he’s learned and the importance of branding. The interview contains a number of reminders about the relationship between the singer and Trump, including his stint on The Apprentice. He claims he got a lot of good business advice from that process.
You also said yes to Celebrity Apprentice. What skills from your rock-star life helped you in The Trumpster’s boardroom?
Everything. That’s why it seems that musicians and comedians tend to win more than actors and athletes. Actors are given a script and then they do their part and they leave. Athletes have a playbook. We are entertainers who are forced to do everything for ourselves.
You have spent a lot of time with The Donald. What have you learned from him?
What I learned from him: Take credit for everything and put your name on it. It’s Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale, The House of Hair with Dee Snider, Dee Snider’s Strangeland.
This whole question of using music at political events has long since gotten out of hand, but it’s still a lesson worth learning for future candidates. There are a lot of songs out there which aren’t even in the control of the original artist (depending how their deals were structured and how long it’s been since it was published) and many bulk licensing deals can get you permission to use the tunes at public events or media productions. But just having the right to use somebody’s music legally doesn’t mean that you can stop the original author from grousing about it in the press. (See Springsteen, Bruce)
This tends to turn the entire process into a needless headache. I’ve wondered for a while if we couldn’t structure these licensing deals in a way that would make the original creator liable to lawsuits if they come out later and trash anyone legally using the music once they’ve cashed in on it. If you want the rights to the music in all ways, don’t license it out.
Still, Trump seems to have made an impression on Snider in more ways than one. Sometimes just networking and earning somebody’s respect with a polite, personal request will go a long ways toward avoiding fractious sniping. That seems to be the case between Trump and Twisted Sister even if Dee won’t wind up voting for him.