Phil Collins has hit Donald Trump’s presidential campaign with a cease and desist order following the unauthorized use of "In the Air Tonight" during a rally in Iowa on Wednesday night.
Collins’ 1981 solo single was played aloud prior to Trump taking the stage in Des Moines, Iowa. The campaign has a tendency of using songs without listening to their lyrics — the most recent example being CCR’s "Fortunate Son" — but playing a song titled "In the Air Tonight" as an airborne virus continues to ravage the country seems particular tone-deaf. Then again, it could’ve also been the campaign’s way of flipping a middle finger at health officials and media members who question why Trump is holding mass gatherings where many of the attendees are not wearing masks.
Whatever the case, Trump’s campaign did not have permission to use the song. A representative for Collins tells Consequence of Sound, "Yes we are well aware of the Trump campaign’s use of this song and we have already issued a ‘cease and desist’ letter via our lawyers who continue to monitor the situation."
Collins joins a long list of prominent artists who’ve served Trump’s campaign with cease and desist orders over the unauthorized use of their music. Acts like The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, and Leonard Cohen’s estate have gone even further by threatening legal action.
Watching @CNN's @ErinBurnett & Jim @Acosta talk about the mostly maskless crowd at tonight's #Iowa Trump rally in Des Moines, where Covid-19 cases are rising... while the campaign is blasting @PhilCollinsFeed "IN THE AIR TONIGHT" is peak #2020 🤦♂️🙆🤷#Wtf #VOTE #BidenHarris2020 pic.twitter.com/YOpC26ptvC— Gary Gaston (@gaston213) October 14, 2020
© Consequence of Sound, by Alex Young