Johnny Marr furious over Donald Trump playing The Smiths at his rallies

Former The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr has reacted with disbelief to footage of the band’s 1984 song “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” being played at a Donald Trump rally.

On Monday, an X/Twitter user posted about The Smiths being included in the pre-rally music ahead of Trump’s appearance in Laconia, New Hampshire.

In response, another user posted a clip from a Trump rally in Rapid City, South Dakota last year with the caption: “You actually hear the Smiths more often than you’d think at 2024 Trump rallies”. In the short video, “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” can be heard playing over the tannoy.

After this clip came to Marr’s attention, he wrote: “Ahh…right…OK. I never in a million years would’ve thought this could come to pass. Consider this s*** shut right down right now.”

While Marr may hope he can prevent Trump from playing his music at public events in the future, in reality several artists have struggled in similar efforts. As novelist John Niven wrote in response to Marr: “Good luck. The Stones, Neil Young, Tom Petty have all been trying to get Trump to stop using their music for years.”

Former US President Donald Trump (left) and former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr (Getty)
Former US President Donald Trump (left) and former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr (Getty)

In July 2020, the family of the late Tom Petty issued a statement objecting to Trump’s use of the song “I Won’t Back Down” in his campaign.

Trump had played the hit 1989 song at his rally in Tulsa, but Petty’s estate claimed he was not authorised to use it.

In a statement, the family said Trump’s campaign “leaves too many Americans and common sense behind”.

“Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind,” they continued. “Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.”

The following month, Neil Young sued Trump for copyright infringement over the use of two of his songs in what the artist calls a “campaign of ignorance and hate”.

“This complaint is not intended to disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing,” the complaint read in part.

“However, [Young] in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.”

The lawsuit singled out two of Young’s songs: “Rockin’ In the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk”, alleging that both had been played “numerous times at rallies and political events for the entertainment and amusement of those attending those rallies and political events”.

The Rolling Stones also threatened Trump with legal action over his use of their music at his rallies.