Years ago, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe sang “don’t fall on me,” and these days he has a similar message for presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz: Don’t call on me.
“Go f*** yourselves, the lot of you — you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men,” Stipe says in a statement to The Daily Beast, addressing Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and other candidates who spoke at a Stop the Iran Deal rally yesterday (Sept. 10) that used the R.E.M. classic “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” as motivational music for applauding tea-partiers.
“Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign,” adds Stipe.
Although the band broke up in 2011, the Georgians were always very environmentally and politically outspoken, and are clearly still united on the latter front.
When asked for comment on Twitter, bassist Mike Mills responds: “Cease and desist.” He then tweets a further comment targeting the perpetually tan Trump. “Personally, I think the Orange Clown will do anything for attention. I hate giving it to him.”
Trump, it seems, is having a hard time finding motivational tunes for his rally supporters. When he announced his candidacy, he famously descended an escalator to Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” — and subsequently was similarly reprimanded by the grunge pioneer.
Collectively, R.E.M. also used their Facebook page to address anyone who hopes to use their music for political gain — urging candidates to back off and voters to focus on more important things than pop music.
“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 post reads. “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.”