John Fogerty issues a cease-and-desist order to Trump's campaign to stop using his 'Fortunate Son' song at rallies

John Fogerty is one of many musicians to complain about their songs being used at events sponsored by President Trump's campaign.Getty Images/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts; MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
  • John Fogerty tweeted Friday that he is issuing a cease-and-desist order to the Trump campaign to stop his music from being played at the president's events.
  • Fogerty's cease-and-desist order comes after he criticized the president's use of the Vietnam War-era song "Fortunate Son" at a September 10 campaign rally in Freeland, Michigan.
  • Fogerty wrote "Fortunate Son" in 1969 as a member of Creedence Clearwater Revival.
  • In the cease-and-desist letter, which was obtained by Rolling Stone, a lawyer for Fogerty reportedly told the Trump campaign that using "Fortunate Son" or other music from Fogerty could "deceive the public" by connecting the musician with President Trump.
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John Fogerty is not backing down on his complaint about President Donald Trump's re-election campaign using the 1969 song "Fortunate Son" during at least one rally in September.

On Friday, the former Creedence Clearwater Revival member, who wrote "Fortunate Son" in 1969, shared in a statement via Twitter that he is issuing a cease-and-desist order to the Trump campaign.

"I object to the President using my song, 'Fortunate Son' in any way for his campaign. He is using my words and my voice to portray a message that I do not endorse," Fogerty wrote.
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In his tweet, Fogerty shared a picture of a man in uniform, which is presumably his own portrait. Fogerty was drafted for the Vietnam War in 1966, and around the same time, he volunteered to serve, enlisting with the US Army Reserves as a supply clerk.

Fogerty previously spoke out against the Trump campaign for using "Fortunate Son" at a Freeland, Michigan, rally on September 10. At the event, President Trump walked off Air Force One to the Creedence Clearwater Revival song.

The day after the rally, Fogerty shared a video on Facebook where he criticized the use of his song.
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President Donald Trump waves as he steps off Air Force One upon arrival for a campaign rally at MBS International Airport in Freeland, Michigan on September 10, 2020.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Fogerty's cautionary letter to the Trump campaign states that legal action will be taken if the use of "Fortunate Son" isn't stopped.

In Fogerty's cease-and-desist letter, which was obtained by Rolling Stone, a lawyer for Fogerty reportedly wrote to the Trump campaign that using the musician's songs at the president's events is "likely to cause confusion, mistake and deceive the public as to the affiliation, connection, sponsorship or association of President Trump by or with John Fogerty."A lawyer for Fogerty continued in the letter, writing to the Trump campaign: "We therefore demand that you expeditiously abstain from playing 'Fortunate Son' or any other song written by or connected with John Fogerty at any political campaign rallies or events, and promptly notify us that the demand has been met."
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Rolling Stone also reported that the cease-and-desist letter from Fogerty claimed that the Trump campaign's use of "Fortunate Son" was considered "trademark infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin and false description."

President Trump has not appeared to publicly address Fogerty's cease-and-desist order, nor the use of "Fortunate Son" by his re-election campaign, at the time of writing.

Representatives for Fogerty and the Trump campaign, respectively, did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment about the musician's cease-and-desist order.
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John Fogerty performs for the 40th Anniversary of “A Capitol Fourth” on PBS on July 04, 2020 in Washington, DC.Getty Images/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts

Fogerty previously called Trump a 'fortunate son' and said it was 'confounding' that his song was used at the president's rally

In his September Facebook video, titled "Meaning behind 'Fortunate Son,'" Fogerty said: "Recently, the president has been using my song 'Fortunate Son' for his political rallies, which I find confounding, to say the least."

Fogerty then said that when wrote the song in 1969, it was "at the height of the Vietnam War."

"Something I was very upset about was the fact that people of privilege, in other words, rich people, or people that had position, could use that to avoid the draft and not be taken into the military," Fogerty said. "I found that very upsetting that such a thing could occur, and that's why I wrote 'Fortunate Son.'"
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Fogerty then noted the song's opening verses: "Some folks are born, made to wave the flag / Ooh, their red, white, and blue / And when the band plays 'Hail to the Chief' / Ooh, they point the cannon at you."

In his video, Fogerty compared the beginning verses of "Fortunate Son" to Trump's use of federal agents to remove protesters from a June demonstration at Lafayette Square in Washington, DC, so he could stand in front of St. John's Church and hold a Bible for a photo opportunity.

"It's a song I could've written now, so I find it confusing, I would say, that the president has chosen to use my song for his political rallies, when in fact, it seems like he is probably the fortunate son," Fogerty said, ending the video.
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Fogerty's comparison to the president as "the fortunate son" may have been a reference to the fact that Trump received multiple deferments that helped allow him to avoid service in the Vietnam War.

Fogerty is not the first musician to formally request that the Trump campaign refrains from playing their music. In June, the family of Tom Petty issued a cease-and-desist order to the president's re-election campaign after "I Won't Back Down" was played at a Tulsa, Oklahoma rally.
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Rihanna, R.E.M., and The Rolling Stones — among other artists — have also ordered President Trump's campaign to stop using their music at political events.

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