Known for keeping their music out of the hands of those who could possibly use it to push a message, or product, the band members themselves may not agree with, New York City music icons Beastie Boys seem to have let up a little this year.
For the first time ever, the group has licensed a song for a political ad, allowing the use of their 1994 hit "Sabotage" to be played during an ad for former VP Joe Biden's presidential campaign. The track, which aired on Sunday highlights the effects the COVID-19 heath crisis and the current administration's handling of the response has had on the live music industry.
Focusing on a now shuttered club famously situated between Chicago and Detroit, the Blind Pig, the ad features one of the venue's owners discussing what he considers President Donald Trump’s shortsighted response to the pandemic. Also in the background, you'll hear the Beasties' fellow '90s powerhouses Pixies and The Breeders, set to live footage from the venues' storied past.
A Biden campaign rep tells Variety that the band decided to say yes "because of the importance of the election."
It's a markedly different approach to the Trump campaign, who have been hit with numerous cease and desist orders by artists who would not like their music affiliated with the incumbent during his campaign rallies. Phil Collins, Neil Young, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, Adele, Pharrell, Guns N’ Roses, and R.E.M. are just a few artists who have spoken out.
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Speaking about the disastrous state of the live music industry, co-owner Joe Malcoun says in the video, "This is Donald Trump’s economy: There is no plan and you don’t know how to go forward. It makes me so angry. My only hope for my family and for this business and my community is that Joe Biden wins this election.”