The Trump campaign used and appropriated without permission "Love Train" by soul-music group the O'Jays, and the band's members are not at all happy about it. Eddie Levert and Walter Williams denounced the deployment of their uplifting 1973 anthem "Love Train"—changed to "Trump Train"—at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. More recently, Rep. John Mica (R-FL) appropriated the O'Jays' 1974 hit “For the Love of Money” without the artists' consent. Consequently, the O'Jays' attorneys delivered a cease-and-desist letter to Mica and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Your use of our clients’ signature song, and utilizing the original recording constitutes a patently false implication that Mr. Levert and Mr. Williams have endorsed you or your political agenda or Mr. Trump’s agenda. Our clients unequivocally do not endorse you, your agenda nor your party’s views or those of Mr. Trump. On the contrary, Mr. Levert and Mr. Williams have actively opposed these ideals... We hereby demand that you and any person or entity with which you are affiliated with, immediately and permanently refrain from exploiting our clients’ proprietary material, using the recording of the song “For The Love of Money,” or any of our clients’ other intellectual property rights.
Williams said in a press release, “We don’t appreciate having our music associated with a campaign that is hurtful to so many with whom we have common ground. We’ve really had enough of this I’m living proof that America is already great; I came from nothing and everyday I feel blessed to live in the greatest country on earth. We support those who inspire in a positive way as opposed to bullying and using scare tactics. Our music, and most especially, ‘Love Train’ is about bringing people together, not building walls.” Pulling no punches, Levert likened Trump to "the Antichrist." It really is hard to imagine a song more antithetical to Trump's bellicose and anti-foreigner agenda than "Love Train."
There's a long tradition of Republicans angering musicians by using their music in their campaigns without permission. Trump also recently miffed the Rolling Stones for playing "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "Brown Sugar," and "Sympathy for the Devil" at his rallies. As it turns out, most musicians are liberals and therefore find their songs being hijacked to promote conservative causes and politicians repulsive. The pool of conservative musicians is minuscule and grim, which is cause for, among other things, liberal schadenfreude. Imagine having to rely on Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, and Gene Simmons for inspirational songs.