Phil Collins Sends Donald Trump Cease and Desist Letter Over Use of ‘In the Air Tonight’

by Jennifer Shea
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Phil Collins wants President Trump to stop playing “In the Air Tonight” at his rallies. 

Through a new letter from his law firm, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, Collins makes clear that he’s had enough of Trump using his song at campaign rallies.

Collins Sends Cease and Desist Letter

Its repeated playing implies an endorsement of Trump, which Collins cannot abide, the lawyers said. Further, they pointed out that its use infringes on the artist’s musical copyright.

Collins wants nothing to do with the president or his rallies, they said in the letter, dated October 23, which TMZ has posted here.

This is the second cease and desist letter they have sent Trump. The earlier one, dated June 24, went unanswered. But the Trump campaign went on to play the song at an Iowa rally on October 14.

“That use was not only wholly unauthorized but, as various press articles have commented, particularly inappropriate since it was apparently intended as a satirical reference to Covid-19,” the lawyers wrote. “That reference was made at a time when Iowa was suffering from an acceleration of Covid-19 infection. Mr. Collins does not condone the apparent trivialization of Covid-19.”

A Dark Song

Whatever the intentions behind its use at the rally, “In the Air Tonight” is an odd choice for a campaign stump song. Its lyrics are an ominous, angry monologue directed at some anonymous person. “Well, if you told me you were drowning/I would not lend a hand,” goes the first verse. 

Collins reportedly wrote it as his relationship with his wife at the time was breaking down. He released it in 1981. 

The musician has had three wives. He got into a protracted legal battle with the most recent wife over control of their Florida mansion.

Collins joins a list of artists who have sent Trump cease and desist letters, according to Billboard. They include the Rolling Stones, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen’s estate. 

Outsider.com