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In a rarity for the Beastie Boys, the group clears a song for an advertisement in support of Joe Biden

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Most people have become conditioned not to pay much attention to advertisements. But every now and then an element or two catches the eye or, in the case of a new commercial for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the ear. About 40 seconds into a 60-second spot that took place during the Browns / Steelers game, music fans (especially those of a certain age in Gen X) noticed a Beastie Boys classic, Sabotage, in background.

What makes this remarkable is that this is an extremely rare event for the group, who are very averse to publicity. This is only the third time the band has given their blessing after Adam MCA Yauch’s death in 2012. Yauchs will prohibit the use Beastie Boys music for commercials, but surviving members have given the green light to some projects. The first was for the Star Trek Beyond Trailer in 2015, the second for the Activisions Destiny 2 game in 2017, and now, for the Democratic presidential candidate, a first for the group.

In 2014, the group was embroiled in a legal battle with toy company GoldieBlox over the unauthorized use of their song Girls in an advertisement.

The commercial that aired during the NFL game today features Joe Malcoun, co-owner of Ann Arbor, Mich., At the Blind Pig bar. The place has existed for 50 years, host some of the greatest acts in music, including Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.

Malcoun is putting the tenuous fate of concert halls, especially his own, which he says has been open and crowded, but for now it’s an empty hall at Donald Trump’s feet.

This is the reality of Trump [Covid-19] answer, he said. My only hope for my family and for this business and my community is that Joe Biden wins this election.

The Biden campaign said the group sanctioned the use of the iconic song from the 1994 album Ill Communication because of the importance of the election. The ad is one of three targeting NFL fans as the campaigns enter the home stretch. Pixies’ song Where Is My Mind is also in the ad.

Meanwhile, last week John Fogerty sent the Trump campaign a cease and desist order, demanding that the use of Fortunate Son at rallies be stopped. Fogerty joins an ever-growing list from musicians and groups demanding that the president and his campaign not use music, including the estates of George Harrison, Tom Petty and Prince, and, perhaps most famous, Neil Young.



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