Speed Reads

2020 ad watch

The Beastie Boys allow Biden to use 'Sabotage' in political ad, in a first for the band

The Biden campaign debuted a political ad during Sunday's Steelers-Browns game, centered around the Blind Pig, a music club in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The thrust of the ad is that President Trump's COVID-19 response, both economic and in terms of public health, has decimated the live music business. But the commercial is perhaps most notable for the song that kicks in at about the 40-second mark, "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys. This is, Variety reports, the first time the band has licensed any of its music for an advertisement.

The Beastie Boys agreed to using "Sabotage" in the ad "because of the importance of the election," the Biden campaign tells Variety. The band has allowed the song to be used in a trailer for "Star Trek" and in the video game "Destine 2," but the late Adam Yauch said in his will that no music he was involved in creating should be used for product advertising, and the Beastie Boys have sued brands for using their songs, Variety reports.

"A lot of restaurants and bars that have been mainstays for years will not make it through this," Blind Pig co-owner Joe Malcoun says in the ad. "This is Donald Trump's economy: There is no plan and you don't know how to go forward." The economy is, probably not coincidentally, Trump's strongest issue in opinion polling.

Still, Joe Biden isn't the only top presidential candidate with support from legendary bands. Mike Love and his touring Beach Boys band played at a Trump fundraiser in Newport Beach, California, on Sunday (though founding Beach Boys members Brian Wilson and Al Jardine made clear they had nothing to do with Love's participation in a Trump event).