In 1967, “Happy Together” was a No. 1 hit for the Turtles, which began in Los Angeles. Monday night, another band played it in Cleveland to kick off the GOP national convention.

The Turtles band of 1960s. From left: Al Nichol, Chip Douglas, John Barbata, Mark Volman, Jim Tucker and Howard Kaylan. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Turtles lead singer Howard Kaylan was not altogether happy, tweeting: “We never approved this use. Now we call the lawyers.”

But bandmate Mark Volman told the Los Angeles Times: “They can’t use the Turtles’ record on TV without paying for it, so if they did, they will certainly hear about it. But what I’ve been told is that it was the house band playing the song, which we can’t control, because we only own the Turtles’ version of the song.”

Billboard noted it wasn’t the first time Republicans used songs without creators’ OK.

“R.E.M. … told Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee to stop using their music last September. And in June of 2015, Neil Young told NPR he was mad that Trump had used ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ to announce his presidential campaign,” Billboard said. “Trump also angered the Shangri-Las for using ‘Leader of the Pack’ during his campaign rallies.”

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