Musicians Ask Republicans To Stop Using Their Music
There is a pattern of Republicans using artists to promote their campaigns and causes, and the artists responding with cease-and-desist orders.
Senate candidate Chuck DeVore (R-CA) got burned for using for using altered-lyric version of Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer” and “She Just Wants To Dance” for his campaign’s Web ads. David Byrne is suing Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL) for using “Road To Nowhere” in a Web ad during his previous Republican Senate primary fight, and of course, as [Politico] reported yesterday, Rush cut to the chase and told Senate nominee Rand Paul (R-KY) to stop playing “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit of Radio.”
“Still the One” by Orleans has been a political favorite, but the group’s John Hall, now a Democratic member of Congress, successfully got George W.Bush to stop using the song.
As the song’s main author, John Hall, told MSNBC in 2008: “George Bush was busy campaigning on an ‘ownership society,’ yet never asked me, the band, or the publishers for permission.” Hall and other stakeholders in the song quickly sent a cease-and-desist letter, and the Bush campaign dropped the song.
John McCain tried to use the song, too, again incurring the wrath of its authors.
“This is yet another example of John McCain not learning anything from George Bush’s mistakes,” Hall told MSNBC, also adding: “The only one John McCain is Still the One for is George Bush.”
The McCain campaign was constantly in hot water with artists.
Jackson Browne also sued it for using his song “Running On Empty” in an ad, for which the two sides later reached an out-of-court settlement. Van Halen objected to McCain’s use of their song “Right Now” at a rally. The Wilson sisters from Heart strenuously objected to his campaign’s use of “Barracuda” to promote Sarah Palin. And finally, the McCain campaign used “Pink Houses” and “Our Country” by John Mellencamp, who sent a letter demanding that they stop.
In 1997, Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders got Rush Limbaugh to stop using her song, “My City Was Gone” because she didn’t like that he had appropriated it. They eventually came to an agreement that Limbaugh would pay for use of the song with the proceeds going to the animal rights group PETA, reportedly for $500,000 a year.
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