Republican running mates John McCain and Sarah Palin aren’t making any friends in the music industry — quite the opposite, in fact. Rather than going through the appropriate channels, the duo are seemingly stealing music from many legendary artists who aren’t even backing them.
Van Halen last week issued a cease-and-desist order when the politicians began using “Right Now” as their campaign song without permission. Previously, Jackson Brown (“Running On Empty”) and John Mellencamp (“Our Country”) also asked that the McCain camp stop blasting the musicians’ songs on the campaign trail.
Most recently, McCain/Palin campaign officials tried to make Palin’s theme song “Barracuda” by Heart, seeing as the song’s title is also the VP nom’s nickname. Here’s what Heart had to say on their website:
Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart have informed the McCain/Palin Campaign that Universal Music Publishing and Sony BMG have sent a cease-and-desist notice to not use one of Heart’s classic song ‘Barracuda,’ as the congratulatory theme for Sarah Palin. The Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission. We have asked the Republican campaign not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored.
Sarah Palin’s views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song ‘Barracuda’ no longer be used to promote her image. The song ‘Barracuda’ was written in the late ’70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The ‘barracuda’ represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there’s irony in Republican strategists’ choice to make use of it there.
Whomp, whomp. Seems that the McCain camp needs to do some research before choosing another song. The campaign doesn’t need to obtain an artist’s permission to use a song, it only needs to obtain the rights and/or pay royalties, but if Universal Music Group is sending the cease-and-desist notices, chances are the Repubs failed to gain those rights.
A quick Googling of “musicians for McCain” didn’t reveal any for McCain, only those against him. Democratic nominees Barack Obama and Joe Biden, on the other hand, seem to have an endless roster of musicians on their side.
PopWreckoning, though of the more liberal persuasion, does not intend to say that one’s vote should be based on the nominees’ supporters but rather the nominees’ positions, records and plans to better the nation. Regardless of your own views, we encourage you to register and vote on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.