Rockers Continue To Protest McCain Campaign’s Use Of Their Material

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I’ll admit that my memory isn’t quite what it used to be, but I don’t recall a Presidential campaign in which we have heard this much complaining from certain musical luminaries as we have this time around. Perhaps “W” did not use that much controversial musical material during his two campaigns. But again, I’m working with the memory of a middle-aged classic rock fan here, who was around before it became known as “classic.”

The latest artist to hop aboard the “Stop using my music, John McCain” bandwagon is Jon Bon Jovi. This certainly comes as no surprise since he’s very well known as a supporter of Senator Obama, and has even hosted a fundraising dinner at his home in New Jersey for Obama.

It seems that the McCain campaign’s use of the Bon Jovi song “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” a few times within the last day or two does not sit well with Mr. Bon Jovi, and he says that he was “…surprised to hear that our song ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home’ was used by the McCain campaign at rallies yesterday and today. We wrote this song as a thank you to those who have supported us over the past 25 years."

OK, so we add Jon Bon Jovi to the list of ticked of rockers who do not appreciate their music being in any way connected with the Republican party. But before we’re done, we may as well add the lesser-known, but apparently no- less-ticked-off Survivor to the list.tiger

Remember “Eye of The Tiger?” Personally, I’d rather forget, but there was a time back around 1982 when the song racked up its share of airtime on radio stations across the country. The song was written at the request of Rocky star Sylvester Stallone and was used as a theme song for the movie Rocky 3.

Well I guess John McCain, or whoever is responsible for choosing his music, decided that their campaign could use a little bit of well-known fightin’ music to energize the crowd, and decided that “Eye of The Tiger” would fit the bill nicely. Survivor does not agree, and has asked the McCain campaign to stop using the song.

I think a lot of people, including myself, have wondered if these protests — and in the case of the Wilson Sisters from Heart, a cease and desist letter — really have any legal weight behind them. Well, I may have stumbled upon the answer today.

According to this article, the songs were used mostly during campaign events inside venues like large convention centers, and in those cases, the venues have paid the appropriate entities for the use of those songs as part of a licensing agreement that allows the venues to play a rather large list of songs for various artists.

However, as the article from E! Online points out, the McCain people might actually have some trouble on their hands where the Jackson Browne case is concerned. Since Browne’s material was used during a television commercial, there are different rules and restrictions involved.

Browne has actually filed a lawsuit which is claiming copyright infringement, which I presume will convince whoever McCain has hired to craft his television commercials to study up a bit on copyright law.

With just a little over two weeks to go before this is all over, I’m wondering if there is enough time to hear from at least one more disgruntled artist. This campaign just won’t be the same if we don’t.

1 Comment

  1. William Geyer October 17, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    If classic rock artists don’t want John McCain and Sarah Palin to use their precious music then demand that ALL conservatives and ALL Republicans stop buying their CDs and stop attending their concerts. It’s only right? Right? Come on, put your money where your mouth is, you hypocrits. Really take a stand, We might actually respect you. Oh yeah, Obama and McCain are the same. Vote for a third party of your choice.

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