Hands off my song - the worst clashes between musicians and politicians

Photo: Andy Willsher

Hands off my song - the worst clashes between musicians and politicians

Earlier this week The National received an apology from ‘Ohio University Students For Romney’ for using a cover of ‘Fake Empire’ in one of their political ads. Staunch supporters of The Democratic Party, The National’s Matt Berninger declared, "The song you're using was written about the same backward, con game policies Romney is proposing”.

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Added: 5 Nov 2012

Photo: PA

Hands off my song - the worst clashes between musicians and politicians

One hit wonders Survivor had an equally awkward encounter with failed Republican candidate Newt Gingrich. Everybody’s favourite cheesy entrance music ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ was used (not ironically) as he entered rallies, panting, like an out of shape Rocky Balboa. Frank Sullivan, the songs composer, caught wind and sued him for copyright violations as no permission had been given for its use.

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Added: 6 Nov 2012

Photo: PA

Hands off my song - the worst clashes between musicians and politicians

Republicans beware of taking on David Byrne of Talking Heads. Former Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist’s humiliating apology to the art rock legend via YouTube was in response to misuse of ‘Road To Nowhere’ in a political campaign. "I sincerely apologize for using his famous song and his unique voice in my campaign”, said Crist.

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Added: 5 Nov 2012

Photo: PA

Hands off my song - the worst clashes between musicians and politicians

Imagine Bruce Springsteen's amusement when Ronald Reagan decided to use his song 'Born In The USA' for his campaign in 1984. One of the most misinterpreted pieces of popular music, the humourless Republicans considered it patriotic, a rallying cry to all Americans. In fact it casts a shameful eye upon the treatment of Vietnam veterans and a loss of national pride.

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Added: 5 Nov 2012

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Hands off my song - the worst clashes between musicians and politicians

The Foo Fighters would never have considered John McCain to be their hero. So when Mr. McCain foolishly used 'My Hero' without permission during a political rally, he felt the wrath of one Mr. Dave Grohl. "It's infuriating that someone who claims to speak for the American people would repeatedly show such little respect for creativity and intellectual property," bemoaned Grohl.

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Added: 26 Aug 2012

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Hands off my song - the worst clashes between musicians and politicians

Yet again the Republicans, and in particular Mitt Romney, clashed with Silversun Pickups this summer over permission to use their song 'Panic Switch'. “We don't like the Romney campaign," explains frontman Brian Aubert, quashing any speculation that the party has any friends in the music industry.

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Added: 5 Nov 2012

Photo: PA

Hands off my song - the worst clashes between musicians and politicians

Mike Huckabee fancied himself as a bit of a bassist, so back in 2008 he decided to combine his presidential campaign with his love of music, playing Boston's ‘More Than A Feeling’ at his political rallies. Despite occasionally wheeling out one time Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau for performances, Tom Scholz, the song’s composer, was lurking around the corner with a lawsuit.

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Added: 6 Nov 2012

Photo: PA

Hands off my song - the worst clashes between musicians and politicians

Very occasionally the Democrats get it wrong as well. Despite being a supporter of the party, Samuel Moore of soul duo Sam & Dave had objections to his track ‘Hold On I’m Coming’ being used during Barack Obama’s campaign. Don’t expect a Christmas card from the Obamas then Samuel.

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Added: 6 Nov 2012

Photo: PA

Hands off my song - the worst clashes between musicians and politicians

Another case of liberal musician meets Republican ignorance involved Jackson Browne and John McCain (again!) in 2008. When loyal Democrat Jackson Browne’s track 'Running On Empty' was used by McCain, the short memory of McCain and his people following the Foo Fighters incident, resulted in an out of court settlement paid to Jackson Browne.

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Added: 5 Nov 2012

Photo: PA

Hands off my song - the worst clashes between musicians and politicians

Californian Republican candidate, Chuck Devore, felt the wrath of Eagles founding member Don Henley back in 2010. Henley sued Devore and his campaign assistant over the use of tracks ‘All She Wants To Do Is Dance’ (they'd swapped the lyrics to ‘All She Wants To Do Is Tax’) and ‘The Boys Of Summer’, resulting in an out of court settlement.

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Added: 5 Nov 2012

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