Tom Petty’s Family Sues Trump Campaign To Stop Use Of Songs At MAGA Rallies
Tom Petty’s family has issued a cease and desist notice to President Donald Trump‘s campaign, after he played the late singer’s hit “I Won’t Back Down” at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday.
“Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,” the statement said.
The post continued: “Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate.”
— Tom Petty (@tompetty) June 21, 2020
Benmont Tench, a founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, seconded the family’s statement in an Instagram post.
“I heard that Donald Trump has played Tom’s song I Won’t Back Down at his rally. I agree wholeheartedly with the statement made by Tom’s family. And I in no way approve of Trump even whistling any piece of music associated with our band. I hope that’s clear enough,” the post read.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is one of many bands to send cease and desist letters to Trump’s campaign after their music was played at a rally. The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, R.E.M. and Neil Young have also asked that the president not play their songs. But, due to the blanket Political Campaign License agreement from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers campaigns can use millions of songs without an artist’s specific consent. ASCAP members can ask that specific songs not be included in a campaign’s license, though.
“Tom wrote this song for the underdog, for the common man and for EVERYONE,” the statement said. “We want to make it clear that we believe everyone is free to vote as they like, think as they like, but the Petty family doesn’t stand for this.”