Tom Petty's family issues cease and desist to Trump for using 'I Won't Back Down' in Tulsa's 'campaign of hate'
The late singer's family said the president was 'in no way authorized to use the song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind'
Music has always been a huge part of political rallies. Donald Trump held his first-ever rallies since March on Saturday evening at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Rally goers were greeted to Trump's go-to playlist blaring from the speakers at the venue. Among the songs that were played were Village People's 'YMCA' and 'In The Air Tonight' by Phil Collins and Tom Petty's 'I Won't Back Down'. However, Petty's fans as well as his family objected to the song being used as part of Trump's rally. The family took to Twitter to state that an official cease and desist notice has been issued to the Trump campaign for using the song.
"Dear Tom Petty family, please do not let racist Trump use your great songs at his hate rallies. Thank you," wrote a fan. Another fan said action must be taken for using the legendary artist's song and wrote, "Trump & his cronies are so out of touch, they don't even realize that Tom Petty despised the hate Trump stood for. I encourage @tompetty estate to file copyright infringement. Yet again, Donald Trump thinks he is above the law."
Petty's family took to his Twitter page with a statement to clear out that POTUS was "in no way authorized to use the song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind". The family wrote: "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. He liked to bring people together. Tom wrote this song for the underdog, for the common man and for EVERYONE. 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. We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either. We would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage. Concurrently, we have issued an official cease and desist notice to the Trump campaign."
This is not the first time Petty's songs have been used in a political campaign. 'I Won't Back Down' was used by George W Bush for his 2000 presidential campaign rallies and the singer had issued a cease and desist order after which the usage of the song was stopped. Bush won the election and Petty performed this for Al Gore at his house an hour after he conceded the election (the second time) to Bush. Michele Bachmann too was served the notice as she used Petty's song 'American Girl' in her 2011 campaign.
Petty had also performed the song on September 21, 2001, as part of a telethon to benefit the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA.