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7 musicians who’ve told politicians to get their ‘mitts’ off their tunes

Thin Lizzy have told Mitt Romney to stop using ‘The Boys are Back in Town’. What other musicians have put the foot down when it comes to politicians?

The Boss refuses to be pals with NJ Governor Chris Christie
The Boss refuses to be pals with NJ Governor Chris Christie
Image: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

THIS WEEK THE record company which hold the rights to the music of Thin Lizzy was told by Phil Lynott’s estate to torder US Republican hopeful Mitt Romney to stop using the band’s song ‘The Boys are Back in Town’.

Lynott’s widow Caroline Lynott-Taraskevics has said that if he were alive her late husband would never support the Republican candidate. Earlier this month Lynott’s mother Philomena objected to the use of ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ at the Republic National Convention in Florida.

Thin Lizzy aren’t the first band to object to politicians and others borrowing their tunes…

  • During the 2008 presidential campaign in the US the rock group Heart told John McCain and Sarah Palin to stop using their 1977 song Barracuda, with bandmember Nancy Wilson saying she felt “completely f***ed over”. Ouch.
  • During the same campaign in 2008 Sam Moore told Barack Obama to stop using his 1966 classic ‘Hold On! I’m Coming’, saying that he had not agreed to endorse Obama and that his vote was private.
  • In 2004 Tom Petty told George W Bush and Michelle Bachmann to stop using ‘I Won’t Back Down’ and ‘American Girl’ at rallies.
  • Bruce Springsteen continues to fail to acknowledge one of his biggest fans – New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Christie, a Republican, has attended 130 Boss concerts since he was a teenager, but has so far failed to become pals with the musician. He recently duetted with Jimmy Fallon on a version of Thunder Road:

  • In 2010 Johnny Marr, guitarist with The Smiths told David Cameron to stop saying he liked the band’s music, going as far as fobidding the prime minister from saying he like Morrissey and co. Morto.
  • Similarly Noel Gallagher said he was sick of ‘taking flak’ for Tony Blair claiming he was an Oasis fan. Don’t look back in anger Tones.
  • It’s not just politicians who get the cold shoulder. REM said earlier this month that they didn’t want Fox News using their song ‘Losing My Religion’ during the channel’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention, with frontman Michael Stipe saying the band has “no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage”.

Phil Lynott’s mum upset after Romney campaign uses Thin Lizzy track>

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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