Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Heart to GOP: stop using “Barracuda”!

Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, whom I have met, thank you very much, wrote a cease and desist letter to the Republican Party on Thursday afternoon, telling them they better stop playing “Barracuda” while Sarah Palin walks to and fro the stage.

The sisters told the GOP:

The Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission.

Yet, that evening the GOP played the song again after McCain’s speech while he and Palin waved from the stage.

The ladies of Heart were pissed enough to issue this statement today:

Sarah Palin’s views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song ‘Barracuda’ no longer be used to promote her image. The song ‘Barracuda’ was written in the late 70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The ‘barracuda’ represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there’s irony in Republican strategists’ choice to make use of it there.

Will Heart be banned from classic rock radio stations now? Is this gonna be the Dixie Chicks all over again? I think it’s fantastic.

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9 thoughts on “Heart to GOP: stop using “Barracuda”!

  1. I was wonder WTF are they playing that for?! Dixie Chicks being the exception, I’m sure some new-country act will volunteer a replacement. I would suggest “Stacie’s Mom Has Got It Going On” by Fountains of Wayne.

  2. Or “One’s On the Way” by Loretta Lynn.

  3. I heard James Taylor is suing them for the same thing. If I were in any nostalgic 80’s pop band I would write a pre-emptive letter to the GOP warning them not to use my shit. Glad to find this blog. Cheers!
    -Kelly B from Tampa

  4. Kevin Croitz on said:

    they should just stick to the crappy modern country thing, that seems to be their shtick, I think the good country stars like Willie are backing Nader, which bands and star are backing which candidate, theres a good topic for a blog entry, Kevin

  5. Mark Maher on said:

    WTF are you people talking about? Wasn’t that music for sale publicly to make money. I do not see any notices on any of the Heart albums that I purchased saying for democrats use only! If that is the case I want my money back. It is no more making a political statement than everyone saying I need Kleenex or let me xerox that on their Minolta copier. Do you want your gas stations to start asking if you are a republican or democrat before you can fill up? Does Microsoft ask your political leanings before it lets you log on to your computer? No and thank God they don’t. Heart can support whoever they want we still live in a country where we have choices. But they were PAID by democrats and REPUBLICANS for the music that they put out with no stipulations on who could enjoy it. And until music companies and artists start displaying that on their music that it is only for one certain group then they should just comment publicly that they don’t support so and so and leave it at that. So grow up and open your eyes. If they don’t want someone else playing their music then they shouldn’t sell it publicly.

  6. im glad they are not using the song! it does not reflect the amazing woman Sarah Palin. She deserves a more classy song!

  7. ginavivinetto on said:

    Mark, it’s the difference between owning the album and owning the rights to the music. Two very different things.

    When we buy a Heart album – or any album – we buy it to play at home or the very least, at a private function. We aren’t allowed to play any song from that album in a move or on television. That’s why film producers have to pay to use a song in a movie. It’s also how many artists get paid big bucks to “lend” their songs to TV commercials.

    Televising the music without paying for it gets us into tricky ground. In some cases, it’s illegal. In other cases, if an artist requests a cease-and-desist, like Heart has done, and that is not honored, you get into issues about copyright law.

    Picture that you wrote a song and someone bought your album. You tune one day to find a neo-Nazi talk show on a local cable channel on your television. For the intro of this show, the Nazis used a cut from YOUR album. Do you really think you don’t have the right to tell them to cease and desist? You have every right as an artist to do that. It’s an extreme example, and I’m not comparing the GOP to neo-Nazis, but I’m trying to illustrate a point.

    Just like no group or person can reproduce a visual work of art – say a picture of Mickey Mouse – and use it as their logo. You may have bought a book with a picture of Mickey Mouse in it, but you don’t “own” Mickey Mouse.

    None of us “own” the rights to any music we buy.

  8. The trademark infringement issues (implied endorsement) strike me as more worrisome for McCain – Palin than the copyright issues (violation of distribution and broadcast rights).

    See: McCain Doesn’t Rock.

    It is stunning to think that the McCain–Palin campaign would continue to stoop to music piracy, particularly after the repeated embarrassments. Then again, this is the same campaign that comes up with each new theme and slogan by simply stealing them from its adversary. Senator Obama seems to trust the voting public to be able to discern the dishonesty of Senator McCain’s mimicry. The recording artists are putting their faith in the courts.

  9. I can’t wait till they use a Paris Hilton song for their campaign… this is just horrible because on one hand… if you are an artist and you have music that you wrote that you actually own the rights to.. (so few artists have that luxury with a lot of the record contracts of yore..) is being used to promote something that you don’t support.. people will have the tendency to associate your music with that affiliation.

    The only thing that the artist can do is… state.. “We don’t support this and the music wasn’t written for the purpose of endorsing it.” Hell.. I would re-release the song with new artwork stating.. that.. you are getting airplay, despite the fact that it isn’t for the reason you want… work it.

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