June 4, 2010

"Rand Paul can't play 'Tom Sawyer' on the campaign trail? Rush says no!"

There's a headline I completely misinterpreted. I imagined Rush Limbaugh had made some argument that Rand Paul can't behave like the Mark Twain character. Was Paul attempting to pass himself off as a good-hearted, mischievous boy? But no, "Rush" is the rock band Rush, and "Tom Sawyer" is one of their songs. Paul had been blasting the song at rallies and the band — which is Canadian, by the way — has objected, citing copyright law. The song, despite copyright law, is embedded at the link. Here are the lyrics. Sample:
Today's Tom Sawyer
He gets high on you
And the space he invades
He gets by on you

No his mind is not for rent
To any god or government
Always hopeful, yet discontent
He knows changes aren't permanent
But change is
Hmmph. Silly song. God rents? God owns.


edutcher said...

I think it was Bush 41 had a similar problem. He played the song anyway.

Ken Pidcock said...

I was surprised the article didn't mention that Rush is well known as a libertarian band. Or am I thinking of somebody else?

Lynne said...

Yeah, and didn't Sarah Palin have to stop using "Barracuda"?
And I seem to recall John Mellencamp objecting to one of his songs being used by a Democrat- but I'm not so sure about that one.

Pogo said...

You would hope a libertarian or conservative candidate understood and supported the right to property.

Pogo said...

Might be better if he chose Do you really want to hurt me?"
Boy George is overseas and maybe in jail, so finders keepers.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Republicans need to be more savvy about this.

Most artists will get upset about their songs being used by them. So what you do is pay the rights-holders -- i.e., the studios -- beforehand for permission to use the song.

The McCain-Palin people did that for "Right Now", for when they announced that Palin was the VP pick.

Democrats typically won't have this problem, because most of the artists are Dems.

On the other hand, I bet that Lynyrd Skynyrd won't mind Republicans using "That Ain't My America" and Megadeth won't mind them using "United Abominations"... :p

mesquito said...

"Tom Sawyer" as a campaign song?


Rush just did Paul a big favor.

Crimso said...

You are correct, Ken. They have expressed "ackonwledgment of the genius of Ayn Rand" on one of their albums as well.

E Buzz said...

They've been overtly "libertarian" in the past (2112), but Alex and Neil seem to have a bit of a Canadian love for huge government and calling any conservative a racist bigot, albeit in subtle terms.

They still play some great music and Neil has written some interesting lyrics recently, that can be considered musings on freedom.

I've seen them over 50x, on every tour since 1982. They put on a great show.

Ken Pidcock said...

I was disappointed that Governor Palin couldn't use Barracuda. The lyric makes no sense (come to think on it, that might be appropriate), but it played on her nickname and was exactly the right age. And it's a great entrance tune.

Largo said...

"God rents? God owns."

Lowercase g. Though metaphysically you're right, of course.

"Trees" is much better lyrically. "Spirit of the Radio" is much more fun. Neither is a campaign piece though.

A Farewell To Kings was maybe the second album I ever bought. That, or Kiss Live. I forget which was first. Great memories, not so great memory.

A.W. said...

Okay, I am about to committ heresy, but, Rush sucks ass. sorry, i have never heard a song from them that i wanted to hear again. so good riddence, i say.

Thorley Winston said...

"Tom Sawyer" as a campaign song?


Rush just did Paul a big favor.

Agreed, it’s the one song on KQRS that makes me change to a different radio station.

Alan said...

While I'm a Rush fan as well, and for some reason "Tom Sawyer" is the most-aired track from the "Moving Pictures" album, it has always struck me as one of the weaker. "Red Barchetta" is a much better poke in the eye at the all-powerful state. "Limelight", "Witch Hunt", and even the instrumental "YYZ" are all stronger tracks.

peter hoh said...

How far can "artists" push this? I can't wait until a famous architect objects to a candidate using one of his/her buildings as a backdrop.

E Buzz said...

Punkers don't like Rush, because they feel that a drummer that plays more than 4 bass drum notes to a bar is overplaying.

They're still selling out sheds across the country, playing for 3+ hours a night at a high level, and they're all near or older than 60.

That is not a band that "sucks ass".

Now, Aerosmith...

Mitch H. said...

Rush can be interesting in a sexless, geek-rock sort of way, but "Tom Sawyer" is a clammy, stupid song that the "Classic Rock" stations took an inexplicable shine to, as they did to the similarly rubbish "Subdivisions". They're both so-so tunes with bad lyrics, full of broken rhymes.

Rush isn't libertarian or statist or any true ideology, really. They seem to be one of those groups who just gobble up random pseudo-intellectual ideas & regurgitate them in a striking fashion, almost at random. The ideas can be mutually contradictory, with the same band recording "the Trees", "Anthem", "New World Man", "Big Money", "the Spirit of Radio" and "Bastille Day".

They're consistently, aggressively atheistic, though. See "Hemispheres" and "Free Will". If Paul wanted to end his career right now, he could always campaign with "Free Will" blaring.

Anthony said...

I love love love Rush. I've even been going through something of a renneaisence lately listening to them. Oddly, I have never owned Fly By Night or Farewell to Kings.

Unless they're doing this for real copyright reasons, it kind of makes me think less of them. IIRC, during the last campaign some Democrat was using a country song by a conservative artist who commented that he was happy his song was being used as part of the democratic process. That seemed to me far more adult than the usual whiny liberals who piss and moan about Republicans using their songs. (Yeah, Ann and Nancy Wilson, you both can kiss my ass).

I think that started with Springsteen (who bores the living hell out of me) bitching because Reagan was playing Born In The USA. Christ, what a baby.

Anthony said...

Errr, that should be "renaissance".

kreiz1 said...

I've been curious about Rush's relationship with Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. She's pretty radical on the animal rights/PETA front, and yet she lends "My City Was Gone" as Rush's theme song (great tune). What's the story? Hopefully it means cash prevailed.

kreiz1 said...

never mind- wiki says:

An edited instrumental version of The Pretenders' “My City Was Gone” has been Limbaugh's theme song almost continuously since the start of his show. Briefly in 1999, Limbaugh stopped playing the song while negotiating with the song's writer, Chrissie Hynde. Limbaugh now pays her $100,000 per year, which she donates to the animal rights organization PETA.

Win/win, baby.

Jim S. said...

No his mind is not for sale
Unless he gets a job at Yale

Revenant said...

He should play "Capitalism" by Oingo Boingo instead. :)

halojones-fan said...

This is becoming more common; see Chuck DeVore and Don Henley.

Re: Rush. Also, they recorded a historical ballad about the development of nuclear weapons ("Manhattan Project").

@Alan: I think the reason that "Red Barchetta" isn't used as a libertarian anthem is that you need to know the backstory to understand why the song is anti-government. (If you don't know, look for "A Nice Morning Drive".)

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Well, if we're suggesting songs for Rand Paul -- clearly, he should use "Freedom" from Alice Cooper.

Cooper's a Republican, too.

But get the rights first.

Anthony said...

Red Barchetta: I did a Car Lust post on that whole thing, with a link to the original story:

Joe said...

Neil Peart is the best drummer playing today, bar none.

I love his videos.

(Phil Collins and Chester Thompson drum duets are pretty awesome as well.)

Biff said...

Parenthetically, Rush Limbaugh occasionally uses the Rush song, "The Spirit of Radio," as bumper music. I think that he has used "Tom Sawyer", too.