Bon Jovi Raises (Mc)Cain Over Palin Tune

Rocker is latest artist to object to song's appropriation by Republican ticket

By Gina Serpe Oct 15, 2008 8:20 PMTags
Jon Bon Jovi, Sarah PalinAmy Tierney/ Getty Images, Joseph Connoly/Getty Images

Add Bon Jovi to the ever-growing list of liberal-leaning artistes taking umbrage at being used as pied pipers for Sarah Palin.

Avowed Democrat Jon Bon Jovi, who earlier this year threw a fundraising dinner at his New Jersey home for Barack Obama, has spoken out against the Republican candidate appropriating his band's tunes for her Middle America stump stops.

"We are surprised to hear that our song 'Who Says You Can't Go Home' was used by the McCain campaign at rallies yesterday and today," the rocker said in a statement. "We wrote this song as a thank you to those who have supported us over the past 25 years."

It's a sentiment that's been gaining ground in recent months, with the Republican suffering a string of highly publicized backlash after selecting one politically opposed rallying cry after another.

The good news for the McCain-Palin ticket is that Bon Jovi, unlike some other musical dissidents, has not yet threatened legal action.

"The song has since become a banner for our home state of New Jersey and the de facto theme song for our partnerships around the country to build homes and rebuild communities," he said. "Although we have not asked, we do not approve of their use of 'Home.' "

Just yesterday, Survivor joined the bashing bandwagon, requesting that the McCain-Palin campaign stop playing the band's hit Rocky theme, "Eye of the Tiger," for appearances by John McCain; last week, the Foo Fighters issued a terse statement demanding that the GOP contender refrain from using "My Hero."

Last month, Heart issued a cease-and-desist notice to the campaign after their hit "Barracuda" was twice used as Palin's campaign theme, including at the Republican National Convention. In August, Van Halen groused about "Right Now" being used at rallies, while John Mellencamp protested the lifting of "Pink Houses" and "Our Country." Jackson Browne even filed a copyright infringement suit against McCain and the Republican National Committee for using his biggest hit, "Running on Empty," in campaign ads.

There is, of course, a light at the end of the tunnel to the onslaught of negative publicity deriving from the Republican party's ill-advised song selections: The campaign's nearly over.