Tom Petty Tells Michele Bachmann to Stop Using His Song
Tom Petty is not psyched about Michele Bachmann using his classic song "American Girl" in her presidential announcement this week. Shortly after the declaration, he told NBC reporter Kelly O'Donnell he wanted nothing to do with her, and his lawyers served her with a cease and desist.
Bachmann was apparently using the song to illustrate that she's the only woman in the presidential race (for now). But Petty, who also demanded that George W. Bush stop playing "Don't Back Down" during the 2004 campaign, seems to sit on the progressive side of things. "He's not a didactic songwriter, [but] the anger that you feel... is still on a human level," said Peter Bogdanovic in 2007, after directing the documentary Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Running Down a Dream. "He deals with people, and people's what it's all about. If he were more obviously political, he would alienate part of his audience." Which maybe would include Bachmann? Suffice to say, when Hillary Clinton used the same song in 2008, he did not protest.
And the more attentive observer might find "American Girl" an interesting choice for Bachmann, particularly given her "John Wayne Gacy" gaffe -- it's a song that a lot of people associate with Hannibal Lecter. As RollingStone.com managing editor Evie Nagy tweeted last night, "Don't know what 'American Girl' means to Bachmann, but to me it's the song playing in the car before the girl gets slaughtered in Silence of the Lambs." Funny coincidence.