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Newt Gingrich Uses The Heavy’s “How Do You Like Me Now?” on Campaign Trail, Band Answers “We Don’t”

Matthew Cavanaugh/ Getty Images

It’s pretty ballsy for any politician to use a song entitled “How Do You Like Me Now?” on the campaign trail. I mean, he or she might not like the answer, right? What’s even ballsier is using a song without  permission. After playing British Band The Heavy’s 2009 hit at a Tampa campaign rally last week, Newt Gingrich got told to step off.

The day after the rally, The Heavy posted a message about the campaign’s use of the song on their Facebook page:

“If you heard How You Like Me Now being used by Republican, Newt Gingrich, in his campaign, we’d like you to know it had f*** all to do with us and we are trying to stop it being used.”  Then they typed, in all caps, a derogatory curse word for female genitalia.

So yeah, they were pissed.

Not long after, Rolling Stone reports that Newt got served with a cease and desist notice from Third Side Music, the Montreal-based publishing company that owns the rights to the song.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen bands tell politicians to quit using their music. Last summer Tom Petty had beef  with Michele Backman using his “American Girls” and  the group Katrina and the Waves also ordered Bachmann to stop using their “Walking on Sunshine”.   Katrina Leskanich, former lead singer of Katrina & The Waves  gave Rolling Stone the following statement:

As the singer of ‘Walking on Sunshine’ I don’t endorse its use by Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign.  I’ve performed ‘Walking on Sunshine’ for so many years in so many different countries that it’s become the one constant in my life and the one thing I can count on to bring happiness to myself and others. The song is used in commercials and movies as a vehicle for a feel good moment or empowerment but if I disagree with the policies, opinions or platforms for its use, I’ve no choice but to try and defend the song and prevent its misuse. Music can be both powerful and moving and sometimes even a little dangerous.

I think Katrina makes a good point. Where do you stand on politicians using popular music in their campaigns?

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