Four of Tom Petty’s family members have released a statement on Twitter about an unauthorized use of the song “I Won’t Back Down” at the beginning of Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday.
“Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,” the statement read. “Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.”
The statement further indicated that this song was intended “for the underdog” and the common man. “We want to make it clear that we believe everyone is free to vote as they like, think as they like, but the Petty family doesn’t stand for this. We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either. We would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage. Concurrently, we have issued an official cease and desist notice to the Trump campaign.”
The message was from Adria, Annakim, Dana and Jane Petty. “I Won’t Back Down” appears on Petty’s 1989 solo album, Full Moon Fever.
Trump has been criticized for using music without permission before. In 2015, REM slammed the president, who was then a presidential candidate, for using their song “Moronic Charade of a Campaign” at a rally. Similarly in 2018, Rihanna and Axl Rose called out Trump for using their music at political events.
View their complete message from Petty’s family members below.
— Tom Petty (@tompetty) June 21, 2020