I’ve been a disgruntled music fan ever since Mercedes Benz used Janis Joplin’s Mercedes Benz in an advertisement. It was just…. wrong.
Today on Midmorning (starting at 10 a.m.), Kerri Miller and the Current’s Steve Seel, along with Eric Danton of the Hartford Courant, are going to talk about the music of politics. Barack Obama has appropriated Bruce Springsteen in this campaign (several of his songs on his latest album seemed intended to be lifted for the campaign). The Clintons, of course, made Fleetwood Mac totally unlistenable forever. Has Lee Greenwood recorded a hit since he recorded “Proud to be an American“? Has he had to?
Back in 1992, Ross Perot used Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.”
I’ll be living blogging today’s hour. I’m guess some of you will have good suggestions for possible campaign songs (I’m guessing most of them will be in jest), and great analysis. So don’t let me down.
10:05 a.m. – Just kicking around songs in the studio before airtime. Romney used Presley’s A Little Less Conversation and Kennedy used “High Hopes.” Kerri opens show with “Don’t Stop.” If the Three Stooges were still alive, Fleetwood Mac would replace Niagra Falls.
10:08 a.m. – Kerri’s question: What songs should the campaigns use to “rev people up”? I was just recalling the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1996. The Democrats brought in the cast of Rent to provide music. I never did figure out why.
10:11 a.m. – Question: Does music really make a difference? It’s aimed at swing voters, Seel suggests. “How can you pick a song that appeals to one group of people and leave another group scratching their heads about the choice?”
10:13 a.m. – Do the words have to mean anything? Danton says “no, but they shouldn’t detract.” Uses Born in the USA as an example. The words are an indictment of the economy in Reagan’s economy.
Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
Im ten years burning down the road
Nowhere to run aint got nowhere to go
10:15 a.m. Seel: Clinton used American Girl. “A gross mistake because it’s a song about suicide.”
t was kind of cold that night
She stood alone on her balcony
She could the cars roll by
Out on 441
Like waves crashin in the beach
And for one desperate moment there
He crept back in her memory
God its so painful
Something thats so close
And still so far out of reach
10:17 – Caller Sarah questions the use of Barracuda at the RNC in St. Paul after Palin’s speech. When she thinks of McCain, she thinks of “18 and life.”
Tequila in his heartbeat, his veins burned gasoline.
It kept his motor running but it never kept him clean.
They say he loved adventure, rickys the wild one.
He married trouble and had a courtship with a gun.
Bang bang shoot em up, the party never ends.
You cant think of dying when the bottles your best friend
10:19 – Talking about using the song in venues and licensing fees and whether artists can refuse to allow campaigns to use songs. Danton says if there’s music as background, that’s covered by ASCAP/BMI licensing. But if campaigns use it in a more prominent say, the artist can refuse. Two different royalties are involved, he says.
10:22 Caller Taylor: Says he was one of the audio engineers at the RNC in St. Paul. He worked 5 weeks ahead of time preparing thngs. He was in charge of live music. The inside scoop: They hadn’t made any choices to have any music at all but the pressure was so great from the Democrats so the jazz band that played all four days was only scheduled for one. They caught the band at the airport to come back and provide some music. The only other piece was the “Raisin’ McCain” song by John Rich. He says the engineers wrote a song that will be available on whatsyourproblem.com. It’s called “The Change.” The URL doesn’t work right now.
10:28 a.m. – Here’s Eric Danton’s blog. Top story: Britney Spears to release new album.
10:31 a.m. – I’m recalling the reaction on Twitter after Obama’s speech. He played country music. Country music is practically owned by the Republican Party. Rolling Stone has a note about the choice; it didn’t bother Brooks & Dunn, apparently. They were big Bush backers.
10:44 a.m. – Perhaps we can learn more about the candidates by the music they like. Here are the comparisons.
10:46 a.m. – Caller talks about how songs have become commodities. I wonder whether songwriters are writing songs specifically so they can be used in commercials.
10:49 a.m. – “What does Marvin Gaye say to you,” Miller asks Seel.(It’s on Obama’s list of favorites). “A cry for unity,” he says, after pointing out that the list of favorite music by politicians is probably not really their favorite music, but another pitch for a demographic. But if that’s true, would you really name ABBA as your favorite?
10:53 a.m. Commenter asks if McCain know that Dancing Queen is about gay men? I’m not sure it is, the lyrics focus on a 17 year old girl, looking for a “king.”
10:54 a.m. — I’m surprised nobody has mentioned probably the longest-lasting campaign song in history, next to, perhaps Happy Days are Here Again.: Proud to be an American by Lee Greenwood.