Tags: sarah | palin | barracuda

McCain, Palin in Flap Over 'Barracuda' Song

Friday, 05 Sep 2008 05:16 PM

By Peter Miller

The sibling rockers from the band Heart have some straight talk for John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Ann and Nancy Wilson are demanding that the GOP running mates discontinue using one of their signature hits, “Barracuda,” during campaign stops.

The Heart duo fired off a cease-and-desist letter after Ann Wilson heard the song played during this week’s Republican National Convention.

Vice presidential candidate Palin was nicknamed “Sarah Barracuda” as the team leader of her high school basketball team in Wasilla, Alaska.

The band’s representative issued a statement saying, "The Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission. We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored."

But the request went unheeded. The song was played again after Palin joined McCain onstage following his acceptance speech. The sisters shot back. "I think it's completely unfair to be so misrepresented," Nancy Wilson said in a phone call to Entertainment Weekly’s Web site after the speech. "I feel completely f****d over."

The sisters then e-mailed another statement: "Sarah Palin's views and values in no way represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late ‘70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women.

"While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there."

This isn’t the first flap over McCain’s campaign song playlist. Early this year, left-leaning hitmaker John Mellencamp sent a letter of protest over McCain’s use of two of his songs — the 1983 hit “Pink Houses” and “Our Country." Mellencamp supported former candidate John Edwards in the Democratic primaries.

The McCain camp dropped the Mellencamp songs from their playlist, though there has been no indication yet whether they’ll do the same with Heart’s “Barracuda.”

One recording artist sees the song controversies from a different perspective. Kix Brooks of country music’s top-selling duo Brooks & Dunn has seen their hit “Only in America” played at the 2000 inauguration of George W. Bush as well as by Barack Obama’s campaign following his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Committee.

Brooks issued a statement saying that it’s “very flattering to know our song crossed parties and potentially inspires all Americans.”

“Frankly,” Brooks added, “I find all this bickering about the use of songs by politicians somewhat amusing. When you consider all the other things being done in Washington that are of questionable value to the average American, it seems to me that the use of a song or two by the political party you happen to oppose isn’t what well-paid artists should be laying in bed at night worrying about.”

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