Opinion: Tom Petty is upset with Michele Bachmann’s use of ‘American Girl’


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Tom Petty may have been born in a red state but the ‘Southern Accents’ rocker doesn’t appear to be changing his tune about saying no to conservatives who try to make his melodies their theme songs.

Michele Bachmann may be doing well in the polls in Iowa, but there’s a Floridian in Malibu who isn’t pleased that the Minnesotan is using his hit tune ‘American Girl’ without his permission.


Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tom Petty reportedly has had enough of Bachmann using his 1977 hit single in her campaign and has reportedly issued a cease-and-desist letter to the conservative’s camp.

Kelly O’Donnell announced the matter Monday on ‘NBC Nightly News.’

‘When Bachmann left the stage here, her campaign played the Tom Petty hit song, ‘American Girl.’ Turns out Petty isn’t pleased. His manager says they will ask the Bachmann campaign not to use that song,’ O’Donnell said, adding that Petty had also asked former president George W. Bush not to use any of his tunes. Bush wanted to use the more contemporary ‘I Won’t Back Down,’ which the rocker nixed.

The Traveling Wilbury and Grammy winner isn’t 100% stingy with permission. Petty gave Hillary Rodham Clinton the thumbs up to use ‘American Girl’ throughout her campaign in 2008. The track also appears in such films as ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ and ‘The Silence of the Lambs.’ It was also used on television during an episode of ‘The Sopranos’ as well as on ‘Scrubs.’

The Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers track can be heard in the final moments of Bachmann’s speech that she delivered Monday in Waterloo, Iowa:


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-- Tony Pierce