Tom Petty’s property “Won’t Back Down” goes after Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who has begun using the late singer-songwriter’s beloved hit to help promote her failed political campaign. As Lake continues to fight the results that declared her the loser and denied the election process, her team placed the song in a commercial that insinuated that she wasn’t done yet. And that drew the ire of Petty’s team.
In a Tweet submitted late Thursday Nov. 17, the official Tom Petty account shared, “The Tom Petty Estate and our partners were shocked to learn that Tom’s song ‘I Won’t Back Down’ was stolen and used without permission or license to promote Kari Lake’s failed campaign.”
The post continued: “This is illegal. We are exploring all of our legal options to stop this unauthorized use and prohibit future misappropriation of Tom’s beloved anthem.” The team behind the legacy account then thanked Petty’s fans for bringing the matter to their attention and for helping to “protect his legacy every day.”
In a follow-up comment, the official account also tagged the controversial Republican candidate (often endorsed by former President Trump), although Lake has yet to respond publicly.
Even Stephen Colbert got into the conversation during his monologue on Thursday night’s episode of “The Late Show,” pointing out the tweet from Petty’s team and adding his own opinion.
“You know you’ve crossed a line when Tom Petty’s representatives say you have to come back,” Colbert said in his speech. “It’s like lawyers for Guns ‘n’ Roses telling you that you’re no longer welcome in the jungle.” Colbert also had a suggestion for a song that Petty’s team could actually approve of Lake using, “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”
There’s no official word yet on what Petty’s team can do to seek legal remedies. In 2020, the estate also went after Trump for the unauthorized use of the same song in his re-election bid.
This latest occasion just adds to the long list of rockers who have often banned politicians from using their music without permission, including Foo Fighters who called out John McCain for using “My Hero” in 2008 and Heart who went after Sarah Palin for using “Barracuda” that same year.
20 artists who told politicians to stop using their music
Politicians consistently use songs by bands without their permission, and these artists had enough of it.