It’s not just advertisers and radio stations who are fleeing the Rush Limbaugh Show after his insults and subsequent apology to Georgetown student Sandra Fluke. Musicians — so far, Peter Gabriel and the band Rush — are asking the conservative talk show host not to use their music anymore.
It started with Peter Gabriel, whose song “Sledgehammer” was playing in the background as Limbaugh called Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” for speaking out in behalf of insurance coverage for birth control. Gabriel’s rep posted this message on his Facebook page, CBS reports:
Peter was appalled to learn that his music was linked to Rush Limbaugh's extraordinary attack on Sandra Flute. It is obvious from anyone that knows Peter's work that he would never approve such a use. He has asked his representatives to make sure his music is withdrawn and especially from these unfair aggressive and ignorant comments.
Next came Rush, the band, who demanded that Rush, the host, stop using their work, which he played before and after commercial breaks. Blogger Bob Cesca contacted the band, and was shown a cease and desist letter from the band’s music publisher that was delivered to Rush. An excerpt follows:
The use of Rush’s music in this manner implies an endorsement of the views expressed and products advertised on the show, and is in breach of not only copyright and trademark rights, but also, of section 51 of the New York Civil Rights Law ... Accordingly, we hereby demand that you immediately stop all use of Rush’s music and confirm that you will do so..
These demands from musicians follow a string of cease-and-desist letters issued to political candidates this year. One member of the band Survivor filed suit against Newt Gingrich for using “Eye of the Tiger” (Co-writer Jim Peterik was okay with Gingrich using the song, he said in a Washington Post interview). Tom Petty’s camp sent Michele Bachmann a cease-and-desist for her use of “American Girl” in June, when she was still a presidential contender. Washington Post music critic Chris Richards wrote a history of scuffles between politicians and musicians last summer.