Who will let Michele Bachmann use their song? Well, Ted Nugent, for one.

June 29, 2011

Now that Tom Petty has requested that Rep. Michele Bachmann stop playing “American Girl” and Katrina and the Waves have asked her to stop playing “Walking on Sunshine” at her campaign events, we reached out to a number of musicians to see how they would feel about lending one of their songs to her presidential effort.

Ted Nugent, for one, would be happy to help out. In an e-mail sent Tuesday, the conservative rocker wrote: “Michele Bachmann is clearly a Great American. Her words have iron, her spirit is indefatigable and her beauty contagious. In a perfect world her ultimate campaign theme song would be WANG DANG SWEET [expletive] just to fire up America and prove that political correctness is laughable. But since her ‘we the people’ Tea Party defiance is tantamount to setting America back on a course of rugged individualism and Herculean productivity, STRANGLEHOLD is the only choice. Godspeed [Michele]. Let em have it!”

Lee Greenwood might seem like an obvious choice — the country singer’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” is often heard at political events — but according to Greenwood’s manager, Jerry Bentley, the only time it was licensed to be used was in President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 reelection effort. “There have been campaigns where he has sung the song and supported the candidate, but no campaign has been permitted to use it officially,” Bentley said. “It has nothing to do with the candidates. And it’s nothing personal against [Bachmann]; we just never approve it being licensed. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican or an independent or a tea party candidate.”

It seems that even a similarity in last names won’t necessarily help Bachmann (R-Minn). Randy Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive and the Guess Who co-wrote “American Woman,” which seems as if it would be a perfect fill-in for “American Girl” if it weren’t for the slight problem that the song is strongly anti-American. In any event, Bachman turns down all request from political campaigns, including for his other hit songs “Takin’ Care of Business” and “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” said Gilles Paquin, the band’s manager. “ ‘Takin’ Care of Business’ was used at Ground Zero, and we obviously had no problem with that, but we don’t allow songs to be used for political purposes,” Pacquin said.

But wait, maybe there’s still hope. Paquin called back a little later to say that if Bachmann “gets a running mate named Turner,” then Bachman “would really consider it.” Of course, Bachman is Canadian, so his endorsement might not help Bachmann anyway.

We also contacted representatives for Neil Diamond about “America,” Miley Cyrus about “Party in the U.S.A.” and, just for fun, the Dixie Chicks. So far, no response.

Joe Heim is an editor and writer for The Washington Post magazine where he writes Just Asking, a weekly Q&A column. He has recently written about candy, not saving for your kids for college, Downton Abbey, the role of presidents as consolers-in-chief and about Washingtonians personal experiences with gun violence.
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