Rock Bands in Uproar Over Song Usage on Limbaugh’s Show



Several musicians and bands are more than a little annoyed that their songs are being used as atmospheric music on the Rush Limbaugh show, among them the band Rush, whose song “The Spirit of Radio” was playing in the background when the conservative windbag called Sandra Fluke


Limbaugh has since (kind of) apologized to Fluke, and has removed his remarks from his shows’ transcripts after over forty advertisers removed themselves from his show. Meanwhile Rush the band, Peter Gabriel, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds all want their tunes gone from Rush the Limbaugh’s radio program.

Rush the band had their attorney send Rush the Limbaugh a cease and desist letter:

The use of Rush’s music in this way is an infringement of Rush’s copyrights and trademarks. The public performance of Rush’s music is not licensed for political purposes and any such use is in breach of public performance licenses and constitutes copyright infringement. There are civil and criminal remedies for copyright infringement, including statutory damages and fines.

Tom Morello told Rolling Stone and later tweeted:

Rush Limbaugh played “Sleep Now in the Fire” as a bumper on his show today. Our response: ‘Hey Jackass, stop using our music on your racist, misogynist, right wing clown show.’

The Fabulous Thunderbirds’ lead singer Kim Wilson says the band is

mortified by his (Limbaugh’s) attack on this young woman (Fluke). There is no amount of money this guy could pay me to be a part of his cruel rhetoric.

A post on Peter Gabriel’s Facebook page reads:

Peter was appalled to learn that his music was linked to Rush Limbaugh’s extraordinary attack on Sandra Fluke. 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 He has asked his representatives to make sure his music is withdrawn and especially from these unfair aggressive and ignorant comments.

Radio stations and broadcast networks pay a licensing fee which covers the public performance of their songs, so it’s unlikely any of these musicians could win a lawsuit. However they do have the right to make noise about where and how their music is used, and to let their fans know they are appalled and disgusted.

17 Responses to "Rock Bands in Uproar Over Song Usage on Limbaugh’s Show"
ThingsComeUndone | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:02 am 1

However they do have the right to make noise about where and how their music is used, and to let their fans know they are appalled and disgusted.

Do they have the right to stop Rush from using their songs?

Sharkbabe | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:04 am 2

What about Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders’ “My City Was Gone” – Rush’s signature music riff?

Where in the HELL are you, Chrissie? And how in the HELL could you let such an evil pig skate on your groove all these years?

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:11 am 3

So then Lisa where are the Rock Bands who want Rush to use their songs? I want to boycott them:)

dstatton | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:12 am 4

Well, Rush (not the band, the sex tourist) can always use Ted Nugent, Pat Boone, or Prussian Blue.

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:19 am 5

It should be mentioned that Rush has had 4? wives but no kids and how many girlfriends in between marriages have all the women he has been with used birth control?

obelizk | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:19 am 6

The station pays ASCAP, SESAC or BMI – not the artist. It’s like if an artist has an issue with being played in a bar that serves alcohol, or has a criminally convicted owner.

It also seems to be why artists like Stevie Wonder, Kook&TheGang, EarthWind&Fire, and the estates of Rick James or Michael Jackson haven’t spoken up about Rush having recently used their music on his show. Despite Rush’s past racist comments.

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:23 am 7

As far as the Pretenders go I will try and contact them and give them a week to respond before I delete them from my I tunes. Ted is already on my banned list.
Deleting the Pretenders will hurt now I know hoe Jewish people feel about Wagner.

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:24 am 8

As far as the Pretenders go I will try and contact them and give them a week to respond before I delete them from my I tunes. Ted is already on my banned list.
Deleting the Pretenders will hurt now I know hoe Jewish people feel about Wagner. Maybe someone on facebook can start a facebook page to pressure the Pretenders?

tanbark | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:25 am 9

In other news, there’s yet another little glitch in Barack Obama’s war in Afghanistan, as he sustains George Bush’s effort to liberate the ungrateful wogs and make the place safe for the Fortune 500.

A few hours ago an american soldier slaughtered 16 Afghans, most of them women and children:

perris | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:26 am 10

I think the lawyer is somewhat wrong;

the licensing fee only goes so far as the arrangement between the artist and that licensing organization, the artist can easily amend the contract either mutually and willingly with the licensing organization or when their contract expires

I believe an artist with enough pull could get any licensing contracts they have running updated

I am pretty sure neil diamond and a few others have specific restrictions on their songs, how and where they can be played

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:27 am 11

The GOP will scream censorship but this is grass roots people making choices themselves not government or Corporate owned radio stations deciding what to play.
I decide for my own reasons what to listen too! The GOP can’t force to listen to the Pretenders they can’t force me to buy stuff from anyone who advertises on Rush’s show.

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:40 am 12

BALANDI, Afghanistan (AP) — President Hamid Karzai said a U.S. service member killed 16 people — nine of them children and three women — in a shooting spree Sunday that he condemned as “an assassination.”

9 kids 3 women out of 16 killed it will be hard for Obama to defend that. It will be hard to avoid a war crimes trial but Obama will manage.
What will be hard is keeping any American troops in Afghanistan if Karzai wants to keep power. Lets see if the useless MSM even mentions the story.
We had a homeless Vet collapse and have a seizure he was almost crying saying ” I did not want to do it ” they took him away in an ambulance.
I suspect whatever ” it ” was combat related I have never seen him high, drunk or acting crazy at the shelter and I’ve known him 2 years.

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:44 am 13

Given how many GOPers cheat on their wives Newt, Sen Vitter Ex Gov Snaford, Sen Ensign etc etc but none of them have had an out of wedlock kid just like Rush well just how many GOPers use birth control ….they can’t all be sterile? Can they?

lefttown | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:48 am 14
In response to tanbark @ 9

Obama and his MIC cronies are driving military members to the brink of insanity and beyond.

As far as the latest Limbaugh outrage goes, did you happen to read what Margaret Kimberly wrote at Black Agenda Report? It’s well worth the read. An excerpt:

“Rush Limbaugh, a man who would have to have been invented if he didn’t exist, called law student Sandra Fluke, a “slut” and a “whore” after she testified in favor of religious institutions being required to include contraception in their health care plans.

“The liberals then lost their collective minds. There was no limit to their ire. One would have thought that Rush Limbaugh was killing Afghan children with drones, or torturing black Libyans, or planning to attack Iran. Of course, Limbaugh has absolutely no power to do any of those things. He is a celebrity, a media personality who advocates the right wing point of view. He is a sexist and a racist, but he has no power to take anyone’s life. That is Barack Obama‘s job.”

Twain | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:52 am 15
In response to lefttown @ 14

That is really powerful and to the point. And the truth.

scribe | Sunday March 11, 2012 12:33 pm 16
In response to Sharkbabe @ 2

I recall Hynde and the Pretenders making a stink about it – not wanting Limbaugh to use the song – a dozen or so years ago and getting nowhere. I also recall Limbaugh getting a big laugh out of it.

Crane-Station | Sunday March 11, 2012 05:13 pm 17

He needs to man up and pull every single song that they demand he pull.

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