The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Tom Petty once sent a cease and desist letter to George W. Bush

Artist drove his point home by performing the song for Bush's rival Al Gore after the Democrat conceded the election

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Tuesday 03 October 2017 05:36
Comments

Tom Petty fans are recalling the time the legendary artist famously threatened to sue then-GOP candidate George W. Bush over the use of his song “I Won’t Back Down.”

The song is a popular choice for political campaigns, featuring the lyrics: "Well, I won't back down/No, I won't back down/You can stand me up at the gates of hell/But I won't back down

"No, I'll stand my ground/Won't be turned around/And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down/Gonna stand my ground."

To drive the point home and make his political preferences clear, Petty played the track at rival Al Gore’s home after the Democratic candidate conceded the election. Tipper Gore played drums.

After receiving a 'cease and desist' letter, Bush, well... backed down.

This was far from the first or last political statement Petty would make with his music.

A more recent example arrived in July this year he was hailed after a photograph displayed during the Heartbreakers performance “American Girl” onstage took on new meaning for some transgender advocates.

Petty regularly projects pictures of a diverse group of women when they perform the track from the band's 1977 debut album.

One of the images features Alexis Arquette, a transgender actor who died of AIDS complications in 2016.

Her appearance on during Petty’s two-night stand at the Forest Hills Stadium in New York happened just hours after President Donald Trump posted a tweet banning transgender citizens from serving in the military.

Arquette’s brother, actor David Arquette, personally thanked Petty for the tribute on Instagram.

Follow Independent Culture on Facebook for the latest news, video and features

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in