Tom Petty Estate Blasts Trump-Endorsed Candidate For Illegal Use of ‘I Won’t Back Down’
Tom Petty's estate "Won't Back Down" going after Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake who has begun using the late songwriter-songwriter's beloved hit to help promote her unsuccessful political campaign. As Lake continues to fight the results that declared her the loser and deny the election process, her team placed the song into a commercial insinuating she's not done yet. And that drew the ire of Petty's team.
In a Tweet posted late Thursday Nov. 17, the official Tom Petty account shared, "The Tom Petty Estate and our partners were shocked to find out that Tom's song 'I Won't Back Down' was stolen and used without permission or a 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 to prohibit future misappropriations 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 "protect his legacy every day."
In a followup comment, the official account also tagged the controversial Republican candidate (often endorsed by former President Trump), though Lake has not yet publicly responded.
Even Stephen Colbert got in on the conversation during his monologue in 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 tell you to please back down,” Colbert said in his speech. “That’s like lawyers for Guns N’ Roses telling you that you are no longer welcome in the jungle.” Colbert also had a suggestion for a song that Petty's team might actually approve of Lake using, that being "Don't Come Around Here No More."
There's no official word yet on what Petty's team might do to seek legal recourse. 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 that have frequently 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" the same year.