Relatives of late rock star Tom Petty on Sunday said they had filed a cease and desist order against the Trump campaign’s use of the song “I Won’t Back Down” at his rally in Tulsa.
In a statement posted to Twitter, family members said that “Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind.”
“Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.”
Petty died in 2017. In 2015 he expressed regret for using a Confederate flag onstage during a tour 30 years ago and to promote an album he issued at the time. He compared the flag to the Nazi swastika, and said using it “was a downright stupid thing to do.”
— Tom Petty (@tompetty) June 21, 2020
“Tom wrote this song for the underdog, the common man, for EVERYONE,” the statement said.
“We want to make it clear that we believe everyone is free to vote as they like, think as they like, but the Petty family doesn’t stand for this. We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either. We would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage,'” it said.
Trump held his first rally in three months on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event was marred by low turnout, coronavirus infections within the campaign, a rambling speech and reports that the event was torpedoed by young TikTok users who block-booked tickets.