‘Boston’ to Huckabee: Stop Playing Our Song!

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It’s not often you can feel genuine sympathy for rock stars that made truckloads of cash polluting the world with their catchy, but crappy songs. But given the above performance by Mike Huckabee’s cover band Capitol Offense, it’s easy to understand Boston founder and songwriter Tom Scholz’s deep, unending shame for the artistic transgressions of his youth, lucrative though they were. Huckabee’s recreation of the band’s 1976 oh-my-god-please-make-Clear-Channel-stop-playing-that hit “More Than a Feeling” at an Iowa campaign stop—which featured a guest appearance by one-time Boston lead guitarist Barry Goudreau, a Huckabee supporter—invites, no, begs for all the mockery one can muster. Turns out, though, that Schulz’s problem with the performance (aside from that it sucked) was Huckabee’s use of the song to promote his presidential candidacy. Scholz, who alleges that the Huckabee campaign has continued to use the song since the ill-considered performance in Iowa, wrote a letter to the presidential contender yesterday, explaining his troubled mind:

Boston has never endorsed a political candidate, and with all due respect, would not start by endorsing a candidate who is the polar opposite of most everything Boston stands for.

Um, what, you ask, does Boston stand for? Personally, I thought it was slick studio over-production and a period of my life, around the 6th grade, when I had yet to kiss a girl or shave my peach fuzz, and my musical tastes were still recovering from Stryper and Ratt. But I digress… Scholz’s letter continued:

By using my song, and my band’s name Boston, you have taken something of mine and used it to promote ideas to which I am opposed. In other words, I think I’ve been ripped off, dude!

Yes, he wrote the word “dude.” For their part, Huckabee’s people couldn’t care less what Scholz thinks. His New Hampshire campaign manager responded to the letter:

Governor Huckabee plays “Sweet Home Alabama.” Does that mean that Lynyrd Skynyrd is endorsing him? He plays “Louie Louie.” Does that mean that the Kingsmen are endorsing him? To me, it’s ridiculous. Never once has he said, “The band Boston endorses me.”

Of course, rock ‘n’ roll has an illustrious history when it comes to political campaigns. Bill Clinton rocked out to Fleetwood Mac. Obama jams to U2, and Hillary has a thing for Celine Dion (one can only imagine why she thinks that might help her chances at winning the White House). And until last week, McCain had a soft spot for the populist, Red-American icon John Mellencamp. But when the Indiana rocker complained about the misappropriation of hit songs “Pink Houses” and “Our Country” by the Republican candidate, McCain agreed to remove the songs from rotation.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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