‘Boston’ to Huckabee: Stop Playing Our Song!


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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.