Saturday, February 16, 2008

More Than A Soundtrack for the Rapture

Submitted without comment:
The chief songwriter and founder of the band Boston has more than a feeling that he's being ripped off by Mike Huckabee.

In a letter to the Republican presidential hopeful, Tom Scholz complains that Huckabee is using his 1970s smash hit song "More Than a Feeling" without his permission. A former member of the band, Barry Goudreau, has appeared with Huckabee at campaign events, and they have played the song with Huckabee's band, Capitol Offense.

Scholz, who said Goudreau left the band more than 25 years ago after a three-year stint, objects to the implication that the band and one of its members has endorsed Huckabee's candidacy.

"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," wrote Scholz, adding that he is supporting Democratic Sen. Barack Obama. "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!"

Oh, and McCain's not faring much better, although of course he's not actually playing the bass: "Last week, McCain's campaign agreed to stop playing John Mellencamp's songs 'Our Country' and 'Pink Houses' at his rallies after the liberal rocker complained."

On the other hand: "Celine Dion said she was 'thrilled' that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton used her song, 'You and I' as her official campaign anthem. Obama frequently blares U2's 'City of Blinding Lights' at his events."

What, no one wants Bad Religion?


steve simels said...

I'm holding out for the Dead Kennedys, for obvious reasons.

I think "Too Drunk to Fuck" would make a lovely campaign song, though.

Cleveland Bob said...

Gawd, I hated Boston.

Compared to Foreigner, Styx and Journey, Boston was actually the worst of the bunch.

When I was at school, local horrible Toledo radio once held a "Styx and Stones" weekend. I'm amazed I lived to tell the tale.

Steve, I like the way your brain functions.

steve simels said...

Cleveland Bob:

Heretical as it may sound, I actually think Boston is the class of that field.

C'mon -- how can you hate "More Than a Feeling"? Anybody who can get a hit song by ripping off the chords to "Sweet Jane" (see: "Do Ya" by the Move/ELO) deserves respect from mere mortals, I think...

Kid Charlemagne said...

How 'bout "I wanna destroy You" by the Soft Boys?

Cleveland Bob said...

Hi Steve,

It was more that just a feeling for me. It was an utter and venomous hatred for their entire oeuvre. I was also in great contempt for their fan base.

I was a theatre major and I had the misfortune living in a dorm in the plains of the Midwest at the height of Boston's success. From my room I was blasting P-Funk, Zappa, The Damned, Pere Ubu, Elvis Costello, Devo and other sundry artistes of the day.

The other mongoloids on my floor were all wailing to Boston, Styx and Journey and inventing new ways to get fucked up on beer and denigrate females.

I wasn't exactly ostracized on the floor but let's just say that there were some interesting conflicts and leave it at that.

So, it's not just Boston's music and the sounds of their peers, it's what they represented and the Andrew Dice Clay types that revered their music which shaped my perspective.

shrimplate said...

I just have to smile whenever anybody mentions the Soft Boys.

'Drop what you're doing right now and go out and buy 10 copies of "Underwater Moonlight" right now' is what NME said about them years ago, and to this day that remains good advice.

Boston sucked donkey dick, as we used to say back then, but MTAF might be OK if Lisa Loeb did an acoustic cover of it and left out the wanky stadium-guitar.

PhilDutra said...

I vote The Electric Six's "Gay Bar" for The Huckster!

peter spencer said...

Interesting. Can I demand that a radio station stop playing my record if they advertise a product I don't approve of?

TMink said...

Steve asked "how can you hate "More Than a Feeling"? "

It is the singing! The music is fine, a little repetitive, but the singing is spineless tripe.

I feel that way about quite a few bands, great bamd, loose the singer.

Guns and Roses is the prime example.

Crowded House whenever the soprano Finn sings.


dave™© said...

So maybe some of you "professional" music types can answer this for me... does Scholz really have any recourse in this? As long as the campaign isn't saying "The group Boston endorses me," and they're paying the proper fees (doesn't ASCAP/BMI roam bars across the country now to get bar owners to pay up?), what say does Scholz have in the matter?

dave™© said...

From my room I was blasting P-Funk, Zappa, The Damned, Pere Ubu, Elvis Costello, Devo and other sundry artistes of the day.

I was listening to all them, and more. AND the first Boston album.

The first side, anyway. The second side sucked.

NYMary said...

I really don't know what legal recourse he has. I mean, if Huckabee applied for permission to play the song--which is what a licensing fee is--then I guess they could politely decline the offer, but that wouldn't necessarily make him stop playing it.

Of course, if he were a Dem, the press would go crazy slobbering over the "rule of law," but we know all to well that IOKIYAR. Then again, if he were a Dem, he wouldn't be a Christianist hatemonger, and Scholz might not mind.

steve simels said...

cleveland bob:

I'm a little older (hah) than you, but I get what you're saying about college dorm musical types.

In my day, I was blasting import Kinks albums when my pals down the hall were playing Cream and Hendrix (not that there's anything wrong with Cream and Hendrix, but let's just say that my manhood was occasionally impugned because I liked "Village Green" more than "Spoonful."

TJWood said...


That's an interesting question, I can't say I have a definitive answer for you. Scholz is not the first artist to demand that a political candidate stop using his or her song in their campaign. In every case I know of, the candidate has complied with the artist's wishes and stopped using the song. I suppose using a song in your campaign by an artist who has made it clear they don't support your campaign isn't great for your PR. But what would happen if push did come to shove I can't answer for sure.

I will concur with your opinion of the 1st Boston LP. Side 1 (as much as I never need to hear it again) stands up while Side 2 is pretty much your standard AOR boogie cliches. "Something About You", though, is their best power pop moment, IMHO.

Cleveland Bob said...

In the larger argument at play here, I do think that it stinks that an artist can't have a voice in the use of their tune however lame the song.

For example, Chrissie Hynde has fought Limbaugh for years to get him to stop playing "My City Was Gone" as his theme show music to no avail.

El Rushbo is the only citation I can think of in a dynamic where I'd fight for LESS gun control in our fair land. Next time a disgruntled college kid takes up arms against his schoolmates, I continue to hope that it's somewhere near the EIB studios and Rush gets nailed in the crossfire.

Just sayin'...

steve simels said...

cleveland bob:

I hear you about Chrissie Hynde and Limbaugh; that's bugged me for eons, actually, and yes, it would be some kind of karmic payback if the fat junkie got shot in the ass sometime.

But the one that really steams my beans is Sean Hannity. That racist fuckwit uses Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is" as intro music all the time; obviously, the irony of it being one of the most profoundly anti-racist pop songs of the last twenty years escapes the smarmy little prick....

PhilDutra said...

I forget which campaign used "Born to Run", but they apparently didn't read the lyrics.

"Baby this town rips the bones from your back
Its a death trap, its a suicide rap
We gotta get out while were young
`cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run"

Anonymous said...

RE: Born To Run: wasn't it the Reagan campaign that used Bruce's song?

Re: Who played what in their dorm room: I was such a nut about keeping my vinyl in good shape I left them at home and depended on my roommate's record collection to listen to. I even changed my roommate one semester because the other one had a better record collection. As to what was played in other dorm rooms: I was too stoned to notice anyway.

Return Of The Plumber

TMink said...

I think that the Reagan campaign used "Born In The USA" before the boss asked them to stop.

I heard a different story on Chrissie and Rush, I heard that she appreciated the royalty checks while remaining his loyal opponent in the marketplace of ideas.

Let me see if I can sniff out the story!


TMink said...

OK, I found it. Rush plays the song, Chrissie gives the profit to PETA.

At least so says Rolling Stone.


Cleveland Bob said...

Thanks, Trey.

Good to know that Rush's misuse of the song and his epic cognitive dissonance is going to a cause beyond his oily reach.

TMink said...

Rush recognizes a killer groove and Chrissie found a way to feel good about someone she can't stand using said groove.

Works for me!