The Ticket

Tom Petty reportedly wants Bachmann to stop using ‘American Girl’

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(Photo of Petty: Jason DeCrow/AP)

It's not a campaign if a rock star doesn't get mad about a politician using their music without permission.

Following in the steps of David Byrne v. Charlie Crist and other legendary artist versus candidate smack downs, Tom Petty is reportedly preparing to take legal action against Michele Bachmann's campaign, after she played his 1977 hit "American Girl" at her 2012 announcement rally in Iowa Monday.

Petty's manager tells NBC's Kelly O'Donnell the rocker wasn't pleased about the use of the song and is planning to send a cease-and-desist letter over the matter. It's the second time Petty has asked a GOP politician to stop playing his music. During the 2004 campaign, Petty issued a similar letter to George W. Bush's re-election campaign after it played the singer's hit, "I Won't Back Down," at political events.

Usually, a cease-and-desist letter settles the matter, but the legal spats can get nasty. In 2008, Jackson Browne sued the Republican National Committee, Ohio Republican Party, and John McCain's campaign for an ad the Ohio GOP ran featuring his song, "Running on Empty." When the parties couldn't get the lawsuit dismissed, McCain publicly apologized.

Earlier this year, as The Ticket previously reported, Byrne sued Crist's campaign for playing a Talking Heads song in an ad against his then-GOP opponent Marco Rubio during the 2010 campaign. Earlier this year, the suit was settled after Crist recorded a pretty embarrassing video apology for using the song, "Road To Nowhere," without Byrne's permission.

A spokeswoman for Bachmann's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

(Photo of Petty: Jason DeCrow/AP)

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