Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Music Legend Slams Bush Campaign Over Song Theft

Music Legend Slams Bush Campaign Over Song Theft

by Harvey Wasserman
October 30, 2004

George Bush may be getting the same kind of legal and musical advice as he gets from his military and environmental strategists.

Amidst a torrent of bad news, yet another Bush fiasco has erupted with his attempt to use the rock standard ''Still the One'' as his theme song without bothering to ask its author for permission.

Rock and roll legend John Hall has issued a cease and desist order. Hall says he doesn't want his song "used to promote the candidacy of someone who has been a disaster for the environment." After widely announcing "Still the One" and blaring it at public rallies, Bush now says he won't use it.

Hall says he was "unwinding" after a long work day when he heard Lou Dobbs on CNN announce that the Bush campaign had adopted his song. The news report then featured it being played at a Bush rally in Ohio. "Our jaws dropped as 'Still The One"came pouring out of the speakers," says Hall. "Johanna's words, Larry's voice, our harmonies and instrumental work and the emotion that went into it..."

Hall wrote "Still the One" with his then-spouse Johanna Hall, and made it a rock standard with Lance and Larry Hoppen, his cohorts in the band "Orleans".

In 1979 Hall helped found Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE), aimed at stopping nuclear power. MUSE staged five sell-out concerts in New York's Madison Square Garden and then a huge rally at Battery Park City, near the site of the World Trade Center. In all some 300,000 people flocked to hear Hall, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Carly Simon, James Taylor and others denounce atomic reactors and demand a green future.

Hall later became an elected public official in upstate New York. He performs for environmental causes, and now serves on the board of legendary sloop Clearwater, which campaigns to clean up the Hudson River Valley. Hall says he and his band recently turned down a $10,000 offer to perform for the Maryland Republican Party.

On October 29 Hall had his attorneys serve the Bush-Cheney Campaign and Ed Gillespie, Chair of the Republican National Committee, with a cease and desist order, saying their use of "Still the One" constituted a clear copyright infringement. "As the promoter of an "ownership society," says Hall, " the issue of intellectual property rights" is something "the president should know about."

The Republicans now say they won't use "Still the One" to promote Bush's campaign.

Hall says he had planned to quietly vote for John Kerry. But since the story spread he has been telling the media what he thinks.

"Whether it's rejecting the Kyoto global warming treaty, rewriting the mining regulations to allow tons of debris from mountaintop mining to be dumped in West Virginia streambeds, or allowing salmon in hatcheries to be counted the same as wild salmon for the purposes of the endangered species act, this administration can be counted on to side with the polluting industries and against the health of the people and the environment," Hall says.

"These policy changes have been hidden under the radar, kept out of the headlines by the war in Iraq. But they constitute just as real a threat to our national security."

Maybe Bush will be a little more careful in the choice of his next theme song. But then again….


HARVEY WASSERMAN'S HISTORY OF THE US is available He is Senior Editor of

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news