Skip to comments.THE HEART OF IT
Posted on 09/06/2008 11:32:05 PM PDT by andrew roman
Nancy and Ann Wilson, co-founders of the 1970s hard rock band Heart, are apparently a little perturbed that the song they made into a classic-rock staple, "Barracuda," was used at the Republican National Convention last week. The song had become something a trademark for Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, an association that dates back to her days as a high school basketball star in small-town Alaska. Now that Governor Palin is a household name - and has affronted the sensibilities of the antediluvian feminist class - she will apparently have to find another theme song - that is, if the Wilsons have her way.
Prior to John McCain's acceptance speech on Thursday evening, Heart had publicly requested that their song not be used at the convention. (No doubt the Wilson sisters were a tad surprised that the convention playlist was light on Hank Williams and Boxcar Willie). The sisters, of course, didn't come right out and say that they were sickened to hear their precious creation used at a congregation of bigots, fat cats, war mongers and homophobes, but they did say that "the Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission."
By Thursday evening, when the next President of the United States had finished his speech and the balloons were falling all over the assembled masses, the song was showcased again. This prompted a fuming Nancy Wilson to respond by saying, "I think it's completely unfair to be so misrepresented. I feel completely f---ed over." How eloquent.
Could this be a royalties issue maybe?
Following Thursday night's convention activities, she and her sister issued yet another statement this time with a touch more lucidity - saying, "Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image."
Why not just say that in the first place?
Their objections had nothing to do with copy infringement. It wasn't about getting permission to use their song. The sisters opposition focused squarely on the political chasm that exists between them and the gun-wielding, moose burger-eating, bible-pounding wilderness woman from Alaska who wants to destroy the environment and call Messiah Obama names. The Wilsons went on to explain, "The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late '70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.)"
Interesting. If this were an episode of Behind the Music, I might even find it relevant.
My initial thought after reading their protestations was to try and shed light on specifically what it was that put such a twist in their knickers. Which "values" and views relevant to American women did they believe Governor Palin was an affront to? Achievement? Leadership? Capitalizing on equality of opportunity? Rising from humble working-class beginnings to become a Vice-Presidential candidate? Funny, I thought those sorts of things were foundational tenets of the feminist creed. I thought that was what the Steinem constituency of American womanhood had been championing for years.
The sad reality is that to the Wilson sisters and almost everyone still entranced by the feminine mystique politics trumps all. Governor Palins remarkably impressive resume is nothing to admire for the left-leaning ladies of the ensemble because she is not a liberal. Palins conservatism, by default, invalidates her womanhood, belittles her accomplishments, and opens her up to personal attack from the compassionate ones. Whereas her achievements and successes would have been the very underpinnings of her status as a hero had she been a liberal, they instead amplify her inexperience and gross disqualification as a conservative. Ironically, Palin is assailed on non-political matters precisely because she is a on the right. Because she is not a liberal, she is a fraud.
Speaking of fraud I have to assume the Honda Corporation has more soul in their corporate nature than the "music business" that made Nancy and Ann millionaires, seeing as Hearts song Barracuda was featured in Hondas ads for the fossil-fuel burning Odyssey minivan this year.
I wonder if Governor Palin - or any other conservative - has ever driven a Honda.
Andrew Roman, Brooklyn, NY
In an e-mail to Reuters, the band’s former guitarist, Roger Fisher, said it was a win-win situation. Heart gets publicity and royalties, while the Republicans benefit from “the ingenious placement of a kick-ass song,” Fisher said.
But in a subsequent email, Fisher said he strongly endorsed the Democratic ticket, and would donate a portion of royalties he receives from the Republicans’ airing of “Barracuda” to the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama.
“With my contribution to Obama’s campaign, the Republicans are now supporting Obama,” he said.
Great piece Andrew. I have to wonder how Ann and Nancy really feel about watching Hillary and now Sarah Palin being raked over the coals by the DNC’s “good old boys” club. The Wilsons are very talented but, IMHO, they aren’t very bright.
The Wilson sisters probably have no control over the song. The music industry is strange in that the people who write and record songs don’t actually own or have control of the songs, but they own an interest in them.
The music publisher owns the song writing right (if the Republicans wanted to record a version of the song, they would have to get permission from them.)
The record company owns the rights to the actual recording. They could tell the Republicans to stop (but record companies are big businesses, and I doubt they want to go out of their way to antagonize either of the major parties.)
Anne Wilson dated a Vietnam draft dodger for a long time (he would sneak back across the border from Canada to see her), so it isn’t surprising she’s pretty far to the left.
Yes, I read that as well.
Thanks so much for putting the link up.
So..when they don’t want moderates or conservative women at their shows, or buying their music?
How stupid to alienate A LOT of your fan base. Nitwits.
Sarah is a self made woman, but because she doesn’t agree with ABORTION she is not a good representation of an American woman?
Thanks very much.
I cringe when I listen to most entertainers talk about issues of great relevance. They are exercises in emotion and bumper sticker slogans.
For example, being a huge Beatles fan, I always enjoyed hearing the members of the band talk about the music itself or, even more interstingly to me, details surrounding the actual recordings of the material.
However, once John and Yoko start talking about all of us beinf “married in this world” ....
Well, enough said ..
Old Hag alert. Talk about who the f cares about these fossils.
Tammy Bruce played the song today and made fun of the Wilsons.
I've actually met both sisters and been in Roger Fisher's house and studio helping him out with a technical problem he was having...
Barracuda isn't really about the recording industry as a whole. It was about specific people at Mushroom records. There disdain for that person or persons was well founded.
That being said, they are all far to the left in politics and all this comes as no surprise. I don't agree with them in that area at all. Nevertheless they were once a fine band. So what's new...
Maybe the Wilson sisters like Sarah because a woman is to be heard but not seen?
(I’m guessing that like so many tired old hippies, they haven’t aged so well. Sarahcuda, on the other hand...)
Has been rockers complaining about an accomplished woman?
ASCAP or BMI sets a fixed cost if you want to publicly play copyrighted music. It’s expo facto so they can’t say crap. Sarah should play ‘barracuda’ from now on.
The McCain/Palin campaign would be better off dropping this song rather then connecting it further to Sarah. It’s good music but it’s about some very nasty people who Palin should not be connected.
The two front women of Heart are sisters. Their own record label began spreading rumors they were incestuous lesbians, trying to build up interest in the act. The song Barracuda was written about these treacherous unethical men and hoping for their downfall. Palin can do better then compare herself to such.
Peaked at position 11 on the countdown, debut May ‘77 Hot 100
So this ain`t the end
I saw you again today
I had to turn my heart away
Smiled like the sun
Kisses for everyone
And tales, it never fails
You lying so low in the weeds
I bet you gonna ambush me
You`d have me down, down
Down, down on my knees
Now wouldn`t you, Barracuda, ooh
Back over time
We were all trying for free
You met the porpoise and me, uh huh
No right, no wrong, selling a song
A name, whisper game
And if the real thing don`t do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn, burn, burn
Burn, burn to the wick
Ooo, Barracuda, ohh yeah
Sell me sell you, the porpoise said
Dive down deep now to save my head
You, I think that you got the blues too
All that night and all the next
Swam without looking back
Made for the western pools
Silly, silly fools
The real thing don`t do the trick, no
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn, burn, burn
Burn, burn it to the wick
Ooh, Barra, Barracuda, ohh yeah
I know what you mean. It’s almost as though they become a parody of the parody, “Spinal Tap.” I don’t know if that makes any sense. It’s getting late. LOL!
yes Sarah is nothing like these gals Ann and Nancy. Ann and Nancy are big ole’ whiney babies. Go away old flies.
That’s ok, I send Ann Wilson a message on MYSPACE letting her know how I feel.
I have no idea if it’s a fan site for Heart, or whether Ann really goes on it, but I sent it anyway.
Hope they never take in another dime from any self respecting conservative. I would rather give that money to the Palin/McCain campaign.
>>>Hope they never take in another dime from any self respecting conservative
Did you even read what I posted ? As far as it goes if the Palin campaign used Barracuda then Heart will get royalties for its use, and the free advertising will sell additional Heart albums.
It’s not a question of Heart making money from conservatives. It’s the VP candidate’s campaign and supporters locking her in as a character in a song about liars and cheats, untrustworthy people of bad character. People who should “burn burn burn”. With all the talk about vetting, somebody for sure didn’t vet the music.
This is one issue the supporters would be very smart to just quietly drop, and walk away.
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