It’s an election year, which means a steady stream of musicians asking candidates — usually Republicans — to stop playing their music at campaign rallies. Now comes R.E.M., which today demanded Fox News stop its “unlicensed and unauthorized” use of the band’s “Losing My Religion” in its coverage of the Democratic National Convention.
According to a post on the band’s website tonight:
“R.E.M.’s ‘Losing My Religion’ was used in the Fox News coverage of the Democratic National Convention last night. R.E.M. today, through its music publisher, Warner-Tamerlane Music, demanded that Fox News cease and desist from continuing its unlicensed and unauthorized use of the song. Michael Stipe said, ‘We have little or no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage. Our music does not belong there.’”
The move is hardly surprising coming from the left-leaning and famously political group, even in the wake of last year’s break-up. What’s more puzzling, however, is the meaning behind Stipe’s use of the phrase “puff adder” when referring to the conservative cable news network. Was the singer referring to the venomous snake? Or the somewhat obscure Marvel Comics villain?
(Longtime R.E.M. associate Ethan Kaplan chimes in via Twitter: “puff adder: snake which puffs itself up to look bigger. Formerly used by Stipe to describe Limbaugh.”)
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- R.E.M.’s ‘Document’ 25th anniversary reissue to include unreleased 1987 concert
- R.E.M.’s Peter Buck recording solo album — and it could be a vinyl-only release
- Stream: R.E.M.’s final fan-club holiday single — ‘Perfect Circle,’ ‘Life and How to Live It’ live
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- R.E.M. unveils ‘Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011’ tracklist
- R.E.M., 1980-2011: Genre-defining college rock band breaks up after 31 years