Since yesterday evening, when news of lawsuit filed against me
by aging liberal rockers Don Henley and Mike Campbell first broke, online comments to me have been running hot and heavy. Fairly emblematic of the "fan" mail: "i hope you get in a car wreck and die."
Understanding that the DailyKos crowd can never be quieted (save for my untimely demise in a speeding vehicle), I do think it important to set forth what we did with the two parody songs I wrote to be sung in style of Don Henley's works.
I penned "After the Hope of November is Gone
" based on Mr. Henley's "The Boys of Summer" with parodic eye. One can clearly see my intended skewering of Henley and his ilk's well known liberalism in the lines:
We never will forget those nights
We wonder if it was a dream
Remember how you made us crazy?
Remember how we made you beam
Now we do understand what happened to our love.
That Henley has contributed some $750,000 to Democrats and liberal causes over the years, including $10,000 to Barack Obama and $9,000 to Sen. Barbara Boxer, adds authenticity to the political nature of my ditties. As the L.A. Daily News reported Friday night, "Henley, a longtime vocal supporter of Democratic causes, has drawn boos from fans in Orange County over the years for making political comments between songs during concerts." Indeed. Henley's lawsuit shows he's good at dishing it out, but not so good at taking it.
Henley's lawsuit also makes mention of my parody version
of "All she wants to do is dance." This song came out in 1984. It was written as an attack on President Reagan's Central American policy, a policy I was soon after to help implement as a Reagan appointee in the Pentagon. I particularly enjoyed taking Henley's critique of cluelessness in the face of President Reagan's policies and turning it into a critique of the left and their global warming policies, thus parodying Henley's penchant for leftwing activism while at the same time fashioning an insightful ditty on Sen. Barbara Boxer, my 2010 opponent.
Lastly, I note with interest that the D.C.-based bi-partisan musical group "Capitol Steps
" has been building on others' work by turning familiar songs into biting political commentary since 1981. They have yet to pay royalties to any artist and, as their songs are political
, unlike, for instance, "Weird Al" Yankovic, they rarely secure permission from the artists whose works they build upon.
Bottom line, we are responding to the Henley/Campbell lawsuit and expect to prevail. If an elected official running for the U.S. Senate is not allowed to fearlessly engage in parody, then the First Amendment means little.