Tom Petty's children, widow, and ex-wife teamed up to denounce President Trump's use of Petty's 1989 classic, “I Won't Back Down,” at his political rally on Saturday night (June 20th) in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The family, who has recently resolved a bitter fight over the rocker's estate, fired off a message across all of Petty's social media platforms, which reads in full:
Tom Petty's song “I Won't Back Down” was used today at Donald Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa, OK. Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind.
Both late Tom Petty and his family stand against racism and discrimination. Tom Petty would never want his song used to promote a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.
Tom wrote this song for the underdog, for the common man, and for EVERYONE. We want to make it clear that we believe everyone is free to vote as they like, think as they like, but the Petty family doesn't stand for this. We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing noble ideals of either. We would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage. Concurrently, we have issued a cease and desist notice to the Trump campaign.
– Adria, Annakin, Dana, and Jane Petty
Not long before his 2017 death Tom Petty said that the music he made always needed to ring true to his life: “With me, I just have to go with what I feel passionate about or it won't sound truthful, y'know, so I kinda just, as a songwriter, go where the wind blows me, y'know? I don't really know if one's harder than the other.”