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Rand Paul can't play "Tom Sawyer" on the campaign trail? Rush says no!

June 3, 2010 |  8:11 pm

06-03-rush-band

Who doesn't like the rock band Rush?

Well, judging from the attendees of their concerts -- women.  But that's beside the point.

Rand Paul, the Republican Senate candidate from Kentucky, is a big fan.  Not only will he quote lyrics from the band on the campaign trail, he also likes to rock out to its music to get his rallies rolling.

No, he isn't playing the air guitar to "Limelight" like the guys from the movie "I Love You, Man" or anything.

He just has his staff fire up some of the Canadian trio's music to get the crowd going before the event starts.

And, predictably, just like every other Republican who plays any artist besides Ted Nugent or Charlie Daniels, he got in trouble.

Lawyers from the band contacted the campaign and told 'em to knock it off....

Usually campaigns acquiesce and move on to the next artist (who will then promptly sue the campaign).

But Paul's campaign manager -- at least in an e-mail to the Louisville Courier-Journal -- is talking tough.

"The background music Dr. Paul has played at events is a non-issue," wrote Jesse Benton. "The issues that matter in this campaign are cutting out-of-control deficits, repealing ObamaCare and opposing cap and trade."

Might be a non-issue to Benton.  Rush's attorney Robert Farmer sees it differently.

"The public performance of Rush's music is not licensed for political purposes: any public venue which allows such use is in breach of its public performance license and also liable for copyright infringement," Farmer wrote.

He said he would wait on the campaign's formal response before deciding the next legal maneuver.

In a highly surprising twist to the story, however, Paul's political party is not the reason the band doesn't want its music played.  The attorney said it's a "copyright issue" and that the band would "do this no matter who it is."

By the way, the songs Paul plays at his campaign rallies?  "Spirit of Radio" and "Tom Sawyer."

Since we're not running for anything (as far as they know) -- we'll embed them below.

-- Jimmy Orr

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Photo: Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee from the band Rush. Reuters

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