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Silversun Pickups tell Romney campaign to stop using its song, ‘Panic Switch’

Silversun Pickups played at the WFNX Clambake on Landsdowne Street in Boston in June, 2010.

Robert E. Klein for the Boston Globe

Silversun Pickups played at the WFNX Clambake on Landsdowne Street in Boston in June, 2010.

We don’t recall Mitt Romney being a big indie music guy while governor of Massachusetts, so it was a little surprising to hear that a song by Silversun Pickups was played at one of the Republican presidential candidate’s recent campaign appearances. Well, that won’t be happening again. A lawyer for the LA-based band sent the Romney camp an amusing cease-and-desist letter this week alerting the former Bain boss that he didn’t get permission to use the song, “Panic Switch.” (Silversun Pickups, by the way, are on Dangerbird Records, which happens to be co-owned by Peter Walker — a.k.a. Peter Grousbeck — brother of Celtics principal owner Wyc Grousbeck.) “You probably got so busy with your campaign that your forgot [to get permission],” wrote the band’s lawyer Tamara Milagros-Butler . “As the former governor of the state of Massachusetts, a graduate of Harvard Law School, and a candidate for US President, we’re pretty sure you are familiar with the laws of this great country of ours.” (She goes on to say that it would be “harmful” to the band if its fans thought Silversun Pickups were endorsing Romney.) Rather than make a First Amendment or “fair use” argument, Romney’s campaign happily agreed to not use the song again. It has not been his best week with the rock ’n’ roll crowd. Devo just released a song called “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro,” about the now-legendary 1983 incident when Romney strapped the family’s Irish setter, Seamus, to the roof of his car during a road trip.

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