From Silversun Pickups to Twisted Sister, artists have been lamenting the use of their music by Republicans in the 2012 presidential campaign. Tom Petty can relate. “I’ve been on the wrong side where I’ve had to tell some candidates to stop using my music,” he told Rolling Stone on the MTV VMAs red carpet.
But Petty was pleasantly surprised on Wednesday night, when his song “I Won’t Back Down” played as President Obama walked onstage at the Democratic National Convention, after former President Bill Clinton’s speech. “I got chills,” said Petty. “They knew it would be okay. I’ve had a chance to meet the President and talk to him about the music he listens to.”
Petty was on hand at the VMAs with his daughter and music video director Adria, who scored four nominations for Moonmen this year thanks to her work on Regina Spektor’s “All the Rowboats” and Coldplay and Rihanna’s “Princess of China.”
“I’ve pretty much worked with most of my heroes,” gushed Adria, who was joined on the red carpet by not only her dad, but Spektor. “I’m here and even got a nomination for her work,” said a grateful Spektor.
Like Adria, the elder Petty established himself as a director back in the day with iconic visuals for his own tunes, “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” Might his own daughter helm a clip for him one day? “I’ve pretty much retired from music videos,” Petty demurred, suggesting an alternative: “Bono, if you’re listening, I think you should make a music video with my daughter .”