Rush Limbaugh

EXCLUSIVE: Rush Pulls Music from Limbaugh Show

Yesterday, I contacted Anthem Entertainment and Rush (the band) about Rush Limbaugh's airing of its music on his show, and today I was exclusively informed that the legendary Canadian rock group has formally demanded that the Rush Limbaugh Program stop using its music on the air.

For years now, Rush Limbaugh has been playing Rush music (get it?) as bumpers out of his commercial breaks, including the tracks "Bravado" and "The Spirit of Radio". In fact, when Limbaugh attacked Sandra Fluke and remarked about seeing sex tapes of Fluke in exchange for birth control pills, Limbaugh was playing the popular Rush track "The Spirit of Radio" under his rant.

Thankfully, that ends today.

Here's the official cease & desist letter from Bob Farmer, the head legal affairs for S.R.O. Management Inc., Core Music Publishing and The Anthem Entertainment Group Inc.

The Rush Limbaugh Show
1270 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020 Premiere Radio Networks.

Ladies & Gentlemen:

I am the attorney for Rush, their management company, S.R.O. Management Inc., their music publishing company, Core Music Publishing and their record company, The Anthem Entertainment Group Inc.

According to media reports, Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks and The Rush Limbaugh Show have been using Rush’s recorded music as part of what is essentially a political broadcast.

The use of Rush’s music in this way is an infringement of Rush’s copyrights and trademarks. The public performance of Rush’s music is not licensed for political purposes and any such use is in breach of public performance licenses and constitutes copyright infringement. There are civil and criminal remedies for copyright infringement, including statutory damages and fines.

(see sections 501-513 of Title 17 of the United States Code

In addition, the use of Rush’s music in this manner implies an endorsement of the views expressed and products advertised on the show, and is in breach of not only copyright and trademark rights, but also, of section 51 of the New York Civil Rights Law (excerpt attached).

Accordingly, we hereby demand that you immediately stop all use of Rush’s music and confirm that you will do so.

Yours very truly,
Robert A. Farmer
Director of Legal Affairs
S.R.O. Management Inc.,
Core Music Publishing
The Anthem Entertainment Group Inc.

cc: Rush, Ray Danniels, Pegi Cecconi

Here's to more recording artists following Rush's and Peter Gabriel's lead.

  • deanmike

    Can someone post a list of Bill Maher sponsors? We need to get a handle on this guy too!

  • Martin Guerre

    Seems like there’s a good trademark issue there, too. By playing Rush songs during a broadcast named Rush, Limbaugh is inviting confusion.

  • Martin Guerre

    Seems like there could also be a good trademark issue here. By playing Rush on his program, called Rush, Limbaugh is inviting confusion.

  • artisanr

    Good for the band!

  • Rush2112CA

    Right on Rush the band and go f yourself Limbaugh.

  • The stupidity of liberals never ceases to amaze me.

    • I guarantee you that we’ll take your barely literate thought and cry about it. Seriously.

  • David Knight

    Yawn…as if not being able to play a few tunes by an irrelevant have-been music group amounts to anything. Who cares.

  • I’ve told this story before, but it bears repeating. I met Rush in about 1970, but I didn’t know it until I read Senator Al Franken’s fine treatise on the life of the man who has become not only the Voice, but also the Conscience and the Intellectual Rudder steering the course of the Modern Conservative Movement.
    I am speaking of course of the bestselling blockbuster, and I’m sure Political Science 101 reference book, “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations” (… , Highly recommended to the politically astute)
    In this book I learned that contrary to conventional wisdom, Rush was not a Fulbright Scholar with a full scholarship to study History, Political Science and Philosophy at Oxford and the Sorbonne. In fact he found the rigorous academic requirements at the Internationally renowned South West Missouri State College so beneath the level required to stimulate his genius that he decided to leave after only two semesters to search for another path. I believe his own sweet mother put it best when interviewed for the historical record. She proudly remembered: “he flunked everything”, and “he just didn’t seem interested in anything except radio.” Indeed. But I digress…
    I was fortunate to meet Mr. Limbaugh when he entered his dream of Radio (He does have such a Face for Radio). He was a “Disk Jockey” at WIXZ AM in Pittsburgh and famous throughout the TrI-State area under the name of Jeff Christie. I can only imagine that the Great Man knew his destiny, and instinctively realized he could not trade on his real name while he perfected his craft. His innate sense of pride told him that mere mortals such as his listeners today could not grasp the strain involved in learning where the switch for the mike was. This false identity would not be the last time this Giant broke with reality.
    You can imagine my excitement when my Father told me that I would soon be in the presence of my hero! He had hired WIXZ to broadcast the Battle of the Bands LIVE from the swimming pool patio of Cabana Beach Amusement Park, my home. And the Hosts would be two personalities names Tommy Lee and Jeff Christy! I was on cloud nine! I hope I don’t seem boastful, but I believe even at my young age I may have been among the first to recognize his extraordinary talent. My ears will never forget the first time I heard him introduce “Mony Mony” by Tommy James and the Shondells. Even suffering the limitations of AM and a 9 volt transistor radio, I felt the glow only acquired in the presence of True Genius for the first time.
    It seemed that the Big Day would never arrive. But on a special August Saturday afternoon the Big Show set up and the Magic began. Terry Lee started the event and warmed up the crowd with some banal pandering that got the crowd into the special moment that only I knew they would never forget. I kept searching for The One, but since I had only heard his stirring vocal instrument on my $4.99 Lafayette Radio, I couldn’t pick him out in the crowd. Worse still, this fat dork on the crew had found out I was the owners son and kept pestering me to go get him hot dogs, hamburgers and sodas every ten minutes and to put it on a tab until they got paid. Terry hogged the mike through the entire show until the last band had played and they had an intermission until the votes were counted. I was a frantic wreck thinking that some more important mission had insisted the star attraction abdicate his promised obligation, leaving a void in my life that would last forever.
    The dorky guy inhaling the hot dogs went up to the mike to kill the time. Imagine my surprise when he introduced himself as Jeff Christy! He certainly wasn’t what I was expecting, but I focused on his every word. I immediately regarded his previous gluttony as the price that was necessitated by the caloric requirements of a hyperactivly imaginative computer-like mind vice. Intellectual carb-loading if you will, although the conservative mind would never conceptualize that silly elitist term back then. Or even today.
    I really don’t remember what he spoke of on that magic afternoon. I must have been in such awe that my rapture prevented my from recalling his wisdom to this very day. But looking back, maybe he had just had a rare off day. It happens to us all. I lean towards this explanation because he had to have sensed my glowing admiration basking in the white hot light of his rhetorical majesty, and realizing he had not lived up to my unreachable expectations, left quietly without facing me, his biggest admirer. Not even to pay his tab.
    To this very day I tear up at the very thought of a man with such a majestic burden and honor. It is obvious that this sacred burden could not possibly be carried forever, even by such a spectacular example of humanity who walks among us as our very own 21st century Socrates.
    Not even with all the Oxycontin in the world.
    Thank you for allowing me to share with you the true story of a normal every day American boy. And his brief encounter with a legend who helped him become the exceptional man he is today. A chance encounter which would help turn him in to the sick, sarcastic and world class cynic he has become. One that would stay up and write bullshit such as this instead of doing something productive or sleeping.
    God Bless you Mr. Limbaugh. I pray I will someday get to meet you in person to show my appreciation. Wear a cup, just in case.

    • incredulous72

      LMFAO! Applause!

  • rozlee

    Rush Limbaugh can use that Nazi vampire rock on his show now. Although, the vampires probably will boycott his advertisers if he does.

  • inkygirl13

    Thank God, as a massive Female Rush fan for over 30 years I am so happy this will not happen again. Ive always disliked the Rush Limbaugh show and as a feminist it’s hard to have my favorite band be the First name of the Man I dislike the most! But as always us girls just had to take a deep breath and had to live with it until now. well thank you sooooo much for putting an end to that A__hole using any of the bands music. I can’t thank you enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LOL

  • It doesn’t say they disagree, just they do not want their music played on political shows. Rush likes Rush! woohoo!

  • People just think they can use other person’s work and not pay for it??

    The only reason Limbaugh’s show is on so many stations is because when it first came out, they offered it to radio stations for free and that’s how big his show became.

  • What a douche you are

    • Your…….er….intelligence simply shines.

  • I bet that would be a nightmare somebody like him using ur music!!

  • You’d think with the right’s condemnation of recreational drug use and casual sex, and deference to humorless authority and all things bible-y, there’s be no shortage of rockers just dying for the chance to get airtime on conservative talk radio.

  • dswagz
  • He should play “Send in the Clowns,” by Judy Collins.

  • Rex

    This cease and desist letter is for PR only.

    The Rush Limbaugh Show pays ASCAP royalties and has the right to use its music. As long as no more than 15 seconds of catalog is played in the opening spots, the show is legally immune from prosecution. Rush (the band) have no legal case.


      I think the P.R. will be enough, because if Rush L. wants to save any face, he will respect the bands wishes and not impart the proverbial finger to one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

    • defhigh

      Wrong, ascap/etc license does not cover political use, clearly Rush’s “show” is extremely political.

    • We’ll see.

  • We’ve followed Rush since our kids were in hi school, that’s like 34 yrs. ago. Way to go. Our kids knew back then they were the best!

  • Rush no longer has Rush! What an epic blow!

  • j1shalack

    i don’t condone what he said, but we seem to only allow “Freedom of Speech” when we agree with it…

    • This isn’t a freedom of speech issue. The 1st amendment doesn’t guarantee anyone a radio show. Even if Rush were to get fired he’d still be free to yell “slut” whenever he wanted. He just wouldn’t be getting paid for it.

      However, just as he’s free to say these things, people are free to disagree, free to ask his advertisers if they condone it, and advertisers are free to speak with their money.

    • incredulous72

      Freedom of speech is the right of the individual when it comes to the government. This particular situation has nothing to do with freedom of speech.

    • Miranda

      I didn’t realize that anyone put tape over Rush’s mouth and dared him not to speak. Far as I know, he’s still free to say whatever he wants that’s within the bounds of his Clear Channel contract. no?

    • FCC rules.

    • defhigh

      Slander is not covered by the 1st amendment, nor is speech which causes direct physical or emotional harm or threat of such harm.

  • Interesting that Rush and Peter Gabriel believe that birth control pills cost $1000 a year. Where are they buying them? They are overpaying to be sure! Tip: $9 a month at Target, $10 at Walgreens.

    • “Tip: $9 a month at Target, $10 at Walgreens.”

      Cuz that’s all Limbaugh said, right?

      Yes, that cost is through a comprehensive health plan, which is what she was TALKING ABOUT IN THE FIRST FUCKING PLACE. Which is apparently enough to make hate-radio jackasses go on a three-day woman-hating spree. And enough to make people who lack compassion, or common sense, agree with him.


      • don’t be a jerk, he isolated one comment… sounds like you’re on the same team.


        • and who the hell are you with your 3 whole Twitter followers?

    • Miranda

      You really showed your ignorance right there.

      You can’t buy them in the aisle with the coughdrops. This is prescription medication. A gynecologist actually has to make sure which pills to prescribe and the cost of the annual exam ain’t free.

    • Yes, and since ampicillin is only $5 a prescription, we don’t need any of those other fancy antibiotics, amirite? So antibiotic prescription coverage is not needed in insurance policies, because all drugs of a certain class are interchangeable, right?

      FYI, there is not A birth control pill. There are dozens of different formulations of various estrogen and progestogen hormones. And not every formula works for every woman. Some cost much more than others. If you knew anything about contraception, you would know that. But you don’t, do you? Lack of knowledge of a subject would stop most people from offering their unsolicited opinions, but that’s not how you and Limbaugh roll, is it?

    • rozlee

      Birth control pills are $9 to $10 dollars a month at Target and Walgreens? Maybe in the ones in Mexico and Canada! My daughter pays $60.00 a month for hers on her husband’s 20% insurance discount. Plus, wasn’t Limbaugh the one who once said that mothers on Welfare should be sterilized or forced to take contraceptives if they kept having children while they were receiving public assistance? He needs to make up his teeny mind.

    • artisanr

      I was paying $40 for a copay five or so YEARS ago for b/c pills for cycle regualtion (i.e., NOT SEX). It would have cost $100 or more out of pocket.

      Get your head out your rectum, sorry cowboy.

      • deanmike

        Try buying them with no insurance. If your insurance policy says that you have to pay a $40 co-pay for a $10 prescription then you need to get your head out of YOUR rectum, Dummy!

        Guess what? Where I live, I can go to a Publix supermarket and get certain prescriptions for FREE! If I would hand over my insurance card for them I would get to pay my co-pay.

        Always ask questions, like “How much if I don’t use my insurance?” The cashiers won’t help you out. My wife pays $10 for birth control pills per month. Hardly $3000

        Math is hard, huh?

  • skylights

    Rush (the band) should definitely sue Rush (the worthless piece of shit) for back royalties from all the times he played their music.

  • skylights

    Warm up the Pat Boone records!

  • CitizenWhy

    Perhaps Rush Limbag will be playing only Confederate songs from the Civil War.

  • Never piss off liberals. They know how to mess with you in ways folks like Rush just could never anticipate. ;D

  • terlet
    • Miranda

      Michelle Malkin really hates her mother…such a shame, she could use some therapy.

    • Michelle Malkin is the scourge of the earth, with barely a damn brain cell that isn’t completely retarded.

      Get lost.

    • rozlee

      Michelle Malkin has said that Japanese-American people deserved being put in camps during WWII. Strange. She didn’t think it was wrong for 400,000 Nazi POWs to be working on American farms and to drink from WHITE drinking fountains while black soldiers who had been injured fighting for their country drank from COLORED ones. Japanese Americans were put in relocation camps, but Nazi POWs were allowed to mingle with the American public and she thinks that was OK. How an Asian-American woman can advocate such cruelty to her own people boggles my mind.

  • Just saying, Rush (the band) once dedicated an album to “the genius of Ayn Rand”.

    • kfrance

      Neil Peart’s said several times that this is a very embarrassing thing to him these days.

    • deazl666

      Neil confesses to be a liberal libertarian. Besides, comparing Rand to Rush Limbaugh is giving the latter entirely too much credit.

      • I always thought that Rush (the band) wasn’t that interesting when they went and discovered Ayn Rand and the spaceship. However, learning that they did big charity work (United Way in Toronto, the Kumbaya Festival for fundriaisng for HIV/AIDS charities in Ontario), and Peart’s own personal crises, I guess they’ve mellowed.

        I guess, unlike most Randians, that no man — or rock band — is an island.

      • He is now saying that he is left of center, not a libertarian.

  • pam95650


  • Canada is a lesser nation

    • Why do you have to slander the Canucks? They have backed no end of our stupidity at great cost over the years– hell, they smuggled our embassy staff out of Iran just out of friendship, and you crap on them because they ask to have their music de-associated from a guy that calls a woman a slut for three consecutive days on national radio because she differed from him on a simple matter of policy. You’re a jackass.

      • Canada is a lesser nation

    • lsamsa

      Quite the gross generalization there.
      I would have to wonder how much you actually know about Canada. Whether you’ve had actual experiences living there.
      Easy to toss off little phrases…perhaps a bit harder to actually back them up.

    • ainsleyroad

      If that’s really your picture “Capn” you’re an old, out of touch, hateful, ignorant, wrinkled waste of a person who needs to STFU and go away. If that’s not your picture, you are still out of touch,hateful,and ignorant waste.

    • Shame. That’s a repub/tparty for you, insult. That’s all a repub/tparty knows what to do. Best you had kept quiet and do your insulting on your own sites.

    • says the dirtbag.

  • I’m thankful that Geddy, Alex and Neil decided they didn’t need R. Hudson Limbaugh’s money as bad as they need to keep the name RUSH as untarnished as possible. My only regret is that they ever allowed their music to be featured on his show.

    • Maybe I misread the article, but it sound to me like he didn’t have their permission in the first place.

  • *gives the band a standing ovation*

  • Love it!

  • NebraskaNativetoo


  • Absolutely, the best news of the last week.. thank you, Bob Cesca for initiating this great win for humanity! Thank you, Rush the rock group for refusing to lend your talents as a backdrop for this man’s disgusting behavior.

    • deanmike

      Now lets go after Bill Maher, right?


      • Yes.. I had not heard his comment until this week.. I don’t watch him as I find him insufferable, but the word he used makes my blood boil and I think a bolt of lightening should zap anyone who verbally attack with that word.

        I tweeted him this week after hearing his disgusting remarks and called him for his language.. egregious, inexcusable, not funny, no humor in those words from any of these misogynists.

  • Way to go! You rock. Hehe

  • Fuxxakes, Bob, that’s freakin’ awesome.

  • Before you know it, all he’ll be able to play is a few Enrico Caruso records.

    • Guest

      Nah, he can always turn to rednecks like Hank Williams, Jr.

      • not sure Williams would like Rush… “take this job and shove it…” aren’t Tea bags more like “thank you for the opportunity to work for minimum wage and I’ll pay for my contraceptives and you can fire me whenever you want and I won’t collect unemployment insurance and still pay higher taxes than you do Master Boss Man…” type of lyrics… I forgot…”because you tell me I’m gonna be rich like you one day… and I believe you…thank you again Master Boss Man..”

  • Al Iriberri

    While I completely agree with the sentiment, it was my understanding that a performer could only request that a given program or politician not use their music, going back to Springsteen and Reagan using “Born in the USA”. So long as Rush the d-bag is paying Rush the band’s royalties for broadcasting their music isn’t he able to continue to do just that?

    • “So long as Rush the d-bag is paying Rush the band’s royalties for broadcasting their music isn’t he able to continue to do just that?”

      Evidently Rush is not paying royalties, hence the cease and desist notice.

    • The potential problems here are many. It is entirely possible that Rush the band does not own exclusive rights to license their music commercially. The Rush Limbaugh Show may have a perfectly valid license for the music, which the band may not have the right to revoke. You see this happening, for example, when bands object to the playing of their songs at political rallies, when the hotel or convention center hosting the rally likely has a blanket license to play music at their events. The members of the band object and even send legal nastygrams. They must just be unaware of the existence of site-specific blanket licenses.

      More fundamentally, it may be the case that Rush’s label owns all rights to their music. For an extremely successful band like Rush, this is less likely, but who knows?

      • Different parties own different rights undoubtedly to the same music. However, usually a party using the music has to secure the rights from all the parties before use. This is made easier through a one stop licensing group like ASCAP. However, if one party is not onboard, the rest generally can’t license the music.

        Acquiring the rights is one of the reasons why Apple starting music downloads via iTunes was an amazing feat. Apple had to arrange deals from a large variety of folks with competing interests.

        A good example of this is the Beatles. It is rumored the Beatles music was late to come to iTunes because of Yoko Ono not wanting to grant the license.

        So usually the problem is the opposite of what you describe.

        • I think it had more to do with the copyright suit that was going on between Apple Computers and Apple Records…

      • Given that the lawyer represents both the band and their management company AND label, I’d say that they probably have a pretty good handle on what rights the band has in a case like this.

      • My wife and I used to own a small business. When we aired a radio spot, the person who made the ad used a snippet of the iconic Seinfeld intro. I protested because I thought we would be sued for using it without permission. The radio rep said that you can use any song as long as you don’t use more than (as I recall) 15 seconds of it.

        • The radio rep could have gotten you sued. There is a timing that applies to actors union contracts but otherwise there is no set time. The law, however, does allow fair use if the snippet is insubstantial but other factors are involved.

          • deanmike

            I command you to stop talking about the band Rush or even humming, whistling or thinking about any Rush music!

      • deanmike

        so they are “sell outs”?

    • This is how it works. Most musicians belong to a organization like ASCAP. ASCAP’s job is to facilitate the licensing of the performance rights of musical works. So, if I wanted to use Rush’s music in my high school musical I could probably go to ASCAP and get the licensing. ASCAP would distribute the royalties. So Rush the TV show probably wouldn’t have had to go to Rush the band directly to get the licensing.

      Rush the band, however, has the absolute right to rescind any rights previously granted. Further, it is arguable whether Rush the TV show is complying with the given license in that Rush’s music is being used in a way that suggests endorsement of Rush the TV show’s ideas.

      Rand Paul is also a Rush fan and used his music. Rush asked him to stop as well. As a musician, you might not want to be associated with politics.

      • SqueakyRat

        “Rush the band, however, has the absolute right to rescind any rights previously granted.”

        Really? I’m more familiar with book publishing than music, but authors certainly don’t have this right.

        • Yes they do. It’s all the same copyright law. In the case of authors, however, there are probably more fair use situations that arise.

          • SqueakyRat

            Thanks for the info. But I wasn’t really thinking of fair use. Once an author grants a publisher the right to publish a book, that is irrevocable, barring some violation of the contract (or a “reversion of rights” clause if the book goes out of print, for example). But the situation with musicians probably isn’t analogous. Anyway, I’ll take your word for it.

    • If you own the copyright, usage can be revoked unless it has been granted contractually. All copyrighted material requires a license except in cases of Fair Use. However, Fair Use does not apply in a commercial setting (like Limbaugh’s show) nor if the usage hinders the song’s market (as obviously with Spirit of Radio being put in a bad light).

  • Nice job, Bob!

  • For he has dined on honeydew… Any word on Chrissy Hynde?

  • Dan_in_DE

    It won’t be long before the only music Limbaugh can play is Cat Scratch Fever!

    • Or “Goodnight, Ladies” as performed by singers long dead.

    • Or whatever Dave Mustaine or Kid Rock will let him use…

      • I thought Megadeath was anti-war too.

        • ranger11

          He’s become an evangelical right-winger in his old age.

        • Corey Allgood

          He’s also pro-Santorum these days.

      • You know, Dave Mustaine’s recent statements have been such a bitter disappointment, given his outspoken and much-needed political views in the early 90s, in a dull and uninspired metal scene. Pompous Born Again Syndrome.

  • Not Sayin

    Very cool…

  • I will choose a path that’s clear
    I will choose freewill

  • Cool beans, Bob!

  • Ipecac

    You rock, Bob!

  • Even Rush can’t bear to be associated with Rush. What a feeling.

    • As in “Oh what a feeling, what a rush”? (Crowbar)