'I would rather have sex with crayfish' - McGlashan

By Anna Rushworth

Leftie Kiwi musician Don McGlashan is fuming after TVNZ used one of his songs to accompany a montage of images celebrating National leader John Key's election victory last Saturday.

Anchor Me, by McGlashan's former group, The Mutton Birds, was used during a post-election wrap on TV One last Sunday.

In an angry letter to the network, McGlashan said he had never voted National and "would rather have sex with a very ugly crayfish than let them use my music".

He accused TVNZ of "an impressive absence of tact".

He wants to be asked next time the network plans to use one of his tunes in a political context.

"Of course I am in no way criticising the process of democracy or New Zealanders' right to throw out the best government we've had in years because we happen to be a bit bored, but you might as well know I've never voted National."

McGlashan told the Herald on Sunday he was out during the broadcast, but later came home to find his daughter, Pearl, in shock.

"There was a death-in-the-family atmosphere when I got home.

"My daughter came running in from just having seen it and said `I've got some terrible news for you'.

"I would have thought, with something as personal as a political message like this, they would have at least given it a bit of thought."

Anchor Me, recorded for 1993 album Salty, was used by Greenpeace - with McGlashan's blessing - to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1985 Rainbow Warrior bombing in Auckland Harbour.

He suspected it was chosen by TVNZ for the lyrics "anchor me, in the middle of your deep blue sea" to reflect the National Party colour.

He was quick to point out it also contained the phrases, "some day I'll lie" and "when you pull me down".

TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards said the music was not chosen to endorse National, but to indicate Key's government was facing turbulent economic times. "We just felt it was a good illustration."

TVNZ has an agreement with the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) to play a range of New Zealand music at a set fee.

The association's executive director of New Zealand operations, Anthony Healey, said that he understood McGlashan's anger but TVNZ had done nothing wrong.

"I think because it falls in the blanket licence there's probably nothing he can do."

It's not the first time a musician has cried foul over the use of music in electoral campaigns. Jon Bon Jovi, Heart, The Foo Fighters and John Mellencamp all complained when the Republican Party's presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, used their tunes during the recent US election campaign.

McGlashan said he had plenty of suggestions if TVNZ wanted other songs for broadcasts involving the National Party or Act.

They included Take the Money and Run by the Steve Miller Band, Gold Digger by Kanye West and Out of Ideas by A.C.T.

- Herald on Sunday

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