Former Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake made a dramatic entrance at a rally last night in Scottsdale, AZ. As seen in the video below, Lake wore a red dress, high heels, and had the 1999 Lenny Kravitz hit song ‘American Woman’ blasting as she walked through the attendees on her way to the podium.
The Kari Lake Cult held a “rally” last night. She comes out with Lenny Kravitz’s ‘American Woman’ blasting. pic.twitter.com/TMuYhOkhSn— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) June 1, 2023
While the Kravitz song delivers a high-energy jolt and Lake is indisputably an American woman, observers are pointing out that the song’s lyrics certainly — commenters say “laughably” — contradict how Lake hopes to present herself.
To judge by the Twitter reaction, Lake displays an astonishing lack of self-awareness here, with one commenter asking: “Did she even listen to the lyrics?”
The famous opening lines are:
American woman, Stay away from me
American woman, Mama, let me be
These are followed by the even less flattering: “Don’t come hanging around my door, I don’t wanna see your face no more.”
For a candidate who lost her only election — in a state where citizens chose to see a different face in office — that’s an unusual lyric for Lake to emphasize.
We never said said she’s not “American”. We only say she isn’t the governor.— Democat (@SusanLeigh11) June 1, 2023
Others are wondering how long it will take for Lake to receive a cease and desist order from Kravitz, and also from The Guess Who (see below).
[NOTE: Kravitz covered the 1970 Guess Who song ‘American Woman’ originally for the soundtrack of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, starring Mike Myers and Heather Graham (Felicity Shagwell). The single was later included it on the reissue of Kravitz’s album 5.]
Aside from her blunder on the political optics, Lake might have another reason to be more cautious in her song selection. In 2022, she received a cease and desist from the late Tom Petty‘s publisher for using the Petty song “I Won’t Back Down.”
Lake was informed by the lawyers that her use of the song was seen as “an insult to Tom’s memory.”
Kravitz, who supported Democratic President Barack Obama (see above in the 2013 photo taken at the White House) was likely unaware of the use of his song.
A request to cease and desist would make Kravitz and Lake yet another example what Rolling Stone describes as a long history of politicians using songs without artists’ permission: e.g., Bruce Springsteen objected to President Ronald Reagan using his ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ song during his reelection campaign in 1984.
John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Petty, LeAnn Rimes and others have all told politicians to find their own tunes.