That’s the message Laura Branigan’s former drummer and confidant wants to send to the Trump 2020 campaign, which had the 1982 hit blaring as Air Force One pulled into a Freeland, Mich., airplane hangar Thursday evening.
While a long list of musicians have asked the president not to associate himself with their music — some of whom have pursued their legal options — sticks-man Tommy Bayiokos was thrilled to hear the song played while a crowd waited for the president to appear. He thinks Branigan would have gotten a kick out of it too if she were still around.
“I would say she would think that was totally GLORIOUS and would be deeply honored — and most appropriate as Laura had a flair for dramatic,” Bayiokos told the Daily News by email Thursday night.
According to Bayiokos, he played in Branigan’s band from 2001 until her death in 2004 and they were romantically involved during the final eight months of her life. He said the Brewster native who died in East Quogue was a Republican who prided herself on “traditional values” that she considered old-fashioned.
“I don’t think for a second she would have told the President to stop playing it because it’s a winning anthem and she loved our country, and was vocal at the house to me about it,” he said. “She’d be simply, deeply honored, I believe.”
11 PHOTOSbraniganSee GallerybraniganLaura Branigan. Credit: 2761037Globe Photos/MediaPunch /IPX405682 04: Tammy Faye Bakker Messner (L) and singer Laura Branigan arrive for the “Tammy Faye Tastes New York” show May 21, 2002 in New York City. The performance raised funds for the Fresh Air Fund and Momentum Project. (Photo by Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images)FILE – In this May 7, 2019, file photo, St. Louis Blues celebrate after defeating the Dallas Stars in double overtime in Game 7 of an NHL second-round hockey playoff series in St. Louis. The Blues won 29 of their final 43 games to go from last place in the NHL to the Western Conference final. They adopted Laura Branigan’s song “Gloria” in January after hearing it at a private South Philadelphia bar. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)Laura Branigan performs during “Tammy Faye Tastes New York” sponsered by OUT For People at Webster Hall in New York City.5/21/02Photo by Scott Gries/Getty ImagesLaura Branigan at Palladium, New York, New York, July 8, 1995. (Photo by Steve Eichner/Getty Images)THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON — Pictured: (l-r) Musical guest Laura Branigan during an interview with host Johnny Carson on July 13, 1990 — (Photo by: Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON — Pictured: Musical guest Laura Branigan performs on October 25, 1985 — (Photo by: Joseph Del Valle/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)Laura Branigan (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)American rock star Laura Branigan, shooting her first feature film in Melbourne, wants John Farnham to record some of the songs for the movie’s soundtrack.â€œIâ€™m just knocked out by his voice … itâ€™s incredible.â€œWe had so much fun doing the song for the Logies I really want to work with him again,â€ Laura told me this week on the set of Backstage in Melbourne.â€œItâ€™s the first time Iâ€™ve done a duet with anyone.”Backstage is a witty, hit-and-kiss story about a scathing local critic and his latest target, an American rock singer making her debut as a stage actress in what turns out to be a disastrously bad period play.Lauraâ€™s character confronts the critic, played by Michael Aitken. April 22, 1986. (Photo by Gregory Noakes/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).Laura Branigan and Lou Rawls during The 14th Annual American Music Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)LOS ANGELES – CIRCA 1985:Singer Laura Branigan poses for a portrait circa 1985 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images) Up Next
“Gloria” was a platinum-certified hit in its day that spent nine months on the Billboard 100 chart. It’s also enjoyed several comebacks, including an appearance in a memorable scene from the 2017 film “I, Tonya.” Most recently it became the theme song for the St. Louis Blues hockey team, which went on a huge roll after adopting the tune and won the 2019 Stanley Cup. Fans and players chanted “Play Gloria” after each victory.
Bayiokos jumped on the bandwagon and participated in Blues’ events during their championship run. Though he wasn’t with Branigan’s band when “Gloria” became a hit, the 55-year-old actor came to know the song well.
“During my years, I lost count times playing kind of because we would rehearse it, play it at sound checks and perform it, and the concert arrangement was much longer than the original record and the fans would crave it,” Bayiokos recalled.
He said the band would play “Gloria” toward the end of each show, but usually ended with the 1984 hit “Self Control,” then did an encore. Bayiokos said the last time Branigan performed “Gloria” was in July 2004 — the month before her death of a brain aneurysm — while opening for the Commodores in Boston.
While “Gloria” blared as Trump’s plane taxied on a Michigan runway Thursday, two more songs played to fans waiting for the president to disembark; one of which made sense and another that raised eyebrows.
First was Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” which is about rich kids like Trump who got out of fighting in Vietnam because their dads were millionaires. Social media exploded with mockery of that choice.
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Anxious Trump supporters then heard the Village People’s “Macho Man,” which is certainly how some see the tough-talking president. Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American” came on once Trump emerged.
Musicians including Neil Young and the Rolling Stones have asked the GOP and the Trump campaign not to play their songs, as have the estates of Prince, Tom Petty and Leonard Cohen.
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