Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck accused of stealing lyrics from jailed man’s poem – Nationwide | Globalnews.ca

Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck accused of stealing lyrics from jailed man’s poem - National | Globalnews.ca

2022-08-06 00:13:17

Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck have been accused of stealing an incarcerated man’s poem for the lyrics of their track Unhappy Motherf—kin’ Parade, the fourth observe on their collaborative album, 18.

Rolling Stone first reported that the track seems to have most of the identical phrases because the poem Hobo Ben by Slim Wilson, the pseudonym of a self-proclaimed “cheat” and “pimp” who frolicked in jail for homicide and armed theft in Nineteen Sixties.

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A spokesperson for Depp and Beck advised Rolling Stone they’re assessing the validity of the claims concerning Unhappy Motherf—kin’ Parade

“We’re reviewing the inquiry referring to the track Unhappy Motherf—kin’ Parade on the 18 album by Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp. If applicable, further copyright credit shall be added to all types of the album,” the assertion mentioned.

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Wilson, whose actual identification shouldn’t be identified, met folklorist Bruce Jackson on the Missouri State Penitentiary in 1964. Wilson reportedly shared plenty of poems and toasts — a type of traditionally Black poetry that tells heroic tales in an typically comedic means — with Jackson.

In Jackson’s 1974 ebook about toasts, referred to as Get Your Ass within the Water and Swim Like Me, he included many works attributed to Wilson. In 1976, Jackson recorded an album based mostly on the ebook, on which Wilson performs a number of of the toasts.

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The toast Hobo Ben describes the titular character at a celebration the place he says, “Girls of tradition and sweetness so refined, is there one amongst you that will grant me wine?/I’m raggedy I do know, however I’ve no stink/and God bless the girl that’ll purchase me a drink.’/Heavy-hipted Hattie turned to Nadine with amusing/and mentioned, ‘What that funky motherf—ker actually need, baby, is a shower.’”

The track Unhappy Motherf—kin’ Parade options most of the identical strains. On the observe, Depp says “I’m raggedy, I do know, however I’ve no stink,” “God bless the girl that’ll purchase me a drink,” and “what that funky motherf—ker actually wants, baby, is a shower.”

Depp and Beck are the one songwriters credited on the observe.

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“The one two strains I may discover in the entire piece that [Depp and Beck] contributed are ‘large time motherf—ker’ and ‘bust it all the way down to my degree,’” Jackson, who’s now a professor on the College of Buffalo, advised Rolling Stone.

“All the pieces else is from Slim’s efficiency in my ebook,” he continued. “I’ve by no means encountered something like this. I’ve been publishing stuff for 50 years, and that is the primary time anyone has simply ripped one thing off and put his personal title on it.”

Jackson’s son, Michael Lee Jackson (who’s a lawyer), mentioned they’re taking a look at presumably pursuing authorized motion, although no such submitting has been made.

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“It’s simply not believable, in my view, that Johnny Depp or anyone else may have sat down and crafted these lyrics with out virtually wholly taking them from some model of my father’s recording and/or ebook the place they appeared,” Michael advised Rolling Stone.

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Although Jackson owns the copyright to the recording of Hobo Ben, since Wilson advised Jackson he discovered the toast from his father (as most toasts are handed down orally), proving authorship could also be tough. (Jackson has by no means claimed to be the creator of Hobo Ben and has traditionally shared earnings with writers and performers like Wilson.)

For that reason, the accusations about Unhappy Motherf—kin’ Parade could show to be extra of an moral dilemma than a authorized one.

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Jackson hopes Depp and Beck will change the songwriting credit score to incorporate Wilson.

“I don’t know if this file is promoting. I’ve seen some critiques that I’d be very embarrassed to have gotten had they been my album,” he advised Rolling Stone. “However whether it is promoting, Johnny Depp is making some huge cash on it. Ought to it go to him, or ought to it go to some place that helps the individuals who produced this tradition?”

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