Jim Trainer

The Great Debate

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 1:07 am


I came across this “story” on the Yahoo News Page.  Seems that there is some controversy concerning the originality of Lady Antebellum’s hit single “Need You Now”.  Fans of the Alan Parsons Project are up in arms at the similarity between its chorus and the chorus of APP’s hit “Eye in the Sky”.  If you think this controversy, this “story” and this blog are ridiculous, you’re absolutely right.  This is absurdist theatre at its finest. 

It seems like only the most trite, tired and least viable acts complain about getting ripped off.  One needs only a freshman year of college Psych101 and a brief listen to the band’s who’re crying thief to understand what is really going on here.  It’s called projection.  The Tom Petty/Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Last DJ”/”Danny California” controversy comes to mind and for the same ridiculous and absurd reasons.  Some of you may not remember that Tom Petty himself was accused of ripping off the same song he accused the RHCP of stealing from him. 

If you’re with me so far, you may be asking yourself:  “So what?” 

So what indeed. 

Monolithic acts like Tom Petty and the Alan Parsons Project have built ENTIRE careers out of derivative, cultural mish-mash bromide.  I hate to talk shit on any musician or artist out there trying to make it, they are human beings after all, like you and me.  But the way our Rock and Roll music has been co-opted is not funny and these “people” are not people at all.  They are a braintrust of tried and true popisms.  You like it because you heard it before and you heard it before because you like it.  Or so record companies would like you to believe.

There is original music out there that really means something.  Or, at least there was until some rockstar found a trendy wave of nuance to ride on.  Considering that Tom Petty or the Alan Parsons Project got ripped off by the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Lady Antebellum for fuck sake is giving way too much consideration to ANY of these acts.

Do you hear any bluesmen crying about how their whole catalog, their entire image or how the blueprint they drafted for the entire rock and roll phenomena was stolen from them?  No, you don’t.  You know why?  BECAUSE THEY DON’T CARE.  They’re too busy living the life they’re singing about.  And do you ever hear the fans of these greats crying thief and demanding accountability from these bloated corporate acts who get a front page on Yahoo News?  No, you don’t.  And you know why?  Because RHCP and Lady Antebellum aren’t ripping ANYthing off of ANYbody.  If they were their music might actually be good.  It might actually inspire change in the world like all the great heroes of music lore have done.

Please.  Don’t give them that much credit.  Let ’em rip each other off until Iran destroys the world.  Let’em jerk each other off until the Chinese own everything.  The competition for the right to be the one who gave us the latest serving of pop drivel first isn’t worth your time or mine.

It’s never too late to stop trying, as my friend, the Reverend Kevin P.O’Brien, used to say.  Put your ear to the ground.  There’s something rumbling down there.  Support local original acts.  Lady Antebellum are as much a legitimate country band as Tom Petty has a real Mojo hand(fuck outta here).  The Red Hot Chili Peppers aren’t punk rock and your parents lied to you. 

Hail hail rock and roll.

    Oh, Jim. I adore you.
    Preach, brother!

  2. I agree. Preach.

  3. p.s. i want to use “put your ear to the ground” in something.

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