Musicians Who Admit Some Sort Of Plagiarism/Borrowing?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MortSahlFan, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. MortSahlFan

    MortSahlFan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    If you check out "Behind the Scenes: LA Woman", Ray says he took the bass line from Ray Charles' "What I Say", and then blurted, "We stole from everybody"
  2. Sneezyachew

    Sneezyachew Forum Resident

    Providence, RI
    “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poetsmake it into something better, or at least something different.” - T.S. Elliott
  3. MortSahlFan

    MortSahlFan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Sounds like Tchaikovsky who said (supposedly) that an artist doesn't borrow he steals!

    But I disagree. I like originals. If it sounds like something else, and wasn't done maliciously, no harm.
    Jarleboy likes this.
  4. majorlance

    majorlance How do you call your loverboy?

    Collingswood, NJ
    Lennon admitted copping "Run for Your Life" from "Baby, Let's Play House."
    musicfan37 and Jimmy B. like this.
  5. jbmcb

    jbmcb Forum Resident

    Troy, MI, USA
    I think that, at this point, it's difficult to make something that doesn't sound at least similar to something else, even if you've never heard it before.
  6. drift61603

    drift61603 Forum Resident

    Peoria, IL
    "Oh, yeah, in folk and jazz, quotation is a rich and enriching tradition. That certainly is true. It's true for everybody, but me. There are different rules for me. And as far as Henry Timrod is concerned, have you even heard of him? Who's been reading him lately? And who's pushed him to the forefront? Who's been making you read him? And ask his descendants what they think of the hoopla. And if you think it's so easy to quote him and it can help your work, do it yourself and see how far you can get. Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff. It's an old thing - it's part of the tradition. It goes way back. These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you've been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified. All those evil mother****ers can rot in hell." - Bob Dylan
    Regandron, Syscrusher, DavidD and 2 others like this.
  7. The Lone Cadaver

    The Lone Cadaver Forum Resident

    John Kay was very open about stealing Tighten Up Your Wig from the Junior Wells song Messin' With The Kid and even mentioned it in the lyrics:

    Just before we go, I'd like to mention Junior Wells
    We stole his thing from him, and he from someone else
    Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, he plays the blues like few before
    May he play forevermore
    Atmospheric and ruben lopez like this.
  8. classicrocker

    classicrocker Life is good!

    Worcester, MA, USA
    Ritchie Blackmore admitted nicking riffs for a DP song in an interview I saw.
    dbz and dirie like this.
  9. JumpinJimF

    JumpinJimF Got mashed potatoes. Ain’t got no T-bone.

    Most obviously Noel Gallagher

    In the exclusive interview, Gallagher is challenged to admit lifting the main riff from Bowie's song "All the Young Dudes", a hit for Mott The Hoople in 1972.
    "Absolutely," is his reply. "Course. I've had two songs out of that now: 'Don't Look Back in Anger' and 'Stand by Me'. And he's still not sued me yet."
    No regrets as Oasis admit they stole tunes

    and I have a feeling there are more than few more self-confessed examples from Noel.
    Odysseus and Jarleboy like this.
  10. Nightfly68

    Nightfly68 Forum Resident

    Becker and Fagen of Steely Dan. Becker even stated once they were "the robber barons of rock and roll." Listen to Song For My Father by Horace Silver and you'll hear Rikki Don't Lose That Number.

    DavidD, Starwanderer, Crawdad and 3 others like this.
  11. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    That being riffs from It's a Beautiful Day's Bombay Calling for "Black Night."
  12. Michael D

    Michael D Forum Resident

    New York City
    Neil Young "Borrowed Tune"
    I'm singing this borrowed tune
    I took from the Rolling Stones
    Alone in the empty room
    Too wasted to write my own
  13. classicrocker

    classicrocker Life is good!

    Worcester, MA, USA
    Sounds familiar so probably that.
  14. Felix Atagong

    Felix Atagong Forum Resident

    Leuven, Belgium
    Child In Time, actually.

  15. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    Oops...I meant Child In Time
  16. heathen

    heathen Forum Resident

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  17. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    Dan Fogelberg tells the story that Same Old Lang Syne started out as a musical joke based on Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.
    mtvgeneration likes this.
  18. Izozeles

    Izozeles Rock’roll Stalker

    The Chiffons were notorious for stealing Beatles melodies
  19. Don P.

    Don P. Forum Resident

    Upstate NY
    Paul Weller said that he had the lyrics for Start!, but needed a tune and took The Beatles Taxman.
  20. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    They mentioned that a Keith Jarrett piece inspired "Gaucho." Jarrett took legal action and ended up receiving co-credit.
    Philo Beddoe, sleepjar and Nightfly68 like this.
  21. Evethingandnothing

    Evethingandnothing Forum Resident

    Smells Like More Than A Feeling
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  22. Spear and Magic Helmet

    Spear and Magic Helmet Forum Resident

    Nashville, TN
    This is a pretty interesting interview by Dick Cavett with Paul Simon where Paul speaks frankly about writing Bridge Over Troubled Water. Being a songwriter myself, I can definitely identify with grabbing little pieces of songs from a different parts of others and stitching together something new, and totally original (I fully realize that Paul has been accused, rightly, of plagerism before). He admits to taking pieces of Bach, Swan Silvertones and an unnamed source for the lyrics. He actually uses the phrase, "I stole it" regarding the lyric. . . but only half serious. Start at 6:00 for song discussion:
    altaeria, Jarleboy and Darienzo like this.
  23. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident

    In your mind
  24. soundboy

    soundboy Senior Member

    On Public Radio's "Fresh Air", Ray said he stole from John Coltrane's version of "My Favorite Thing" and incorporate parts into a Doors song (I forget which). The neat part was he then proceeded to play the original version, the Coltraine version, and then played the parts he "stole" and how he merged the "token parts" into the Doors song.

    An Archival Interview With Ray Manzarek, Keyboardist For The Doors
  25. zen

    zen Forum Resident

    However, Blackmore also borrowed the riff for "Black Night" via Ricky Nelson's "Summertime" cover , and added an important break which IMO actually improved the riff.
    After many years of knowing Black Night, it's funny that when I finally heard Ricky Nelson's cover, the Summertime riff sounded way too repetitive. Funny.
    Jarleboy and dirie like this.

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