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


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

Rolling Stone first reported that the music seems to have lots 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 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 music Unhappy Motherf—kin’ Parade on the 18 album by Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp. If applicable, further copyright credit will probably be added to all types of the album,” the assertion mentioned.

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

In Jackson’s 1974 guide about toasts, known 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 guide, 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 may 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 really want, baby, is a shower.’”

The music Unhappy Motherf—kin’ Parade options lots of the identical strains. On the monitor, 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 monitor.

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“The one two strains I might discover in the entire piece that [Depp and Beck] contributed are ‘large time motherf—ker’ and ‘bust it all the way down to my stage,’” 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 guide,” 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 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 might have sat down and crafted these lyrics with out nearly wholly taking them from some model of my father’s recording and/or guide 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.)

Because of this, the accusations about Unhappy Motherf—kin’ Parade might 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 evaluations 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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