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 observe on their collaborative album, 18.

Rolling Stone first reported that the music seems to have lots of the similar 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 acceptable, further copyright credit will likely be added to all types of the album,” the assertion mentioned.

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Wilson, whose actual id will not be identified, met folklorist Bruce Jackson on the Missouri State Penitentiary in 1964. Wilson reportedly shared quite a few poems and toasts — a type of traditionally Black poetry that tells heroic tales in an typically comedic manner — with Jackson.

In Jackson’s 1974 guide 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 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, “Women of tradition and wonder 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 fun/and mentioned, ‘What that funky motherf—ker actually need, little one, is a shower.’”

The music Unhappy Motherf—kin’ Parade options lots of the similar 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, little one, 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 ‘massive 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 things 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 identify 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, for my part, that Johnny Depp or anyone else may 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 writer of Hobo Ben and has traditionally shared earnings with writers and performers like Wilson.)

For that reason, 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 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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