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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 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 Nineteen Sixties.

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A spokesperson for Depp and Beck advised Rolling Stone they’re assessing the validity of the claims relating to 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, extra copyright credit can be added to all types of the album,” the assertion stated.

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Wilson, whose actual identification is just not identified, met folklorist Bruce Jackson on the Missouri State Penitentiary in 1964. Wilson reportedly shared numerous poems and toasts — a type of traditionally Black poetry that tells heroic tales in an typically comedic method — with Jackson.

In Jackson’s 1974 e-book 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 primarily based on the e-book, 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 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 stated, ‘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 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, little one, is a shower.”

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

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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 right down to my degree,’” Jackson, who’s now a professor on the College of Buffalo, advised Rolling Stone.

“Every part else is from Slim’s efficiency in my e-book,” 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), stated they’re probably 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 virtually wholly taking them from some model of my father’s recording and/or e-book 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 troublesome. (Jackson has by no means claimed to be the creator of Hobo Ben and has traditionally shared income 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 document 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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