Piece of cake, copulating beetles & Paul McCartney attacks John Lennon


McCartney attacks Lennon.  Lennon attacks McCartney.  Later, there is peace (but only after “cake” became a 7-syllable word).

Q.  When is “cake” a seven (7)-syllable word?

A.  When Paul McCartney wants to attack John Lennon.


This post came about because of this short article a friend posted on Facebook:  The 30 Harshest Musician-on-Musician Insults in History.  I believe the article missed the greatest, most effective and significant insults, and I am leaving aside even greater vitriol that has taken place throughout the centuries of Classical music/art music.  (Wagner, anyone?)

There are some good insults (insults can be good?) found in this 30 Harshest post originally from August 15, 2011.  I prefer the clever insults or those that really did more than state something as dunce-headed as, “your mother wears army boots.”  Out of the thirty (30) in the post, my favorite is from Elvis Costello:

“Morrissey writes wonderful song titles, but sadly he often forgets to write the song.”


I think the multifaceted insults cast from Paul McCartney to John Lennon and back are so better worth highlighting than any of the 30 contained in the Flavorwire.com post.  How could the McCartney-Lennon feud have been omitted from the “30 Harshest?”

If one hasn’t studied the Beatles or been alive during the time of the Beatles (1964-1970, if one is American, and 1963-1970, or 1957-1970 if one is from the UK), then it is understandable that one missed out on these very good songs, barbs and photographs hurled from one side to the other.  And not only did John and Paul have vitriol to cast at each other, the other two Beatles – George and Ringo – as well as many Beatles fans, also took sides.

As a band and as friends, it seemed that the Beatles would need to part ways, at least temporarily, at some point.  They had recorded at least two great albums per year, released many great double A-sided singles in addition to those albums (The Beatles did not want to include their hit singles on their hit albums as they did not want to gouge the public and make them buy the same song twice – the opposite of The Beach Boys, for example), made movies, and toured frequently while consistently changing music and leading musicians and audiences in stunning new directions.  (By double A-sided, I am referring to the fact that both songs on the single – the A-side and the B-side – were brilliant and either of them could have been the “A-side.”  One of the best examples of a double A-side(d) single is “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane.”  Which of those two songs should be the A-side?)

The Beatles also were very young during those times and would have needed time to simply live life.  When The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964, they ranged in age from 20 (George) to 21 (Paul) to 23 (John and Ringo).



With the release of McCartney’s second solo (post-Beatles) album, Ram, the feud between Paul McCartney and John Lennon went public.

On the front cover of Ram, McCartney is holding a ram by the horns.  Ram (front album cover)

Lennon responded.  On the back cover of his album, Imagine, John mocked Paul  by holding a pig by the ears.  (John holding a pig by the ears)

On the back cover of Ram is a picture of two beetles copulating.  (Notice the insect spelling, b-e-e-t-l-e, and not musicians spelling, B-e-a-t-l-e-s, which looks correct.)  This is ripe for multiple interpretations.  Is one beetle named “Paul?”  Is one named “John?”  Whose idea was it to use beetles rather than spiders or ants?



The opening song on Ram, Too Many Peopleis an attack on Lennon’s politically and socially critical obsessions as well as McCartney’s derision on Lennon’s importance in The Beatles.

Too many people going underground

Too many reaching for a piece of cake

Too many people pulled and pushed around…

McCartney was criticizing Lennon and those who were out to change society.  “Underground” usually referred to those who were not “The Establishment,” the mainstream of society.

“Piece of cake” could refer to missing the main course and focusing on the more trivial sweet things – cake.  “Piece of cake” often refers to the ease of a task – it is a piece of cake.  Perhaps this is a further criticism of those who hadn’t put real effort into changing society.  They went into the underground because so many others did, and that this foray into the underground was, by 1971, a shallow and less substantive venture.

“Pushed and pulled around” could also be a reference to the masses who wanted a piece of (not “cake” but) John Lennon and Paul McCartney as Beatles – they wanted them as BEATLES to join the undergournd and anti-war movements that were omnipresent.  The Beatles, however, mostly avoided speaking (and singing) about Vietnam and the most pressing topics of the 1960’s.  (Late-Beatles and especially post-Beatles, John would venture far into anti-war efforts and social movements of the times while the other Beatles did not.  Here is Bed Peace starring John Lennon & Yoko Ono.  This was released by Yoko in August 2011.  It captures the spirit of John & Yoko’s “Bed-Ins,” the late 1960’s anti-war activism, as well as John and Yoko’s proclamation of peace (“War is over if you want it”).  It is a wonderful historical artifact – the conversations with Dick Gregory and Tom Smothers were among my favorite parts of the film.)

The most strident and obvious attack on John came with the lines:

That was your first mistake 

You took your lucky break and broke it in two

This was the lyric that went too far for many fans and unlike phrases such as “too many people going underground” or “too many people being pushed and pulled around,” this meaning was conspicuous and unmistakable.  Paul McCartney seemed to be telling John Lennon and the entire world that The Beatles were a “lucky break” for John even though back in the 1950’s, John had asked Paul to join HIS band, and Paul joined JOHN’S band.

And to go a step further – Paul was asserting that John broke up the band.  John “broke it in two.”  The idea that a four-man band would break into two, rather than four solo parts, was significant to those in the inner circle of The Beatles but probably not yet to the outside world.  The idea that The Beatles had broke into two factions would become clear to many when John released his Imagine album in September 1971.


McCartney, perhaps in a brief effort to ameliorate some of the pain he may have caused Lennon (the guy who was lucky to have been a Beatle), might be assigning blame for the legal and financial problems that the Beatles experienced near the end of their time as Beatles (the death of Beatles manager Brian Epstein and the hazards of new management, the establishment and serious problems of future Beatles’ management, the dissolution of the Beatles, etc.) to business managers and lawyers “breaching practices.”

Too many people breaching practices

Don’t let them tell you what you want to be

At the end of the verse, McCartney might even cast the Beatles’ and Lennon’s problems as not all of John’s fault.

Too many people holding back

This is crazy and maybe it’s not like me

Perhaps important people are holding back and not able to help Lennon, The Beatles and their predicaments?

The situation is crazy and maybe it’s not like McCartney – no, perhaps Paul is stating that it is really not like him to be the one to level an attack on John (“maybe” was the only indecisive word of the song).

But perhaps this last note of possible positivity is an illusion.  If Paul had only ended Too Many People at this point, the song would still be a strong personal attack on John “Lucky” Lennon but one that might have ended on an uptick.  Instead, Paul now descends into “your girlfriend’s a dog, mine’s hot, and your mother wears army boots” territory as he saves his most personal and unnecessary sneer for the end.

That was your last mistake

I find my love awake and waiting to be

Now what can be done for you?

She’s waiting for me

Paul’s love is “awake” (enlightened?) and “waiting to be” (at peace and not being “pulled and pushed around”).

Paul saves the phrase, “to be,” for the final sections of Too Many People.  Would a listener be reading too much into the twice-stated “to be” –

Don’t let them tell you what you want to be

I find my love awake and waiting to be

as possible references to Paul’s famous song, Let It Be, or a slight dig at John’s songwriting significance or ability?  John might have seen it that way as John would, in turn, attack Paul and the significance and ability of his songwriting in a song on John Lennon’s next solo album, Imagine.

And as mentioned above George Harrison and Ringo Starr would also be involved in this war.  To be continued…



Who’s tripping down the streets of the city? Robin Thicke?


In my last post, I explained some of my reasoning, analysis and conclusions about the Black Crowes’ action against Gretchen Wilson.  The Black Crowes felt that their song, Jealous Again had been infringed by Gretchen Wilson’s song, Work Hard, Play Harder.  I strongly disagreed.

Both songs have a very similar 6-note melodic phrase in common.  The first 5 notes are the same, but the 6th is different.  The Black Crowes’ 6th note is scale degree “6.”  Gretchen Wilson’s 6th note is indeterminate.

My conclusions from the previous post:

1.  The short melodic phrase, 3-5-3-2-1-6,  is not the same as 3-5-3-2-1-x.

2.  The Black Crowes’ 3-5-3-2-1-6  is not the same as Gretchen Wilson’s 3-5-3-2-1-x.

3.  The Black Crowes sing the short melodic phrase, 3-5-3-2-1-6, three (3) times in their song.

4.  The sum of the Black Crowes’ 3-5-3-2-1 phrases last, at most, 6 seconds out of the 267 seconds of their song.

5.  The Black Crowes’ 3-5-3-2-1-6 statements account for 2% of their song.


Questions raised in the previous post now answered:

1.  If Artist B copied a less-than-2-second phrase from Artist A (that when repeated in Artist A’s song amounted to 2% of Artist A’s song), should Artist A be entitled to 50% of Artist B’s profits?  

Answer:  NO

2.  Is awarding 50% of Artist B’s copyright to Artist A sufficient recompense for the copy of 2% of Artist A’s copyright?

Answer:  NO

3.  Is awarding 50% of Artist B’s copyright to Artist A excessive recompense for the copy of 2% of Artist A’s copyright?

Answer:  YES

4.  Do the Black Crowes deserve copyright protection for the less-than-2-second “3-5-3-2-1-6” melodic phrase?

Answer:  NO

5.  Were the Black Crowes the first to compose/create the less-than-2-second “3-5-3-2-1-6” melodic phrase?

Answer:  NO

6.  If they were NOT the first to compose/create the 3-5-3-2-1-6 do they own copyright in 3-5-3-2-1-6?

Answer:  NO, particularly because this melodic phrase is so brief and unoriginal.

7.  Can one own copyright in a less-than-2-second melodic phrase?

Answer:  POSSIBLY.  If the expression is original and substantial, it could be possible to own copyright in a less-than-2-second melodic phrase.

8.  Can one own copyright in the Black Crowes’ specific  less-than-2-second melodic phrase, i.e. 3-5-3-2-1-6?

Answer:  NO.  It is not original or substantial.


Other music that features 3-5-3-2-1-6

As mentioned, the Black Crowes were NOT the first to originate or create the 3-5-3-2-1-6 motive.  Other songs/compositions written before Jealous Again also use the 3-5-3-2-1-6 melody.  These include:

Stevie Wonder – I Wish

Technically, the melodic phrase Stevie Wonder sings is similar (not identical) to 3-5-3-2-1-6 and sung over two chords, not one.  This short melodic phrase also occupies a significant amount of I Wish.

I Wish is from Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life album and was released in 1976.

0.18   “Looking back on when I…”

0.20  “Was a little…”

0.27  “Then my only worry…”

0.29  “Was for…”

0.45  “Sneaking out the back door…”

0.47  “Hang out…”

0.54  “Greeted at the back door…”

0.56  “Thought I…”

1.39  “Brother says he’s tellin’…”

1.42  “Caught you…”

1.48  “Just don’t tell I’ll give you…”

1.50  “Anything…”

2.06  “Smoking cigarettes and…”

2.08  “Writing something…”

2.16  “Teacher sends you to the…”

2.18  “Principal’s office…”

The Association – Windy

In Windy, the 3-5-3-2-1-6 melody also occurs although with a slightly different rhythm.  Also, the final “6” of the phrase is up from the “1” and not down from the “1.”  The 3-5-3-2-1-6 melodic phrase is sung over three chords.  The 3-5-3-2-1-6 melodic phrase is extremely prominent throughout Windy.

Windy is from The Association’s Insight Out album and was released in 1967.

0.00  instrumental



0.14  “Who’s peeking…”

0.18  “Calling a name…”

0.21  “Who’s bending…”

0.31  “Who’s tripping…”

0.34  “Smiling at…”

0.37  “Who’s reaching…”

1.07  flute



1.42  “Who’s tripping…”

1.46  “Smiling at…”

1.50  “Who’s reaching…”

1.57  “Who’s tripping…”

2.01  “Smiling at…”

2.05  “Who’s reaching…”

2.12  “Who’s tripping…”

2.15  “Smiling at…”

2.19  “Who’s reaching…”

2.26  “Who’s tripping…”

2.30  “Smiling at…”

2.34  “Who’s reaching…”

2.40  “Who’s tripping…”

2.44  “Smiling at…”

2.48  “Who’s reaching…”

Windy is 174 seconds long (2 minutes and 54 seconds).

The 3-5-3-2-1-6 is heard in Windy between 0.00-0.09, 0.14-0.24, 0.31-0.40, 1.07-1.17, 1.42-1.53, 1.57-2.07. 2.12-2.21, 2.26-2.36 and 2.41-2.51.

The 3-5-3-2-1-6 is NOT heard in Windy between 0.10-0.13, 0.25-0.30, 0.41-1.06, 1.18-1.41, 1.54-1.56, 2.08-2.11, 2.22-2.25, 2.37-2.40 and 2.52-2.54.

*The Association’s 3-5-3-2-1-6 statements account for 49% of Windy.*


The melodic phrase, 3-5-3-2-1-6, also is heard in

Gustav Holst – Two Songs Without Words, Op. 22

Edward MacDowell – Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15


Sue some more?

A famous hit song written AFTER Jealous Again that uses the 3-5-3-2-1-6 melody is Robin Thicke’s mega-hit, Blurred Lines.  Why mention music written AFTER the plaintiff’s song?

1.  It could give the parties who initiated the legal action against Gretchen Wilson

something else to do


someone else to sue

2.  And suing Robin Thicke and associated parties would be BIG FISH to fry – they have made a lot of money from Blurred Lines.

3.  But realistically, and using better judgment, it also shows that the 3-5-3-2-1-6 expressed as it is in Jealous Again is NOT copyrightable and does not deserve copyright protection.

4.  The 3-5-3-2-1-6 melodic phrase is short and in the public domain – these notes have been and are being used by others.

Robin Thicke (featuring T.I. and Pharrell) – Blurred Lines

1.23  “What do they make dreams for”

1.28  “What do we need steam for”

Blurred Lines is from Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines album and was released in 2013.

This and the previous two (2) posts are NOT expert witness reports.  They are merely initial findings presented informally.

H A P P Y   S U N D A Y   to everyone!


You Stole 2% Of My Song – Now Give Me 50% Of Your Song. (That’s How We Count ‘Round Here.)



1.  Listen to the Black Crowes’ song:    Jealous Again

2.  Listen to Gretchen Wilson’s song:   Work Hard, Play Harder

3.  Did you hear anything similar between Jealous Again and Work Hard, Play Harder ?

4.  Verse 1, verse 2 and verse 3 of Jealous Again open with the same simple melody:  3-5-3-2-1-6.

Verse 1:  “cheat the odds that made you”   –   3-5-3-2-1-6    at 0.17 – 0.19

Verse 2:  “always drunk on Sunday”   –   3-5-3-2-1-6    at  0.50 – 0.52

Verse 3:  “never felt like smiling”   –   3-5-3-2-1-6    at  1.49 – 1.51

5.  Each statement of the short melodic phrase, 3-5-3-2-1-6, lasts more than one (1) but less than two (2) seconds.

6.  The 3-5-3-2-1-6 melody only occurs at these three (3) places in Jealous Again.  

7.   Jealous Again lasts four minutes and twenty-seven seconds.

8.  The 3-5-3-2-1-6 melody lasts for less than 6 seconds out of 267 total seconds of  Jealous Again.

9.  The 3-5-3-2-1-6 melody accounts for 2% of Jealous Again.   Two percent.



1.  Listen to Gretchen Wilson’s song:   Work Hard, Play Harder

2.  At 0.19, Gretchen Wilson sings “I work a double shift on Monday.”

3.  The first five (5) notes of the melody to this lyric are 3-5-3-2-1.

4.  The next note after the “1” MIGHT be “6,” or it MIGHT be another “1” or it might be an indeterminate pitch.  The 6th and final note of this short phrase is not as clear to perceive, in terms of pitch, as are the first five (5) notes of the melody.

5.  Perhaps this 3-5-3-2-1 melodic phrase with an indeterminate 6th pitch, could be called, “3-5-3-2-1-x” or “ALMOST 3-5-3-2-1-6.”

6.  If you are on the Black Crowes side, this melody is 3-5-3-2-1-6 and you want to give Gretchen Wilson “credit” for singing that last extremely short note (or ALMOST note) as “6.”

7.  If you are not on the Black Crowes side, or neutral, Gretchen Wilson’s melody is 3-5-3-2-1-x, where “x” means indeterminate.

8.  Gretchen Wilson sings 3-5-3-2-1-x at the following four (4) places in her song, with these words:

0.19  “…double shift on Monday”

0.27  “Wednesday pouring coffee”

1.12  “I don’t waste my time on”

1.20  “…pay no never mind to”



1.  3-5-3-2-1-6  is not the same as 3-5-3-2-1-x.

2.  The Black Crowes’ 3-5-3-2-1-6  is not the same as Gretchen Wilson’s 3-5-3-2-1-x.

3.  The Black Crowes sing the short melodic phrase, 3-5-3-2-1-6, three (3) times in their song.

4.  The sum of the Black Crowes’ 3-5-3-2-1 phrases last, at most, 6 seconds out of the 267 seconds of their song.

5.  The Black Crowes’ 3-5-3-2-1-6 statements account for 2% of their song.



1.  If Artist B copied a less-than-2-second phrase from Artist A (that when repeated in Artist A’song amounted to 2% of Artist A’s song), should Artist A be entitled to 50% of Artist B’s profits?

2.  Is awarding 50% of Artist B’s copyright to Artist A sufficient recompense for the copy of 2% of Artist A’s copyright?

3.  Is awarding 50% of Artist B’s copyright to Artist A excessive recompense for the copy of 2% of Artist A’s copyright?

4.  Do the Black Crowes deserve copyright protection for the less-than-2-second “3-5-3-2-1-6” melodic phrase?

5.  Were the Black Crowes the first to compose/create the less-than-2-second “3-5-3-2-1-6” melodic phrase?

6.  If they were NOT the first to compose/create the 3-5-3-2-1-6 do they own copyright in 3-5-3-2-1-6?

7.  Can one own copyright in a less-than-2-second melodic phrase?

8.  Can one own copyright in the Black Crowes’ specific  less-than-2-second melodic phrase, i.e. 3-5-3-2-1-6?


The questions above can be answered.  In addition, there are many more questions to pose and answer, as well as important concepts and theories that could be considered.


Did Gretchen Wilson infringe the Black Crowes?



Did Gretchen Wilson infringe the Black Crowes?

I want to continue from what I had introduced in my February 28, 2013 post – Preying On Songwriters…

From February 28, 2013:

Songwriter A’s publisher and/or attorney receive(s) a letter from songwriter B’s publisher and/or lawyer telling Songwriter A that her new song has ripped off or infringed or copied or stolen Songwriter B’s song.  Publisher A/Attorney A informs Songwriter A that we better fix this.  The way to fix this?  Songwriter A simply and quickly needs to fork over half of A’s copyright and future royalties on her song, and make sure that Songwriter B’s name appears everywhere that Songwriter A’s name appears on this song.  All future royalties will be split between A and B.

Or another sharing scheme could be worked out.  If not 50/50, perhaps 55/45, 60/40, 65/35, 75/25, etc., and the larger percentages could be assigned to Songwriter B.  Songwriter A might not only lose a lot now and for generations of nameless/faceless descendants (copyright is nearly eternal in length), but Songwriter A might get marked as an easy mark for others to attack in the future.

Why should this happen?  Can someone simply assert that you, the Songwriter, have stolen someone else’s music?  Does the fact that someone alleges theft make it a theft?  Are you guilty because someone with more (A)  power, (B) influence or (C) money (A, B, C, A+B,  A+C, B+C, A+B+C) asserts so?  Does that more powerful person have any alternate and/or better idea(s)?  Has that more powerful person investigated other solutions?  What can you, the Songwriter, do?  Do you admit to the “facts” with which you have been confronted?  Is there a loved one, friend or family member who can help? Do you need emotional help?  Do you need financial help?  Do you need legal help?  Do you need MUSICAL help?  Or do you need every kind of help just mentioned and more?


The post in essence came down to this situation involving two songs and two songwriters (or two sets of songwriters):

“Songwriter A’s publisher and/or attorney receive(s) a letter from songwriter B’s publisher and/or lawyer telling Songwriter A that her new song has ripped off or infringed or copied or stolen Songwriter B’s song.”

Next, what are the options for the Accused, i.e., Songwriter A.

Here are a few:

Songwriter A ignores this and Songwriter B abandons the idea.  It’s too much trouble for Songwriter B and everything is forgotten.  This was just a hollow threat from Songwriter B and/or Songwriter B’s publisher (or B’s publisher and/or lawyer).

Songwriter A wants this matter to go away.  Songwriter A decides to give Songwriter B 50% of all future royalties.  Songwriter B is happier than Songwriter A, but the problem has been resolved and the problem goes away.

Songwriter A discusses other options with one or two associates (or more – her team, or her team that becomes wisely supplemented) and then negotiates a better solution.

Songwriter A explores options that could include disagreement with Songwriter B’s team and the exercise of A’s legal rights.

Songwriter B could, at any point, “up the ante,” “lawyer up,” “throw more at the wall and hope something sticks,” or more.  (Insert your own cliches, tired or not, to describe/predict the next steps for Songwriter B.)


Earlier this year I was told that Gretchen Wilson had to part with some of the copyright ownership/publishing of her song,

Work Hard, Play Harder

This was supposedly due to the fact that Gretchen Wilson’s Work Hard, Play Harder infringed the Black Crowes song, Jealous Again.

If her song infringed their song, it would follow that Jealous Again was written before Work Hard, Play Harder and that Gretchen Wilson had the opportunity to hear the Black Crowes song.  Is it reasonable to believe that Gretchen could have had the opportunity to hear the Black Crowes song?

And if a significant portion of her copyright (50%, possibly) was transferred to the Black Crowes because she supposedly infringed their song, then it would follow that one would hear the Black Crowes song when one plays the Gretchen Wilson song.

And it should follow that one would strongly be able to hear Gretchen Wilson’s song when one plays the Black Crowes’ song.

And it should follow that in order for half of Gretchen Wilson’s copyright and publishing and royalties to be transferred to the Black Crowes, a substantive amount of the Black Crowes song was copied by Gretchen Wilson.

Here is Gretchen Wilson’s song:   Work Hard, Play Harder

Here is the Black Crowes’ song:    Jealous Again

Listening to these two songs, can you hear what was infringed?  Can you hear what was copied without permission?  If you can hear what was copied, is what was copied significant?  If you can hear what was copied, is the copied expression protected by copyright, or is it not protected by copyright?


On a different note and one that might be illustrative later, I have many other questions about the beginning of this accusation – you did me wrong, now pay me – process.

Who was the first person to claim that there was an unauthorized copying problem?

Did this person work for the Black Crowes?

Did this person work for the Black Crowes’ publisher?

Does this person work for the Black Crowes’ management?

Does this person work for the Black Crowes’ lawyer?

Did this person know someone who worked for the Black Crowes?

Was this person a fan of the Black Crowes?

I would like to leave the reader with a few questions I posed above.  Please feel free to state your opinion.  I know mine very well but I want the input/opinion of others.  I really want the input/opinion of others.  I am not just being polite – I want the input/opinion of others.  (I’ve just stated that three times – surely I mean it!)

Listening to these two songs, can you hear what was infringed?  

Can you hear what was copied without permission?  

If you can hear what was copied, is what was copied significant?  

If you can hear what was copied, is the copied expression protected by copyright, or is it not protected by copyright?

This conversation will continue very soon.



The Amorphidity of the Organic Internet, Christian Tiger School, Tom Jones & Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Singing A Song of Paranoia


The Amorphidity of the Organic Internet, Christian Tiger School, Tom Jones & Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Singing A Song of Paranoia

I feel the need to recount two (2) fun diversions I had recently –


One – I met the manager of a band from South Africa known as “Christian Tiger School” – CTS describe themselves as “a psychedelic/dream hip-hop duo from Cape Town, South Africa, comprising of Luc Veermeer and Sebastian Zanasi.”  I like this video to their song, Carlton Banks, for its personal DIY element (I like the music as well).  I think too many bands and artists spend large amounts of money on video and effects when more handheld, low tech informal type clips would make fans and strangers very happy.

DIY is fun.  Spontaneous is often much better than meticulous preparation.  Meticulous preparation that poses as fun, spontaneous and non-meticulous (perhaps Carlton Banks) can also be highly effective.

I like the search engine possibilities – the SEO-ness – of a name that includes the word, “Christian.”  (Did you know that another term for “natural” or “unpaid,” with respect to search engine results, is “organic?”  (Surely the Organic Internet is as organic as Organic Coke.)  I like the slipperiness, flexibility and amorphidity (my word) of our contemporary English – that something as completely non-organic as electrons and the e-Internet/the i-Internet can produce something, “organic.”  I learned this meaning of “organic” from Wikipedia.  As you might imagine, this lexicographic gem caused me to don my wings and  exude the joy joy joy joy in my heart.

Will Christians in search of praise stumble upon Christian Tiger School and be angered that they were suckered in by a band they thought might be on a mission to turn wild jungle animals into gospel-loving Christian animals fit for a ride on Noah’s ark?  Or will those in search of “Christian” be happy to have stumbled upon OkayAfrica.TV by way of Christian Tiger School?  OkayAfrica.com has its own YouTube channel (of course) and if it’s Africa, how can Femi Kuti be far removed?  And then that leads to Femi Kuti and Common live in Central Park again via OkayAfrica via Christian Tiger School.  At the end of the Common & Femi Kuti interview excerpt there is talk of “revolution.”  And “revolution” is pertinent to Thing Number 2.



Two (Thing Number 2)

While perusing Christian Tiger School, I came across this  –  Tom Jones & Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young performing David Crosby’s Long Time Gone.  No.  Really.  I’m glad that this was captured and uploaded to YouTube as this bizarre pairing (the pairing of Tom Jones & CSN & Y, not the pairing of C + S + N, and then Y) is otherwise too hard to imagine and describe especially for one who was extremely active during that time period.

In the 1960’s (time for a footnote – look below later), Tom Jones was “one of them,” i.e. not one of the important musical artists revered by American youth.  Tom Jones seemed to be one of THEM, i.e., the older generation – the people who often hated what we young people LOVED.  The phrase, “generation gap,” referred to the enormous set of differences between young and old people, and especially children and parents.  When it came to music and culture of the 1960’s, the generation gap was at its widest.

Tom Jones as an artist did not have a message – he was not saying anything pertinent to 60’s youth culture.  That could have been because Tom Jones was a singer and interpreter of other peoples’ songs –  he was not a songwriter and in the 1960’s, musical groups favored by youth were usually known for their sound as well as their messages, lyrics originality and originality of their songwriting.  (Of course, sometimes not having a message can be a very good thing as the particular message can be too topical, too dated and not age well.)  In the 1960’s, artists who had a message, or messages, points of view, attitude, angst, or incited audiences to act or commiserate with the attitudes (or platitudes) of young people, were highly valued.  It was not required that artists have “attitudes” or reflect their audiences, but it seemed to be widespread.  Tom Jones was “just a singer,” although one with a powerful voice, excellent intonation and great musical ability and agility.

Tom Jones was a singer of Top 40 hits, not deep and deeply-placed album cuts.  His songs were meant for a large public, not a small subset of the public that listened to album cuts on FM radio.  (Again, us vs. them.)  Tom Jones was the Big Voice of big hit songs such as Delilah, or It’s Not Unusual, or What’s New Pussycat?  Tom Jones was not a musical artist associated with the artists that were favored by America’s youth – Tom Jones did not fit in the pantheon of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, etc.  (The fact of Jones’ exclusion from this group of groups might also speak to the shortsightedness and rigidity of classification of musicians, as well as shortcomings of music journalists of those times as well.)

But then there is paramount performance of Long Time Gone by Tom Jones with CSN & Y which I did not see, hear or believe possible in the 1960’s.  I discovered it this month (July 2013),one century removed from the crazy 1960’s.  The original 1969 recording of David Crosby’s Long Time Gone is the penultimate song on Side Two of the great debut Crosby, Stills & Nash album – one of my favorite songs on the album.  The original recording is done at a faster tempo (108 beats per minute – BPM) than the Tom Jones version (95 BPM).

The Tom Jones version is slower and more compelling than the original.  If this (Long Time Gone) is the actual beginning of that live performance, it is one that started out with a great deal of energy and vocal power.  This slower version (Long Time Gone) seems built for Tom Jones as there is more time and space for him to be more virtuosic and forceful.  CSN & Y seem to be more on their game as well with Stephen Stills singing at his most soulful.  I especially love watching David Crosby’s reaction of amazement to Tom Jones’ mighty singing from the outset – it seems Crosby is quite elated by hearing Jones’ profound effort in recreating Long Time Gone.  There is the studio version Crosby wrote, sang and recorded with CSN & Y, Long Time Goneand then there is the Master’s Version, Long Time Gonesung by Tom Jones.  Although Tom Jones’ performance might seem like a throwdown – Tom Jones’ flawless and heated performance of Long Time Gone  I believe it is Jones’ strong effort to show respect for a good song and fellow musicians.  (On a side note, there seems to be something cut out of this song – perhaps the odd edit that took place at 2.54 – 2.55.  I wish every second of this actual performance could have been on this YouTube clip.)

This performance of Tom Jones with CSN & Y was new to me but my respect for Tom Jones was boosted post-1960’s as I learned of Tom Jones’ friendship, collaboration and/or work with other artists including The Chieftains, Frank Zappa and Janis Joplin.  I have enormous respect for Tom Jones, the superb, creative and original musical artist.

Christian Tiger School led me to the fantastic performance of Long Time Gone by Tom Jones, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young.  I am very happy for all of the oddness that came out of a simple short search one day in July.


My first footnote in an emichaelmusic.com post –

F O O T N O T E  (yes, right below):

[The 1960’s began when The Beatles came to the U. S. and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show (February 9, 1964) and lasted until President Richard Nixon resigned (August 9, 1974).  Not January 1, 1960 through December 31, 1969.  Decades ignore the Julian Calendar.  Decades are better and more interesting than those specific ten (10) chunks of twelve (12) months.]



“The phone is at the forefront of the future”


“The phone is at the forefront of the future”  (imagine those words spoken with cave-like echo)

Have you heard the news?  Not the Elvis Presley, “Have you heard the news, there’s good rockin’ tonight!

No, this news:

“Jay-Z has always been a trendsetter and he is continuing that by being the first artist to distribute his music and connect with fans in a mobile environment.  This is a move to watch.”

From the company’s press release we learn the following:

“Technology now provides us with the opportunity to deliver music in new ways.”

That sentence could just as easily have applied to the development of the pianoforte, aka, the “piano,” in the 18th century.  But this new technology sentence is used in connection with Jay-Z.

“The…phone is at the forefront of the future which includes buying music instantly and taking it with you wherever you go.”

“Buying music instantly…”  That “instant” aspect of the trick was what Amazon accomplished in 1999 with its infamous “one-click” patent.  This “ooh aah, imagine that!” patent allows a customer the ease to only click  a mouse once and be done with the purchase.  It’s fast and simple.  And despite millions of people using it, thousands assailed the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office for granting such an “obvious” (and dunce-headedly simpleminded) patent.  The E. U. is often not as slipshod as the U. S. in awarding patents and refused Amazon’s one-click patent application stating that the patent lacked the “inventive step.”  Again, the company’s quote above is used in conjunction with Jay-Z.

More of the phone hype:

“…phone represents the company’s commitment to music and developing devices that match the lifestyles of consumers…”


“…this relationship pairs the leader in mobility with a leading artist to deliver music and the full fan experience in a unique new way.”

And now some more Jay-Z hype from the company’s same press release:

“An entrepreneur at heart, Jay-Z has risen to the top of the rap genre since starting his own record label, Roc-a-Fella Records…”

This Jay-Z/Phone news, or Phone/Jay-Z news, has been reported in dozens of online and offline media outlets and appears to be the marriage of digital distribution, hip hop and mobile technology.  But wait – that’s a marriage of three (3).  Even the U. S. Supreme Court won’t let three (3) be united as one (1).  But I digress.


What’s noteworthy about what I’ve written above is that it is not from an important tech/mobile/hip hop/branding/endorsement news story of July 2013 but from an important tech/mobile/hip hop/branding/endorsement news story of December 2003, ten years ago!  A few of the statements above are true – the story does involve a new phone, new music included with that phone, new and exciting branding news, and Jay-Z.  I left out the name of the company from 2003 that joined forces with Jay-Z, as well as the names of the new phone and Jay-Z’s new music.

The phone was the then new Nokia 3300.

The music was the then new Jay-Z Black Album.

Back in December 2003, the Jay-Z phone foray began when Nokia offered a “Black Phone” that was the companion cell phone to Jay-Z’s “Black Album.”  This was billed as a music and wireless industry first.  (Very coincidentally, I was expert witness in a matter involving DJ Danger Mouse’s Grey Album, a brilliant and creative mashup of Jay-Z’s Black Album, Jay-Z’s Black Album release that featured only vocal tracks, and the Beatles White Album aka The Beatles.  The Grey Album is still the most famous/infamous mashup ever and an enormous subject on which I should elaborate at another time.)

Co-branding and the unusual affiliation between musician(s) and tech companies was unusual in 2003 but the biggest co-branding between a mobile music device and a musician, however, came one year later, in 2004, when Apple introduced its U2 iPod which featured the new U2 album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.  The new red and black iPod was a success in its limited special edition release.  In a red and black case it looked like this.


The biggest and most hyped music news of July 2013 seems to be the new alliance between Jay-Z and Samsung.  This deal is very good for Jay-Z as Samsung has bought 1 million copies of Jay-Z’s new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.  (Warning – Magna Carta Holy Grail begins with Justin Timberlake singing.  And he’s singing in a very high register. This is a hip hop album?  A hip hop album that does not begin with a skit?)  Jay-Z received $5 million for the 1 million copies.  Magna Carta Holy Grail will be free for the first 1 million Samsung phone users who download the app.

Articles about the Jay-Z/Samsung alliance are found in


USA Today



My favorite of these is this particular Time story for which I was interviewed:


What has interested me for several years, and is discussed in the Time article, are albums as apps and artists who create apps and content – music and visual – for apps.  My favorite has been Bjork’s massive and adventurous, Biophilia.  Here is a “tour” of the app – how it was conceived, designed and implemented.  Tour of Bjork’s Biophilia


What negatives or potential negatives are there in this Samsung Jay-Z relationship?


Privacy.  A hip hop album and privacy?  As with anything that is digital, online, travels online and especially resides in a device that relies on the Internet for its transmission, there will be privacy concerns.  Because of all these aspects, there will also be legal ramifications, data tracking and privacy concerns, and new bizarre powers enabled by this potent concoction of technologies.  For example, should Jay-Z be able to track you via GPS?  (It’s one thing to be on an artist’s email list but quite another to be cyber-scrutinized by an artist.  From NME:  Privacy Issues Raised Over Terms And Conditions Of Jay-Z’s Samsung App.

The privacy problem is even more problematic (too easy and obvious a Jay-Z “99 problems” joke) as the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate.  This is not what one might suspect from many hip hop/rock/pop albums – warning stickers about lyric content that were voluntarily “awarded” (stuck on) the album packaging.  No, I would suspect that this is the first album to ever warrant  federal government inspection over privacy concerns as data mining meets music meets telecoms meets Internet.

Leakage aka Piracy

Leakage aka Piracy.  Because it is digital, it should be no surprise that Jay-Z’s album-inside-a-Samsung has already been hacked onto an HTC device.  Soon, Magna Carta Holy Grail will leave the Samsung Galaxy and be all over the more impressive galaxy.

Here is another account of the leak of Magna Carta Holy Grail (Spin, July 4, 2013).

It’s been hacked.  It’s been leaked.  It’s been copied.  It’s been transmitted.  Ho hum.  It’s digital.  This happens to digital.


Will Jay-Z/Samsung turn out to be as forgettable 10 years later as Jay-Z/Nokia?  Or the Apple U2 iPod?  (Speaking of the iPod – just what is an iPod?  Are there many iPods in 2013?  Aren’t small dedicated music playing mobile devices now subsumed within every mobile phone?  Sadly, iPods and mobile devices could hold much more content than they do but the tech companies would prefer keeping the devices small and the clouds large so that we will continue to buy and rent all of our intellectual property.

It’s not enough to love your IP – you need to pay for it in

many ways over many days and many decades.