Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Knack...And How To Get It

Apparently The Knack are suing Run DMC over their using the breakbeat* of My Sharona for their tune entitled It's Tricky. It's Tricky was on the Run DMC album Raising Hell. Raising Hell was released in 1986. What exactly have The Knack been doing for 20 years? Have they only just noticed? Am I missing something here? Isn't there a statute of limitations on these things? And will Bob James be suing for their use of his Take Me To The Mardi Gras on the same album?

* n.b. not a sample, as most commentators have it. Jam Master Jay didn't need to use a sampler.


jon manyjars said...

I think one of the members of the Knack just had cancer treatment. Maybe he needs the money. A tribute album might have been a nicer way to do it.

Irk The Purists said...

Thanks for bringing the cancer treatment to my attention, Jon. That would certainly explain why they're doing this now, rather than, say, 18 years ago. I note that their drummer also died recently.

I agree, a tribute concert or similar would be a better way to raise money. Perhaps even the Reverend Run and Darryl McD on stage with the remaining members of The Knack, now that Jay has gone to that graet recording studio in the sky?But suing? Eccch. The plaintiffs inevitably look like grasping wankers in these cases, even (or especially) when they win. Cf. Andrew Loog Oldham vs The Verve, and The Turtles vs. De La Soul.

jon manyjars said...

But how about Wire vs. Elastica? (Not a sample, just a blatant lift.)

irkthepurists said...

True dat. But even though Elastica settled out of court, I never got the impression that Wire themselves were especially incensed by the blatant lift.

The NME quoted Bruce Gilbert c. 1996: "That was a business thing it's do with publishing companies and they had to protect certain things over that."

"Personally I have absolutely no problems with Justine or the Elastica project and I like the music."

"It's fascinating to some degree - it has to be flattering, really it's quite curious. But if Wire did have an influence I'd rather it be from an attitude point of view rather than from a musical point of view."

Which sort of confirms that it's sometimes the money men, rather than the artists, that get uptight about these things. And Bruce Gilbert and Justine Frischmuff collaborated later in The Brood, if I remember correctly, so Wire can't have been that upset.

BTW, Jon, liked your recent post about Howe Gelb. He's getting quite popular over here! Even getting played on BBC Radio 2, the nation's favourite...