Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Latest Scandal

I go to my friend’s house this past weekend for dinner. 
“Have you heard about the scandal?”

I am taken aback.  This guy is one of the most peaceful, non-dramatic souls I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  What kind of scandal would he be involved in?  He explains further.  

“Apparently, U2 stole my band’s song.”  

He laughs, and I echo the laugh.  We are both aware of the U2 scandals as of late.  About a week ago, U2 downloaded their new album on over 500 million Itunes libraries worldwide, without permission and without consent.  Itunes customers had no choice; when they woke up, there was U2’s new album listed in their library.  Needless to say, there was backlash, hilarious backlash.  There are some clever tweets on the subject.
Back to dinner where my friend explains the big drama.  A few years ago, his band, Battle House, wrote a song called “Wolves”, and released it independently on the music sharing site, Bandcamp.  U2 has a new song called “Raised by Wolves”.  The chorus to both songs is almost identical, raising the question, did U2 steal Battle House’s music?  

After doing some research on the subject, I found that this is not the first time U2 has been accused of stealing music.  It seems that small bands all over the world have been calling out U2 for blatantly stealing licks, verses, and hooks from their original songs.  Of course, this could all be coincidence, and probably most of it is, but after listening to the two versions of “Wolves”, I feel quite certain something shady is going on.

What I would like to imagine is a few guys in a dark room, pouring over the internet for some interesting musical tidbits they can write into their client’s new multi-million dollar record.  These men, drone over thousands, perhaps millions of small indie bands, looking to rip off their catchy song parts for big time Hollywood rock royalty.  These men could easily be robots, I mean, it is the age of technological replacement.  Oblivious U2 receives the song and adopts it as their own genius, because they are tired, and out of juice.  Obviously, I may have a bias.

My friend thinks the whole situation is ridiculous, and he could care less if U2 stole it or not.  In the end, it has produced more publicity for the band and hundreds of new fans who read the articles and happened to like what they heard from the band.  They have been approached by countless newspapers, websites, and some television shows for interviews and possible performances.  Not a bad deal I would say, and they would say so as well.  On a more serious note, there was talk of a lawsuit in some of these articles, but my friend assured me, they had  better things to do.  Yeah, like write more original music and take over U2’s touring bill.        

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