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Greetings and Assimilations

Dr. Spin addresses those that refuse to address him.

by Dr. Spin
December 2, 2002

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Greetings and Assimilations_Dr. Spin-Dr. Spin addresses those that refuse to address him. Of the legally-settled cases, what do you think is the more valid charge of plagiarism, George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" ripping off the Chiffon's "He's So Fine" or Ray Parker Jr's "Ghostbusters" ripping off Huey Lewis and the News' "I Want a New Drug?"

By the way, are you familiar with Slade's "My Oh My" and the old Christian Communion song "Let Us Break Bread Together on our Knees?" What's up with that?

Dear Nameless,

What’s up with leaving off a salutation or a closing? Are you ashamed of you questions?

Personally, I think the Rolling Stones ripping off k.d. Lang’s “Constant Craving” with “Anybody Seen My Baby?” is much worse than any of the above. I mean, if you’re going to rip off a song, at least do a decent job of it.

With a finite number of chord progressions, it is not surprising that artist occasionally “borrow” from one another without realizing it. Artists are constantly coming up with catchy tunes, so it’s not surprising that when a tune pops into their head, they think it’s their own.

My favorite plagiarism case is when John Fogerty was accused of plagiarizing himself (is that even possible?) CCR’s manager owned all the rights to Fogerty’s tunes, and when Forgerty wrote “Old Man Down the Road,” his former manager thought it was too familiar to “Born on the Bayou.” Luckily for Fogetry, the jury did not agree.

What the hell is an "ode?"

-Homer in Springfeeled

Dear Home,

What the hell is with the no greetings??

An ode is something that is sung to Billy Joe.

What is a "rock anthem?" Maybe my question is, "What is an anthem?" I take as a given that Joan Jett and the Blackhearts "I Love Rock and Roll" is a rock anthem. But is a rock anthem just an ode to rock music, or could it be an ode to something else recorded as a rock tune, or is a "rock anthem" just any popular rock song that a lot of people know the chorus to? Or is it something else entirely?

-Chuck B., St. Louis Mo

Dear Chuck,

Notice how I started my response with “Dear Chuck.” That is what is called an opening or greeting. This is how most people start letters. It sure would be nice if my readers would use one once in a while. (Good God, I’m sounding a bit like Dear Jon!)

According to my American Heritage Dictionary, an anthem is defined as, “a hymn of praise or allegiance” or “a modern ballad accompanied by rock music instrumentation.” Generally, rock anthems give defiant statements, such as “I Love Rock and Roll,” Won’t Get Fooled Again,” or “Hot for Teacher.” Not all rock songs are anthems, and not all anthems are rock songs. Our national anthem is a perfect example of an anthem that is NOT a rock song, no matter how Jimi Hendrix or anyone else plays it.

Anthems are generally the more powerful songs, those that elicit an immediate response. Rock anthems stir up the listeners and make the listeners feel something. Yes, I was born in the U.S.A! No, I can’t drive 55! And, please, wake me up before you go-go.

Finally, let me say that I love Rock ‘n’ Roll, and I know it’s only Rock ‘n’ Roll, but I like it, like it, yes I do.

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