Category Archives: Music

How Do We Break the Treadmill?

And now, a bit of political economy with Richard Thompson: I think it’s safe to say that, despite the ethos of “do what you love” (nice work if you can get it) most people in this world don’t work for … Continue reading

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Inspiration and Theft: A Followup

Here’s a possible timeline of that classical guitar passage that was under dispute at the Stairway to Heaven plagiarism trial:   Sonata di Chittarra, e Violino, con il suo Basso Continuo” by Giovanni Battista Granata (1659) Video description: “Extremely similar … Continue reading

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Inspiration and Theft

Today Led Zeppelin (or, more precisely, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant) were cleared of plagiarism charges related to their most iconic song, “Stairway to Heaven”. Led Zeppelin do have a history of taking bits and pieces of other people’s songs. … Continue reading

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When I’m 74

Paul McCartney turned 74 the other day. At least he’s still around – this year we are seeing a definite thinning out of the older generations of rock musicians. Anyway, in honour of the occasion I am posting a couple … Continue reading

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Fifty Years Ago

In June 1966, the Beatles released the first fruits of their spring 1966 recording sessions, the Paperback Writer/Rain single. “Paperback Writer” combined Whoish power pop with Beach Boys-like harmonies (yes, they are singing “Frere Jacques”!). The B-side, though, was possibly the … Continue reading

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“Apples and Oranges” and other Obscure Covers

An article I recently read has some advice for singer-songwriters doing live gigs: sure, sing your own songs, that’s what you’re there for, but for God’s sake break it up with some covers…covers people in the audience will actually know: … Continue reading

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Syd Barrett and his Songs

Although my biggest pop music influence has always been The Beatles, one other major influence on my songwriting has been Syd Barrett (aka Roger Barrett, 1946-2006). This despite the fact that his body of work is small and of uneven … Continue reading

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