David Byrne Sues Florida Governor For a Song (and $1 Million)
Published: May 25, 2010
NEW YORK— David Byrne, the beloved, multi-talented artist and musician, was not very pleased to learn that Charlie Crist, the current governor of Florida, had commandeered his classic Talking Heads song “Road to Nowhere” for a Senatorial campaign ad against Republican Marco Rubio. So the former art-punk is suing the politician.
The Daily News reports that Byrne wants $1 million for the illicit use of the song in online ads, a figure that is “based on previous offers Byrne has received for use of his songs in commercials,” and states that “the ad also violates the Lanham Act of the U.S. Trade Statue, implying a false endorsement of Crist by Byrne.” The white-haired icon may build bike racks, date Cindy Sherman, and turn massive abandoned buildings into musical instruments, but he sure doesn’t shill for political candidates.
In any case, the lyrics to the 1985 hit (“Takin’ that ride to nowhere / We’ll take that ride” etc.) have nothing directly to do with politics — though Crist probably heard an echo of the famed “bridge to nowhere” utterance from previous electoral scuffles involving Sarah Palin and friends.
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Sounding in on the legal controversy, the Atlantic reminds us of another Byrne gem, “Don’t Worry About The Government,” which presents a blithely carefree image of politicians. But if future political hacks want to rip off the Talking Heads catalog, we’d suggest the aggressive funk work-out “Born Under Punches” (“Take a look at these hands! / The hand speaks, the hand of a government man”). Or for G.O.P. flacks who abide by the time-honored policy of “bleeding the beast” — that would be defunding government programs until they shrivel and expire, naturally — you can’t get much better than “Burning Down The House”: “Hold tight!/ We’re in for nasty weather / There has got to be a way / Burning down the house!”
© Patrick McMullan Company
Florida Governor Charlie Crist
For those who don’t know, R&B vocalist R. Kelly was accused and tried for producing a pornographic video with an underage fan. On November 15th 2005, Aaron McGruder’s The Boondocks lampooned this scandal with the episode “The Trial of R. Kelly.” After several delays in the R. Kelly trial in 2008, Kelly was found not guilty.
So, by that time, The first season of the Boondocks being released on DVD, I captured some clips from “The Trial of R. Kelly” and within 30 minutes, I made a rough cut of an AMV and mixed it with the classic track by The Mentors “Golden Showers.” Just literally a few minutes before midnight. The success of the video inspired me to release a more polished version of said video. Interesting enough, that one was taken down…but the cruder rough cut was kept up. Go figure. So, since it’s Sunday and The Boondocks is coming on at 11:30, I thought I’d post this video.
Original Rough Cut
by John M. Ellison IV
In this era of “controversy creates cash” and in the era of video channels becoming almost irrelevant, it’s kind of a dumb idea to ban a fairly tame video but suggestive video that’s marketed to a demographic of over reactive, suppressed people. I mean, to be honest, this might have been a big deal 10 years ago. I mean, 10 years ago, broadband technology was still limited and quite slow in comparison to todays standards. But, now with the advents of Broadband technology and video sharing sites and internet V networks, such as Youtube, VladTV, Worldstarhiphop and many others. The whole idea of BET banning a relatively tame video shows how antiquated their S&P department is.
On the other hand, I shouldn’t be surprised that BET wouldn’t show this, I mean this is the network that airs a bowdlerized “In Living Color” in fear of offending people.
Ironically, In Living Color was aired on Fox which has to adhere to standards and practices and FCC regulations and they got away with more questionable sketches than BET. BET doesn’t have to adhere to any FCC regulations because it’s on cable. So, it doesn’t make any sense that BET would air an edited version of am over the air network show. To me it’s kind of like wiping before you shit, or in other words, pointless.
The Immortal Lee County Killers
The Black Keys
The White Stripes
A quick primer on the fusion of Rockabilly and Punk Rock, Psychobilly.
Reverend Horton Heat
I was skimming through Rolling Stone earlier and I found this article by Steve Knopper on how Universal and Amazon are slashing prices on albums and can this move save the record industry. He made an interesting argument on how albums by bands such as Vampire Weekend, Them Crooked Vultures are going for 3.99 and 2.99 respectively. When it comes to it; this decision could help a lot. I’ve had this theory for awhile.
“Okay, how can selling albums at a cheaper price save an almost bankrupt industry?” Let me give you an example, I kind of have a weight problem. So, I try to use low calorie alternatives for some snack cravings. In my case, if something is lower in calories I’ll use that as justification to eat more of said snacks because I feel that I have a license to eat more of it.
Now, you’re probably thinking “what does your penchant for low-cal junk food alternatives have to do with record buying?” Well, actually everything… here’s the point I’m trying to make.
If you have an album that’s 2.99 and 3.99 to 7.99, it’s more affordable to a short of money audience that will buy more of it whereas a 12.99 album would sell fewer copies to a cash strapped audience. In the words of Frank Zappa, “If We can’t be free, we can at least be cheap.”