Men at Work must pay royalties for copied riff in ‘Down Under’

In February, a judge has ruled that the flute riff in Men at Work’s Australian anthem “Down Under” plagiarized a popular nursery rhyme, called “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree”, which was written in 1932. It was written by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition.

Sinclair died in 1988. In 1990, an Australian publishing group called Larrikin Publishing bought the copyright to the song. “Down Under” was composed and performed by Men at Work founding member Colin Hay in 1978. Greg Ham added the flute riff after he joined the band in mid-1979.

The band has to pay 5 percent of the song’s royalties, which was a lot less than the 60 percent that Larrikin Publishing was looking for.

According to court documents, Ham added the riff to the song to inject some “Australian flavor.” He admitted he had heard the song while growing up in the country in the late 1950s and was “pretty sure” that Kookaburra was in his school’s song book.

Judge Jacobsen found that Ham deliberately included the bars from Kookaburra into the flute line, but accepted that Colin Hay didn’t realize it was from the nursery rhyme until early in the last decade.

On Tuesday, Jacobson ordered Men at Work’s recording company, EMI Songs Australia, and “Down Under” songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, to pay 5 percent of royalties earned from the song since 2002 and from its future earnings. A statute of limitations restricted Larrikin from seeking royalties earned before 2002.

The court didn’t specify what the 5 percent penalty translates to in dollars.

“I consider the figures put forward by Larrikin to be excessive, overreaching and unrealistic,” Jacobson wrote in his judgment.

Mark Bamford, a lawyer for EMI, said the company plans to continue with its appeal of the February ruling.

“The ruling today on quantum is a good result in light of Larrikin’s ‘excessive, overreaching and unrealistic’ claim” for a higher cut of the profits, Bamford said in a statement. “EMI Songs will now focus on its appeal against the broader decision.”

Adam Simpson, Larrikin Music’s lawyer, said the company had no comment on the ruling, due to the pending appeal. Hay and Strykert were not in court for the decision and couldn’t immediately be reached.

“Down Under” and the album it was on, “Business As Usual,” topped the Australian, American and British charts in early 1983. The song remains an unofficial anthem for Australia and was ranked fourth in a 2001 music industry survey of the best Australian songs. Men at Work won the 1983 Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Reference: The Christian Science Monitor

Trivia Tuesday – 7/6/10

Question: What 1983 big-screen smash was hyped with the line: “Take your passion and make it happen”?


Last Week’s Question: Which Facts of Life girl was the first to lose her virginity on the show, simply because the actress playing her volunteered?

Answer: Natalie

The episode was titled “The First Time”, and aired on February 06, 1988. Originally, Blair was suppose to lose her virginity, but Lisa Whelchel refused to do it because of her strong religious beliefs. The episode was rewritten with Natalie (Mindy Cohn) losing her virginity instead. It also was the only episode in the series history that Whelchel did not appear in.

Snake was played by Mike Damone, the one who knocked up Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Here is the episode:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Airplane! released 30 years ago today. Surely you can’t be serious!

I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley. Airplane!, one of the funniest movies of all time was released on July 2, 1980. The movie was directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker, and influenced many other satires including the Naked Gun, as well as the Scary Movie franchises. It was a satire of disaster movies, and was basically a remake of a 1957 movie called Zero Hour. Airplane! starred Robert Hays as Ted Striker – an ex-fighter pilot who was traumatized after an incident during the war, leading to his fear of flying and his “drinking problem”. Of course his “drinking problem” was not alcoholism, but the problem was that he always missed his mouth whenever he tried to drink something. Striker attempts to regain the love of his life from the war, Elaine (Julie Hagerty), now a stewardess. In order to win her love, Striker overcomes his fear and buys a ticket on a flight she is serving on, from Los Angeles to Chicago. During the flight a major case of food poisoning breaks out, and knocks the pilot, co-pilot, and navigator out of commission. Ted needs to overcome his fear, and take over as pilot, and landing the plane safely.
Airplane! also starred several actors playing against the type of roles they were used to playing.
This movie changed Leslie Nielsen’s career. Before Airplane!, Nielsen had leading roles in the science fiction classic Forbidden Planet and as the ship’s captain in The Poseidon Adventure. His last role before Airplane! was in the 1977 action movie Project: Kill. In Airplane!, he played Dr. Rumack:

Rumack: What was it we had for dinner tonight?
Elaine: Well, we had a choice of steak or fish.
Rumack: Yes, yes, I remember, I had lasagna.

Sadly, Leslie Nielsen passed away November 28, 2010 from complications of pneumonia.
Peter Graves, who died on March 14 this year, was better known as Jim Phelps from the Mission: Impossible television show. But, he was great as Captain Oveur. The things that he said to little Joey probably would not appear in any movies today without causing an outrage:
“Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?”
“Joey, have you ever been to a Turkish prison?”
“Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?”

Robert Stack was also known for serious roles, such as Eliot Ness in the television drama The Untouchables (1959–63). Most of us also know him from hosting Unsolved Mysteries from 1987-2002. In Airplane!, Stack played Captain Rex Kramer, Ted’s former commander, who is called in to air control to talk Ted down.
[continuing to talk into the radio after Striker lands the plane] “Ted, have you ever been face down in the mud, and been kicked in the head with an iron boot? Of course you haven’t! No one has! It’s a stupid question! Forget I even asked!”

And who could forget Lloyd Bridges as Steve McCroskey, the tower supervisor!? He sure picked the wrong week to quit his many vices:

“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.”
“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking.”
“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.”
“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.”

There are so many comedic moments in this movie that you can not possibly catch everything the first time you watch the movie. 30 years later, there are still things I see in the movie that I had missed or had forgotten about.

And here is my favorite scene of the movie. Talk about playing against type! Check out Barbara Billingsley (aka Mrs. June Cleaver) as the Jive Lady:

Randy: Can I get you something?
Second Jive Dude: ‘S’mofo butter layin’ me to da’ BONE! Jackin’ me up… tight me!
Randy: I’m sorry, I don’t understand.
First Jive Dude: Cutty say ‘e can’t HANG!
Jive Lady: Oh stewardess! I speak jive.
Randy: Oh, good.
Jive Lady: He said that he’s in great pain and he wants to know if you can help him.
Randy: All right. Would you tell him to just relax and I’ll be back as soon as I can with some medicine?
Jive Lady: Jus’ hang loose, blood. She gonna catch ya up on da’ rebound on da’ med side.
Second Jive Dude: What it is, big mama? My mama no raise no dummies. I dug her rap!
Jive Lady: Cut me some slack, Jack! Chump don’ want no help, chump don’t GET da’ help!
First Jive Dude: Say ‘e can’t hang, say seven up!
Jive Lady: Jive ass dude don’t got no brains anyhow! Hmmph!

There are so many great moments in the movie. What are your favorite scenes or quotes?

Vince Neil Arrested for DUI

This may be shocking, but Motley Crue frontman, Vince Neil, who has a line of tequila called Tres Rios, and also has a new solo album called “Tattoos and Tequila,” as arrested on drunken driving charges after getting pulled over by police near the Las Vegas Strip. He was taken into custody around 11:15 Sunday night when he was stopped in in his Lamborghini after leaving the Las Vegas Hilton hotel.

Neil and his fourth wife, Lia, live in Las Vegas, where Neil owns tattoo shops, a bar called Feelgoods Rock Bar and Grill, and the Vince Neil Tres Rios Cantina at the Las Vegas Hilton. Neil plans to publish a memoir this fall, and in an interview with the Associated Press last week, he said he hadn’t used drugs in 20 years and had stopped abusing alcohol.

“There’s just a point in your life where you kind of stop, that’s what happened with me,” Neil had said. “There’s other things in life than just drugs and alcohol.”

Neil said he admired the sobriety of top performers today.

“Those are the guys that are doing it right,” he said. “It’s the ones that self-destruct with the drugs and alcohol that have gone by the wayside many years ago.”

This is not the first incident of Vince Neil’s drunk driving. In 1984, he was involved in a fatal drunk driving accident. The Hard rock band Hanoi Rocks was on tour in the U.S. On December 8, their first night in Los Angeles, Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley and the other members of the band (with the exception of singer Michael Monroe, who was recovering from a fractured ankle) visited Neil’s home and spent the day at Redondo Beach. After partying for hours, Neil and Razzle decided to take a trip to a local liquor store in Neil’s De Tomaso Pantera. Neil, who was drunk, lost control of the car and hit an oncoming vehicle. The two occupants of the other car were seriously injured and reduced to a vegetative state, and Dingley was killed. Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol in connection with the crash. His blood alcohol level was .17, well above the California legal limit of .08.

In July 1986, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Edward Hinz, Jr. sentenced Neil to 30 days in jail, five years probation, $2.6 million in restitution to the victims of the crash and 200 hours of community service. Neil got out of jail in 15 days for good behavior; Mötley Crüe dedicated their third studio album, Theatre of Pain, to Razzle.

Neil is due Sept. 27 in Las Vegas Justice Court.

Trivia Tuesday – 6/29/10

Question: Which Facts of Life girl was the first to lose her virginity on the show, simply because the actress playing her volunteered?


Last Week’s Question: Who told Rolling Stone that U2’s album title, The Joshua Tree, sounded like it “would sell about three copies”?

Answer: Bono

In the interview, Bono said, “The thought of the world waiting for The Joshua Tree is a bit ridiculous. It sounds as if it will sell about three copies.”
However, The Joshua Tree was the band’s first number one album in the US and within 48 hours after it was released on March 9, 1987, it went platinum in Britain becoming the fastest selling album of all time.

The album is dedicated to lead singer Bono’s assistant, Greg Carroll, who was killed in a motorcycle accident during the album’s recording.

The album contained the hits “Where the Streets Have No Name”, “With or Without You”, and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. The album won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1988.

The Joshua Tree is the band’s best-selling album, having sold 25 million copies worldwide. That’s a lot more than three!!

In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked the album at number 26 on their list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Ronald Reagan Quote of the Week – 6/28/10

Cannot swords be turned to plowshares? Can we and all nations not live in peace? In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?

Address to United Nations General Assembly, (1987-09-21)

Footloose Remake is a go…again

The remake of the classic 1984 is on track to be made again, as the cast has been put together. Paramount Pictures said on Tuesday that Kenny Wormald, 25, who appeared in the MTV series DanceLife will play the role of Ren (made famous by Kevin Bacon). High School Musical star Zac Efron and Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford had both been attached to the remake but later dropped out. Thomas Dekker, who played John Connor in the excellent television show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, had recently been rumored to be in the running for the lead role. Dancing With the Stars champion and country singer Julianne Hough will play Ariel, and Dennis Quaid will play the role of Reverend Moore. Paramount said the planned release date for the movie was April 1, 2011.
Not only has there been a problem locking down an actor for the lead role, but there has also been issues with retaining directors. Hairspray director Adam Shankman and Kenny Ortega, who directed High School Musical, both dropped out. Now, Craig Brewer, who also directed Hustle & Flow will be directing the remake. Brewer said he had been a fan of Footloose, which features hit songs Let’s Hear It For the Boy and Holding Out for a Hero, since he was 13 years old.

“I can promise Footloose fans that I will be true to the spirit of the original film. But I still gotta put my own Southern grit into it and kick it into 2011,” Brewer said in a statement.

Michael Jackson: Television Tributes This Week

This Friday, June 25, will mark the 1 year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. Here are the list of television programs that I could find, that will be covering the late “King of Pop”. The descriptions are from the shows’ web sites whenever I could find them:

6/24/10 – syndicated: Oprah Winfrey – Oprah Remembers Michael Jackson (2009)
See their historic worldwide interview from Neverland Ranch. Then, Oprah speaks about where she was and how she felt when she heard the tragic news.

6/25/10 – 7:00 am – CBS: The Early Show – Remembering Michael Jackson
A Michael Jackson tribute featuring music stars such as Christina Aguilera, Marc Anthony, LL Cool J and Smokey Robinson.

6/25/10 – 8:00 am and 1:00 pm – E!: The E! True Hollywood Story: Michael Jackson (2008)
Yes, it’s the gloved one again. More than 1000 journalist and the TV nation are anxiously awaiting the start of the most high-profile celebrity trial of 2005.

6/25/10 – 10:00 am, 3:00 pm, and 8:00 pm – E!: E! Investigates: Last Days of Michael Jackson (2009)
As questions arise about the nature of his death, revelations of his often bizarre life continue to be brought to light.

6/25/10 – 11:30 am, and 11:30 pm – VH1: Famous Crime Scene (2010)
Follow LAPD detectives in their investigation of the sudden and shocking death of the King of Pop. Toxicology reports confirm he died from a combination of prescription medications and a heavy-duty anesthesia drug called Propofol, all administered by a mysterious physician who was treating Jackson at home in the last month of his life. But other doctors were also giving Michael drugs up until his final days, some administered through his various aliases. Will this ongoing homicide investigation turn into a criminal case? Who will be responsible for this music legend’s tragic and controversial death?

6/25 – 1:00 pm – BET: Michael Jackson: Life of a Superstar (2009)
Get an in depth look at the biggest entertainer that ever lived…Michael Jackson.

6/25 – 2:00 pm – BET: Inside the Michael Jackson Mansion (2009)
See the mystery behind Michael Jackson’s NeverLand Ranch.

6/25 – 5:00 pm – MTV: Michael Jackson Top 10 Video Countdown (2010)

6/25 – 6:30 PM – MTV: Michael Jackson’s Influence on Music (2010)
This is a 1-hour special consisting of videos by top artists in music who have in some way been inspired by Michael Jackson – from choreography, to fashion, to actual reinterpretations of MJ’s songs. His impact on the game was huge! During each video, there will be scrolled messages about Michael from many of the artists featured, along with interesting trivia. At different points throughout the special, several of the featured artists will also appear in short interview moments discussing MJ and his impact on their life and art.

6/25 – syndicated: Access Hollywood – Remembering Michael Jackson (2010)

6/25 – 8:00 PM – BET: Michael Jackson History: King of Pop (2010)

6/25 – 8:00 pm – CNN: Michael Jackson: The Final Days (2010)

6/25 – 11:00 pm – QVC: Michael Jackson Music & Memories
His spellbinding music defied imagination. His performances immortalized him as the King of Pop. And now, QVC remembers Michael Jackson with a selection of music and collectibles that span his astounding, four-decade career, from the Jackson 5 through his solo years.

6/26 – 6:00 am – MTV: Michael Jackson music
videos

6/28 – 8:00 pm – The History Channel: Pawns Stars (2010)
The Pawn Stars meet a man hoping to sell a several hundred-year old edition of Dante’s Inferno; Rick is presented with an antique serpent shaped sword from the Philippines; Corey has a chance to purchase photo rights for Michael Jackson.

Trivia Challenge Tuesday – 6/22/10

Last week’s question:

What 1982 top 10 hit contained the lines: “Like ohmigod! Like Totally! There’s like the Galleria. And, like, all these, like really great shoe stores”?

And, the second part of the question – Who performed the song?

Answer: The song was “Valley Girl”. It was performed by Frank Zappa and his 14 year-old daughter, Moon Unit Zappa. Moon Unit was the one who said those lines, although it would have been funny to hear Frank say them.

Frank wanted to lampoon the “Valley Girl” image, but the song like ended up like totally popularizing the image nationwide, and omigod, everybody like totally got sucked into the “Valley Girl” language, whether they were making fun of it or not or something. Adults at the time, must have been like, this is the worst thing ever! Gag me with a spoon! But, the teenagers were like what-ever!

OK, I’m done. here is the song:


Here is this week’s question:


Who told Rolling Stone that U2’s album title, The Joshua Tree, sounded like it “would sell about three copies”?

80's Pop Culture and News

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