It’s no secret in the music business that the bigger star you are, the more song royalties you get by claiming “authorship” of a hit song written by a committee of lyricists and composers. You can force yourself into an author share of the profits because, by recording a song, you can make it popular enough that everyone will get paid. Giving you a little something for something you did not write — instead of guaranteeing an even split of nothing for the actual authors — is one surefire way to win in any business dyad.
Chuck Berry has been accused of not writing his own hit songs that he claims ownership of — because, some argue, the songs are written in chords that are more common on a piano than a guitar. If you don’t write a lot of music to begin with, having to transpose musical keys from one instrument to another in your head during composition of a song is nigh impossible. You’d write the song in the familiar, and easier to play, key signatures of the instrument you use to perform.
Johnnie Johnson, one of Chuck Berry’s longtime sidemen and the man who inspired Berry’s classic “Johnnie B. Goode,” filed suit against Berry in a St. Louis Federal District Court on Nov. 29.
The multi-count suit alleges that Johnson and Berry were equal collaborators on early rock classics like “Roll Over Beethoven,” “No Particular Place to Go” and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” to name a few. Johnson claims that Berry registered the copyrights to the songs in his name alone, and therefore was the sole recipient of royalties from those songs. Johnson’s suit also seeks public recognition for his songwriting role on the fifty songs he claims to have written with Berry.
I have done my best to avoid the television show “Glee” because I wasn’t interested in anything high school or Madonna or Britney.
Madonna — still aging and continuing to change her gender — now wants her 13-year-old daughter Lourdes — aka “Lola” — to dress us and give us fashion advice as we buy junque from their new “fashion line.”
I read online the other day that Madonna — aka “Madge” — now has “Man Arms” — and I immediately wondered two things. One: is there a proper and acceptable aesthetic for the look of one’s arms based on gender alone? Two: What is wrong with Madonna that she thinks those arms are in any way good for her?
Madonna and Guy Ritchie are splitting up — and we champion the dissolution of their marriage because we never believed it was anything more than a publicity stunt to give Madonna a reason to use her fake British accent.
Can you believe this is Madonna?
In Salon the great critic and intellectual Camille Paglia rips apart Madonna for being creepy and old and trying to incorrectly recapture her angst and youth instead of blazing a path that matches her temperament and established philosophy of performance:
Even allowing for the fact that she must strenuously maintain her hipness for a busy husband 10 years her junior, Madonna is starting to morph into the mature Joan Crawford of “Torch Song,” still ferociously dancing but with her fascist willpower signaled by brute, staring eyes and fixed jawline. In cannibalizing her disco diva days, Madonna runs the risk of turning into a pasty powdered crumpet like the aging Bette Davis in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” Will she become a whooping Charo shaking her geriatric hoochie-coochie hips on TV talk shows? Or should we expect a sudden, grisly collapse from glowing beauty to dust, like Ursula Andress as the 2000-year-old femme fatale in “She”? Too hungry to connect to the youth market, Madonna goes on childishly using naughty words and flipping the finger (as onstage at Live 8 last summer). Marlene Dietrich, her supreme precursor, knew how to preserve her dignity and glamour.