Five Musicians Who Ripped Off Tom Petty

Tom_Petty_Steve_Cohen.jpg
Photo by Steve Cohen, slideshow here.
Tom Petty is laughing at all of you copycats.
By: Alex Rice

Just last week, it was reported that pop singer Sam Smith had given Tom Petty a cowriting credit and royalties on his mega Grammy-winning hit, "Stay With Me." Thanks to the striking similarities of that tune to Petty's "I Won't Back Down," it has been impossible to ever hear one without thinking of the other. None of this is really a surprise, of course, since the 64-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is one of the most-copied rock musicians of the last four decades.

Let's take a closer listen to "Stay With Me" and four other songs that owe a considerable debt to the Tom Petty songbook.

More »

Finally, A Savage Garden Tribute Band!

savagegardentribute550JamieAndrews.jpg
Jamie Andrews
Daniel Hardy Wallace and Lee Knell of Savage Garden: A Tribute
Tribute bands these days mean both big business and big fanbases. With countless tributes to bands ranging from The Beatles to KISS to even Sublime making worldwide noise, the tribute genre seems ready for a brand new refreshing homage to further expand the concept's capabilities.

Enter Savage Garden: The Tribute

The brainchild of UK singer Lee Knell (playing the part of Darren Hayes), he's joined by guitar virtuoso Daniel Hardy Wallace (the Daniel Jones to Knell's Hayes) three backing vocalists and the session tracks to bring the duo's iconic late '90s pop staples back to the stage. We spoke to Knell about putting together a tribute that's truly, madly and deeply as faithful and satisfying as a chicka-cherry cola!


More »

The Greatest Musician-Talk Show Showdowns of All Time

2chainznancygrace550.jpg
YouTube Screen Capture
2 Chainz and Nancy Grace Debate Marijuana
Last week, rapper and alleged activist 2 Chainz (pronounced 'Twooooo Chaaaaaaainz') appeared on Nancy Grace for a debate with the titular host over the legalization of marijuana. While you've undoubtedly seen this creeping on your Facebook feed, we can assure you this wasn't an Onion article or some beautiful fever dream. This really happened. And it was glorious.

It seems every few years, an outspoken musician gets booked on a talk show and it becomes a cultural event. Magic happens. The best of these moments have become treasured legendary moments and remain preserved in memes for generations to come. It is in salute to these broadcast classics that we bring you The Greatest Musician Talk Show Showdowns of All Time.


More »

Ralph Chaplin's Labor Anthem 'Solidarity Forever' Still Matters After 100 Years

ralph_chaplin.jpg
An artist's rendition of Ralph Chaplin
Ralph Chaplin's battle-tested "Solidarity Forever" continues to withstand the test of time, reaching its 100th anniversary last Saturday. The radical union song celebrates its centennial having been birthed in Chicago on January 17, 1915 during a "Hunger Demonstration."

Chaplin belonged to the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a radical union (with lots of local history in San Pedro) whose preamble reads: "The working class and the employing class have nothing in common."

More »

MTV's Year in Rock '94, Revisited

mtvyearinrock94560.jpg
MTV Home Video
Have you heard enough about '94 yet?
We have only a month left in 2014, and if this year will be remembered for one thing, it's how much time we spent marking the 20th anniversary of 1994. For those of you who've turned on your browser's nostalgia-blocker, you've missed piece after piece about Nas's Illmatic turning 20 and Kurt Cobain's suicide.

It's interesting that 1994 was such a touchstone year for people to reference and reminisce about. To make some sense of this, we revisited MTV's Year in Rock '94 special to find out, from the people of 1994 themselves, what made it such a major year.

We begin our journey with hosts Kurt Loder and Tabitha Soren, the way it should be. But before we jump into anything music-related, it's time for a look back at "media run amok." For as much flak as MTV gets today for "not playing videos," we're starting a "Year in Rock" special with barely anything musical. Still, if there was a year for media overload in terms of sensationalist journalism, it was 1994. In the same 12-month span we had Michael Jackson marrying Lisa Marie Presley, Lorena Bobbitt being acquitted of cutting off her husband's penis, Tonya Harding's attack on Nancy Kerrigan and subsequent sex tape, and the O.J. Simpson car chase. Folks, this was all THE SAME YEAR.

More »

Art Laboe and El Chicano Retrace the Roots of Brown-Eyed Soul

elchicano.jpg
JoMo
El Chicano with Art Laboe (center)
Late in the night during the Art Laboe Connection Show on HOT 92.3 Los Angeles, a listener dedicates "Tell Her She's Lovely" by El Chicano to his lady. The legendary radio host says in his unmistakable velvety voice that the band is one of many they'll hear at his upcoming concert in Anaheim. After cueing the track, its Latin funk, thumping bass and deft guitar licks beam over the airwaves. The sounds of Chicano Soul summon whimsical feelings of LA barrio love, whether a heartfelt memory from Whittier Boulevard in decades past or a young couple laying out on the grass near Echo Park Lake today.

The timeless music travels from terrestrial frequencies onto the concert stage when Laboe presents the Chicano Soul Legends concert Saturday at the Theatre at Honda Center. His legion of listeners will fill arena seats for a lineup stacked with the genre's iconic acts from the early '60s to the '70s, including Malo, Tierra, Thee Midniters, the Heartbreakers and El Chicano.


More »

Ten Musical Projects Ikey Owens Made Great

141011_JWIII_MexicoCity_Show_0598-800x533.jpg
David James Swanson
Ikey Owens on October 11 in Mexico City, performing with Jack White. More photos here.
By: Bree Davies
When Isaiah "Ikey" Owens passed away last week, the musician and producer left behind a massive legacy. Most recently the Long Beach, California native was on tour playing keyboards and piano with Jack White -- but he was also a member and founder of Free Moral Agents and was known for his role in seminal rock group the Mars Volta. Beyond his big time projects, Owens had also produced and played on dozens of records in his career, including respected local acts like Long Beach Dub All-Stars, Pocket Lent, Teen Heroes, Dusty Rhodes and the River Band, and loads of others.

But still, there was so much more -- Owens had been an integral part of the third wave ska revival in the '90s, worked with hip-hop, noise and R&B artists, toured the world with pivotal rock acts, all while continuing to play with and produce up-and-coming bands. His resume is pages long, but we've compiled just ten of the pieces of music you may not know Ikey Owens contributed to for your listening pleasure.

See also: Ikey Owens Was Long Beach's Ultimate Sonic Wingman

More »

The Forgotten Novelty Songs Surrounding 9/11

afroman550.jpg
YouTube Screen Capture
I Was Going to Caption This Image, But Then...

The events of September 11th changed absolutely everything about our lives. That days terrorist attacks have become such a cultural touchstone that the weeks before and after it feel hazy at best. Yet, what makes those weeks 13 years ago even harder to fathom is what a uniquely bizarre time it was for popular music. Back when Justin Timberlake was just an *NSYNC member and punk band Sum-41 were topping the pop charts with a hybrid '80s rap-cum-hair-metal sound, the music industry was still making astronomical profits to the point where the summer of 2001 saw a barrage of peculiar novelty songs that wouldn't have fit in any other era. Then, the dour weeks after 9/11 saw the airwaves starved for content that could fit the bleak rebuilding period America was facing. These are the forgotten novelty songs surrounding 9/11.


More »

Resurrecting the Memory of Sinn Sisamouth, the Cambodian Elvis

cambodianelvis.jpg
It's hard to explain to Americans the importance of Sinn Sisamouth, the most prolific singer-songwriter in Cambodian history, who was killed sometime in 1975 by the brutal Khmer Rouge. His silky vocals and poetic verses spent more than 20 years wafting over the cities and countryside of Southeast Asia's oldest kingdom, touching people's emotions and heralding a vibrant Golden era of rock and psychedelic-infused music that is only now beginning to be rebuilt.

He's commonly referred to as the Cambodian Elvis, which explains his popularity level. It also sheds light on how, decades after his last recording was made, both young and old Cambodians can still cite and sing his works, often with tears in their eyes.

See also: Members of Legendary Bay Area Band Crucifix Flash Back With 1984

More »

Why Surf Rock Is Southern California's Folk Music

dickdale.jpg
Courtesy of the label
Dick Dale, the King of the Surf Guitar
By: Jonny Whiteside
Yes, you could call surf rock SoCal folk music. It's an almost unique subculture, which has somehow managed to survive with all of its complex social codes, vocabulary and rowdy behavior intact -- up to and including last year's riot in the streets of Huntington Beach, AKA Surf City.

While modern corporate life has inflicted an irrevocable homogeneity onto most every other youth-sparked cultural movement (seen the current Ross department stores' "Pretty in Punk" ad campaign?), the archetypal Southern California surf culture remains steadfast, and it is ours alone.

More »
Loading...