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Sunday, December 05, 2004

An "After the Gold Rush" Ripoff?

bignrich-cover goldrush_cover
A loyal Thrasher's Wheat reader forwarded this item on Slate titled "That's Homage to You, Pardner":

"I'm not saying Neil Young should call his lawyer, but doesn't the annoying Big & Rich's tedious single, "Holy Water," sound a whole lot like Young's "After the Gold Rush"?"

I listened to "Holy Water" on Big & Rich (see header bar's player) and must say there's passing resemblance to "After the Gold Rush". I'm not familiar Big & Rich but after listening I can hear why. Talk about making Hank Williams turn over in his grave.

And speaking of ripoffs, here's one I'm a little more certain about.

Over on the Twin Cities' City Pages, Jim Walsh writes on the Voters For Change concert:

"Neil Young performed "Rockin' in the Free World" for the first time on February 21, 1989 at the Paramount Theater in Seattle. Since then it has been covered by countless bar bands and big bands, including Van Halen, Pearl Jam, the Dickies, K's Choice, the Indigo Girls, Slobberbone, Patti Smith, and Bon Jovi. It was heard on newscasts all over the world when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989; it was dedicated by Young often from the stage to "the Chinese boy in Tiananmen Square who stopped the tanks"; and it abruptly concludes Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. It has been performed by Young approximately 370 times, though it is unlikely that it has ever felt more crucial, purposeful, or illimitable as it did the 371st time--last Tuesday, just before midnight, in a hockey arena in St. Paul."

Now let's take a look at the Thrasher's Wheat page on the analysis of the song "Rockin' In The Free World":

"Rockin' In The Free World" was first performed live in concert on February 21, 1989 at the Paramount Theater, Seattle, WA with Neil Young's band The Restless. Since then, the song has been performed 368 times through the Greendale tour's conclusion on March 21, 2004 at the Mullins Center in Amherst, MA according to The Neil Young Tour Statistics page."

and this...:
"Some of the other bands that have covered "Rockin'" include: Van Halen, Patti Smith, Vines, Slobberbone, David Byrne, Phil Lesh & Friends, Indigo Girls, Richard Thompson."

and this...:
"On November 9, 1989 The Berlin Wall fell and Young's song lyrics "Keep on Rockin' In The Free World" could be heard over newscasts of the historic occasion."

and this...:
"Neil Young, upon seeing this photo and video, began commenting before performing "Rockin' In The Free World" that the song was going out to that "Chinese boy in Tiananmen Square who stopped the tanks."

Hmmm. I think that's plagiarism Mr. Walsh. Maybe you need to credit your sources, eh?

Thrasher reports... you decide.


At 12/05/2004 10:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big & Rich are neither. I'm not sure whether they're even creative enough to ripoff Neil.

Niles in Netherlands


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