By Johnny Dwinell
Are you a rip-off artist?
Yeah, man, John Lennon wasnâ€™t the first to say, â€œGood artists borrow, great artists steal.â€
Beethoven took from:
- Mozart (they arguably met and Mozart arguably gave Beethoven lessons)
Tom Petty took from:
- Bob Dylan â€“ this oneâ€™s obvious, right??
- The Continentals (feat. Don Felder [Eagles])
- The Beatles
Bob Dylan took from:
David Lee Roth took from:
- Black Oak Arkansas front man Jim â€œDandyâ€ Mangrum (Circa 1974)
The Beatles took from:
- Little Richard
- Chuck Berry
Elvis took from (his live show was so based on this vibe):
Chuck Berry took from:
- T-Bone Walker
- The Fiddlinâ€™ Powers Family -Â Maybellene (his 1st #1 circa 1955) was inspired by â€œIda Redâ€ circa 1924 (this was covered and used quite often with many artists btw.)
Led Zeppelin literally PLAGIARIZED (and settled out of courtâ€¦we DONâ€™T recommend this BTW):
Willie Dixon took from:
Little Brother Montgomery took from:
Eric Clapton took from:
Muddy Waters took from:
Robert Johnson took from:
- Blind Blake
- Peetie Wheatstraw
Joan Baez took from:
- Pete Seeger (RIP)
Pete Seeger took from:
You get it?
Anyone who is talking about how another artist â€œripped offâ€ this artist or that artist â€¦ is right. Something had to inspire the artist. Most artists try to emulate something that resonates with them. As a result, they end up with their own style.
So what? Shut up and own up to it!
Make good music. Grow from your influences! USE your influences as a muse!
I submit to all you writers and artists that you are unique. So aside from actually plagiarizing (again, we DONâ€™T condone this behavior), setting out to write your favorite artistâ€™s song will lead you to your own twisted version that is quite exceptional and distinctive. Not for nothing, but itâ€™s a pretty good writing exercise!
Rick Rubin loves to hand out writing assignments to his artists, typically right before they are about to begin recording, so the pressure is really on. Rick told Rivers Cuomo from Weezer to write a song with the beat from Def Leppardâ€™s Pour Some Sugar On Me and that assignment ended up being the inspiration for Beverly Hills. Rick also told Tom Petty to do the same exact thing and that was the inspiration for Itâ€™s Good To Be King.
Now go play pretty for the world.
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