Coldplay V Satriani - take 2

So, I get this in my e mail this morning from my good friend (and only reader) Jamie.

From: Jamie [mailto: ******]
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 8:57 AMTo: Lono [CK]Subject: Coldplay/Satriani do you think the outcome of this will be?
- Jamie

Well, great question. A question so potentially important, I had to share it with the greater world out there (you). I already had an opinion on this. Begin by reading this piece here. It has all the comparison clips and all that.

So, before reading the above piece, my thought was that Coldplay was in fact guilty of copying this melody. There is no question to me. The question, though, is whether it was intentional. We can’t tell. I would award the verdict to Satriani, but possibly with no damages. We can’t prove malicious intent, so innocent until proven guilty.

That was my feeling until I read the article above, where Coldplay said the song ‘lacks originality’. Well, that just made me really really angry. Coldplay copied an ‘unoriginal song’. Do they realize how self incriminating that is? See, the Coldplay song is identical. So, by Coldplay’s admission, that means Coldplay did one of two things:

    • Stole a crappy song
    • Wrote a crappy song

Either way, they are guilty of being wuss rock sell out hacks. Yeah, I can say that. I used to love Coldplay. Saw them at Red Rocks (which was amazing). That was on their second album. Then, they just made 3 more albums that sounded identical. Boring.

Coldplay are likely unholy rich. They could have settled this under the table. Instead, they deny it... while smearing Satriani poorly. So, here is my judgment. Judgment for the plaintiff. Satriani will be added as a principle songwriter to that track on all publishing records going forward. In addition, he shall receive songwriters compensation retroactive to the album’s release. Furthermore, Coldplay shall refrain from playing ‘mostly gaywad music’ and ‘wuss rock’, as Michael McDonald holds the patents on both of those.

In closing, this isn’t how you should have answered the complaint… or slammed Satriani. There are classier ways to do both. Here is what I would have said (as Coldplay).

We have sat down together as a band and wracked our brains to see the connection. To be honest, we do not. Joe Satriani is a terrific songwriter, and an amazing guitarist. Quite Frankly, none of us possess the skill level to lift a Satriani riff. We tried once years ago, when Satriani was still relevant and making quality music. We regret any harm we may have caused to the Satriani camp and want to make this better. Clearly, this is all about money. On that, we feel sad for Joe. We have plenty; we saved up by not buying Satriani albums for the last fifteen years.

See how to handle this?  Backhanded compliments, legal dodgeball, and a couple insults for good measure.  Good news, I am available for hire to represent your shitty band as well!

* for full disclosure, at this point I am rooting for Satriani to take them to the bank and clean them out. F Coldplay.


jme said…
Coldplay said the song ‘lacks originality’

That pissed me off too. It's been a long time since I took Philosophy 101 at ASU... BUT ... if Satriani's song came first ... doesn't that by "definition" make it "original?!?!?"
rgdaniel said…
Perhaps they only meant that the Satriani song was unoriginal in the sense of being fairly straightforward or simplistic in structure, and therefore subject to accidental copying. There are only so many chords. I'm surprised blues guys aren't suing each other every day. No money there I guess.
Lono said…
I appreciate your feedback, but have to disagree whole heartedly if that was their intention. It is a complex melody that can not be acccidentally repeated.

Now, look back to George Harrison getting sued for 'My Sweet Lord'. That is only three notes, with a total of three syllables. It was said it was a copy of the Shirrell's 'He's so fine' and Harrison had to pay up.

Now, three notes is something anyone could mistake. I am a guitar player, though, and I know you don't accidentally lift an entire verse from start to finish.

How Coldplay have handled this has disappointed me greatly. I now see them as a bunch of hacks with a bad attitude on top. If I want that, I can just watch pro football receivers.
Philotech said…
“Frances Limon” from Argentine rock group Los Enanitos Verdes Came first, so they need to sue Satriani...

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