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  #1  
Old 12-08-2010, 10:56 PM
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Default Have I stolen this riff?

I was just listening to a song I wrote a while ago, and I remembered that I always felt as if I'd stolen one of the best riffs from it, because it all arrived in my head at once.
Even now though, several years later, I haven't thought of a song it's from. So maybe I just thought of it myself. Or maybe one of you knows where it's from and can tell me!

The song is on this myspace, and it's called Help The Itchy. The riff in question starts at about a minute into the song.

I'd really appreciate your help in solving this mystery!
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:49 AM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

I am quite sure the drummers here are saying..."what ripoff DRUM riff"? But I am thinking you mean a guitar riff. I notice nothing ripped off....that will get you sued.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

I don't think so. The first three chords of the progression seem familiar - a Lennon song? - but nowhere near as transparent as Fleetwood Mac's use of Capt Beefheart's Abba Zaba in Tusk or Cozy Powell using Jimi's Third Stone from the Sun in his Dance with the Devil.

And they got away with it.

I always though George was a bit unlucky with My Sweet Lord ... I didn't think it was a ripoff of She's So Fine at all, and was a much better song.

BTW, Help the Itchy is a killer song title. You and your sister are completely barmy ... just listening to Tea now ... a British Muffin Man :)
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

Muffin would go well with tea, I expect!

The first three chords of which bit? The first minute of the song has a lot in common with No Woman No Cry, harmonically speaking anyway, but it's quite a common progression anyway.
That middle riff just came to me all at once, the whole four-bar loop with the bassline as it is, which is usually the way it goes when something's going to work really well. The best I've come up with so far is small similarities with Radiohead's 'No Surprises', so that might have been what I was thinking of.

'Help The Itchy' arose from trying to think of the least useful charity imaginable. This is acute, transient itchiness, not eczema or anything chronic. It's got to be as unhelpful as possible.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

The very first 3 chords ... the first 3 chords of the progression. I never thought of Bob Marley but you're right. I was thinking something from John Lennon or Bob Dylan.

The middle riff ... sorry, missed that bit. I can't think of anything but it might just be one of those things with a heard-if-before vibe. A bit like some of those riffs Focus would have used on Hamburger Comcerto.

Hope the itchy get better soon ... the cat next door has kindly shared its pests, who now inhabit my flat ...
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

Haha, you're in need of their help then! As you may be able to tell from the lyrics, this charity's fundraising methods are somewhat unorthodox.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

Oh come now, PQ - I'm a drummer. Why would I be listening to lyrics on first listen, pray tell? :)

Actually, I listened three times and still don't know any of the words - but the riff is catchy. I had it stuck in my head this morning. You could start up a We Are the World thing to raise funds for itchy people and use that song as the centrepiece - get Bono, Sir Bob, Paul McCartney, Jacko, Sting, Mariah and the gang to sing a line apiece :)
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

Help the Itchy
Help them get a scratch
Help the itchy or we'll come into your house and we'll smash up all of your friends,
and we'll take away your dog


...goes the first verse. I don't listen to lyrics either though, so don't worry!


You know, we really should do a benefit song for the itchy. That's a really good idea.
ItchyAid, something like that. Yes. I'll get right on it.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

Ta for the briefing. Now I geddit. The idea seems a bit like Python's liver transplant.

ItchyAid ... lol, I love it ... it's gonna take, I can feel it in my waters. Nicotine patches leave a residue that gets me scratching too (just doing some impromptu market research for you here). I'd give you a Paypal number in which you could deposit donations to help me with my itchiness but I suspect it will be blocked ... actually I couldn't anyway because I forgot the password ...

Better make sure that riff is clear if it's going Big Time - still, I guess in a thread like this, no news is good news.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

I've been thinking about this question for a good two years, so I'm fairly sure it's fine or I would have worked it out by now. I'll try and find that bit from No Surprises to show you, that's the closest I can come up with.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

Got it, it's a single bar at around 2.57.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

This is way too weird. I thought I'd check out the YouTube and flicked through it until I found the riff. I paused the vid and came back to start my reply - I see yours and check where I'd stopped the vid ... 2:57 :) Actually, that was the end of the riff ... it seemed like 2:55 to me, but that was the only thing in the song that was anything like your number and I can't see a problem with that one.

That's the trouble with coming up with catchy tunes (which I did on rare occasions when I was having my little writing phase) ... it seems too obvious for someone not to have done it before, and then you start wondering if you picked it up somewhere subliminally ...
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

Exactly. I suppose I should just be pleased! I am pleased.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

It worked out okay ... no ripoff and now you can unleash ItchyAid on an unsuspecting world so itchy people need no longer suffer in silence ...
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Have I stolen this riff?

My drum teacher used to say when it comes to music there is nothing new under the sun.... I got stuck on a drum change on a Pat Benatar song 25 years ago....took it into to him ..he listen to it once and said wow thats a blankety-blank-blank it goes like this Mike...and showed me and said... when it comes to music there is nothing new under the sun.
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