Great Quotations: King Missle, Foo Fighters And Cryptomnesia


Videos by American Songwriter

“Nirvana got signed to Geffen about six months after we were signed to Atlantic. So we were contemporaries. If they were driving around in a van listening to the radio when they were on tour, it’s more than likely they heard that song, probably more often than they wanted to. As an intellectual property lawyer, basically, to take a single chord and put a delay behind it is not something you could copyright. The question of influence is different than the question of copyright. But the riffs sound very similar, so close that I would think that the Foo Fighters would be embarrassed to do that. I was just reading an article in the New York Review of Books that mentions, in the context of the famous George Harrison ‘He’s So Fine”/”My Sweet Lord’ case, the term ‘cryptomnesia.’ It means an unconscious or inadvertent taking of another’s work, as opposed to plagiarism, which is deliberate. This is what I think happened with the Foo Fighters song.”

John S. Hall on the similarities between King Missle’s “Detachable Penis” and Foo Fighters’ “Rope.”



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