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PostPosted: Tue December 11th, 2018, 11:49 GMT 

Joined: Fri May 19th, 2006, 02:34 GMT
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Yesterday Rod Stewart's Forever Young popped up on a playlist. I was puzzled as to why it was considered a rip off of Bob Dylan's Forever Young. Thematically it is admittedly similar but melodically and lyrically it is completely different. Am I correct in remembering that Rod Stewart had to pay Bob Dylan because of copyright infringement? How was this so?


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PostPosted: Tue December 11th, 2018, 14:03 GMT 

Joined: Mon May 11th, 2009, 17:29 GMT
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Henry Porter wrote:
Yesterday Rod Stewart's Forever Young popped up on a playlist. I was puzzled as to why it was considered a rip off of Bob Dylan's Forever Young. Thematically it is admittedly similar but melodically and lyrically it is completely different. Am I correct in remembering that Rod Stewart had to pay Bob Dylan because of copyright infringement? How was this so?


He wasn't forced to pay, as there wasn't a legal ruling: Rod's people went to Bob's before the song was released because the song was so thematically related to Dylan's "Forever Young". Bob's people said that they didn't mind at all, but Bob wanted half of the publishing, which he received.


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PostPosted: Tue December 11th, 2018, 16:52 GMT 
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I play weddings and there have been many times when the song was requested in advance and musicians showed up ready to play the wrong one. If there's any doubt, I clear it up. One time it was the father/daughter dance and I performed it alone because no one else knew it.


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PostPosted: Wed December 12th, 2018, 07:00 GMT 
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finbar wrote:
Henry Porter wrote:
Yesterday Rod Stewart's Forever Young popped up on a playlist. I was puzzled as to why it was considered a rip off of Bob Dylan's Forever Young. Thematically it is admittedly similar but melodically and lyrically it is completely different. Am I correct in remembering that Rod Stewart had to pay Bob Dylan because of copyright infringement? How was this so?


He wasn't forced to pay, as there wasn't a legal ruling: Rod's people went to Bob's before the song was released because the song was so thematically related to Dylan's "Forever Young". Bob's people said that they didn't mind at all, but Bob wanted half of the publishing, which he received.


Is "thematically related" reason enough to make this a question of copyright? How many songs are there about love, or death or whatever?
Anyway, a good deal for Bob. He gets half the publishing of a song (a quite successful one, iIrc) he has nothing to do with. :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed December 12th, 2018, 12:31 GMT 

Joined: Fri May 19th, 2006, 02:34 GMT
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That's exactly my thought. For years in the US restaurants had to come up with songs wishing people a happy birthday because "Happy Birthday to You" was copyrighted. These were absolutely thematically the same but were not considered infringement.

If the previous post's story is accurate it seems like a poorly played poker hand.

RS: Are you concerned about this?

BD: Not at all, it's great but give us half your money because it has the same title.

Of course, we don't know the extent of the conversation and Rod Stewart is a known fan of Bob Dylan, so who knows what his motivation was.


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PostPosted: Wed December 12th, 2018, 12:45 GMT 
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"Forever Miserly"


Rod is notoriously tight fisted so I'm glad Bob managed to screw a few shekels out of the old skinflint.


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PostPosted: Wed December 12th, 2018, 14:57 GMT 
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Henry Porter wrote:
T...
If the previous post's story is accurate it seems like a poorly played poker hand.



Not necessarily. Here's my take -
The Rod Stewart version is obviously derivative of the Dylan song. I don't think enough to win a law suit, but certainly enough to make people argue about whether it was stolen for the rest of time. Work a deal with Bob's publishing and you put that issue to rest and you have Bob Dylan's name in the writing credits. Everyone wins. It's good when people work things out without getting the court involved.


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PostPosted: Wed December 12th, 2018, 15:18 GMT 
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WrittenInMySoul wrote:
Anyway, a good deal for Bob. He gets half the publishing of a song (a quite successful one, iIrc) he has nothing to do with. :lol:


In your limited thoughts he has nothing to do with it, to be more precise. The Rod Stewart people knew what was going on and went to Bob to avoid obvious problems.
The Dylan Psychic gene pool is a vast depository of wondrous words and tunes of unfathomable possibilities - as this episode so clearly shows. A mere smidgen of his creations can bestow the riches of the gods on users, as Mr. Stewart will testify to. Another superb example of this is his discarded short lyrics and refrains of "Wagon Wheel", which a teenage member of Old Crow Medicine Show couldn't get out of his head, finished it into a cool song, and the rest, as they say, is history. It became a
mega hit for 2 different bands and is now country music party jam standard - Dylans trash!


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PostPosted: Wed December 12th, 2018, 16:32 GMT 
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I read an interview years ago where Stewart explained that only after he finished writing the song did he realize that he'd been unconsciously riffing on Dylan's song in his head all the while.


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PostPosted: Thu December 13th, 2018, 07:50 GMT 

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See also: Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?", and Bad Company's "Don't Let Me Down".


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PostPosted: Thu December 13th, 2018, 11:56 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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chrome horse wrote:
WrittenInMySoul wrote:
Anyway, a good deal for Bob. He gets half the publishing of a song (a quite successful one, iIrc) he has nothing to do with. :lol:


In your limited thoughts he has nothing to do with it, to be more precise. The Rod Stewart people knew what was going on and went to Bob to avoid obvious problems.
The Dylan Psychic gene pool is a vast depository of wondrous words and tunes of unfathomable possibilities - as this episode so clearly shows. A mere smidgen of his creations can bestow the riches of the gods on users, as Mr. Stewart will testify to. Another superb example of this is his discarded short lyrics and refrains of "Wagon Wheel", which a teenage member of Old Crow Medicine Show couldn't get out of his head, finished it into a cool song, and the rest, as they say, is history. It became a
mega hit for 2 different bands and is now country music party jam standard - Dylans trash!


Isn't there another one lately? 'On Wisconsin', I think it's called and Dylan hadn't even recorded it nor is there any known live version. To be fair, the musician involved was appropriately respectful about it, contacted the Dylan people about his adaptation and has justifiably expressed his pride and delight at sharing a co-write of the song with Bob Dylan.

Rod Stewart discovered that, as I think Arlo Guthrie said, the pickings down-river from Bob are fairly meagre.


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PostPosted: Thu December 13th, 2018, 14:22 GMT 
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Mickvet wrote:


Isn't there another one lately? 'On Wisconsin', I think it's called and Dylan hadn't even recorded it nor is there any known live version. To be fair, the musician involved was appropriately respectful about it, contacted the Dylan people about his adaptation and has justifiably expressed his pride and delight at sharing a co-write of the song with Bob Dylan.

Rod Stewart discovered that, as I think Arlo Guthrie said, the pickings down-river from Bob are fairly meagre.


Great points, all true.

And that Arlo quote is great too, forgot about it. Arlo was saying basically, if you are looking for something to write a song about, Bob Dylan probably already did it.

And the other aspect of this situation is that we don't want to see any tears over having to give up partial song credits to Bob Dylan - there is no better career booster on the planet.

For example, back in the 1970's, there was a one paragraph, or actually, one sentence blip in Rolling Stone where Bob Dylan mentioned that he would like to record some unknown singer, Leon Redbone. It launched his whole career! I was living in Boston at the time, and sure enough, a few months later, Leon shows up at the famous Club Passim(in Cambridge) for a gig, and I was there. Pretty good but
basically a let down. I think he went on to do a bunch of Budweiser commercials.


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PostPosted: Thu December 13th, 2018, 22:21 GMT 
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Henry Porter wrote:
Yesterday Rod Stewart's Forever Young popped up on a playlist. I was puzzled as to why it was considered a rip off of Bob Dylan's Forever Young. Thematically it is admittedly similar but melodically and lyrically it is completely different. Am I correct in remembering that Rod Stewart had to pay Bob Dylan because of copyright infringement? How was this so?

Rod Stewart's Forever Young is just a piece of sh**.
I once bumped in it, expecting the beautiful Dylan's one with Rod's voice (which might have been cool) and was awfully disappointed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84zY33QZO5o

I hate that song.


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PostPosted: Thu December 13th, 2018, 23:48 GMT 

Joined: Thu January 25th, 2018, 08:03 GMT
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I once was really revved up to sing "Forever Young" at karaoke and the Rod version started playing. What a downer that was!

I don't know if it deserved a co-writing credit. Maybe they should have used the "Inspired by ~~" that Jimmy Page used when he ripped off other people's songs?


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PostPosted: Fri December 14th, 2018, 03:18 GMT 
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Yeah, I never understood this one either. The two songs are entirely dissimilar, except for the title. Rod should have just gone with it... (like Dylan did on World Gone Wrong when he claimed the arrangements).


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PostPosted: Fri December 14th, 2018, 06:09 GMT 
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chrome horse wrote:
And that Arlo quote is great too, forgot about it. Arlo was saying basically, if you are looking for something to write a song about, Bob Dylan probably already did it.

Dylan never had to split publishing with Woody Guthrie.

Some people are more generous with the notes and words than others. It's well known that Dennis Wilson gave Billy Preston You Are So Beautiful which ended up hitting the top 5 (with Joe Cocker). Dennis, of course, died broke.


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PostPosted: Fri December 14th, 2018, 07:48 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Ghost Of Lectricity wrote:
chrome horse wrote:
And that Arlo quote is great too, forgot about it. Arlo was saying basically, if you are looking for something to write a song about, Bob Dylan probably already did it.

Dylan never had to split publishing with Woody Guthrie.

Some people are more generous with the notes and words than others. It's well known that Dennis Wilson gave Billy Preston You Are So Beautiful which ended up hitting the top 5 (with Joe Cocker). Dennis, of course, died broke.


Well...you never see a trailer on a hearse.


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