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  1.  
    "Even if 'the entire song is based around the Wire riff', it could - when the whole song is assembled - be removed and nobody would know anything was missing."

    Sigh. I don't know if you're being wilfully stubborn here or what. Point one: without TGR, Connection WOULD NOT EXIST. The Wire song was the entire basis for the Elastica track, so without TGR, the track wouldn't have been written in the first place. Point two: pull the sections that include the Wire elements and you remove the intro (bye bye, 90% of the licensing income) and the verses (which are the TGR riff with a slight change at the end by transposing the sample and overlaying identical guitar). You end up with the chorus and some new lyrics, but no verse and no profitable bit.

    "As it is heard by the non-Wire-trained ear, it's a faint backing riff, not what anybody might hum."
    A faint backing riff? You mean the entire "Der--Der Der Der" bit that runs through the entire song, is hugely recognisable, and is the basis for the song's sales in most licensing? It's the hook the entire song hangs on, in the same way Talk is essentially Computer Love.

    "Loads of people write songs that cop a lick from another tune, and then build on it from there."
    And those with any sense of integrity license relevant aspects of the 'other tune', especially when their tune ends up using massive chunks of the original. When they don't, they rightfully get sued. Think about Bitter Sweet Symphony. That's essentially pinched from The Last Time (and they'd actually done some licensing, too). Presumably, you'd argue that the riff that makes up that song is also a "faint backing riff"?

    "REALLY ?!? So the bit of Connection that one hums is irrelevant?!?"
    Legally, songs come down to chords/notes and lyrics—that's it. So, yes, the fact Elastica added some extra bits is irrelevant. By what you're arguing, I could happily steal the riff to, say, Layla, but overlay my own version of the chords, sing some garbage or other over the top of it, and add a new chorus, and that would be OK. I'm sure Clapton would disagree.

    "I have no knowledge of the Coldplay record so I can't comment. Being a huge band with more money involved, maybe somebody alerted them to the possible legal problems before they released it? Or maybe Coldplay are just more considerate than other bands."
    From what I understand, the guitarist came up with a riff and was hugely excited, and someone went: "Er, that's Kraftwerk, mate." They then licensed the riff.

    "I'm completely unaware of any subsequent use of the song and therefore cannot comment on that, nor on EMI's handling of the affair (although I'm surprised a big company like EMI would settle for 'peanuts' ... or maybe they were only allowed what they got, because the main melody is NOT from 3GR?"
    Given that the song was by a band that didn't make them much money and written decades previously, I can't imagine EMI really cared all that much. In order to win big in infringement cases, you have to throw a lot of money at it, and I guess they didn't see the point.
  2.  
    R Swimmer

    'It obviously strikes a chord with you, but it seems a shame to let something like that spoil your enjoyment of the music? ... The list of bands/artists who *haven't* done or said a few rather unpleasant things (to say the least) is a very short one indeed."

    You know something? You're right. With many bands, I had known about internal strife from the start, so just accepted it as background to the music. But I was upset by 'The Wire Affair' because I had followed them for years and was surprised to suddenly find that these sort of things went on, with this particular band: my naivety and (over-)reaction is my issue/problem/whatever. But I never thought of them in this respect. What with Wire being an 'art project' (sic) and all that, I never dreamed they'd become money-squabblers. It's just so very, very disappointing. This, plus the amazing amount of negativity (this from ME!!) in recent interviews - moaning about Mannequin being an unrepresentative song (so why record the bloody thing, then?), moaning about Mike Thorne on 154 (then using him on A-Z!!), moaning about being picked on by others in the band and that Lewis and Gotobed were 'in Bruce's pocket' (what a horrible thing to say - no wonder Lester ain't popular for printing THAT), claiming not to be a songwriter (get over yourselves!), moaning about not getting enough credit 18 years after the event ...

    How about some positivity? Getting picked up by a great, sympathetic producer who was an enormous part in establishing what the band are (and are recognised as ) today ... actually being able to release some wonderful, wonderful records ... touring the world ... I for one love reading people's impressions of other countries ... even John French's biography, in amongst the REAL 'picked on by the other band members' horror stories, including extreme abuse from Beefheart, contains really enthusiastic accounts of trips to London and Rome that show that French really appreciated his chance to get out and see these places that he only ever dreamed of ... I get almost none of this from reading the Wire books, with few if any references to any of the art, theatre, film or architecture that I assumed that they, as self-professed artists, would have delighted at.

    I've just read Independence Days by Alex Ogg, a really inspiring account of independent labels in Britain since the 76/77 explosion. Some of these people lost loads, but still seem so happy at what they achieved ... pure joy at their little contribution to music ... and more than happy to have broken even ... with the Wire interviews, I get no sense of real pride, joy or even pleasure in the making of their GREAT music. Maybe I'm over-emphasising this, but the Neate/Lester books just didn't make me feel that Wire love their music or music generally ... comments like 'I'd make more money as a college lecturer' just make me want to cry! How can such a thought enter into the head of someone who is managing to make a living from doing something that (presumably - or hopefully) they love? To make a tolerable living creating art is surely the greatest thing one can ever hope to achieve ... I wish I'd been able to succeed at it!

    Compared with: in the last MOJO mag (spits), Howard Devoto expressed his utter joy at being back with Magazine: it was so uplifting to finally read a 100% positive comment, and from arty, solemn-faced Howard, of all people!

    BUT ... you're right. Why let this spoil the music for me? Sit down for a moment: I'm totally taking on board your suggestion, proving I AM amenable to contrary opinions! For some reason, your post just clicked with me at the right time: all I'm doing is reducing MY enjoyment (and boring/p***ing off anyone else who disagrees me with ... you know, nearly everybody here!).

    I am, ultimately, a hopelessly naive idealist prone to HUGE pessimism and over-analysis of life's vicissitudes (I've had a really testing five or six years, so cut me just a little slack!). Accordingly I'm apologising unreservedly to anyone I've brought down, man! That doesn't mean I refute what I may have said: just that, contrary to appearances, I am actually - deep down inside - a happy chappy!

    Love and kisses,
    hp
  3.  
    "I get almost none of this from reading the Wire books, with few if any references to any of the art, theatre, film or architecture that I assumed that they, as self-professed artists, would have delighted at."

    Might I suggest Everybody Loves A History, then, if you haven't read it? Although it doesn't cover anything past fleeting mention of Wir, it has a lot of the more positive aspects of Life As Wire that you seem to be looking for.

    Don't worry, it isn't sugar-coated. They all have some choice words about the Ideal Copy sessions, EMI woes, and other unpleasant topics.

    (though unfortunately with Wire in the news a lot lately used copies are fetching big money right now)
  4.  
    "How about some positivity?"

    How about recognising the fact that the Lester book is, clearly, offering a very specific take and one side on Wire? I've met all of the band at least a few times, but Colin is the only member of Wire I know well. He's about as far from 'money grabbing' as you can get, and he's hugely passionate about music, Wire and creativity. It strikes me that Lester must have seriously cherry-picked quotes for a book with an 'agenda' (as opposed to Kevin Eden, whose tome reflected the band members via their own words throughout), if you come out of it thinking Wire don't care for their work.

    "comments like 'I'd make more money as a college lecturer' just make me want to cry!"

    But what's the context of that? There was a period when everyone assumed Wire must be pretty rich due to getting critically acclaimed new albums and doing world tours. The point that one of its members could earn more as a college lecturer could easily have been a reality check, said as a flippant remark; also, note that the band members [i]carried on making music/art throughout[/i], which says something. With the exception of Robert (with his farming), the Wire guys either must love music or be seriously masochistic.
  5.  
    "(though unfortunately with Wire in the news a lot lately used copies are fetching big money right now)"

    It'd be interesting to know what deal Kevin signed with S.A.F. I would have thought a digital edition or a printed edition through something like Lala could be feasible. (This of course would depend on numerous factors: the contract that was signed; where the rights are and if they reverted at any point; whether a pre-edit would be usable or require too much work to get into the same kind of shape as the book.)
  6.  
    Craig

    "I don't know if you're being wilfully stubborn here or what."

    That's not really fair. having said that, you don't know me, so I will simply assure you that being wilfully stubborn really doesn't have a place in my life. I really do simply have a different opinion from yours, honestly held, and as we clearly disagree, I won't take up too much of your time on the subject since I think this is probably one that's best dropped!

    "Point one: without TGR, Connection WOULD NOT EXIST. The Wire song was the entire basis for the Elastica track, so without TGR, the track wouldn't have been written in the first place. "

    Agreed.

    "Point two: pull the sections that include the Wire elements and you remove the intro (bye bye, 90% of the licensing income)"

    Agreed ... although anybody could of course licence the chorus, if they so wish, it's just that the intro has proven popular with licensors ... which is of course why it's so controversial ...


    " and the verses (which are the TGR riff with a slight change at the end by transposing the sample and overlaying identical guitar). You end up with the chorus and some new lyrics, but no verse and no profitable bit."

    ... and not agreed. A different part of the song may, in another parallel universe, have been chosen as the bit-to-be-licensed, and would have been an alternative 'profitable bit'.

    As I stated before, there's so much else going on in the verses that, although 3GR was clearly the basic framework for the song, it could be removed from the song completely and the song could stand on its own two feet. You'd lose the intro and the backing riff, but nobody would say: Something's missing here! For me, the 'funny noises' - the loping burpy bit and the keyboard squealy motif (or whatever) are the main melodies here.

    Of course, losing the intro would mean that nobody would have licensed THAT bit ... but all I'm trying to say is that, intro apart, the riff may have been the original framework for the song, but by the time the final version is done, it's evolved a lot since then - so much so that 3RG is not an ESSENTIAL part ... if Wire/EMI had insisted on its removal, then it would still have been a completely releasable, hummable tune.


    "Think about Bitter Sweet Symphony. That's essentially pinched from The Last Time (and they'd actually done some licensing, too). Presumably, you'd argue that the riff that makes up that song is also a "faint backing riff"?"

    Personally, I'd rather not think about Bittersweet Symphony or the Verve ever again. Apparently the melody is from Andrew Loog Oldham's orchestral Stones album or something, it isn't actually from the Rolling Stones' recording of The Last Time, but of course the ALO version would have been credited to Mick and Keith. This example is totally different, anyhow: that's the ONLY thing you can hear on this record. (I have only heard bits of it on the radio or TV or in public places, so apologies if there are actually any genuine Verve-bits on this.)

    If you wish to use the riff from Layla, be it on your own artistic conscience! Maybe if you used just four chords/notes (like Elastica) you might get away with it ... but if you used the WHOLE signature riff, which is rather longer, you might have big problems. I don't know! Obviously one's Wire fandom (and Elastica hatred: I sense a loathing of Connection in your post!) is a big influence here. I admitted I thought it was a disgrace when I first heard it. Now, I don't really think so. There's just too much else burying it (intro aside).

    Isn't there some legal decision regarding the number of notes one can safely 'borrow'? Or was that overturned?

    At the end of the day, Wire did get SOME recompense ... the fairness of the amount is another issue. And personally, I DO think Elastica should have cleared it with Wire, regardless of any legal obligations ... I am simply expressing what I hear (and please, no comments about getting my hearing sorted out!) and what seems to be legally actionable (from as much as I can remember from my studies over 20 years ago).

    I like Three Girl Rhumba ... and I like Connection, too. But which one is better? There's only one way to find out: FIGHT!

    (sorry, had to end on an upbeat note, I'm trying to placate several people at once here!)

    Your correspondent,
    hp
  7.  
    TO 7jlong

    "Might I suggest Everybody Loves A History, then, if you haven't read it? (though unfortunately with Wire in the news a lot lately used copies are fetching big money right now) "

    Sir, how dare you suggest I have not read ELAH! (joke!)

    Being an old fart, I did indeed get that book when it came out, and the little extra booklet, too!

    But thanks, anyway, for making the suggestion. I have all four Wire books, as it happens. Exploded Views isn't worth paying out a huge amount of money for, although it does of course include the four-song EP. Anyone know who (if anybody) holds the rights to this?
  8.  
    Interestingly, amazon.com (though not amazon.co.uk) have a "Look Inside!" feature for ELAH, though it's almost useless: you get the intro, Bruce's bio, and the discography. That's all.

    But I was under the impression that the publisher had to take an active interest to get the look inside feature going on one of their publications, though I could be wrong.

    hmm....
  9.  
    Craig

    We must stop meeting like this ...

    "How about recognising the fact that the Lester book is, clearly, offering a very specific take and one side on Wire?"

    Well, I really didn't get that at all ... I mean, it's hardly the best biog ever. There are errors and what not, but not really more than the standard piece of pop/rock writing. 'Babylon's Burning' by Clinton Heylin is the one to go for if you're looking for howlers. In his section on Husker Du he says that Flip Your Wig was the follow-up to Zen Arcade (it wasn't, in case HD mean nothing to you). In fact, the recent HD biog by (I forget his name) has some real howlers, too. So much so that I actually almost threw it across the room in disgust (I didn't, of course: I'm far too civilised for that).

    I'm not being rude by asking this question, but have you read Lester's book? I mean, it's really nowhere near as bad as it's been painted. It's just an OK biog, and with the benefit of some recent interviews. I don't think there's any particular 'take' in it. Really!


    "I've met all of the band at least a few times, but Colin is the only member of Wire I know well. He's about as far from 'money grabbing' as you can get, and he's hugely passionate about music, Wire and creativity. It strikes me that Lester must have seriously cherry-picked quotes for a book with an 'agenda' (as opposed to Kevin Eden, whose tome reflected the band members via their own words throughout), if you come out of it thinking Wire don't care for their work."

    OK ... but I am of course only going on what I have read. One has to give the person who publishes the interview the benefit of the doubt (I know you can't believe everything you read, but nobody would ever get through a paragraph if one was TOO doubting!). Then again, one must give the interviewee the benfit of the doubt, too.

    If Lester distorted or actually misquoted anybody, then that is of course completely wrong and actionable (although, of course, legal recourse is generally only available to the wealthy or the unbelievably strong/determined).

    Anything I've said is purely based on impressions I have received from interviews. If any of those interviews have been unfairly represented, then that is unforgiveable, and my opinions remain ever-changeable! Believe it or not, I actually set out to like people until I become aware of anything they have said or done (not necessarily to me) that conflicts with my personal values or approach to life. I readily admit to being extremely cynical and pessimistic, if a happy fellow deep down inside, but (without wishing to harp on about things) one's outlook is influenced by one's own experiences, and I've had some belters over the last few years.

    At the end of the day, I just wish I got more of a sense of JOY from the stuff I've read. I don't know if Lester had any agenda, and I don't think he did, but maybe he left out all the joy and just included the pain!

    I would, however, like to read something that gives a clear, accurate account of Wire's likes and dislikes in all forms of art: from TV food shows to, well, food! And what are their impressions of other countries and their cultures? I am actually genuinely interested in this sort of thing ... after all, they made some of my favourite records, so they must have something interesting to say. Yes, I am a Smash Hits reader at heart! (Aah, such simpler times ... )

    Maybe Wire could put together a big diary-style picture book full of tour pics and happy smiles in front of the Colisseum, the Statue of Liberty and in the middle of Tokyo ... from 77 to the present. Now THAT I would genuinely LOVE to get!

    Now unless someone calls me a bumbag or something, I hope to steer clear of any such matter in future ...

    cheeriebye
    hp
  10.  
    Just wanted to add: if anybody had caught me ten years ago, I'd have been like a completely different person! Saw Wire at the RFH, Garage and Flag: Burning and was almost delirious with delight. SEND was (and is) a thing of wonder to me. I'm a bit peeved that Wire later described the music as 'moronic', as I tend to consider myself 'not a moron', but no matter: I like it, so there! (Bands never know what their best stuff is, anyway!)

    Without doubt three of the best shows I have been to, and in fact the last times I saw Wire. At least I had a good seat for Flag: Burning - front row, just left of centre ... woo-hoo!
  11.  
    Ehm, all this does not have too much to do with the "Second Wave Bootleg Series", does it ? :)
    Maybe this forum also needs a chat...where people can argue endlessly on their favourite topic and those not interested can simply log off..
  12.  
    With apologies to Biccio,

    When the band described 'Send' as Moronic they didn't mean it as a criticism, nor did they mean that liking it means you're a Moron!
  13.  
    no need for apologies..i couldn't really follow anymore what this actually is about so i've kind of logged off on this topic :)
  14.  
    To repeat other sentiments, I'm not sure I'd be up for another 9-show bootleg set in the current format (70s, 80s, Send-era). Selected shows of spectacular interest might be of more value at this point - though I'd be willing to commit to perhaps 3 shows in advance? 4?

    Quite honestly I'd forgo any further bootleg series if it meant that other projects that were mentioned fleetingly on these boards were pursued instead: A-Z reissue, Vox Pop?, 27#11, more Githead (I like each successive release more than the last), more new Wire, Mute-era archeology (is there much more besides the Coatings material?), EMI odds n sods, etc.

    But, to put in a few more votes (if anyone's counting):

    - a Manscape or Wir-era show (as was mentioned, that Exploded Views disc has pretty good sound - anyone know if there's more?)

    - an Object 47 tour show

    - what the hey, a RBT show would be great too

    Perhaps that's a good way to go? Now that there's 3 new sets of 70s/80s/00 to Send-era, a 3-show set of 90s, O47, RBT?

    Other good suggestions have been put forth, but I'd be in for the above in a heartbeat. Or, well, anything. Especially if the live Follow The Locust that I believe I recall hearing good things about surfaced...
  15.  
    Other than the one on 01 Dec 1987 The Town & Country, London (PFB 803)?
  16.  
    Well whaddya know about that?

    All my file-wrangling between the zip archive, the FLAC files, into Lossless and on to iTunes lost not just that but a few other tracks as well! Dammit!

    Thanks for the heads-up - suddenly, more Wire! Woohoo!
  17.  
    R Swimmer said: "When the band described 'Send' as Moronic they didn't mean it as a criticism, nor did they mean that liking it means you're a Moron!"

    Wasn't the full description/context something like "Wire makes moronic music, but in a clever way"? Hardly an insult.
  18.  
    A suggestion:

    Since Wire are in possession of a bunch of boots, what's the feasibility of just sticking them up as is, with no work done on them at all, maybe even in one big file with no track splits ... and charging a nominal fee of 2 or 3 quid to download, to cover any additional fees incurred by hosting the files?

    I have no idea what the costs or practicalities might be, so this is just an off-the-top-of-my-head suggestion. Maybe a different one each month? Then anyone who wants them could grab them and do whatever they like as regards editing, track indexing, burning, making artwork, etc.

    Of course, this involves time and effort and might therefore be impractical, but who knows ... kind of like a digital return to the days of Camden Market tape stalls, but with the band's blessing!

    hp
  19.  
    hippriest: "Sir, how dare you suggest I have not read ELAH! (joke!) Being an old fart, I did indeed get that book when it came out, and the little extra booklet, too!"

    Wow, what little extra booklet? My copy didn't have that!
  20.  
    Interested as to what this little booklet was too!