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Questo of The Roots
January 26, 2010 7:29 AM   Subscribe

"THE MOST HILLLLLARIOUS of them all (and yeah ill mention the rate cause that is ridiculous) has to be chuck berry who i believe has the highest rate charge for "johnny b good" in which i think in between chokes and laughter i was told he wanted $1.75 million." ?uestlove explains the economics of walk-on music, public performance fees and the music industry as a whole.

"(back in 2004 the roots utilized the jackson owned "everybody is a star" by sly and the family stone and it was a surprisingly easy business deal not uber cheap but hardly the rate i thought it would be, which THEN led me to believe that all the songs in the ATV publishing cannon that he owns with sony was having some sort of fire sale in order to generate some much needed loot.---but since he died ALL of the publishing jackson owns: beatles, sly, elvis...and a gazillion others has tripled in value."
posted by geoff. (46 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
every SECOND of the following week is planned from commercials to the amount of time we will spread out the 145 "single ladies" for the next 7 days

made me chuckle.
but really, "supertweet?" "twitlonger?" sigh.
posted by jckll at 7:34 AM on January 26, 2010


The most amazing thing to me about this was discovering that apparently The Roots never practiced.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:37 AM on January 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


Gah. Made my head hurt to read this. Supertweet indeed.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 7:38 AM on January 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I want a version of the Jimmy Fallon show that excises the Fallon parts.
posted by box at 7:39 AM on January 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


?uestlove is one of the few people who is not a valid regex of themselves
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:42 AM on January 26, 2010 [25 favorites]


Haiti lies in ruins, the US middle class is howling in pain, poverty is tearing the country apart, people all around us are losing their homes, and Conan is using ten seconds of music that costs 500 grand. Awesome.
posted by nevercalm at 7:49 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Supertweet"... a.k.a. "a blog entry".

Still, interesting stuff I didn't know before.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:54 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I assume the high rates for Berry and Timberlake are aimed more at preventing their songs from being used all over the place and being culturally devalued or associated with things beyond their control/approval than making money.
posted by mpbx at 7:55 AM on January 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


This post has confirmed two of my suppositions going in:
a. That ?uestlove is a sharp, funny guy
b. That Justin Timberlake is an overrated prat

Oh, also: That Chuck Berry is nuts. (But we all knew that already.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 7:57 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


preventing their songs from being used all over the place and being culturally devalued or associated with things beyond their control/approval than making money

You are a generous soul.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:58 AM on January 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Seems Chuckie has a thing for swing sets.
posted by stormpooper at 8:03 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


In Chuck Berry's defense, it costs a lot of money to spy on women in bathrooms.
posted by klangklangston at 8:05 AM on January 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


[from stormpooper's link] Some of Berry's video experiments received wide public exposure.

Not wide enough. Internet?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:06 AM on January 26, 2010


?uestlove does indeed come off as a cool sounding guy, and I love that The Roots are the house band on Jimmy Fallon, but it seems that the basic facts of the post are not right.

This post from an IP lawyer points out that the "public performance" of Lovely Rita would be covered by a blanket license with EMI, and NBC would really be negotiating the fee mostly for subsequent broadcast or digital distribution. She guessed about $10,000 all in. This one from a NYT blog says that snippits from actual recordings of songs are really expensive in film or commercials, but that a cover played by Max and the band would not require "major money."
posted by AgentRocket at 8:13 AM on January 26, 2010


The Twitlonger is Professor Farnsworth's best invention, for what it's worth.
posted by Servo5678 at 8:18 AM on January 26, 2010 [10 favorites]


Chuck Berry is like a whole year long university honors class in himself. If not for Jim Crow, he'd have been the president of america since at least 1970, no term limits, no nuthin'. He has Tha Powa'.

ps I loved this post. who the fuck is Jimmy Fallon though?
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:19 AM on January 26, 2010


$500k? Don't they know they can just download it on soulseek for FREE?
posted by Theta States at 8:30 AM on January 26, 2010


I too love ?uestlove, but his fact checker has taken a hiatus, or his cultural memory is a little hazy for the analog era. Carson often had Severinsen (or Tommy Newsome or in the waayback machine Skitch Henderson) play theme music for whover walked on. Often it was that guest's own theme--Bob Hope=Thanks for the Memories and so on, but going back to the Tonight Show Urspring, Steve Allen--who was for his day the quick-witted musical equal of ?uest, and he hosted the freaking show--there has been walk-on theme music as long as there has been the late night talk show genre. Paul Shaffer, indeed!
posted by beelzbubba at 8:32 AM on January 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


There is interesting stuff here, but hell, you can take the time to write this all out, but it's too much work to use basic capitalization and consistent punctuation?

Stuff like this is irritating but understandable when typed from a phone and in under 140 characters, but it becomes nearly unreadable in when done long form.
posted by quin at 8:42 AM on January 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


?uestlove does indeed come off as a cool sounding guy, and I love that The Roots are the house band on Jimmy Fallon, but it seems that the basic facts of the post are not right.

Why let facts get in the way of a perfectly good FPP? CoCo giving a half-million dollar flip off to NBC is 50 times better than a 10K one, no?
posted by fixedgear at 8:47 AM on January 26, 2010


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: ?uestlove is one of the few people who is not a valid regex of themselves

At least he doesn't cause a syntax error when you try, unlike some people.
posted by Riki tiki at 8:51 AM on January 26, 2010


If you believe this, you probably also believed the story that Conan spent $1.5M for the Bugatti Veyron last week, even though he didn't and went so far as to tell people on the final show that all of those "spending NBC's dime" stunts were, you know, jokes.
posted by briank at 8:53 AM on January 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seems to me, with this internet thingy, couldn't we find a way to cut out the record companies and the money-making middlemen? If you can make professional grade music with your own computer and equipment these days and then market and sell it yourself through your own website, then why sell the rights to anyone else?
posted by dmand7 at 9:02 AM on January 26, 2010


Riki tiki - I love that guy. He's really a special character.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:02 AM on January 26, 2010


"If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'."
posted by stenseng at 9:17 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


That guy's a supertweet. Supertweet.

He's supertweeting.
posted by The Bellman at 9:29 AM on January 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


?uestlove is a pretty outstanding dude to read stuff from. I followed his regular twitter for a while, because I came across this one really sharp observation he made that got reposted in some other blog, but after following it for a few months I realized the overwhelming number of tweets he made were basically indistinguishable from the tweets of a 13 year old girl. For every tweet that was along the lines of "tip for struggling musicians. do [x thing amounting to very hard work.]" there were 100 that were basically "LOL KANYE WHUT?!111" it just stopped being worth it to follow, which, hey, it's his twitter, go him I guess.

but when he really sits down to drop some knowledge it's amazing. I'm reminded of Dave Chappelle's Block Party, where Chappelle is in some furniture warehouse improv-ing on Monk's Round Midnight, and it's cut with ?uestlove in the studio talking about how some musicians spend their whole lives learning to play well enough that they can work with something like Round Midnight, and they can play tons of other stuff, too. And how some people spend their lives getting really good at something else (cut to chappelle talking about the relationship between music and comedy, because they're both about timing or rhythm) but they can dabble a bit in jazz. And how chappelle is like that, except all he did was learn to play Round Midnight, and he played it exclusively and so well that he now plays Round Midnight as well as anybody in the world, but he couldn't play chopsticks if you asked him to. (cut to chappelle, "and it goes the other way, too. I'm a comedian who can play Round Midnight. And Mos Def is a musician who thinks he's funny.")

anyway, it was a revealing and fascinating moment and Quest's insight was particularly interesting. So ... rambling... fuck... anyway, yeah. He's a sharp dude. I'm glad when he writes stuff like this, I guess is the point. fuck.
posted by shmegegge at 9:37 AM on January 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


Great, Bellman, just great. Now how much is that going to cost us?
posted by caution live frogs at 9:41 AM on January 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Minor point (about a song in a minor key), but if you can only play one song, you cannot play it better than anyone in the world. This applies exponentially to a jazz song.
posted by kozad at 10:02 AM on January 26, 2010


oh chill. i'm paraphrasing a quote I half-remember from a guy speaking nonchalantly about a friend playing piano. the point is that chappelle plays the song very well, but only that song. damn.
posted by shmegegge at 10:13 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of the (very few) entertaining aspects of watching reality TV show Big Brother is hearing an executive producer ask the "house guests" to "please stop singing." CBS is terrified of having to pay for song rights. Just three whistled notes invokes the (taped) wrath of the producers.
posted by mrhappy at 10:15 AM on January 26, 2010


I assume the high rates for Berry and Timberlake are aimed more at preventing their songs from being used all over the place and being culturally devalued or associated with things beyond their control/approval than making money.

Except they're cultural icons unto themselves, who have the cultural "credit" to back their ridiculously high fees.

"Supertweet"... a.k.a. "a blog entry".

Ahem, yes. Except blogs are for nerds, while everyone is twittering! LOLOLOL!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:47 AM on January 26, 2010


In other news, nevercalm, someone's always suffering somewhere.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:54 AM on January 26, 2010


Not surprised to hear that Springsteen charges top dollar for use of his music (usually). When Peter Bogdanovich made Mask, he originally planned to use the Boss' music, because that's what the real Rocky Dennis listened to, but Springsteen wanted $1 million; they eventually ended up using Bob Seger's music, which they got for about half that, even though Rocky's mom protested. (IMDb says that Bodganovich claimed to have finally gotten the rights to use Springsteen's songs in the film and would re-release it with the original score that he'd wanted; don't know if that actually happened.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:00 AM on January 26, 2010


Chuck Berry should be able to levy a tax on every musician who played or recorded any rock or R&B in the last 50 years just for the privilege of having benefited from his pioneering.
posted by blucevalo at 11:28 AM on January 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I want a version of the Jimmy Fallon show that excises the Fallon parts.

I've never understood why he's so hated. The comedy bits on the show are pretty funny. The goofing off with the major guest every night, from Beer Pong to Laser Tag are more entertaining than anything short of Conan's old "Secrets" bits. The monologue has a couple of good jokes every night, and a few groaners. Same as Conan. He apparently works pretty damn hard at this comedy stuff, since he appears to be well respected in those circles. He's a bit of a geek, big plus in my book.

His interviews aren't usually all that interesting, but with DVR, that's easy to deal with. That 30 second skip button almost presses itself!
posted by DigDoug at 11:36 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


All that said, the best part of the show is The Roots. I enjoy the skits they do, and the walk on music is very often entertaining. And "Jammin' with The Roots" should be stolen by all late night shows.

(my kingdom for an edit button!)
posted by DigDoug at 11:38 AM on January 26, 2010


Chuck Berry should be able to levy a tax on every musician who played or recorded any rock or R&B in the last 50 years just for the privilege of having benefited from his pioneering.

For sure. Lord knows the man has his personal failing, but I'm pretty inclined to give an 80 year old man a pass on charging whatever the hell he wants to use his music.
posted by Copronymus at 1:07 PM on January 26, 2010


You guys mean (the estate of) Johnnie Johnson should get a piece of that Chuck Berry action, too, right?
posted by fixedgear at 1:38 PM on January 26, 2010


Chuck Berry is a fucking hack. He owes his entire sound to Marty McFly.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:44 PM on January 26, 2010 [11 favorites]


Illiterate, but I got the basic idea. songs cost money. some cost more than others. some cost a ridiculous amount.
posted by cogneuro at 3:56 PM on January 26, 2010


I want a version of the Jimmy Fallon show that excises the Fallon parts.

I've never understood why he's so hated.


Anyone still hating on him watched during the first month and never tuned back in. He kind of got thrown in the deep end, both him and his entire staff (except for the Roots who have been doing what they're doing for decades), and it took them a while to learn to not to drown, then to tread water, and finally to swim with elegance. They still aren't doing any fancy porpoise leaps out of the water, backflips or anything... But once in a while they manage a kind of well-scoring platform dive... His interviews have a much more casual feel than most, and while he's a tad sycophantic, I can totally get behind that at times.

I mean, a couple of weeks ago, he got to sing "With A Little Help From My Friends" with Ringo Starr. And he's performed more than once with the Muppets (including a hilarious moment with Lawrence Fishburn discussing prostate exams with Elmo). He's totally doing what I would be doing if I were in his place -- having a blast and striving to be mostly entertaining while doing it. I expect by the time his first year has finished, he'll have smoothened out even more, and given another couple of years, he'll be pretty brilliant.

And I love his mixologist segments. A lemon herbal tea sweetened with agave necter and mixed with tequilla, served hot? That's just awesome.
posted by hippybear at 4:03 PM on January 26, 2010


I've never understood why he's so hated.

he laughed throughout the cowbell sketch.
posted by any major dude at 4:55 PM on January 26, 2010


I had ?uestlove in my twitter stream for a while but the dude is prolific, in a bad way.

?uality over ?uantity, k? tia.
posted by bardic at 5:37 PM on January 26, 2010


he laughed throughout the cowbell sketch every sketch he was in.

and it's totally possible that the fallon haters are people who haven't seen the shown since its first month. that's certainly all I saw of it. additionally, I pretty much decided not to watch it because, thanks to having seen too much of him on SNL, I knew he wasn't funny and didn't deserve a show. If he's proved me wrong, then more power to him and maybe I'll tune in again at some point. Good tv's good tv, after all.

honestly, I think Lorne Michaels should hire someone like Fallon to be in every cast of SNL he puts up. Laughter being contagious, seeing a cast member crack up actually helps the audience enjoy a sketch more. If we were to read a script for the cowbell sketch, or had seen it performed first without fallon cracking up, chances are it'd be as forgotten as the rest of that cast's material.
posted by shmegegge at 7:18 PM on January 26, 2010


one day i gave my last minute clearance list in before a show only to be told mid show i couldn't use "cry me a river" for joan rivers because justin timberlake charged an enormous rate. i "think" he is the only non dead/non rock and roll hall of famer to charge this strange rate....which kills me because the second we get any Richard on the show i wont even be allowed to do "Dick In A Box"---unless we pay the rate.

I would have assumed that the Lonley island or maybe even lorne michaels would hold the DIB rights.
posted by djduckie at 7:56 AM on January 27, 2010


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