Representatives for Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck have said the duo will review allegations they stole lyrics from a poem on their collaborative album ’18’.
The poem Hobo featured in a 1974 book about toasts, Get Your Ass In The Water And Swim Like Me, by Bruce Jackson, reports Rolling Stone.
It revolves around a man named Slim Wilson who also vocalised the poem and featured the following lyrics: “Ladies of culture and beauty so refined, is there one among you that would grant me wine?/ I’m raggedy I know, but I have no stink/ And God bless the lady that’ll buy me a drink/ Heavy-hipted Hattie turned to Nadine with a laugh/ And said, ‘What that funky motherfucker really need, child, is a bath.”
Depp and Beck’s collaboration ‘Sad Motherfuckin’ Parade’ has allegedly pulled a number of lines from the poem including: “I’m raggedy, I know, but I have no stink,” “God bless the lady that’ll buy me a drink,” and “What that funky motherfucker really needs, child, is a bath.”
Jackson claims that he hasn’t been credited by Depp or Beck.
Now, a spokesperson for Depp and Beck said: “We are reviewing the inquiry relating to the song Sad Motherfuckin’ Parade on the 18 album by Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp. If appropriate, additional copyright credits will be added to all forms of the album.”
Jackson told Rolling Stone: “The only two lines I could find in the whole piece that [Depp and Beck] contributed are ‘Big time motherfucker’ and ‘Bust it down to my level’. Everything else is from Slim’s performance in my book.
“I’ve never encountered anything like this. I’ve been publishing stuff for 50 years, and this is the first time anybody has just ripped something off and put his own name on it.”
Jackson’s son, Michael Lee Jackson added that he was looking into possible legal options, but stressed that a lawsuit hadn’t been filed. But he claimed that the current credits on ‘Sad Motherfuckin’ Parade’ are incorrect.
“They do not reflect the actual authorship of those lyrics,” he said. “It’s just not plausible, in my opinion, that Johnny Depp or anybody else could have sat down and crafted those lyrics without almost wholly taking them from some version of my father’s recording and/or book where they appeared.”
Depp made headlines on May 29 when he made a surprise appearance at Beck’s show in Sheffield. He went on to join Beck on stage at a handful of other gigs despite awaiting the verdict in his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard at the time.
The pair then announced their collaborative album which was released on July 15 after three years of recording.