Wednesday, February 10th 2010
News: The White Stripes
Imagine that, a high-profile musician not wanting to provide the soundtrack for the deceitful recruitment of our brothers and sisters into the grinding war machine of the U.S. government.
The jingle musician who scored the Air Force Reserve’s Super Bowl commercial that sounds nearly identical to the White Stripes’ Fell In Love With A Girl has taken full responsibility for the plagiarism. Which would be honorable, if it weren’t for the fact that he claims any resemblance between the two songs is pure coincidence.
“I’m sorry it sounds the same. It wasn’t my intention, truly, truly, truly,” composer Kem Kraft told the New York Times, adding that if the White Stripes “want to call me and talk to me, as far as I’m concerned, I’m responsible for this. Just me.”
The White Stripes and their management have threatened legal action over the commercial, which was removed from the Air Force Reserve Website once the controversy began to spread. The band posted the following statement on their label Third Man Records’ site Monday night:
“We believe our song was re-recorded and used without permission of the White Stripes, our publishers, label or management.
The White Stripes take strong insult and objection to the Air Force Reserve presenting this advertisement with the implication that we licensed one of our songs to encourage recruitment during a war that we do not support.
The White Stripes support this nation’s military, at home and during times when our country needs and depends on them. We simply don’t want to be a cog in the wheel of the current conflict, and hope for a safe and speedy return home for our troops.
We have not licensed this song to the Air Force Reserve and plan to take strong action to stop the ad containing this music.”
Kraft told the NYT that he submitted three high-energy pieces of music to the producers of the ad, which makes joining the military seem like an extreme-sports getaway and makes no mention of choking on sand for months on end while being made to take part in the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, only to be short-changed on therapy and rehabilitation when they return home. The producers told Kraft to “beef it up, make the drums stronger and put on an echo guitar” on the track in question. Which, in military terms, evidently means “copy Jack White directly, and use a guitar solo for the vocal melody.”
Fast Forward Productions’ Mike Lee, whose company produced the ad, says he never heard Fell in Love with a Girl. He told the Times, “I wasn’t familiar with the White Stripes song. I’ve heard of the White Stripes but I’m not a listener of theirs. I had no idea there was similarity until after the fact.”
In a statement yesterday, the Air Force Reserve reiterated the claim, saying, “There was never any intention to utilize any existing music or to sound like any music by the band White Stripes or any other musical performer. Any similarity or likeness to any other music is completely unintentional.”
This story would’ve been so much cooler if the song in question was Seven Nation Army, or if the real culprit were Jason Stollsteimer.