Oh, David Byrne, you got what I need, and it’s not those overalls. The Talking Heads frontman attended a benefit held by the Content Creators Coalition in New York City earlier this week, and to make a point about artists not getting paid for their work, he adorably covered Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend.” Why?
“Mr. Markie didn’t write that tune (although he did probably write the rap),” Byrne wrote in his newsletter before the show. “The drum and keyboard loop was lifted from a Freddie Scott recording, but the song was written by Gamble and Huff, the great songwriting team that wrote for the O’Jays and the Spinners. So chances are Biz Markie didn’t see any royalties from all the radio play that song got.”
There’s a serious message behind the novelty, as the CCC is petitioning Congress to change royalty laws concerning radio airplay. “The United States has the unfortunate distinction of being the only democratic country in the world whose artists and musicians receive no pay for the terrestrial radio airplay of their music,” states the petition. “The short list of countries that share the United States’ position on this issue includes: Iran, North Korea, China, Vietnam, and Rwanda.” (Via)
Though, to be fair, they don’t let you wear big-ass suits in Rwanda.