Richard Cheesed off with Star 'Loungin' spot - "THIS shall not go unpunished. CRIKEY!!!", vows the U.S. musician and comedian on Facebook

Thumbnail image for Screen shot 2012-05-07 at 8.16.46 AM.jpgScreen shot 2012-05-09 at 8.44.51 AM.jpgScreen shot 2012-05-10 at 10.52.16 AM.jpgCB Exclusive - "WTF. WTF??????? WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a commercial for some casino in Australia, and they RIPPED OFF my "Welcome To The Jungle" arrangement!!!!!!!!!!! YOU SHONKY RATBAGS!!! I'll tell you right now, THIS shall not go unpunished. CRIKEY!!!"

So says Mark Jonathan Davis (left centre), known by his stage name Richard Cheese, the American musician and comedian, on his Facebook page overnight, reacting to seeing the latest 'There will be Stories' spot for The Star, created by The Monkeys, Sydney.

CB POLL: Do you think the music arrangement on The Star spot is too close to the Richard Cheese arrangement? VOTE HERE 
Screen shot 2012-05-09 at 9.38.39 AM.jpgSo far, there are 54 comments in reply to his post, including "there will be karma...", "Looks like they might be funding your next album!" and "Bollocks! Don't stop until you OWN that casino!"

Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine performs popular songs in a lounge/swing style reminiscent of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Tony Bennett.



Arrange this said:

Cry me a river, Cheese.

Axl, Slash n Duff said:

But you guys ripped off MY Gunners song! :'(

Oh well. Just goes to show there are no ideas, just old ideas mashed together.

Like Girl Talk.

Men at work says said:

Based on the intro to the piece alone he has a case.

What cheeses cheese off said:

"Original music: Guns 'n' Roses 'Welcome to the Jungle'
Arrangement: Sonar Music/ Michael Lira
Producer: Karina
Sound Design: Simon Kane"

Just pay the man said:

Like, they didn't even approach the guy? Really? If not, that has a gorgonzola stench about it.

On first listen I thought it was the Richard Cheese music and that the Monkeys must have paid him for the rights to his music and style.

I'm not a music rights expert by any stretch, but I reckon Richard Cheese should be rewarded for what is basically his interpretation of the song being used in the ad.

lou reed said:

Oh no, not again...

Judge said:

"And the award for best reuse of an existing track goes to..........."

Nothing wrong with that as long as you give the guy credit and couple of bucks..

please, cheese... said:

This song has been re-recorded so many times. If Guns n Roses were paid - he has nothing to complain about.

c'mon... said:

So a guy who has made his career re-recording other people's music - is now pissed someone has also done a lounge version of a song he did?


AA said:

They were better when they were drunk

Curious said:

I wonder who's responsible for this mess. The director the creatives?

The obvious said:

So a guy who has built his career on covering originals is annoyed that someone else has covered an original. I don't see the problem.

Hmmm said:

Everybody bow down for the genius that rearranged another musician's song! Give me a break.

c'mon... said:

So every Elvis impersonator now should be paid royalties for any Elvis song used?
C'mon. If Guns n Roses were paid, this is a non story.

More obvious said:

Why didn't they just use Richard Cheese in the tv spot to begin with?

Nobody knows who that piano dude is anyway, even if he is a genuine lounge lizard or just an actor cast in the role. Featuring the original arranger of the song would've been a nice touch.

QC said:

@ The Obvious - is that your take on the legal issue or the ethical one?

@ Hmmm - ditto

That's funny said:

Dick Cheese. Ha ha.

IPR said:

It's not simply that the Monkeys stole Richard Cheese's arrangement without crediting his completely original take on the GNR rock standard, and recreated it practically note for note, sound for sound, the intro to the finish with their partners at Sonic, but more importantly that the WHOLE IDEA for the commercial, a 'cheesy' Vegas style lounge act doing a version of the Guns N Roses song in a casino is directly ripped from Richard Cheese's act and his recording of the same.

From concept to completion, this 'creative' effort is taken directly from the work of another, and because we live at the edge of the world, presumably, and no one will really care about the legal rights, or the ethical rights of a performer who does his wildly interpreted covers of work from other genres of music and makes them fit for his lounge act, then the Monkeys and their partners seem to think that this guy is fair game.

The word 'creative' is perverted enough in the ad business as it is, but this effort, and the repeated performance along these lines from this agency particularly, helps take the definition once again to a new low.

Just give the guy his credit for your idea, and pay him a small percentage of what the 'creative' team got for their contribution to finding him on You Tube.

Living the brand said:

There will be stories...
and excuses.

Referencing said:

These kind of stuff is never good, welcome news for anyone involved. We all know that 'referencing' is the stuff that ads are made off since forever, however, with the world being as small as it is nowadays, doing something like this without thinking of the legal repercussions is frankly, irresponsible. Heads will roll. And it's a pity. Is just a bloody messy distraction.

Swingin' Jazz said:

There's bound to be some tap-dancing happening over at Redfern today.

confused us say said:

monkey see...monkey do

Deja Vu said:

To quote the best comment on the blog of last year:
'Monkey see, Monkey do'.

The Doctor said:

Looks like Sonar are about to have Dick Cheese all over them.

question said:

could this entire thing be staged? additional publicity ?

C'mon said:

As if this is true. C'mon guys, lighten up. It's part of the campaign, blah, blah, blah.

credit where it's due said:

The musical arrangement is a big part of the idea. Give the guy credit and the $ he deserves.

the observationalist said:

one way or another, planned or payback, Mr Cheese will be coming to Star City.

just not sure i would believe the press release claiming it was all part of the idea.

Hahahahahaha said:

I just figured out the 'Dick Cheese' gag. Awesome.

Molly Meldrum said:

Wouldn't be staged.

Unless the local music people like to have their reputation trashed.

HA said:

Monkey see, MIcah re-do

It's the mabo said:

Aussie courts aren't the best place to have these battles.....

same speech said:

Justin - just use the same speech. Last paragraph is good. It will tell them to shut up.

Justin Drape said:
Thanks for all of your interest in the Ship Song Project. Here are a few facts and points to consider:

The brief that we received for the pitch April 2010 was to open up ‘The House’ for all to enjoy. Everybody is familiar with the stunning exterior of the building (it’s a masterpiece) but they should also come inside and experience the diverse range of talented artists who perform there. That’s a brief summary.

The idea we presented was to take viewers on a voyeuristic journey through The House to experience what an employee might see if they walked past the various rehearsal rooms, concert halls, corridors and stages.

This idea won the pitch.

The idea was inspired by a 2002 film called the Russian Ark – an extraordinary one-take film completed as a tribute to Russian history and the Hermitage Museum. Have a look at the trailer here

Initially, we were hoping to capture the story in one shot but, as you can imagine, it would be an almost impossible logistical nightmare to orchestrate this with the calibre of artists we had in mind and their limited availability.

Noah’s idea to use Nick Cave’s immortal ballad as the audio narrative that also acts as both a tribute and an invite to all was a masterstroke.

When Nick Cave said he liked the idea and gave us permission to have other artists reinterpret his song, the entire team were thankful, stoked, and relieved.

We all know, and love, the BBC spot but we think the story of our protagonist and the way she takes you on a tour of her workplace is a different story. An ensemble of artists singing one song has been done before on several occasions. BBC, I Still Call Australia Home, We Are The World, Feed The World and Let Them know it’s Christmas time, etc etc. This is an execution device that we’ve used, not the idea itself.

The backstage or workplace tour thing has been done a few times before too, but not the way we did it. Here’s just one example.

July 2011.

Nick Cave approved, and apparently loves, the execution.

In the first 24 hours after launch the Ship Song Project was shared by 1.3 million Facebook users alone.

The song is currently no. 34 on the itunes pop chart.

It has been trending on Twitter and Youtube.

The project has been covered by almost every major news channel in the country.

The entire team at The Opera House, the artists involved, the production team, and and the agency are happy with and proud of the project.

At the agency we’ve been moved and are thankful for the kind words coming in from around the world and we all feel privileged to have been able to work with such a talented and inspiring bunch of people.

It was called a ‘project’ because it includes a song arrangement, a short film/music video/ad, posters, a making of documentary featuring interviews with the artists and there are more components to come. You can watch the doco here.

Hope that clarifies a few things.

Everybody’s entitled to their opinion, but anonymous opinions and pseudonyms are meaningless.

Finally, here’s an interesting take on originality from a truly original director.

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”
— Jim Jarmusch

Cheers, J

Credit where credits due said:

I liked this ad until I saw this post. At least credit the guy as creative inspiration!

Paul Langmack said:

Clients are so stupid these days that not only do they need a piece of paper from a research company to tell them if an idea/ad is going to be good, but they always need some kind of reference to be shown to explain an idea or a technique to them so they 'get it', and make them feel comfortable that it's achievable. I know what they were shown in this case...

Caught said:

Yet another rip off. It's the industry.

rabbitinyourhattrick said:

So Richard Cheese is going to pay Frank Bennett for his eerily similar arrangement of "Creep" (release 1996, RC's release 2006)? Is the bank balance really running so low, that he has to resort to this? Pathetic.

Frank Bennett's "Creep"1996

And Dick Cheese's "Creep" 2006

mickey said:

Fank Bennet performs an ammusing lounge arrangement of radioheads' "creep"

Richard Cheese performs an ammusing lounge arrangement of radioheads' "creep"

ooops.. poor dick

Frank Bennett said:

Is this a dead thread yet?... I made two albums of incongruously rearranged tunes in the 90s and received no mechanical royalties. It would've been nice to cream something, considering the degree of 'intellectual property' they contain. Hard cheese they'll say. Anyhow, I've always been grateful to Mike Flowers for not claiming I ripped off his act...Obviously concurrent conceptions do happen. I notice old mate Signore Cheese has reworked some of the tunes that I'd already given the treatment to years before... I'll consider it an Homage a la' Fromage!

Dubious said:

First the Ship Song, now this.

If it's unlucky coincidence, the Monkeys need to do more thorough 'has it been done?' tests.

If it's a conscious rip off, then being 'outed' is the best thing that could have happened as surely it'll stop them doing it again.

Doug Watson said:

Let's just call it homage.

Big deal said:

So it was ripped off of a song that was ripped off from a song?

So what - still a great ad. Jog along, nothing to see here.

Hey Doug said:

Why don't we just call it a fromage.

Big deal, you're an idiot said:

Richard Cheese didn't rip anyone off. He's a fairly well known artist, famous for reinterpreting original songs in his own, inimitable style and crediting the original artists for their original writing.

These guys lifted Richard Cheese's interpretation note for note and didn't credit anyone but themselves.

Spot the difference?

People please, enough... said:

If you're experienced in this industry you will know that you cannot claim an arrangement of a work if it is still in copyright, all royalties are paid to the original composer(s).

Bored said:

Oh wow! Surprise, surprise. The Australian Ad Industry and Campaign Brief have managed to find a way to attack another nice piece of work out of this market. Is it truly impossible for the Australian Ad Industry to support each other?! It's boring. The US and the UK would never suffer this shit. It's tall poppy syndrome and it is one of the worst things about this industry. I challenge all those negative comments to show their latest 'brilliant' work.

Spin Dr. said:

@4:59 and 5:15

Cheese's arrangement of the Radiohead tune is miles different from Bennett's, different tempo, different orchestration, while the Sonic arrangement of GNR is pitch perfect to Cheese's, not to mention that Cheese didn't perform his arrangement of 'Creep' for an ad campaign paid for by a well-heeled client, nor try to pass it off as his sole creative work and take a large check for the efforts that were supposed to have been an original idea.

You're comparing apples and orangutans, and the desperation smacks of spin from the Monkeys.

I'm with question said:

Perhaps this is just the first of the 'stories'. If so, very clever boys.

barrie unsworth said:

do people in marketing not read newspapers.

surely the issue is not whether the Roquefort Cheese was original or not, but rather a comms strategy based upon “stories will be told”

there have been enough real “stories” in newspapers that threaten the gambling license of hundreds of millions..... and the comms strategy is to............. reinforce the moral licentiousness.


f me. comms in context is 101

Hmmm said:

Seriously... Haters. Fuck off this is awesome! I I've everything about it. Direction included. But then again, I have taste. The best, freshest thing on tv since Pure Waters.

Hungry Harry said:

There's already a remix on YouTube, too:

'Welcome to the Jungle' (Richard Cheese vs. Star Casino)

len said:

10.04, is that you micah?

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