Song Of The Day 9/19/2014: Ponderosa Twins Plus One - "Bound"

Hip Hop Samples: The Ponderosa Twins Plus One were comprised of two sets of identical twins, plus a stray single kid named Ricky Spicer. They came from Cleveland and put out a total of three singles, distributed in the early '70s by eventual hip hop matriarch Sylvia Robinson on "Astroscope Records." Spicer sang lead on the original, and claims to have been twelve years old at the time. PT+1 was formed in the sudden outgrowth of family bands in the early '70s, and Spicer's attorney claimed that he was "their Michael Jackson," which is too easy. Everybody I know has been someone's Michael Jackson. So few have been someone's Bill Cowsill. I think we're a poorer society because of it.

Oh, by the way, this is why I quoted Spicer's attorney: Culture vultures will recognize "Bound" immediately as the source for Kanye West's "Bound 2," which was partnered with arguably the most TMI music video ever made (that is until Franco & Rogan offered their Yay-approved quickie tribute). Unfortunately Spicer's none too happy about West using his song as a sample, not because of the dangerously erotic motorcycle escapades depicted in the promo clip, but because he says he owns the copyright for "Bound" and was never approached about using it in a song. Then Spicer sued Vogue magazine, because they did a behind-the-scenes video for Kanye & Kim's wedding and used "Bound 2" as the backdrop music.

Listen, I'm no lawyer -- which is always a cue for  someone to say something that sounds like they think they know something about the law but not enough to be authoritative and too much to keep his fatuous trap shut -- but something seems off to me, because in addition to not being a lawyer, I used to watch Columbo. Not being involved in this case at all (yet) I have the right to my own opinion*, and what bugs me is the notion that someone who was 12 years old at the time of recording a song -- which he didn't write -- has nonetheless obtained and kept the copyright and all the licensing since the song came out. I suppose there's a chance he does all that, but my guess is that nobody knows who really owns the rights. It wasn't a hit. Probably nobody outside the family heard it until West dragged it out. This guy's been monitoring his ownership of the copyright for over 40 years? Really?

I would also find it hard to believe that West's people didn't thoroughly check this out. I don't know. I wasn't there. I was roasting the golden leaf with James Franco and Seth Rogan. Then we remade the "Single Ladies" video.

*By the way, if you're having a political or philosophical disagreement with someone who then says to you, "Well, I have the right to my opinion!", that means you've won the argument. They can't refute your assertions, don't have a properly arranged retort, realize their opinion is bullshit, can't save face by talking about it any further and just want to terminate the discussion now and go back to SportsCenter. I'm thinking of publishing a glossary of terms like that. 

But I'm no publisher. Although... I'm just about to hit "publish" to get this blog up, so I guess I... I... I have the right to my opinion!

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