Saturday, June 20, 2009

Eddie Van Halen is Lame

Pablo Picasso once said, "Bad artists copy...good artists steal." In a recent case involving Eddie Van Halen's company and Nike, that quote has absolutely no relevance.

Occasionally, we hear about lawsuits between artists claiming musical or design theft, some of which are valid, but most of which are pretty vague or even ridiculous.

Coldplay's last album had the hit single, "Viva la Vida." You may have heard about the case that Joe Satriani brought up, claiming that the melody of that song was strikingly similar to his own song called "If I Could Fly" (released years before). Click the following button and you'll hear Coldplay's song first, then Satriani's...then just for fun, the two mashed together. It's easy to hear a very similar tune.

Joe Satriani is a guitar god and I don't blame him for filing a suit, especially considering he tried to contact Coldplay for months before doing so and his fans were hounding him for doing so before that. However, I think this was coincidental; I doubt Coldplay even listens to Joe Satriani's work.

Moving on, however, to a more recent case involving Eddie Van Halen and Nike. This one isn't about music, but design. Eddie apparently designed a guitar called the "Frankenstrat," pictured at right.

Obviously, a masterpiece. He combined the colors red, black and white??? In a "design" that my 3 year old nephew could replicate with a blindfold??? Man, that's insane...obviously an original idea. Ready to see what Eddie Van Halen's company, ELVH inc., is suing Nike for? Here it is:

You can lift your jaw now. ELVH inc. put out their own line of shoes with the "Frankenstrat" design. I'm going to go out on a limb and not look up the numbers, with a wild guess that Nike has sold more shoes than ELVH inc.

The point being: Eddie Van Halen deserves no compensation whatsoever for this lawsuit. I think he's just bitter that former bandmates Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony formed a "supergroup" called Chickenfoot with (coincidentally) Joe Satriani and RHCP drummer Chad Smith.

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