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Nick Nick Boom: Hives Sued For Plagiarism
The Quietus , October 29th, 2008 11:32

Swedes accused of copping licks off LA songwriter

The Hives

A Los Angeles musician is suing Swedish garage recyclists The Hives for allegedly nicking the riff to one of his songs.

Jason Shapiro, a songwriter for bands including the Roofies, Three Way and Celebrity Skin, claims the band made off with the hook for his song 'Why You?' and used it as a vocal line on their own track 'Tick Tick Boom', a #15 hit in October last year.

"I absolutely love The Hives and don't feel great about suing a band I love," Shapiro told LA Weekly. "But I also feel credit is due where it is due if you borrow a riff."

Shapiro consulted a musicologist about the similarity between the songs after hearing The Hives' effort on a trailer for the film Get Smart. "He said the part in question - the main riff and vocal melody - was very similar and its uniqueness led him to believe it wasn't just a coincidence," Shapiro said. "He also runs it through a background test seeing if any charts from previous songs are close and we were clear on that front."

With The Hives' limited musical palette the laws of probability suggest they will plagiarise somebody else's work once every 1.7 weeks. I remember feeling quite aggrieved back in 2001, although I chose not to pursue the matter.

Anyway you can make your own minds up about whether The Hives have pulled a fast one over Shapiro, and get back to us. Hark at these...

The Hives, 'Tick Tick Boom'

Jason Shapiro & The Roofies, 'Why You?'

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