The SMS Trivia Question of the Week 6/22

Yes it ’tis!  Trivia Tuesday for June 22nd! Generously brought to us every Tuesday morning by all the Groovey people @ Omnivore Recordings! Your most perfect destination for all the music you didn’t know, you didn’t know! However! Before we get into this week’s all new Trivia Quiz, we’d like to recognize all the brilliant “Trivsters” who chimed in on last weeks question! Which was of a lyrical nature and all about Bob Dylan’s breakout 60’s classic “Like A Rolling Stone” First in with ALL the right answers as he’s been doing for three years was the fantastic, fast and always first Mr. Fred Vogel!  You always keep the keep in “Keep on Keepin’ On” Got that? Following Fast Fred with a round of applauds for Fred was Owen, Jeff Conroy and Edmund Simmons! Thanx for your support Gents! Mr. Curtis Stone also weighed  in, Thanx Curtis! And this week we’d like to offer a couple of big SMS “High Fives to Owen and Mr. Mark Chapman for a couple of the most interesting story’s we’ve enjoyed here at SMS! Thanks to you both for contributing such interesting info last week!

But now! It’s time for this week’s new Trivia Quiz! When the 60’s arrived they kicked open the doors of creativity delivering a new level of originality, diversity as well as individualism! However with all that art fashion and music consuming our life and time it set a new bar and opportunity for “Lawsuits! ( primarily copyright infringement cases) And, yes this weeks question is about some of the more infamous and notorious lawsuits involving many of your favorite and most popular songs from the 60’s! Here’s how it works, we’ll give you a list of plaintiffs and defendants. You match them up and then give us the song titles’ that lie at the center of the suit! All right Perry Mason, here are your Plaintiffs… and Defendants! Lastly, for the more litigious readers among us and to achieve SMS  Super Genius status, which way did the court rule in each case ?


1) Chuck Berry

2) Ray Davies

3) Randy California

4) Matthew Fischer

5) Ronnie  Mack


1) George Harrison

2) The Doors

3) Brian Wilson / Mike Love

4) Robert Plant /  Jimmy Page

5) Gary Brooker /  Keith Reid

In summary, here’s what we need:

1) Match the Plaintiff with the appropriate defendant ?

2) Give us the titles to each of the two songs at the center of each suit, and indicate whether it’s the plaintiff’s song or the defendants song ?

3) For the more serious “Legal Eagle’s among us, tell us how the courts ruled in each of the five lawsuits ?

Editors note, to be clear, in one of our cases only one song was involved  between the Plaintiff and Defendants!…

Finally, as you retire to your “Law Library” for the duration of the morning, why not click on the link below and browse the coolest catalog of music in the known world and beyond!…



Remember, you can answer the weekly trivia quiz as often as you like, but can only win a Groovey Omnivore CD every 30 days!…



  1. I was lucky enough to be part of the Warner Chappell team working with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant on the first ‘Stairway to Heaven’ copyright lawsuit. I spent nearly a week in court with JP, RP and the legal team. To say it was quite the amazing experience, would be to grossy under describe the week. I mean, come on… I got to have lunch with these guys every day and chat with both JP and RP, one on one at times.
    Because this was a court case ( and I LOVE LZ, growing up playing my drums every day after school to the records as they were released), I would never share what went on or any ‘backstage’ info, what was discussed re: the case, etc.

    But I will share a brief conversation I had with JP at lunch one day. We were talking about vinyl and old blues records.
    I asked him if he ever goes to Amoeba Records. He sadly said no, looked down and told me that he can’t go there. I knew what that meant. I changed the subject immediately and we moved on. I didn’t want to bum him out during this ‘bogus’ trial. My word…nobody else’s!
    Well, since the manager of Amoeba is a friend for many years. I called her and asked if I could bring in JP after hours so he could shop without any fan interference. He just can’t walk into record stores whenever he wants to for obvious reasons. First words out of her mouth, “When? Absolutely!! She did not hesitate for second, so cool!!
    At lunch the following court day, I sat next to JP and told him about my friend at Amoeba. I’ll NEVER forget his response…”You would do this? You could do this?” I told him I had already spoken to her and she said, When?”
    I hooked them up and JP got to shop at Amoeba without getting bothered.
    I was supposed to go too, but my wife and flew to an opening of a fabulous musical the next day, so I missed the verdict being read that day. As we landed in Memphis, my wife logged on and held her phone up over her head (she sat in front of me on this flight). The headlines read, LED ZEPPELIN WINS STAIRWAY TRIAL! Well, I whooped out loud, much to the concern of the nearby passengers. I said, No worries, All good news!”

    And…we all lived happily ever after. I love when stories end like that!!!

  2. A story for you about song publishing – In 1978 I was a writer with Buzz Cason’s Southern Writers Group outfit in Nashville. I did miscellaneous gofer work there too, learning the biz..One day Buzz asked me to make a 1/4″ reel to reel copy of a demo by Steve Gibb of his song “She Believes in Me” which Gibb had just finished. If memory serves it was a simple piano/vocal. Buzz told me to deliver the tape with lyrics to Larry Butler, who was producing Kenny Rogers.

    I told Buzz that the Gibb tune was an almost exact copy of the recent hit “Lost Without Your Love” by David Gates, in chord structure and a lot of melody; I suggested maybe he should think about that first.

    Buzz gave me a hard, cold stare and quietly said “Just do it, now.”
    I swallowed hard, and did as instructed. Rogers of course had a massive hit with the tune, and it was released on his huge “The Gambler” made Buzz and Steve a ton of $$$.

    Gates and his pubbers never said a word. I am certain they would have won a lawsuit had they chosen to go to court, but they didn’t
    pursue it, which was nice of them.

  3. Chuck sued Brian Wilson and Mike Love for ripping off “Sweet Little Sixteen” with their “Surfing USA” hit. Brian’s dad Murray gave Chuck the publishing royalties, no court action was needed.

    Randy California sued Robert Plant and Jimmy (NOT Immy) Page for ripping off his Spirit titled “Taurus”…Randy lost. He was ripped off however.

    Matthew Fisher sued his Procol Harum bandmates Brooker and Reid for not giving him writer credit and royalty $$$ for “Whiter Shade of Pale”–his organ riffs were foundational part of the hit. He won the lawsuit then lost the bulk of the $$$ later on. Of course, Fisher himself ripped off JS Bach’s “Sleepers Awake” so the whole thing is a joke!

    Ronnie Mack sued George Harrison for ripping off his “He’s So Fine” with Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” hit. Mack won the suit and got like 1.6 million bucks..nice going, Ronnie!

    Ray Davies sued The Doors for ripping off his “All Day and All of the Night” in their “Hello I Love You” hit. Supposedly settled out of court..who knows?

    • Howdy. I beg to differ…Randy California did not get ripped off.
      Read the court transcripts regarding foundational baroque patterns, etc.
      And read the transcripts regarding access. JP didn’t hear Taurus at the 1 festival they both performed at. He has said that he didn’t hear it until 2014. The list goes on…
      And last but not least, Randy passed away in 1997. He had plenty of time to pursue this before his death (RIP RC).
      So why did the head of the fan club file this suit ?

  4. Chuck Berry (Sweet Little Sixteen) v Brian Wilson / Mike Love (Surfin’ USA) Winner: Chuck Berry

    Ray Davies (All Day And All Of The Night) v The Doors (Hello I Love You) no trial, settlement

    Randy California (Taurus) v Robert Plant / Jimmy Page (Stairway To Heaven) Winner (so far): Plant / Page

    Matthew Fischer v Gary Brooker / Keith Reid A Whiter Shade Of Pale Winner: Fisher (but only future royalties

    Ronnie Mack (He’s So Fine) v George Harrison (My Sweet Lord) Winner: Ronnie Mack Allen Klein / ABKCO

  5. Ray Davies vs. Doors Hello I Love You vs. All Day & All of the Night. Ray Davies won.
    Ronnie Mack vs. Geoge Harrison He’s So Fine vs. My Sweet Lord. George lost this one.
    Randy California (estate of) vs. Page & Plant Taurus vs. Stairway to Heaven ZEP WON 3 times!!! story to follow…I was there for the trial.
    Mathew Fischer vs. bandmates Gary Brooker & Keith Reid for the division of rights to Whiter Shade of Pale. Fischer won.
    Briasn Wilson & MIke Love vs.Chuck Berry Sweet Little Sixteen vs. Surfin USA. We all won! They’re both GREAT songs!!

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