The Shapiro Files

Monday, March 14, 2005

Of Dionne Warwick and Unintentional Semi-Plagiarism

Another weekend has come and go, Ballyhoo rehearsals are now entering their second week, and sleepiness prevails. As for this latter point, I blame it all on Dionne Warwick. I'll explain...

After Saturday morning/afternoon rehearsal, I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening preparing for a dinner party Marcie and I hosted for our realtors and friends Janelle and Eric, our mortgage broker and friend Adeline, her husband Chris, and Marcie's former boss and friend Jennifer. After a very enjoyable evening of good food and conversation, Marcie and I spent the next hour or so cleaning up — after which time I really should have gone to sleep. But alas, I was seized with a unquenchable desire to write a song (that muse has some pretty lousy timing).

For the next three hours I worked diligently on a chord progression and melody that I liked quite a bit and recorded the whole thing in very rough form to my computer. I finally made it to bed at 4am, only to wake up at 9:30 the next morning still excited about the song and wanting Marcie to hear it. Although lacking sleep (I also haven't been sleeping much since Ballyhoo rehearsal started — my brain tends to get a little wacky at night when I'm in the midst of a production), I was at least energized by the creative buzz of working on a new song.

And then it hit me.

While taking a break away from the piano and getting a little nosh in the kitchen, I suddenly realized that the best part of my new song-in-the-making sounded disturbingly similar to the chorus of Dionne Warwick's 1970's mega-hit "I'll Never Love This Way Again." I had no choice but to face the music (so to speak) and download a sample of Warwick's song from iTunes. Adjusting the key of my song to hers (D-major for those of you who care about such things), I played my song on the piano at the same time as hers played on the computer. Were they exactly the same? Not entirely. Were they incredibly similar? Absolutely.

Very depressing. Curse you, Dionne Warwick!


  • "Ode to Steve's Sadness"

    Written and produced by Bradley Egel and Lorimar Telepictures.


    His unquenchable desire has been scuttled.

    Steve now has good reason to be cuddled.

    He should have gone to bed...

    but a melody in his head...

    Left him wide awake and quite befuddled.

    He crafted his new tune into the night.

    Little did he know it wasn't right.

    It was recorded once before...

    at Studio 64...

    Now his brand new tune is naught but shite.

    So cursed be Dionne Warwick I emplore...

    Let her music lie in 70's pop culture lore...

    I feel your pain Steve...

    and so before I leave...

    I will simply say, "That's what friends are for!"


    By Blogger Bradley Egel, at 3/22/2005 4:31 PM  

  • Wow. I laughed, I cried. It was better than Cats.

    Thanks Brad, for one of the biggest laughs I've had in weeks!

    By Blogger Steve Shapiro, at 3/23/2005 2:48 PM  

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