I missed that topic on its first run, obviously.
Well, whatever the similarities we can all hear (which are, IMO far less obvious than Spirit's Taurus Vs Stairway, for example), musically, the movement from E to F (and C Major to G Major) is central to the theme of FTLOG and I can't hear it in Kung-fu. Also, I don't want to imagine what David Carradine would have to with a guitar including a whammy bar and
a handle. Brrrrr.
As for the intent, ie similarities being equal to plagiarism/stealing music, that's a whole different thing. Is it too much of a stretch to imagine a teenage Steve subconsciously associating a melody with spirituality (the series contained much less actual kung-fu than fortune cookie wisdom)? Not quite. Is it actually relevant? Not really. Is it kinda funny? You bet.
Regarding the legalities, I couldn't care less. I'm convinced that with a good (read tricky
) enough lawyer you can pretty much get anything for any reason.
Still, the reason I'm writing tonight is there are to my knowledge two documented instances of Steve borrowing music without realizing it.
One is the reason Bangkok is separated from the Fire Garden Suite. Steve wrote the theme one night in the 80's while on tour, probably with Roth,and picked it up a decade later. Somewhere along the way of making Fire Garden an actual album, someone pointed out that the theme was actually a verbatim quote from, if I remember correctly, the band Chess - never heard of them, and never heard the original. Couldn't tell you where I read bout it, though, don't remember.
The second was pointed out by John Stix while interviewing Steve in 90-ish for "Guitar for the Practicing Musician", which I just re-read yesterday as I'm packing stuff. Funny, that. Here it goes:
John - On 'I Would Love To' you played a bit from the little chorus of 'Blue Wind', from Jeff Beck and Jan Hammer.
Steve - I have no idea what you're talking about.
John - You don't know that? From 'Blue Wind', it's on the Wired record.
Steve - I know that record. I know that song real well. It's the one that goes (sings). Oh yeah you're right. Is that what I do here? It's very close. Maybe that's where it came from, subconsciously, because I like that Beck song. Sorry Jeff.
John - Jan Hammer wrote it. He'll be after you.
Steve - Jan says 'Ouch'.
I didn't know Wired
at that time - didn't really know much of the almighty Jeff Beck, in fact, poor, ignorant little 90-ish me, and I forgot about that. But the day I listened to Blue Wind
, I remembered. It is
On another Vai-related note, I listened a few days ago to Slip of the Tongue
for the first time, and noted 3 examples of parts that I had already heard elsewhere, probably from some french crap 80's songs, I have not investigated the matter, and probably will not, unless our lives become too long instead of too short.
Yeah, well, we sometimes stumble upon the same musical ideas, and more often we quote, misquote and frankenstein these together. It sure did happen to Steve. Big deal. It happened to me, and if it didn't happen to you then maybe you're not making enough music.