Rolling Stones Accused of Plagiarism in New Lawsuit
The Rolling Stones and their management have been quite vigilant in the past when it comes to any infringement of their music. The band famously sued The Verve over "Bitter Sweet Symphony," with manager Allen Klein pushing forward on behalf of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards over a sample of "The Last Time" This wasn't even over the original Stones version, it was over an orchestral version from Andrew Loog Oldham that makes up the memorable strings heard in The Verve's Tune.
Now The Stones are on the other side, facing litigation over their latest single, "Living in a Ghost Town." According to Loudwire, songwriter Sergio Garcia Fernandez, better known under the moniker Angelsang, filed a lawsuit in Louisiana earlier in March, claiming the Stones, namely Jagger and Richards, "misappropriated many of the recognizable and key protected elements." He cites two of his songs, "So Sorry" from 2006 and "Seed of God" in 2007.
The outlet notes that Fernandez detailed some of his allegations, noting that "Living in a Ghost Town" borrowed a lot from, "So Sorry," including vocal melodies, chord progressions, drum and harmonica parts, and more. With "Seed of God," the suit alleges Jagger and Richards took chord progressions and melodies from "Seed of God." The musician alleges that he gave a CD with his two songs on it to a member of Jagger's family, and the rocker didn't immediately throw it in the garbage.
"The immediate family member ... confirmed receipt ... to the plaintiff via e-mail, and expressed that the musical works of the plaintiff and its style was a sound The Rolling Stones would be interested in using," Fernandez's lawyers wrote. "Defendants never paid plaintiff, nor secured the authorization for the use of "So Sorry" and "Seed of God."
You can check out the full complaint against Jagger and Richards over at Billboard. The band released the song back in April 2020, right at the cusp of the COVID-19 pandemic. It reached the No. 3 spot on Billboard'sHot Rock & Alternative Songs charts in the weeks that followed. Representatives for the band, Jagger or Richards did not provide response to the immediate issues.