Ospreyshire Origins: One True Mayor

Lyrics:

Our island was the only one of its kind until you copycatted our geography
I am the mayor, yet you made a clone with a big head just like me
You think you made some edible paradise, but everyone is bloated and sick of your world

I thought you’d credit us for our existence
That certainly wasn’t the case
I’m not the Originator, but I’m the one true mayor
And I’ll put your million dollar fraud in its place

My island’s filled with puppets, but there’s no strings attached
With our living justice
I’ve dealt with witches and I’m going to deal with you and your high-calorie junk food of a haven

Your land wouldn’t exist without mine, but at least our island is healthy and theft-free


Researching things is super fun for me.

When I was researching several forms of art, movie, and TV plagiarism, I happened to stumble upon this puppet show that I had never heard of or seen in my life. This was the 1969 show H. R. Pufnstuf. The title character is the mayor of a place called the Living Island which has all these anthropomorphic animals, plants, and objects all around. I saw some clips and it certainly was a bit wacky and had some 60s cheese, but the puppetry and costumes were interesting. What I didn’t realize was that the H. R. Pufnstuf character was a victim of plagiarism.

One could say it was a certain Hamburglar who kidnapped this big head puppet mayor with a cartoonish Southern drawl, spliced his DNA and crafted a big head mayor of their own.

Yes, there was some McThievery [patent pending] going on.

McDonald’s created their own series called McDonald land which some of you might be familiar with Ronald McDonald, Grimace, and an assortment of other characters to hype up their Happy Meals. There was a character Mayor McCheese who was the mayor of McDonaldland who had a giant cheeseburger for a head. Sid and Marty Krofft (the creators of H. R. Pufnstuff) took the fast food chain to court and actually WON their case! This was mind-blowing that they won against a giant corporation. Not only were the two mayors considered similar, but both environments. The court noticed that both the Living Island and McDonaldland are fictional places with several anthropomorphic characters, talking tree forests, a pond, castle, enforcer keystone cops as right-hand characters to the mayors, and similar villains to name a few. Here’s more information on that matter.

I never knew about this, but I’m often sympathetic to those who were ripped off, so I just had to make a song about this. I even busted out my Peruvian panflute which is an Ospreyshire first. Yes, I did my best to imitate some of Pufnstuf’s vocal inflections even though that wasn’t the only song where I talked in a Southern accent though. One of my favorite things I did was add distortion to one of the ukulele tracks where it sounded like a psychedelic guitar solo which was awesome and I loved how it turned out.

Fun fact: H. R. Pufnstuf’s voice actor was the late Lennie Weinrib. He’s played Gomez Addams in the 1973 animated version of The Addams Family, King Leonidas in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Grimace in McDonaldland (yes, the irony is strong), and to all you anime fans out there he did the dub voice of both Hunk and Prince Lotor in Voltron.

The splitscreen picture is from Wikipedia and is property of McDonalds and the Krofft Brothers.

Ospreyshire Origins: Larceny By Dirigible series

Larceny By Dirigible I Lyrics:

Do You feel shame stealing melodies? (X2)
The spotlight must feel so nice
You can’t see the enlightened leaving you

Its larceny in your backyard (X2)
Don’t act like you’re so confused
You put ignoramuses in a big daze

You live atop a mountain of theft (X2)
I hope endless water floods your realm
You won’t rise anymore

How many years must you get away? (X2)
I guess your fans became a shield
Protecting you from swift justice

Joan Baez
Anne Bredon
Jake Holmes
Bert Jansch
Howlin’ Wolf

Larceny By Dirigible II Lyrics:

Quit complaining that success was the only reason you got caught
You need reality to set you straight, not a whole lotta fantasies
Your excuses are lemons better suited for lemonade to quench your desires
Watch your step on that killing floor, you band of pirates
Keep trying to bring your subterfuge

Willie Dixon
Howlin’ Wolf
Robert Johnson
Albert King
Bobby Parker
Sonny Boy Williamson

Larceny By Dirigible III Lyrics:

There will be no hats off
To the glorified filchers of rock n’ roll
Raking in millions for their laziness
Resting on instrumental talent
Its time to shake this fake originality down to make way
For real innovators
There will be no more pinching and crediting one’s self in this zone
That will never happen
Since people have been lambasting you

Moby Grape
Bert Jansch
Bukka White

Larceny By Dirigible IV Lyrics:

Did it feel good opening for that band?
Did it excite you when you wanted that heavenly acoustic riff?
Did it arouse you to become rock gods from one song?
Did it please you when their leader drowned saving his son?
Did it heal your soul that the plaintiffs didn’t match your bank accounts?
Did you smile even when that constellation called you on your stolen bull?

Jay Ferguson
Mark Andes
John Locke
Ed Cassidy
Randy California
SPIRIT!!!

Larceny By Dirigible V Lyrics:

You think crediting someone’s mom was good enough?
How pathetic
It shows how much you don’t care
You’re too busy making custard with blues legends’ works
Heads are hurting from your ill-gotten success
Yet the masses continue praising
You when it was undeserved on so many levels

Sleepy John Estes
Bukka White
Blind Boy Fuller
Ritchie Valens

Oh, so now you want to start acknowledging others?


I’m going to tick off some people with this Ospreyshire Origins post especially with classic rock fans and potentially those who are older than me. What annoys me is when people from older generations crap on newer music today by saying it’s all garbage or it steals from others who came before. To be just, a lot of modern mainstream music is trash in my opinion, so I do have some agreements over there in that regard. As far as stealing other people’s music, yes, it does happen and I do talk about it in later songs on Dear Innovare. If I do hear that in real life especially about ripping off people’s music, then I have the right question to ask them.

“Do you listen to Led Zeppelin?”

Image result for led zeppelin

For starters, I was never a fan of their music. It was roughly ten years ago when some musician friends of mine told me that Led Zeppelin had a career full of plagiarizing other people’s music. I thought it was crazy until I listened to some examples which were mind-blowing. There’s one specific one that involves the band picture I used for this post which I’ll describe later on.

Led Zeppelin fans annoy me with how much in denial they are about this mega-selling influential classic rock band ripped off a good portion of their discography from blues artists, folk singers, and other rock bands. In each installment of Larceny By Dirigible, I explicitly name each singer and songwriter Led Zeppelin stole from their albums. The fact I number them in roman numerals is a parody of LZ’s discography and the songs from each album. Here’s a list of songs that were stolen. Funny enough, Led Zeppelin actually LOST against some of those singers in court like Jake Holmes (the real writer of “Dazed and Confused”), Anne Bredon and Joan Baez (“Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You”), and Willie Dixon (“You Need Love”) just to name a few. I hate how Zeppelin fans are saying “Yeah, but they did it better.” That excuses nothing and I know they wouldn’t say that if the situations were reversed. Led Zeppelin would be NOTHING without the several musicians they stole from. I believe it was Howard Stern who called them “The World’s Greatest Cover Band” which I find to be hilarious because there’s truth to it. With those blues musicians, one could make a case that they were guilty of cultural appropriation since them and several other classic rock bands probably think that stealing from black people is alright if the rock stars who steal them are white, but that’s nothing new in history.

From a musical standpoint, it was fun recording and writing since it involved some of the most folksy and bluesy songs I’ve ever written under the Ospreyshire moniker. I wanted the recording to be simple without that many effects even when I busted out the Omnichord in one of the songs. I also had to practice my ukulele lead work to give that acoustic rock and blues vibe for most of the tracks. This was my way of homaging the original artists without coming across as an anachronism even though the Larceny By Dirigible songs are WAY more straightforward compared to most Ospreyshire tracks on this and previous works.

If there was an example of something that really got my gears grinding, it involves the topic of Larceny By Dirigible IV. That was the angriest song of the bunch despite being a mostly acoustic ballad with some subtle keyboards in the background. The song in question is “Taurus” by the band Spirit. My jaw dropped when I heard that guitar riff and I thought “OH MY GOD! ZEPPELIN STOLE THIS TO MAKE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN!”. This was the musical equivalent of watching a certain Osamu Tezuka anime and realizing that a certain American animation company shamelessly stole from it (you should know what I’m talking about at this point). Zeppelin even opened up for Spirit for some of their first American tours, so they totally knew that song. Seriously, check out this video and tell me no one from that famous band stole from Spirit.

This was maddening and I’m sick of people defending that band even when they lost some of their lawsuits. At the time of this post, Randy California’s (from Spirit) family is appealing the plagiarism lawsuit against Led Zeppelin. His story is so tragic and I referenced part of it in IV. Randy California just waned his band to get credit for “Stairway to Heaven”, but Led Zeppelin refused. Not only that, but he died saving his son from drowning in the ocean after that. Randy California and Spirit didn’t deserve this.

Wouldn’t it also be funny if one of the members admitted to stealing? Oh, wait…

Seriously, shame on this overrated band of thieves and especially that pedophile Jimmy Page. How is it that R. Kelly is locked up and not him for sleeping with minors?

The image of Spirit is from Ultimate Classic Rock.

The image of Led Zeppelin is from Variety.