Today, I explain the interesting litigious connection between the final two songs played on the series finale of Ted Lasso.
Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of pop culture history that interests me that doesn’t quite fit into the other features.
SPOILERS FOR TED LASSO’S SERIES FINALE AHEAD!
Ted Lasso, like most great TV shows, has always been good at so-called “needle drops” (the term used to describe the use of established songs in TV shows and films. Like “Stuck in the Middle With You” in Reservoir Dogs), and it chose an excellent tune for the final montage of the series (the montage included the clever Cheers easter egg I wrote about earlier tonight), Cat Stevens’ classic tune, “Father and Son,” which James Gunn had previously used for a major scene in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.
Amusingly, though, as the show then transitioned into the closing credits of the episode, it began to play the Flaming Lips’ song, “Fight Test”…
Now, it would seem like just a normal transition from “Father and Son” To a song that samples “Father and Son,” but the amusing thing is that the Flaming Lips did not initially credit Stevens at all, and so he sued them, and in a settlement, he was given 75% of the royalties on the song.
Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips gave this hilarious response to The Guardian about the controversy:
I want to go on record for the first time and say that I really apologize for the whole thing. I really love Cat Stevens. I truly respect him as a great singer-songwriter. And now he wants his money. There was a time during the recording when we said, this has a similarity to ‘Father and Son’. Then we purposefully changed those bits. But I do regret not contacting his record company and asking their opinion. Maybe we could have gone 50–50. As it is, Cat Stevens is now getting 75 per cent of royalties from ‘Fight Test’, We could easily have changed the melody but we didn’t. I am really sorry that Cat Stevens thinks I’m purposefully plagiarizing his work. I am ashamed. There is obviously a fine line between being inspired and stealing. But if anyone wanted to borrow part of a Flaming Lips song, I don’t think I’d bother pursuing it. I’ve got better things to do. Anyway, Cat Stevens is never going to make much money out of us.
That’s pretty darn funny.
In any event, it was interesting to see Ted Lasso transition from the one song into the other.
If anyone has any pop culture bit that you’d like me to discuss, drop me a line at email@example.com.