The Banana Spliffs

Following the post on The Banana Splits (see here…) I was reminded that their catchy theme tune was covered by an American (post?) punk band called The Dickies in 1979. While the original made number 97 in the top 100 USA charts The Dickies’ version  reached number 7 in the UK charts. It was also used in the movie Kick-Ass as recently as  2010 – a great funny movie by the way.

Aside from that, The Banana Splits theme song has been the subject of another bizarre debate in music industry circles… And trust me, this is a good one.

Another Copyright Infringement?

A few months ago I posted about that great Aussie tune ‘Down Under’ by Men at Work and how it became the subject of a copyright law suit. (See that post here.) Here is something I found out about while writing the previous post on The Banana Splits.

If Down Under was ruled by the courts to be a copyright infringement of the children’s Kookaburra song then Bob Marley’s ‘Buffalo Soldier’ is definitely a rip off of the Banana Splits ‘Tra-La-La’ theme song. Check out this video found on YouTube:

I always thought that Marley track seemed to take me back to my early childhood. An uncanny resemblance I am sure you’ll agree. Yet Marley never got done for copyright infringement, unlike the lowly Men at Work. To be more exact it should have been Marley’s estate that was sued. Bob Marley of course died in 1981. Although the song was written in 1980, it was not released until 1983.

What do you think?

Do you think that Fleagle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky really influenced Bob Marley? The man who was possibly the greatest, and certainly the most famous, reggae star of all time?   Let me know by posting a comment

Personally, I think there is no doubt, but then I am no copyright lawyer. In 2008 the BBC discussed this topic and a ‘musicologist’ (who did not want to be named) demonstrated just how similar the two melodies were. Almost identical.

That kid’s TV show really was whacky. I can picture Marley being totally into it. It all makes perfect sense now… The Banana Spliffs.

Or as someone else pointed out; Sesame Street on LSD!

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