Shit Exclusive! Translation of Tom Petty's "Open Letter" Regarding The Sam Smith Plagiarism Controversy!


When Tom Petty wrote:

"About the Sam Smith thing. Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam.  All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen.  Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by.  Sam’s people were very understanding of our predicament and we easily came to an agreement.  The word lawsuit was never even said and was never my intention.  And no more was to be said about it. How it got out to the press is beyond Sam or myself.  Sam did the right thing and I have thought no more about this.  A musical accident no more no less. In these times we live in this is hardly news. I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career. Peace and love to all."

What he really meant to say was:

"Sam Smith is lucky Allen Klein is dead or else I'd own all of the publishing for "Stay With Me".  

Actually, I'm not really anal about "plagiarism" because, let's face it, we all borrow.  Hell, sometimes 
I find myself singing in front of a whole stadium of people imagining I'm John Lennon and then I stop myself because a) I look nothing like the man, and b) I'm Tom fucking Petty, fer crissakes, and every last ONE of these people is here to see ME.  What I'm trying to say is that we all emulate our heroes to some degree.  Having said that, if people can SING the entire chorus of MY song to YOUR song, "Houston, we have a problem."

Still, I didn't call the lawyers because I wanted to, but because not calling them would have set a bad precedent.  Plus, I was known for not backing down LONG before I ever wrote a song about it.  I'm like a Mafia don in that I have to occasionally flex my muscles to keep some folks in line.  I don't just take somebody out, but I do open the lines of communication and give them a chance to make it right.
Back in 1980, MCA Records chose not to make it right and I had to take them to court.  

They counter-sued and attempted to ruin my career.  Long story short, I walked away with my own record label, distributed by MCA, and my next record Damn The Torpedoes made me a household name.  

But then those very same motherfuckers decided to try using my next album, Hard Promises, to raise the suggested retail price of all albums from $7.98 to $8.98.  When I found out they were gonna use MY album as the guinea pig, I used a wall as a punching bag (luckily not the brick one I would punch years later that put me out of commission for awhile) and then I gave them the chance to make it right, which they begrudgingly did after the story made the cover of Rolling Stone.  In fact, it would be quite a few more years before the labels finally raised their prices, but at least my album wasn't the guinea pig.  

It was probably some Men Without Hats album.  Wait, what?  Men Without Hats were on MY FUCKING LABEL?!  How did that happen? I hate "Safety Dance"!  Ha ha, just kidding.  
Anyway, when I heard from a few folks that Sam Smith's song sounded a bit like mine, I had my people call his people and, at the end of the day, Sam made it right.

Well, I gotta get back to my hot wife who is currently topless on the patio of my house here in Malibu.  Ringo and Jackson Browne are stopping by tonight so I better saunter on upstairs and decide which pair of Gucci flip-flops to wear.  See ya on down the road, Jack."

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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