Monday, March 30, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 29th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 29th, 2015

Check out the top ten plays from around the Association.

Blake Griffin's Death Stare

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 28th, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 28th, 2015

Here are your top 5 play from Saturday night's action around the NBA.
Arron Afflalo | #4 | SG | Portland Trail Blazers

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 27th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 27th, 2015

Get the best from Friday night's action in the NBA in this top ten!

LeBron James | #23 | F | Cleveland Cavs

Friday, March 27, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 26th, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 26th, 2015

Here are your Top 5 plays from Thursday night's action.
— M C W —

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 25th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 25th, 2015

Here are your Top 10 plays from Wednesday night's action around the NBA.

DeAndre Jordan's ultimate facial & knee to Jason Smith

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Frank Dukes — Busiest Producer You Know Nothing About

Photo courtesy of Kisha Bari

Frank Dukes is the Busiest Producer You Know Nothing About

“I just won a Grammy for Marshall Mathers LP 2, but I’m really more hype off this dope smoothie I just made,” isn’t the typical reaction you’d expect to hear from a producer who just landed one of music’s most sought-after awards, but Frank Dukes isn’t your typical anything. “I’m not one for the limelight I suppose,” he says shrugging unapologetically as he sits in his custom-built studio, situated in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. It’s from this studio that he supplies countless rappers with the production they need to create songs that their fans will hopefully love. Dukes’ sound is versatile and can quickly shift from a heavy boom-bap to a smooth video game gloss in seconds, something he picked up by studying every genre evenly. “I wanted to be a great producer so I studied great hip-hop producers, but also stuff beyond that: Phil Spector, David Axelrod, Gamble and Huff. They’re equally as influential to me as Dilla, Premier, and Pete Rock.” Dukes has now worked with everyone from Method Man to Macklemore, and was once jokingly told by 50 Cent to stay undiscovered so that Curtis could keep all of the music for himself.

His most recent endeavor is Sour Soul, a collaborative album between Ghostface Killah and BADBADNOTGOOD that Dukes made from scratch. “I brought the idea to the table. I thought it would be a good fit and that the live band/rapper record had never been fully done right. I felt like I could bring the grit that those old Ghostface songs have from sampling old records, but also have the dynamic of a live band with string and horn arrangements making it super lush.” The daunting—and at times gruelling—task of constructing his dream album took almost three years to complete, but it’s now set to be released on February 24th. Despite the long journey, Dukes is still giddy about the idea of it coming out, becoming uncharacteristically animated anytime it’s mentioned. “When I work with any of those guys it’s always a team effort. They’re good friends of mine and we have a really close working relationship. We’ve worked on tons of things together, it’s not like the traditional ‘I’m the producer! What I say goes!’ Everybody has input and those guys are amazing musicians and super talented.”

Dukes’ latest invention isn’t a single beat, but a library of them. The Kingsway Music Library is a system that allows artists to bypass the typical fiascos that come from sampling by providing them with a stockpile of affordable ready-to-go samples, all composed by Dukes himself. It’s the musical version of Getty Images, where musicians are able to pay for what they use, as long as they provide proper credit. “I come from the school of hip-hop where you just buy records and sample records all the time. Doing that is tough sometimes, because if you get a placement on a major record, your record could get shelved because of clearance issues. Or it gets placed on the album, but whoever owns the publishing wants to take all of the money. So I basically created the Kingsway Music Library as an archive of ideas for producers to access, knowing that they’re going to be able to sample something and get a fair split on the publishing.”

One of the most popular songs made through the Kingsway Music Library is Drake’s “0 to 100/The Catch Up”, which was nominated for two Grammys this past weekend. The single was produced by Boi-1da, who came across the sample in the Kingsway Library while having a studio session with Diddy. Dukes won a Grammy for his contribution to Eminem’s “Groundhog Day”, and received another nomination for Schoolboy Q’s “Grooveline Pt 2”. With such a hectic year under his belt, it’s great to see Dukes recognized for all of the work he’s put in. “It’s my first year being nominated. It’s cool, it’s not really something that matters to me, but you know, it will help my rate go up.”

Noisey: How did you find out you were nominated for a Grammy?
Frank Dukes: I was actually on vacation with my wife and kid in Punta Cana and my friend just texted me; “WTF dude you’re nominated for a Grammy this year?!” and I thought it was just crazy because it was really just originally a free song that we did that eventually we put on iTunes and made it an official single but it just shows the power of Drake. He can release a Soundcloud song that becomes Grammy nominated. It’s pretty fucking cool.

Did you personally work with Drake and Boi-1da?
Not with Drake on this one. A lot of the records I do with that camp is working with more cats on the production end. It’s funny because the reason I know Boi-1da is because we both used to work with Drake I want to say about 10 years ago? Before the label deal when Drake was just coming up.

Like Room For Improvement?
Yeah! I think that’s the album? I definitely have a song on one of those early mixtapes, and that’s how I know 1da. The first time I heard Drake was over this track I did for him called “Money” probably from 2007. So me and Boi-1da kinda knew each other loosely, and then maybe in the last year and a half or so we just reconnected and we’re doing a lot of work together.

And you still want to stay in Toronto to do your work?
Definitely! I feel like it’s definitely something different as far as a creative hub. As opposed to New York and LA which I feel have become a little over saturated over the last little while. Also the talent pool here is great! You’ve got bands like BADBADNOTGOOD, producers like Boi-1da, Nineteen85 and myself. I have a family as well, I’m not going to uproot them and move my life. I love Toronto it’s a great city and I’m proud of all the shit that’s coming from here. I’m proud to be from here.

What was the sample you created called? Was it called “0 to 100”?
No it was called something really generic and stupid like, "Vibes" or something. Originally it was a three minute idea that had all these different parts and I didn’t really write it with any intent of it being used for Drake or for anyone in particular. I just kinda wrote it and gave it to Boi-1da, who was in session at the time in Miami, this was with Diddy. This was like the whole controversy of the incident. From what I understand he made the beat on the spot, played it for Diddy and Diddy passed on it, he said it wasn’t life changing enough and that was that. Then fast forward, “0 to 100” becomes this huge hit and then there’s this weird… whatever happened there? I don’t know, but as far as I understand that’s how it went down.

So you created it and then you sent it to Boi-1da?
Yeah. Me and Boi-1da work in the studio most times but sometimes he’ll just be in session somewhere and I’ll just send him an idea sometimes the ideas are very concise like “This is what the beat is.” Sometimes I just send him a piece of music that I wrote that has multiple parts and is written like a song, then he’ll sample it like he would with any other song.

And that stuff won’t go on the Kingsway Library?
No. Kingsway is just an archive of ideas that I’ve written over the years.

Do you know who buys stuff off of there?
Sometimes! For example I actually connected with like Ryan Lewis and and Macklemore through him buying from my library. And I’ve met those guys before but it just started this whole conversation where I began to work with them on other stuff. Sometimes people reach out. Sometimes I have no idea and a record will pop-up or someone will reach out when a records about to come out.

How did you, Ghostface, and BADBADNOTGOOD come together?
In 2010/2011 I was doing a lot of beats for Ghost in general and I DJ’d for him on tour, so me and him had a really good working relationship. Fast forward maybe a year or two, I was having a conversation with his manager and he was talking to me about doing a full length project with Ghostface, and I think around that time I was getting more into recording live music. I had met this band ‘The Menahan Street Band’, and Thomas Brenneck who's the brainchild of the band and taught me about the process of recording music from scratch with bands and it changed my whole approach to music. Leading up to that I was really just sampling records and making beats all on my own. Something just clicked. I approached everyone about the record and everyone was down. I think we recorded all of the initial instrumentals in a five to six day period in New York at my friends studio. Then we continued to chip away at it over the next two-and-a-half years. A few verses here, a few verses there, doing the string arrangements and horn arrangements were the final touch, then mixing it.

It was definitely a long process, so much so that some of the original instrumentals we ended up cutting because, a lot of times you record in a time and place and it’s kind of like a snapshot of where you were at musically at that point and I think we just felt some of the stuff could’ve been done better. Two-and-a-half years later we deconstructed some of the songs and re-worked them for the better.

There was Aaliyah and Timbaland, Drake and 40, Big Sean and No ID, do you have an artist/producer relationship with anyone?
Probably with BADBADNOTGOOD the most out of any artists. I met them when they were really young, like nineteen/twenty. When I met them I felt like going in a different direction and I feel like my influence on them has been positive and likewise it goes both ways. I’ve learned a lot about playing music from those guys and my approach to music has rubbed off on them. It’s a pretty symbiotic relationship.

Would you consider yourself successful?
I’m working towards it. I’ve definitely achieved a certain amount of success and I feel like it’s only the start. For me success in music would be twenty years from now looking back at everything I’ve done and just being proud of it. Whether it’s a huge hit or sold five copies, as long artistically and creatively I can stand by what I did, then I’ll feel successful. — Meron Gaudet | VICE

The City Game: Staten Island

The City Game: Staten Island

When it comes to "The City Game", the borough of Staten Island is often left out of the conversation -
but some people are still talking about the 1983 team from St Peter's High School, which owned the city for a magical season.

The City Game: Queens

The City Game: Queens

Two-time NBA champion Kenny Smith takes us back to his native Queens, where he visits his old apartment complex, LeFrak City, and the Lost Battalion Hall Recreation Center, a legendary gym in the borough.

The City Game: Bronx

The City Game: Bronx

Hall of Famer Tiny Archibald still lives in his hometown of the Bronx, where he pays a visit to his alma mater, storied DeWitt Clinton High School.

The City Game: Brooklyn

The City Game

Brooklyn basketball is long on talent, and attitude - just ask the King brothers from Ft Greene, Bernard and Albert, and Flatbush’s own Chris Mullin.

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 24th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 24th, 2015

The best of the best from a six-game Tuesday night, highlighted in the Top 10.
Khris Middleton - NBA's newest clutch-shooter

Interview w/ Steve Thompson — Legendary Music Producer & Mixer

Steve Thompson - record producer and remixer for Guns N' Roses, Madonna,
Whitney Houston, Soundgarden, Wu-Tang Clan, Korn, etc.

Steve Thompson: 'When Lars Asked Me, What Happened to the Bass in '... Justice', I Wanted to Cold Cock Him'

Producer Steve Thompson's resume is so extensive, eclectic and filled with so many landmark recordings that you'd swear he is making it all up. But he isn't.

This native New Yorker has produced and/or mixed everything from Guns N' Roses' "Appetite For Destruction," Metallica's "...And Justice For All" and Korn's "Follow the Leader" and Soundgarden's "A-Sides" to Paul Simon's "Boy in the Bubble" and "Diamonds On the Soles of her Shoes" tracks, Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and multiple songs for Aretha Franklin and Madonna. Along the way, he's also worked with Yoko Ono on the "Milk and Honey" album, RZA on Wu-Tang Clan's "Iron Fist" and Blues Traveler.

Thompson calls himself a chameleon and there's probably no better word in describing what he does. Realizing early on that he "kinda sucked at guitar," he became a DJ in clubs before the moniker ever became popular. Through his work as a DJ, Thompson was called on to do some dance remixes, which ultimately led to working with Whitney Houston.

In 1986, having grown a bit weary of working with pop artists, the producer wanted to do something with a rock band. Geffen Records A&R executive Tom Zutaut sent him the demos for a band called Guns N' Roses and asked him if he wanted to produce them. Busy at the time producing Tesla's "Mechanical Resonance," Thompson had to pass on the project but did offer to mix what would become "Appetite For Destruction."

"I absolutely loved it," he says of the first GN'R demos he heard. "I wanted to do it so bad. We [Thompson and engineer Michael Barbiero] were so burnt and they wanted us to go in and produce them right away. I said, 'Can you wait a while?' and they said, 'No, we have to do it right away.' I said, 'Well, why don't you get somebody to produce it and we'll mix it for ya."

Thompson may not have produced Appetite but he would go on to produce a multitude of albums that would strike major chords within the industry. In this lengthy conversation, he talks about GN'R, key projects, and his unique philosophy about what he does.

Steve Thompson & Jimmy Page

What was the first album you actually produced?

The first big production was around 1984. I had this artist Belouis Some who was an English artist that sounded very much like Bowie. So I said, "Well, if he sounds like Bowie, let me see if I can get Bowie's band and put 'em together." I did. I got Carlos Alomar on guitar; Tony Thompson on drums; Bernard Edwards on bass; and Dave Lebolt on keyboards. I got the Simms Brothers and Robin Clark on vocals.

What was that project like?

The song that blew up was "Imagination." That was at Media Sound and we aced it. It was absolutely awesome. The cool part about it is even though I said I was a guitar player, I kinda knew how to communicate with musicians, which was really important. Plus I was working with Michael Barbiero at the time who was an amazing engineer and had great musicality. He kinda taught me the ropes on a lot of things like that.

In 1986, you switched over to doing rock albums and began working with Tesla?

This is weird. I was getting really sick of working on pop music. I mean everything was going number one and I needed a challenge. So we got hold of Tom Zutaut [Geffen Records A&R] and said, "Please. Give me some rock bands to work with" and the first two bands he gave me were Tesla who were called City Kid at the time and Guns N' Roses.

You recorded the first Tesla album "Mechanical Resonance"?

We did the first Tesla album at Bearsville Studios and what I really loved about them was we did not take a clinical approach with them. We got the essence of what they did and it was just a great vibe and we put that album together. In the middle of that, Zutaut starts giving me demos of "Appetite For Destruction."

So you passed on producing "Appetite For Destruction"?

We were so burnt so we ended up mixing Appetite. What was kind of interesting about that - it's probably one of the biggest-selling rock albums of all time - is I felt that's where rock music needed to be in that time and place.

Why did you feel that?

What I loved about the record was it had danger, excitement and angst. I absolutely loved it. I think the first song we worked on was "It's So Easy" and I was playing it so loud in the studio, I think I blew out three sets of speakers. I said, "You know what? This mix is perfect. Let's not f--k with it."

At a point in time, you must have come in contact with Guns, right?

Oh, yeah. In the studio, it was Axl, Slash, Izzy and Tom. So we worked closely together and got the vibe off them. We just hung out for two weeks and that's how we worked on it. It was a great time.

You got along with Slash and Axl?

I loved the guys. I wound up hanging out with Axl a lot in L.A. When I was out there and that's where I got hold of David Geffen who I absolutely respected like you wouldn't believe.

Steve Thompson & Guns N' Roses

David Geffen was an important person in your career.

We had a Platinum party at Ed Rosenblatt's [Chairman of Geffen Records] and I hung out with David for a while. I'll never forget this. He goes, "You know Steve? My taste is not Guns N' Roses." He's more like Laura Nyro and that type of thing. He says, "But you know what? I love my people and I trust 'em to find bands like this." There was one story that really hit me. He points out the A&R guy and says, "See that guy over there? He hasn't really signed anything in a couple of years but you know what? I have faith and confidence he's gonna come up with something good." A year later he signs Nirvana and that was Gary Gersh.

When you were mixing the "Appetite For Destruction" album, what did you think of Mike Clink's production?

I thought it was great. 'Cause I remember a lot of the demos and after listening I felt the tempos were dragging a little bit. But after hearing Mike Clink's production, he nailed it. I just thought it was right for what the band does. But the one thing about is Guns N' Roses is they knew what they were doing. They knew their parts. I just think the production was amazing because it's exactly what it needed to be and the proof is in the pudding. We just kind of enhanced it.

Can you talk about how you approached that production?

We kind of approached it keeping it raw, in your face and as aggressive as we possibly could. Trying to get to hear all the nuances of the instrumentation and all the dynamics of the music. I'm a dynamics guy. If I can boost out certain sections of a song, that's what I look for. Make the song pulse and make it exciting.

Can you give any specific examples of that?

I remember when we did "Paradise City," Michael [Barbiero] and me we did a goof on Axl. There was a part in the song where it goes brrmm brmmm brmmm [sings three drum fills], "Take me home." They do this little fill to get into the next section. Well, we spliced the tape and doubled it up just as a joke.

What did Axl think?

Axl comes in and hears it and loves it and that became the record. We looked at each and said, "Wow, I can't believe that. We did it as a joke."

Any other interesting moments?

There was one part on "Rocket Queen," Axl wanted some sex noises. I said, "Sure, we can go get some porno tapes" and he says, "No, I'm want 'em real." So Axl picked out this girl who was hanging out in the studio and we had to mike it up in the studio and he's actually having sex and we miked it up. Those are the actual noises you hear on "Rocket Queen" in the break.

What did you think the first time you heard Slash's riff on "Sweet Child O' Mine"?

Well, yeah. That was such a signature riff. The hardest point is we had to edit that song for radio. I didn't really want to edit it but we didn't have a choice. I said, "At least the real version is on the album so let's edit it."

What did Slash think?

Slash absolutely hated the edit. I said, "Slash, it's out of our control. It's for radio." The interesting part of the album is Geffen probably spent over a year promoting this record before it hit and people don't realize that. This was not an overnight success record and obviously the song that broke the band was "Sweet Child O' Mine." We released "Welcome to the Jungle" and MTV refused to play the video. Then they got to a point where they played the video at three or four in the morning and everything buzzed up and that's what started it. Then obviously with "Sweet Child O' Mine," it just blew up like you wouldn't believe.

What kind of gear did you use to mix?

Basically, I believe we worked on a Neve 8068 console. The console had a 3-band and 4-band EQ. We mixed down to a 1" on the Studer A80. At some point, we also used a 15ips tape slap. On the multi-track, it was a Studer A800. We used two Studer multi-track machines because there were more than 24 tracks and we used an Adam Smith linkup to link the two machines together. We mixed down to Ampex 456 1" tape at 30 ips. We used Pultec EQP for top and bottom end EQ. We also used a Pultec MEQ, which took care of the midrange. We used AMS delays and reverbs. The AMS delay was set at 125 milliseconds. We used Lexicon and EMT plates.

What did you use those for?

We used it as a pre-delay/snare sound. We sampled the snare drum on "... Jungle" and we sampled it through an AMS delay and triggered it off the sync head, which plays ahead of the playback head and synched it with a delay back to the console. We used an MXR Flanger/Phaser on some cymbals. We also used the MXR on overheads.

What did you do for Axl's vocals?

We used the MX Flanger/Phaser on Axl's vocal on "Rocket Queen." We used a Urei LA2A on Axl's voice and also used the Urei LA3A on guitars. We used an LA2A on Duff's bass. We used a special vocal mic on Axl when he was doing "Rocket Queen," which was a U87. Vic Mix was our assistant engineer at the time and he helped me remember a lot of this.

There was no computer, right?

No computer. The mixing was done all manually with hands. That's it. No computers or anything and I was lovin' that.

It's a different world today, right?

Today, I go to studios sometimes and the computer's not working and I don't like mixing in Pro Tools. I like to mix on a console for a number of reasons. Number one, I get better dynamics when I do it manually myself. I had this one song that had 64 tracks on it and no computer so I said, "Screw it. I'll mix it manually." Everybody in the studio looked at me and I got it in like one take, hah hah hah.

What other kind of gear did you use on Appetite…?

Old-school Pultecs, AMS reverb and delays. Typical rackmount stuff. But we kind of kept it a little bit on the dry side than what was normally done at that time. Not adding reverb that much or effects or anything like that. A lot of that was Tom Zutaut. Zutaut had a great ear so he was a great help in the studio.

You were aware of the other kinds of metal bands around like Motley Crue and Dokken and the way those records were mixed?

Oh, yeah. I actually worked on Dokken's "Back For the Attack." But this was definitely different and you didn't want to overhype something. You wanted the essence of what they were about transferred sonically. I don't think we had any keyboards on that: it was like two guitar players, bass, drums and vocals. The riffs were so strong.

What about recording Steven Adler's drums?

I loved Steven Adler's drumming. It just had a swagger to it, which I really loved. We kind of blew up the sound a little bit. We made 'em sound as big as we possibly could.

When you mixed the tracks for Metallica's "...And Justice For All" album in 1988, was that a totally different experience than working on the "Appetite For Destruction" record?

Well, what I wanted to do and what Lars wanted to do was totally different, which kind of upset me a little bit. I loved Metallica and was very familiar with them. I said, "These guys are cool." We got the call to do it and went up to Bearsville Studios in upstate New York and the guys were on the Monsters of Rock Tour at the time. So what they would do is fly in by helicopter, a day here and a day there just to go through things.

Did the band know what kind of album they wanted to make and what they wanted it to sound like?

Lars knew exactly the sound and the parameters of everything he wanted on his drums. So he would actually bring his photos of a Klark Teknik's EQ [parametric equalizer] setup because he had a certain way he wanted the drums to sound. I said, "Michael [Barbiero], why don't you work with Lars and get the drum sound he's looking for? Call me when he's happy."

What did you think when you finally heard them?

They called me in and I listened to them and I said to myself, "These sound like a-s. Terrible sounding." I chased everybody out of the room and redesigned the drum sound and brought the guitars up. Jason [Newsted] killed it on bass. Perfect marriage with Hetfield's guitars.

Tell me about some of the gear you used with Metallica?

We mixed the album at Bearsville Studios in New York. The console was an SSL G Series with Ultimation. We used Neve EQs; Pultec EQP and MEQs; AMS delays and reverbs; and we used Lexicon on drums. All the Pultec LA2A and LA3As. Mixdown was definitely 48-tracks so there were two Studer multi-track machines and quite possibly they were A800 machines. We used a Studer A80 1" for mixdown at 30ips. When Lars recorded the drums, he used a Clark Tekniks EQ parametric.

Was James happy with what you were doing?

I'm putting all the other stuff up and everything like this and Hetfield gives a thumbs up. Lars comes walking in a couple minutes later and listens to about a minute of it and goes, "Turn that off" and I said, "What's the problem?" He said, "What happened to my drum sound?" I said, "You were serious?" or something like that.

Lars was not happy?

We had to get the drum sound up the way he had it. I wasn't a fan of it. So now he goes, "See the bass guitar?" and I said, "Yeah, great part, man. He killed it." He said, "I want you to bring down the bass where you can barely, audibly hear it in the mix." I said, "You're kidding. Right?"

He wasn't kidding?

He said, "No. Bring it down." I bring it down to that level and he says, "Now drop it down another 5 db." I turned around and looked at Hetfield and said, "He's serious?" It just blew me away.

What did you do?

I called my manager that night and I think I talked to Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch [Metallica's managers] and said, "I love these guys. I think they're amazing and they've created a genre of their own but I do not agree with the direction Lars is pulling me in. My name's gonna go on it so why don't you find somebody else?" My manager wouldn't have anything to do with that or Burnstein or Mensch.

But you were ready to walk away from mixing Metallica?

They talked me into being there and my only regret is that we didn't have enough time to at least mix it the way we heard it. I wanted to take "Master of Puppets" and blow that away. That was my sonic direction for "... And Justice For All." It was all there but I think they were looking for more garagey-type sound without bass. And the bass was great; it was perfect. I remember when Metallica got elected to the Hall of Fame, they flew us out and I'm sitting with Lars.

Did you talk to him?

He goes, "Hey, what happened to the bass in "... Justice?" He actually asked me that. I wanted to cold cock him right there. It was a shame because I'm the one getting the sh-t for the lack of bass.

Does that happen where you'll disagree with a member of a band about how an album should sound?

I worked with Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe. I was working with Jon and he produced the whole record and used drum machines. He took the drum machines out and had Bill Bruford play to an existing track. I said, "With a guy like Bill Bruford, why would you restrict him?" I'm mixing the tracks and Steve Howe's guitars were amazing and Jon favored the keyboards over the guitar. I says, "Jon, no, no, no, no."

What happened?

At the end of the day, Jon was there and he was the boss and I had to downplay Steve's guitars and I didn't want to. So I get the sh-t for that too. Steve Howe says, "What happened to my guitars?" so I was the fall guy on this.

Any other stories like that?

Clive Davis calls me up and says, "Steve, I just signed a very exciting, revolutionary band, which I'd like you to work with." I said, "Great, Clive. Who is it?" He said, "The Grateful Dead." I said, "Dude, I respect them but I'm not a Deadhead and I don't like their music and I'm just not into that." He says, "Oh, stop, Steve. You'll be fine. Just work on this song." I think it was called "Throwing Stones [In the Dark]." He said, "Go into the studio and you'll be fine." I said, "Clive, I'm not into this" and Clive talks me into it.

What were those early sessions like?

It's Michael and myself and we're putting up the track and Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir walk in. Mike goes to Jerry, "How do you like your vocal sound?" and Jerry goes, "That's not me. That's Bob." So I think Michael said, "I guess you can see what kind of a big bunch of Deadhead fans we are."

What did they think?

Ever since that comment they absolutely loved us because they'd never met anybody in the world who could give a f--k. We had the greatest time and they loved everything and it was a very easy session. I figured if I could get away with doing the Dead, I could do anything.

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden & Steve Thompson

What was it like mixing Soundgarden's second album "Louder Than Love"?

Towards the late '80s, I was getting calls from all these hair bands who wanted me to produce 'em and I hated it. I go to my manager Andy Kipnes [AAM] and said, "Andy, if this is where music is going, I'm outta here. I hate it." Then I get a call from Steve Ralbovsky and he says, "Hey, I just signed this exciting band, Soundgarden. Would you work with them?"

What did you think of the band?

I heard 'em and I was blown away. We started mixing Soundgarden and nobody was in the studio but we get calls from Chris [Cornell]. They wanted a more dry approach instead of big snare sounds. They wanted it dry and they were very opinionated and I kind of gave 'em what they wanted. I'm on my honeymoon and I get a call, "Chris would like to change some mixes." I'm on my f--kin' honeymoon and I said, "Michael, go in the studio and change what he wants." Obviously he's very opinionated but at the end of the day what a great f--king band. You give it up to them.

Great band.

Chris's vocal, the guitar playing, the angst. Everything. I loved it better than Nirvana and I was a Nirvana and Pearl Jam fan. I was into grunge. I was one of the few '80s rockers that liked it because it was aggressive and had angst and I'm always an aggressive and angst guy.

When someone listens to a Soundgarden mix or a Metallica mix, will they recognize that both records were done by Steve Thompson? Is there connecting tissue between the projects you do, which are kind of your trademarks?

Hopefully not. My aim is to make each artist have their own identity. I don't apply what I did to Guns N' Roses to Metallica or from Whitney Houston to Madonna. I take each artist as a separate entity and that was always important to me. So I can't really say there's a signature sound. Obviously "... And Justice For All" does not sound like "Appetite for Destruction." I don't use the same tricks. I love working in different studios and I take each song for what it is and how can I make it great.

Steve Thompson & Korn

What was it like producing Korn's "Follow the Leader"?

What was kind of interesting about Korn is I was going to L.A. To check out three bands: Korn, Buckcherry and Bolt Upright. Jeff Kwatinetz [Korn's manager] called my manager and said he wanted me to meet with the guys from Korn. I didn't realize this walking in and meeting them but they had actually interviewed a hundred different producers and were ready to go back to Ross Robinson [Korn's previous producer] so they were kind of done interviewing. I said, "Dude, I would be more than happy to work with you. Give me a shot" and I left.

It didn't sound like you really wanted the gig?

I just walked out of there because I didn't feel the passion there. I got a call from the manager and he said, "Steve, the band feels bad. Come in the next day and talk to them." I said, "I'll make a deal with you. Let's go in a rehearsal situation and pick one song, work on it together and see if there's a chemistry there." He said, "Great idea" so we wound up doing that.

What did the songs sound like?

I heard the demo for "Freak On a Leash," which was unrecognizable to where it is today. I got the song and said, "Let's try this part. Let's do this. Let's take this section and double it up." We worked for about four or five hours together and everybody sees the result and goes, "Damn, I like this." I remember getting their demos and there was seven songs that all sounded the same and nothing really there. I remember going in pre-production and saying, "Well, guys. How do you write songs?" They said, "Fieldy plays the bassline." I said, "Cool. How else do you write songs?" They said, "Uh, Fieldy plays the bassline." I said, "OK, we're gonna change this up guys. Head and Munky, come up with guitar riffs. David [Silveria], come up with some drum parts. Jonathan, come up with some lyrics."

You needed them to approach the music differently?

I wanted to change up their writing style and I would up spending two months in pre-production near Compton [California] and I was not going in the studio 'til I knew I had an album there. I think the first song we worked on was "Freak on a Leash."

But you still had to maintain the character of who Korn was, right?

They had a big following and it was, "How do I make a record that's worldwide and doesn't piss off their following?" That was very important to me not to sell 'em out. I had that seven-song demo and I was in New York and I had to be in L.A. On January 5th. I told people I was working with, "I am gonna drive to L.A. By myself with this demo and live with it across the country." I left New York New Year's Eve night like a f--kin' idiot to drive to L.A. By myself and try to figure out what I was gonna do. I think I spent four-and-a-half days on the road.

Give me some details on how you made that record?

We recorded at NRG Studios in L.A. In Studio B, which had a vintage Neve 8078 console. The compressors were Neves and we also used for total board compression an SSL compressor/stereo compressor. We used the Urei 1176 and the dbx 180 compressors as well. We used the Shure SM7 and SM57. Also Neumann U47 and U87s and an Electrovoice RE20 and Sennheiser 421. David had a triggered dDrum on his kit.

What kind of amps were in the studio?

Some of the amps we used included Bogner Uberschall and Ecstasy models; Marshall vintage; Mesa Boogie; and maybe some Orange amps. For bass, we used Gallien-Krueger and a sub-woofer and an SWR bass head. For guitars, I used a Tonebender pedal, which is like a Muff but a little cooler. On voice, I used an Expander pedal for certain things. We used an MPC3000 drum machine. We ran the system with Studer machines and used a new version of Pro Tools, which was new at the time. This was one of their first models. We recorded to tape, which were probably Studer 2" machines running at 30 ips.

Pre-production was important?

It's really important with a band like Korn to do good pre-production. You just can't walk in the studio with them and get it in there. Like I said we spent two months honing the songs and I was writing songs with Jonathan 'til six in the morning in the hotel.

You really were involved in the production.

Basically the studio sessions were a circus. Kwatinetz and Peter Katsis [co-manager of Korn] came up with a great marketing plan: let's do Korn TV every Thursday in the studio for the Internet, which I thought was brilliant. But the problem is they kind of sliced into our studio time. So it meant bringing Ron Jeremy in and do an S&M day; let's do nipple piercing; let's talk about crazy sh-t. Every Thursday it was a different scene: Marilyn Manson's people were hanging out; Orgy was hanging out; Primus and Steve Vai.

So you had to work around Korn TV?

But I remember the listening session for the suits right before the record was done. One of the guys in the company said, "Steve, this album's gonna be huge. We're gonna sell three million." I said, "With all due respect if you can't sell at least 10 million you're not doing your jobs."

You won a Grammy for "Freak on a Leash"?

Yeah, Best Video. Remember what I said about Guns N' Roses and that record needed to be there in that time and space? That's what I felt about Korn 'cause rock was dead and the charts were dominated by N'SYNC and Backstreet Boys.

I've always loved hip hop and to be able to bring in Ice Cube and that influence with the beats and everything. I always loved that stuff because of the work I did with Anthrax and Public Enemy. We did "Bring the Noise," which obviously "Walk This Way" with Aerosmith and Run DMC started it and we nailed it. I started working with bands like P.E. and I always loved the combination of rap and rock because it's aggressive, in your face and it was cool.

Talking about the rap thing, you worked with Wu-Tang Clan on "Iron Flag"?

I'm a big Wu-Tang fan and I worked with RZA on this. I went to the Hit Factory in New York and said, "Troy [Germano, CEO of Hit Factory], I need some bangin' speakers in here." He brought these speakers in that should have been on "Spinal Tap." They were so f--kin' big but they sounded so f--kin' cool.

What was it like working with RZA?

RZA's production style was interesting because he'd give me mono loops with basses on 'em. That frustrated me because I liked instruments isolated. My thing was make Wu-Tang's sh-t bang hard. I'm working in there and the manager goes, "Raekwon's gonna walk in but don't worry about him. He doesn't like anything. Don't be offended if he hates it." Raekwon walks in, listens to the track and says, "Stop that." I go, "What's the matter?" and he goes, "This is the first motherf--kin' time I walk in the studio and actually like what I'm hearing," hah hah hah.

Are there certain pieces of gear that have become part of the Steve Thompson arsenal?

Obviously everything is done in Pro Tools today and a lot of people just mix in the box today. My tool is I want a console because I will match up with anybody in the box and blow away what they're doing. You tend to overanalyze when you're looking at a screen all day. I go for the gut: close your eyes and feel the music and you do that on a console. With the advent of plug-ins, you can get basically anything you need.

A lot of times if I'm dealing with a record that's basically recorded in a basement, I kinda have to make things bigger 'cause a lot of times they use too much digital.

In what way?

They'll use a guitar pod instead of using a guitar amp. So what I have to wind up doing is going in the studio, bringing in a Marshall and re-amping their guitars. A lot of times I have to sound replace [SoundReplacer] drums just to get the crack better. I don't like doing that. If it's recorded well, I just like to fill it up. A lot of times people don't have these big budgets and they do what they do, I've still got to make it sound like a million dollars so that's when you have to come in with stuff. For bottom end, you use Pultecs or you can use Pultec plug-ins. Neve outboard gear I love just to give it that warm sound.

Would you like to go back to analog?

I would never go back to tape. I don't need to. I have the technology in my head to get that warm, fat sound going through Pro Tools and a console. The thing I always hated about tape was the hiss factor. I never used Dolby or anything like that to try to get it out of there 'cause that just took the life out of a track. Obviously the bottom end is better with analog but I found ways I can get that bottom end and not have the hiss.

The change from analog to digital wasn't a problem for you?

I was one of the first ones to use Pro Tools and I loved it. In fact we did it on the Korn record and it was pretty new. I would take the Pro Tools engineer, throw him in a closet and tell him what I wanted and I said, "Come out when ya got it." I always called Pro Tools a tool and not a performer 'cause people get lazy. It's like when a singer comes in and says, "OK, I'll sing one chorus and we'll fly in the same chorus everywhere else." I said, "No, we're not doing that. Each chorus should have a little different flavor to it."

That's old school.

I'm a stickler for performers. I'm not American Idol where every note has to be perfect. I want a vulnerability in a singer and that might mean a couple of off notes. Can you imagine Kurt Cobain on Auto-Tune? That's the art that's lost. To me, music is human and make it feel human. What's wrong with a drummer speeding up and retarding a little bit? Let it breathe. Let it have passion.

Liv Famous is one of your own projects?

It's gonna revolutionize the whole entertainment industry. That is my goal. I just want people to be able to be exposed to great artists and young kids record companies have neglected. All genres of music will be spotlighted and it's gonna be all about originals. I wanted people to be exposed to the new Pink Floyds and the new Marvin Gayes.

You're hoping to give new artists a chance to be heard that they may not have had?

These people haven't had a platform and they're getting distressed because you see YouTube is now the A&R department of the music industry, which is a joke. My motif when I make music is I want it to be contemporary and timeless at the same time and that's what I strive to do. And thank god, my history has held up that fact.

Talking about history, the aliens land and find the Steve Thompson time capsule with three songs in it. Which three songs are in there?

Oh, my god. I'd probably put David Bowie, which I didn't work on; "Dark Side of the Moon"; and Marvin Gaye "What's Going On"?

Right. Now which three songs of yours would be in there?

I'd have to put "Welcome to the Jungle" in there 'cause that always gets me in a good mood. I've been through so many interviews and so many people and I've never been stymied to answer a question. I loved working with Ziggy Marley. We won a people on "People Get Ready" and working with him and Bob's band was monumental for me. Obviously I would say John Lennon for the fact I had so much respect for what he did. I would put Blues Traveler in there. I would say "Freak on a Leash" because I sometimes feel myself as being a freak.

A very talented freak.

I'm a gut person. I know what's gonna work and what's not gonna work and what risks to take. I make it a point to do that. You've got to be hungry. The whole is never settle and don't look in the past. Don't look at your achievements; they're meaningless to me today. I feel like I'm the new kid on the block and I love that. I want to keep that hunger. Being a DJ, you're always looking to the future and having that background was very important. I don't look at what the trends are today, I wanna set the new ones of tomorrow.

That's an amazing philosophy.

The biggest thing about music? Have a great song. That's the one thing I'm kinda sad about today. Obviously every generation has a way of saying things. If you wrote a song today like "She Loves You/Yeah, yeah, yeah," they'd laugh you to the moon. Now it's "Let's tap that a-s" and "We're gonna hang out at the club."

It's a shame music has been so dumbed down to let's party time and this and that. That's all good but there's much more to say than just that. Let's educate a little bit. When hip hop was great, Public Enemy was out there with the lyrics saying, "This is what's going on." You're gonna try and tell me there's not enough things happening in the world you can't talk about instead of partying and booty shake girls?

What are you working on now?

I'm working with Criss Angel on music for his new television show called Tricked. I'm co-writing and producing. I'm developing and launching a revolutionary artist development and A& R company that employs a television show to scout the best original talent in the world. It will revolutionize the entire music industry. I just finished the treatment with Ken Kushner for a movie called Souls.

I also just wrote a sports anthem called "Get Your Game On," which marries EDM, trapt and rock together. It will be the sports anthem for today's and tomorrow's generation. Currently I am working with great artists and always looking for great new artists or established artists who want to make their best record ever.

Interview by Steven Rosen (C) 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Writing My Way To A New Self: Introverted -vs- Extroverted

Draft features essays by grammarians, historians, linguists, journalists, novelists and others on the art of writing — from the comma to the tweet to the novel — and why a well-crafted sentence matters more than ever in the digital age.

Writing My Way to a New Self

I stared at the head counselor with a mixture of defiance, annoyance and heartbreak. She had just informed me that she was demoting me. Gone was the prestige position of senior counselor for a group of 13-year-old girls, and in its place, a midlevel position as a co-counselor for a group of 11-year-olds.

“I just don’t understand it,” she said. “In your letter you seemed like a completely different person.”

Of course I’d been a different person in my letter. I’d been writing.

I’d written a letter that spring, back in my dorm room at college, explaining in detail why I wanted to return as a counselor to the camp that had tortured me as a camper. Though I can no longer remember the details of the handwritten letter, I’m sure I said something about how I knew I hadn’t been a model camper, but that I wanted the chance to try again. I wanted to be there for other campers who were like me: bookish, semi-artsy and inexplicably at a summer camp for athletes. I could teach dance, I wrote. I could teach writing, not that the camp offered such a thing. I’d be there for the girls who were struggling; I’d help them have the sparkling summer I’d never found for myself. But mostly what my letter said, I’m certain, was that I was excited and ready to be an exceptional camp counselor.

So the head counselor had been surprised to discover upon my arrival in New Hampshire that I was still the same mildly morose, shy and apathetic person she’d known me to be as a camper. I still didn’t cheer appropriately at soccer games. I still felt like an impostor when singing the camp songs. Camp spirit was still a mortifying concept for me.

“What happened to that girl who wrote the letter?” she asked.

She’s in here, I wanted to respond. But she only comes out when I’m writing. You thought you were hiring Writing Me. But instead what you got was Actual Me. Big mistake.

For many years after, I assumed all writers were like me, with a secret extroverted, passionate alter ego trapped inside an introverted person who kept to the corners of rooms. A decade later, as I lined up in a university hall on the first day of my M.F.A. program, I made small talk with the woman in front of me. We asked each other politely where we were from, and then I said, “This is like a roomful of people who would all rather be by themselves.”

She looked at me with a puzzled expression.

“You know,” I added. “Writers. We’d rather be writing. Not talking.”

“Oh,” she said, and then started to talk to the person on the other side of her.

It turned out that even in a building filled with writers, I was the quietest, shyest, most introverted of the bunch. I marveled at the writers I would meet, both in the program and in the years after, who were able to write and talk to people. How were they able to quietly observe the world around them while simultaneously participating in it?

As time went on, I discovered that my inability to talk to people I didn’t know was seriously limiting the range of topics I could write on. More specifically, I was constantly finding myself in a position where I needed to pick up the phone in order to write about a given topic, a task that to me was as daunting as ice-picking across the Himalayas. In fact, given the choice, I would have readily ice-picked across the Himalayas. As a result, I became adept at writing around the fact that I hadn’t spoken to another human. I wrote an entire book that contained a hefty research component done completely at libraries, without one interview.

After that book my editor encouraged me to broaden my reach a little, to tackle more important topics. This turns out to be difficult when you don’t have anyone but yourself to draw on for source material.

That’s when I turned to email. Over the course of a decade, it had shifted from being a quirky way to contact someone before you picked up the phone to being the only way you contacted someone. Now, instead of having to call editors or sources, one could simply email them. And while on the phone I was awkward and stiff, in email I was my charming inner self. The phone meant talking, but email meant writing, and writing was something I could do.

Whereas I had always focused on essay writing as a way of shielding myself from the world, now I found that I could broaden those essays into reported pieces that went wherever my curiosity took me. Eventually the emails led to phone calls, of course, but somehow the initial exchange helped me get over my fear of picking up the phone. Once an interview subject had been contacted and a time set, it no longer felt as though I was approaching a stranger. I’d already laid the enthusiastic groundwork in my written message, and now all I had to do was ask the questions that were in my head.

And once I got going, a funny thing happened. I became enthusiastic, friendly and witty. Well, wittier than I’d been previously when I was simply stammering into the phone and thinking about how much longer I’d have to talk before it would be acceptable to hang up. I began to actually enjoy my phone interviews. It was as though my writing self and my public self had begun to merge into one whole person.

And when that happened, it was as though I’d been set free. Previously my entire writing career had been defined by what I was incapable of doing. I wasn’t someone who could pick up the phone. And now I am.

As I write this, I’m working on a project that will involve close to 100 interviews by the time it’s done. And with each interview I grow bolder, more comfortable, and more like the person I’ve always been in my writing. Now hardly any topic seems beyond my reach. As long as I can write my way there first. — Hana Schank | The New York Times

Hana Schank is the author of the forthcoming book “The Edge of Normal.”

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 23rd, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 23rd, 2015

Check out the 10 best from a 6-game Monday in the Association
Nikola Mirotić - Chicago Bulls coveted rookie

Monday, March 23, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 22nd, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 22nd, 2015

The best of the best from Sunday's NBA action highlighted in the Top 10.
LBJ soars for a thunderous dunk

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 21st, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 21st, 2015

Catch the top five plays from Saturday night's NBA action!
Stephen Curry - superstar son of retired-NBA sharp-shooter Del Curry

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 20th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 20th, 2015

Count down the best plays from Friday night's action in the NBA!
Derrick Williams' Dunk Of The Year

Friday, March 20, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 19th, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 19th, 2015

Count down the top five plays from Thursday night.

Zach LeVine - 2014 NBA Slam Dunk Champion

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 18th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 18th, 2015

Count down the top ten plays from a action-packed Wednesday night in the NBA.
Chris Anderson a.k.a. Birdman

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 17th, 2015

Top 5 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 17th, 2015

Count down the top ten plays from Monday night.
Andre Drummond puts-it-down!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

PAWS — Rescuing Mufasa

Rescuing a homeless senior dog from a water treatment facility. Please share. 

This Homeless Old Dog Was Alone All His Life. What Happens When He’s Rescued Will Melt Your Heart.
A homeless 8-year-old dog named Mufasa was found by Eldad Hagar of Hope for Paws living outside of a sewage treatment plant in Los Angeles. He had been alone all of his life, starved, and at risk of coming in contact with toxic chemicals generated by the facility, so he had to be rescued quickly.

The look of relief on Mufasa’s face when he realizes he will now have someone to depend on is priceless. He may be older, but this dog has the spirit of a puppy.

Younger dogs are usually the first to be adopted at animal shelters because they’re so tiny, clumsy, and overall adorable. All too often, senior dogs are overlooked and are the last to be given a second chance at life.

Let’s share this video so that more senior dogs may finally get the loving homes they deserve.

Top 10 NBA Plays Of the Night: March 16th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of the Night: March 16th, 2015

Check out all the best plays from a busy 10-game slate in the NBA!

J.R. Smith in an alternate Cavs uniform

Meet "Hulk" The Giant 175-Pound Family Pitbull

A TODDLER hangs off the back of a super-sized pit bull - that could snap a man's arm with a SINGLE bite. But despite being a banned breed in the UK, breeders Marlon and Lisa Grennan say monster dog 'the Hulk' is 100 per cent trusted with their young son. Despite the lethal potential of 12-stone Hulk and the couple's many other dogs, three-year-old Jordan has grown up with them within arm's reach.

Hulk courtesy of Dark Dynasty K9s

The couple's company Dark Dynasty K9s supplies animals to high-profile celebrities, billionaires and wealthy professionals - as well as law enforcement around the world. They are trained to have 'no fear' and some specialist dogs can even run up the side of fences and walls to reach second-floor windows. Many their dogs share their house on a sprawling 150-acre ranch in New Hampshire, USA. The dogs include more than a dozen highly trained pit bulls - and a single chihuahua.

Friday, March 13, 2015

'I Hate Christian Laettner' — ESPN 30-For-30 Documentary

'I Hate Christian Laettner'

Love him or hate, Duke's Christian Laettner was One of the Greatest NCAA
Men's College Basketball of All-Timesss!

Film Summary

He made perhaps the most dramatic shot in the history of the NCAA basketball tournament. He's the only player to start in four consecutive Final Fours, and was instrumental in Duke winning two national championships. He had looks, smarts and game.

So why has Christian Laettner been disliked so intensely by so many for so long?
Maybe it was the time he stomped on the chest of a downed player, or the battles he had with his teammates, or a perceived sense of entitlement. But sometimes, perception isn't reality.'

"I Hate Christian Laettner" will go beyond the polarizing persona to reveal the complete story behind this lightning rod of college basketball. Featuring extensive access to Laettner, previously unseen footage and perspectives from all sides, this film will be a "gloves-off" examination of the man who has been seen by many as the "Blue Devil Himself."

Director's Take

I grew up outside Philadelphia a die-hard Eagles fan. And I despised the Dallas Cowboys and everything they stood for. It was as much fun hating the Cowboys as much as it was rooting for my team. But why? Why do fans hate certain players or teams beyond just home team loyalties? We figured this could be an interesting topic to explore through the lens of one of the most polarizing college athletes of all time ... Christian Laettner.

I told Christian when we started that the film would not be a love letter to him or his school, but that we would try to be fair. I'm appreciative of Christian and his family for trusting me to tell this story. Few other athletes would be so forthcoming and generous. I am also grateful for the collaboration with Rob Lowe. He knows sports and he knows storytelling. His contribution to the film has been invaluable.

Of all the films I've been fortunate to direct, this film was the most challenging creatively. ESPN didn't want the film to be a straight bio. We took an unorthodox approach that hopefully entertains and enlightens. We attempted to explore some tough topics while still being fair. The film features pop culture blended with controversy, and hopefully a touch of humor as well. My hope is haters and non-haters alike will be satisfied. —

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 12th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 12th, 2015
Count down the top ten plays from Thursday night.
Kyrie Irving

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 11th, 2015

Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Night: March 11th, 2015

Josh Smith's facial headlines Wednesday's Top 10 Plays.
Lefty Josh Smith

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Robin Thicke & Pharrell Lose $7.3 Million Dollar "Blurred Lines" Lawsuit To Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up"

‘Blurred Lines’ Jury Orders Pharrell, Robin Thicke to Pay $7.3 Million to Marvin Gaye Family — Variety

Robin Thicke, Pharrell Lose Multi-Million Dollar 'Blurred Lines' Lawsuit — RollingStone

Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" Owes Tom Petty Royalties For "I Won't Back Down"

Sam Smith to Pay Tom Petty Royalties on 'Stay With Me' — USA Today

Sam Smith's Grammy-Award-winning rendition is eerily similar to Tom Petty's 80s smash

Sam Smith on Tom Petty Settlement: 'Similarities' But 'Complete Coincidence' — RollingStone

Tom Petty states, "The word lawsuit was never even said and was never my intention.
And no more was to be said about it..."

Tom Petty on Sam Smith Settlement: 'No Hard Feelings. These Things Happen' — RollingStone

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