Vallery Jean | Mark Davis, Getty Images Fat Joe is wearing his heart on his sleeve…
- Posted on Aug 3rd 2009 3:45PM by Dan Reilly
"I wrote a very short little song making vague references to how gross the business side of making music is," Taylor-Taylor -- who was upset with the band's label over their critique of 'Monkey House' -- continues. The song includes lines about Elastica being sued by Wire for plagiarism, as well as the line aimed at Jackson. "It was because he had outbid Paul McCartney on Paul McCartney's songs," Taylor-Taylor says. "That's the rudest thing you can possibly do. I guess the difference is Paul McCartney is one of the greatest songwriters in history and Michael Jackson is one of the greatest singer/dancers in history, so it's the difference between an entertainer and a writer. Rumor has it that Jackson just said to McCartney, 'I'm a businessman,' so I guess he was, and thus when Michael Jackson is no longer alive to receive publishing money from the Beatles, we'll cover a Beatles song."
For Taylor-Taylor, the choice of 'Blackbird' wasn't because the song is a personal favorite. "It's a bummer because it's a hard song to cover," he says. "'Blackbird' was the only Beatles song that fit into the rhyme scheme of 'absurd' and 'heard.' I don't even know if it was one of the songs Jackson bought. I should have done 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' or something."
Of course, as soon as Jackson died, Taylor-Taylor was repeatedly reminded of the promise. "I was in England and woke up one morning to 18 texts that said 'I guess you're going to cover 'Blackbird' and 'Dude, cover time,'" he says. Warhols guitarist Peter Holmstrom started an arrangement right away and the rest of the band added their parts later on. "It's a little trippier, a little dreamier," Taylor-Taylor says of their version. "We slowed it down and I sang it very high, and then we sped it back up. It actually sounds like Michael Jackson singing it. It's sweet and lullaby-ish but there's something creepy without it being Gothic, which is great."
Despite the anti-Jackson sentiment on 'Monkey House,' Taylor-Taylor holds the late singer in high regard. "Michael Jackson is one of the 10 biggest names in the 20th century," he says. "He's up there with Elvis, Adolf. He's bigger than Mick Jagger." Taylor-Taylor also doesn't see any problem with the incessant media coverage of MJ's death. "He was so important to music and culture and had become an iconic freak," he says. "It wasn't like the media coverage when that Guess jeans supermodel that then became a big jelly donut died. Anna Nicole Smith. They treated her like a true legend, a truly important entertainer died. So, I wasn't horrified by the coverage."
'Blackbird' and 'The Dandy Warhols Are Sound,' the band's newly released original mix of 2003's 'Welcome to the Monkey House,' are available on the band's official website.