Today we jump ahead in the chronological order and present the fourteenth episode of Radio Free Charleston, “Spider-man Shirt.” This show features music from Go Van Gogh, and the short film “Marvel Jackass” by Dunbar’s Joe Justice.
Some of the shows we bring you are not exactly as they were when we first posted them. There are a couple of reasons for that, and we’re going to spill the beans about them now.
“Pentagram Flowebox,” the story of Satan living in a trailer park, debuted in our third episode, and was included in many installments of our show until episode 20. This series was created by a former Charleston-area musician, and was brought to me by RFC Big Shot Brian Young. The former Charleston-area musician shall remain nameless by his own request. He prefers to be known as “Third Mind Incarnation,” and you can visit his website here.
Our differences were a classic case of bad communication. Neither of us made enough effort to contact each other, and therefore, when we each grew increasingly unhappy with the way the series was progressing on RFC, we had no way to foresee or resolve the issues. I wanted shorter, punchier pieces for the show. The series’ creator wanted to do longer, less traditionally-structured pieces. I thought I had his blessing to edit his material to fit our format, but it turns out that he was not at all happy. Rather than deal with it privately he chose to inform me of his unhappiness with a series of nasty comments that went up unmoderated here in PopCult. Harsh words were exchanged, and we dropped Pentagram Flowerbox from Radio Free Charleston. Better to part ways than to kill each other.
Since “Third Mind” was so unhappy with our editing of his work, I didn’t feel right leaving it in the show when we put them up in the archives. It’s better to respect his artistic vision. You can see the original cartoons the way he intended at his blog. While the end of our working relationship was less than pleasant, we do wish he would produce more work. We are still fans of the cartoons. In some shows, Pentagram Flowerbox will be replaced by “The Mascot,” classic 1930s puppet animation by Wladislaw Starewicz. Other shows will replace Pentagram Flowerbox with animation by Frank, or some ancient weird cartoons.
One other big gaping hole in the show is in episode fourteen, which we are posting here today . One entire song has been excised. The song is “I Hate Your God,” and the fact that I had to remove a video that Melanie and I worked so hard on is quite a bummer. However, serious questions over the authorship of the song have come to light.
I’m going to dance around some of the details here in the interest of fairness. I have this forum, the other party does not. Melanie and I directed the video for “I Hate Your God” for a Huntington band that turned out to be just one guy. The video was considered a creative high point in the first year of the show, and we hit it off right away with the musician. So much so, that over a year later, he spent a month as my houseguest.
By the end of that month, our friendship had soured. I gave him a ride back to his mom’s house in Huntington, and essentially wrote off ever seeing any reimbursement from him for stolen or broken items.
A couple of weeks later I received a very disturbing email. It was from a former bandmate of my now ex-friend, claiming that he’d actually written “I Hate Your God.” I forwarded the email to the person in question, and got no response. A follow-up also went unanswered. Then he posted a message on his MySpace page saying that he would “…be in the news soon. None of it’s true, but I don’t care. It’ll make me famous.”
I would not normally be inclined to believe that a guest on my show would commit plagarism, but my personal experience with this person was all I needed to know that the charge of plagarism was more than credible. The fact that he never managed to write another entire song by himself sort of clinched it for me. I pulled the video off of YouTube and had all still images from it removed from MySpace.
Unless it can be proven that the song is not plagarized, the video for “I Hate Your God” will never be seen again. I will not be party to the theft of another person’s intellectual property. I will also not publish the name of the musician in question, his stage name, nor his band’s name in this post. If he’s innocent, he shouldn’t have his name linked to the word plagarism. If he’s guilty, which I consider most likely, he doesn’t deserve the attention. The redacted production notes can be found here, here and here.