Robin Thicke, Pharrell Depositions are Full of Bombshells

UPDATE: Thicke released a statement through his attorney, Howard King. “Robin’s moment of personal vulnerability is being exploited in the hope of diverting attention from the obvious weakness of their legal claim.”

OMG is this for real? Depositions given by “Blurred Lines” writers, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams are full of bombshell allegations. The Marvin Gaye family is suing the artists responsible for the mega-hit, “Blurred Lines,” claiming they ripped off the rhythm section from a song by the late soul legend titled “Got to Give it Up.”

Baby - Justin Bieber covered by Mig...
Baby - Justin Bieber covered by Miguel

There is quite the lengthy discussion of the depositions, including efforts to keep them sealed at The Hollywood Reporter. After some back and forth between the parties, a judge could see no reason not to make them public.

First, Thicke claims he didn’t have much to do with penning the song. He says he lied to reporters about his equal involvement, and only wanted credit for the royalties.

And get this, Robin insists that he was too high on Vicodin and alcohol to contribute much of anything to the writing of the song.

Read Robin’s full deposition HERE. From THR

Q: Were you present during the creation of ‘Blurred Lines’?

Thicke: I was present. Obviously, I sang it. I had to be there.

Q: When the rhythm track was being created, were you there with Pharrell?

Thicke: To be honest, that’s the only part where — I was high on Vicodin and alcohol when I showed up at the studio. So my recollection is when we made the song, I thought I wanted — I — I wanted to be more involved than I actually was by the time, nine months later, it became a huge hit and I wanted credit. So I started kind of convincing myself that I was a little more part of it than I was and I — because I didn’t want him — I wanted some credit for this big hit. But the reality is, is that Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song.”

Throwing Pharrell under the bus. NICE. Oddly, The Voice coach made statements in his own deposition that seems to back up Thicke’s statements.

“This is what happens every day in our industry,” said Williams during his own deposition (read in full here). “You know, people are made to look like they have much more authorship in the situation than they actually do. So that’s where the embellishment comes in.”

Pharrell and Thicke were both incredibly hostile during their depositions. Thicke became sarcastic when the Gaye family’s lawyer played a mashup of the two songs together.

“It’s so hard to listen to it,” said Thicke, referencing a clash between major and minor chords. “It’s like nails on a f—ing chalkboard. … This is [like] Stanley Kubrick‘s movie Clockwork Orange. Where he has to sit there and watch … Mozart would be rolling in his grave right now.”

Pharrell claimed he could read music, but then became belligerent when asked questions that required technical answers.

At one point during the examination, Williams says he can read music, but then is shown a transcription of a song, and is asked to identify notes and durations. “I’m not comfortable,” Williams responds eight times as Busch presses to figure out whether he really can read music.

The producer is evasive in other ways. Asked whether Marvin Gaye has influenced him, Williams says, “He’s an Aries. I respect him.”

Pharrell has some interesting thoughts on white soul singers, which he attempted to use to support the idea that the rhythm section didn’t drive the song’s popularity.

“Q: In your view, what holds ‘Blurred Lines’ together throughout the different sections?

Williams: What holds it together?

Q: Yeah.

Williams: Robin Thicke’s voice.

Q: Does the bass line and the keyboard hold the songs together through the different sections?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: Because it’s the white man singing soulfully and we, unfortunately, in this country don’t get enough — we don’t get to hear that as often, so we get excited by it when the mainstream gives that a shot. But there’s a lot of incredibly talented white folk with really soulful vocals, so when we’re able to give them a shot — and when I say ‘we,’ I mean like as in the public gives them a shot to be heard, then you hear the Justin Timberlakes and you hear the Christina Aguileras and you hear, you know, all of these masterful voices that have just been given, you know, an opportunity to be heard because they’re doing something different.”

Thicke also claimed he was high on a Vicodin-like drug when he and his son were on the Oprah Winfrey show and talked about being sued by the man who inspired half his music. He said he told his wife “the truth” and that’s why she left him. Also, he claimed to be sober for many months, but then clarified he was abstaining only from pills. He still drinks alcohol (You ain’t sober, bud.)

About mj santilli 33705 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

25 Comments

  1. Sometimes it feels like that Robin and Ce-lo Green are almost the same person….

  2. Saying Pharrell had the beat and wrote every word of the song isn’t throwing him under the bus. He’s really giving Pharrell credit.

  3. When you’re getting sued for stealing the song, giving the other guy credit IS throwing him under the bus!

  4. Yep and that might be able to create a whole other lawsuit……

  5. Blurred Lines may have the same beat. But that’s the only similarity it has with Got to Give It Up. I really don’t see how Marvin’s heirs have a lawsuit.

  6. Sounds like an admission of guilt to me plus a whole lot of excuses too. If he only wrote one word, he gets a songwriting credit.

  7. I always knew I didn’t like Thicke, but he just rubs me wrong for many reason. Never heard of him until he made an ass of himself at the VMAs with Miley. Then the picture of his hand up that gals butt sealed the deal. Have no bad vibes about Pharrel, except he needs to lose those stupid hats.

  8. When I first heard Blurred Lines I immediately thought it had taken the music from Got To Give It Up. The whole vibe of both songs is the same too. Same falsettos. Pharrell should get credit for the lyrics and the family of Marvin Gaye should get credit for the music. They should make a settlement before going to trial.

  9. Pharell is a plagiarist, as far as stealing the rythm and percussion elements. It’s a blatant rip off. I never cared for Robin Thicke and always thought he was kind of sleezy. lol

  10. If I remember correctly, Robin Thicke sued or threaten to sue the Marvin Gaye estate to make sure they would not come after him when he acknowledged MG as a major influence in his music. RT has turned out to be very unpleasant. I am a bit disappointed in Pharrell because he has made so many positive statements and has made an effort to appear humble at the height of his success.

  11. If Pharrell is a thief then the same is true of Marvin Gaye and most writers. There are a whole lot of songs that share the similar instrumentation. Because of that, many music scholars have come down on the side of the case not having any merit.

  12. Pharrell admits that Robin didn’t have a hand in writing every aspect of the song. I would say that the way that it is worded might hurt Robin in the industry, but the truth is that singers get a lot of credit for penning songs that they had no hand in writing.

  13. How can songs have the same falsetto? Use of falsetto in a song is not something that can be covered under a copyrighted and the same goes for vibes.

  14. I disagree, the same isn’t true of Marvin gay and most writers. It’s the same as rappers using the hook of a song and even stealing the melody, then slapping on their lyrics then acting like it’s something fresh and new. It just isn’t. At least Run DMC had Aerosmith with them as a collaboration, that I can respect. It’s the same as Vanilla Ice ripping off Under Pressure. I am actually disappointed because Pharell’s song Happy was a hit, and he is very creative and talented.

  15. There are similar, but not the same, as far as I can tell. Any person can do a mash up of songs and made it look like they are similar.

    I don´t care about Robin, the guy is toxic, but I actually like Pharrell, hope everything turns out for the best for him.

  16. He’s only giving Pharrel credit now that there’s trouble attached to having written it, LOL!

  17. It’s the way it was used. I thought the same thing, actually – that ‘Blurred Lines’ incorporated both style and substance from ‘Got To Give It Up’. The thing is – every artist builds on previous work. We are inspired by what we hear and see. Acknowledge it, and move on. I always get antsy whenever ‘plagurism’ is called. If it’s a word for word or note for note copy – then yes. If it merely incorporates phrases (musical or otherwise) or themes….then tip your hat to who influenced you (and pay the piper), and create your art. It sounds like Pharrell didn’t do that. Now – I really like him and his work. I hope this can be settled, and everyone can move on.

    Not feeling much love for Thicke, however. What a tool!

  18. I don’t really find any of this shocking.

    Robin Thicke claims he was high on drugs? Not shocked. The entertainment industry is flowing with ’em. I’m almost to the point I’m surprised when I find out an artist has never done them.

    Robin Thicke claims he didn’t write the song and he was only in the room? Not shocked. We talk about that all the time here. Many artists are famous for doing this (cough*Madonna and Rihanna*cough). Many Idols are accused of doing this. It was once a blog article here that a writer commented that he was surprised that an Idol actually contributed to a song. He said that normally when a label contacts you to sit for a few hours with some artist and write a song, it means they just want you to share credit for a song you wrote. Artists do it because it gives them more credibility and mechanical royalties (which are not subject to recoupment, are paid when songs are played on the radio and the rates are set by Congress). Songwriters do it because it’s part of the cost of doing business and they want their songs on successful albums (half of the mechanical royalty is better than none). Robin is actually being forthcoming admitting that he didn’t write the song. He’s not throwing Pharrell under the bus. He’s required to tell the truth during a deposition. That’s not to say a lot of artist don’t write songs (they do), but there are many co-writes that aren’t.

    Robin Thicke says obnoxious things about clashing major and minor chords? Not shocked. Robin may be an a$$, a terrible husband and a lush, but the man is actually a talented musician. Most musicians I know cringe when discordant tones are played.

    Pharrell Williams can’t really read music or understand musical theory? Not shocked, but a little peeved that it is an issue. Pharrell may just be a natural musician. You’ll find many like that in Pop industry. Paul McCartney has admitted that he cannot read music. It didn’t stop him from writing some of the most famous songs of the 20th Century. He feels that studying musical theory would cramp his creativity and it certainly hasn’t prevented him from writing some memorably melodies. Many jazz musicians just play. It’s in their bones. I can’t argue with the results Pharrell has had in the industry, so he’s found what works for him. He’s doing just fine in his creative world.

    Did they rip off Marvin Gaye? I don’t believe it was done consciously. It’s easy to share credits and Pharrell doesn’t mind sharing them (just ask Robin Thicke). Sometimes songs get stuck in your unconsciousness and percolate out in a song. Sometimes songs just sound the same (just ask George Harrison). Sometimes, the musical theorists can show you just how different a song really is.

  19. Pharrell reads music, he played drums, keyboard and saxophone throughout junior high and high school while participating in marching band, etc. He was fortunate to grow up in Virginia Beach which has been long reputed as having a top notch school system and Pharrell was recognized as musically gifted early on. I find him to be a fascinating and talented guy and the fact that he didn’t fully cooperate on the stand doesn’t really bother me. Personally I have no idea if the case has merit or not, but if so it could be no more than a basic beat or vibe which should not be enough for the plaintiffs to win. We shall see.

  20. Pharrell Williams can’t really read music or understand musical theory?

    I don’t think that this is the case. I think that Pharrell’s took offense at being asked to read the music, because it was akin to asking him if he can read, and then handing him a book to make him prove it. It’s offensive, especially to someone who has accomplished as much as Pharrell has. His credentials as a producer extend way beyond Blurred Lines. He has been rewarded numerous times for the music that he has written.

  21. Blurred lines does not sample the hook of Got to Give It Up. The two songs have similar beats, but that is true of many songs, None of the songs that you mention are similar to this case.

  22. lol Not similar? anyhooo…Let me put it this way. If there wasn’t the Marvin Gaye song Got to Give It Up, there wouldn’t be a Blurred Lines. A simpler example would be if someone wrote a story about a house landing on a witch and a farmgirl getting ’emerald’ slippers instead of ruby ones, then calling it original.

  23. I agree. As much as I can’t stand Robin Thicke, Marvin’s heirs don’t really have ground to stand on. The beat is similar, but “Blurred Lines” does not lift any melody or lyrics from “Got to Give It Up.”

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