Nick Cave has been accused of plagiarism, a bold claim to make against a musician who's been writing some of the grittiest and sexiest songs of the past four decades. But according to Frankie Duffy, a twenty-nine-year old, relatively unknown songwriter, the Grinderman frontman explicitly stole a hook from Duffy's former band Rising Sign's song "Grey Man" and re-purposed it in his own song "Palaces of Montezuma". Duffy is considering pursuing legal action. Duffy told Fife's Courier newspaper.
"I can't help thinking that Nick Cave was sitting in his house one night and decided to surf some unsigned bands and saw our site, saw we were split up and thought, 'I'll have that track, nobody will ever know,'"
If it's true, it's hard to imagine that a talented songwriter is at such a loss for inspiration that he trolls random bands MySpace pages for ideas. That, and there's nothing amazingly revolutionary about an A-E-B chord progression and a chorus of ohhs and ahhs. On the other hand, crazier things have happened. Cave refutes the accusations and claims he wrote the song for his wife.
If you'd like to judge for yourself, you can listen to Frankie Duffy's song here, and Cave's below.