David Byrne and other like-minded artists performed at a benefit for the Content Creators Coalition at New York City's Le Poisson Rouge last night and the nature of the event called for something just a bit different than a typical Byrne performance. He is calling attention to the fact that in the US, unlike many other countries, an artist is not compensated when his work is played on the radio.
As he explained in an email that went out to fans in advance of the event…
I’ll be doing a version of “Just a Friend,” which is identified with Biz Markie.
Mr. Markie didn’t write that tune (although he did probably write the rap). The drum and keyboard loop was lifted from a Freddie Scott recording, but the song was written by Gamble and Huff, the great songwriting team that wrote for The O’Jays and The Spinners. So chances are Biz Markie didn’t see any royalties from all the radio play that song got.
Thankfully, YouTuber Justin Joffe was on hand to capture it for the rest of us.
He really wants you to sign this petition, so go ahead and do it, as I'm pretty sure nobody's getting paid for this video.