Le Tigre countersue “Who Put the Bomp” singer Barry Mann over copyright claim
Le Tigre’s Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman are countersuing singer-songwriter Barry Mann over their song "Deceptacon." Mann sent Hanna and Fateman a cease-and-desist letter, claiming "Deceptacon" (the opening track on Le Tigre's 1999 debut album) violated the copyright of his 1961 hit “Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)," which he co-wrote with Gerry Goffin. In Hanna and Fateman's countersuit, they say Mann has no right the the lyrics, as they were not original. From the suit filed by Hanna and Fateman in the Southern District of New York (via Pitchfork):
Mr. Mann did not create these vocables or song titles; rather, it appears that Mr. Mann and his co- writer copied them from Black doo-wop groups active during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Specifically, it appears that Mr. Mann took “bomp-bah-bomp-bah-bomp” from The Marcels’ distinctive version of “Blue Moon,” which sold over a million copies, and “rama lama ding dong” from the Edsels’ then-popular “Rama Lama Ding Dong.” In short, the Bomp lyrics at issue are not original to Mr. Mann, and Defendants have no legitimate copyright claim in them.
Le Tigre's suit claims the lyrics fall under "fair use" as "Deceptacon" presents "a new meaning that is directly at odds with and a clear criticism of the message in ‘Bomp.'” You can listen to both songs below.
Kathleen Hanna will be out on tour with Bikini Kill next year.