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2003: 25 Years of EricCarmen.com - Year 7


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2003 was a slow year for Eric Carmen news.

But there was "Planet of the Apes."


Eric Carmen: “In the Fall of 2003, I received a letter from Universal Publishing, which said that a rap artist named Raekwon (formerly a member of the Wu-Tang Clan) would like permission to use a piece of ‘Sunrise’ in a song that he was doing. The song was called ‘Planet of the Apes.’

“Before agreeing to anything I asked this rap fan that I know at my local car wash whether he had heard of Raekwon. He said, ‘Yeah! Raekwon is cool!’ When I told him that Raekwon was interested in sampling my song he replied, ‘Do it, man! Do it!’

“Universal suggested in their letter that I ask for at least 33-1/3 percent of the copyright. Because of some pretty strong and violent gangsta rap lyrics like, ‘Stomach wounds make it hard to swallow your food,’ I wondered if it was outrageous that I asked for 75 percent of the copyright. I did, and subsequently never heard anything back from them.

“I figured Raekwon was offended by my request, he decided to pass, and that was the end of that. I pulled into the car wash one day and my friend says, ‘Hey man! I picked up the new Raekwon CD! “Planet of the Apes,” baby! “Planet of the Apes!”’ So I went to my nearby Target, bought a copy, and sure enough, there was my name next to the title. I now own 75 percent of ‘Planet of the Apes.’”

—Eric Carmen: Marathon Man


"Planet of the Apes"
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

WARNING: Explicit Content!


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Just goes to show you - if you don't ask, you don't get! Who da thunk it? Eric Carmen, rap star - on top of all his other credits and accomplishments! Glad to hear he got what songwriting credit he asked for! I'm chuckling at the story of Eric asking the guy at the car wash about his rappers knowledge, and then going with his gut instinct to ask for as much royalty percentage as he thought he could! 💰

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I´m surprised the Rap dude paid the 75%. The Sunrise part was the best part of the song, but a small part, and could have been replaced with something similar but not infringing on the copyright. I think.

Having said that, it´s pretty horrendous that this shit is/has been so popular with kids. Brings some insight into how/why society has depreciated so much. Raunch is weak, and makes people weak, to the degree it influences people.

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A nice little bit of lunch money for Eric, I'm sure... but not a song that'll appear on any EC compilation. 

Great story, Bernie. I read it in your book... but totally forgot about it! 

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