You’d be hard-pressed to name any other late-night house band musician (or musician in general) as beloved as ?uestlove nowadays, and today’s Twitlonger/rant/tweet/exposé from the Roots/Jimmy Fallon drummer ensures that said ?uestlove love won’t be ending anytime soon…
Perhaps you didn’t notice that when Tom Hanks appeared on Conan O’Brien’s final Tonight Show, Max Weinberg and the Tonight Show Band played the Beatles’ “Lovely Rita,” presumably in honor of Hanks’ wife, Rita Wilson. Well, not only did ?uestlove tweet about the $500k walk-on song, but he followed it up with a brilliantly forthcoming post exposing the behind-the-scenes business of TV show walk-on song music publishing:
On “Lovely Rita” and Michael Jackson:
i dunno why the whole tom hanks “lovely rita” walkon $ong is such a big deal but then again i also understood that most people understood the holy grail that is the Beatles and their music—-and in light of the fact that its owner mr michael jackson’s passing has definitely played a roll in what the rates are nowaday$ is a major factor. since he died ALL of the publishing jackson owns: beatles, sly, elvis…and a gazillion others has tripled in value.
On Justin Timberlake:
one day i gave my last minute clearance list in before a show only to be told mid show i couldn’t use “cry me a river” for joan rivers because justin timberlake charged an enormous rate. i “think” he is the only non dead/non rock and roll hall of famer to charge this strange rate
So which artist requested the highest walk-on publishing rate? “[C]huck berry who i believe has the highest rate charge for ‘johnny b good’ in which i think in between chokes and laughter i was told he wanted $1.75 million.”
We could ruminate on the many points (“the second we get any Richard on the show i wont even be allowed to do “Dick In A Box”) made throughout ?uestlove’s brilliant post, but, frankly, this thing speaks for itself.