Robin Thicke Invents Painkiller Pop
Turns out more things were blurred in Robin Thicke’s life than just his song title.
In a deposition revealed in Los Angeles federal court on Monday regarding whether or not he and hitmaker/hat wearer Pharrell Williams stole material from Marvin Gaye, Robin Thicke described the creative process behind the hit song “Blurred Lines” in the blurriest way possible. Rather than diving into the specific differences between his song’s catchy hook and the tune that made “Got to Give it Up” a hit in 1976, the crooner played the rock star card, claiming he was too high to remember what happened (a classic Los Angeles legal defense).
“I was high on Vicodin and alcohol when I showed up at the studio,” Thicke explained before dismissing the quotes he subsequently gave about the influence of Gaye’s classic single. “With all due respect, I was high and drunk every time I did an interview last year.” If that is true – and it is not completely implausible – than Thicke, who was ubiquitous during his reign at the top of the charts, has taken a disconcerting number of pills. He’s not denying it. In describing his life since “Blurred Lines,” Thicke noted that breakfast (and lunch) usually consisted of Vicodin and vodka.
This is either interesting from a legal perspective – incompetence is not a common defense in intellectual property cases – or from a music history standpoint. Robin Thicke would hardly be the first musical artist to produce his best work in a drugged-up haze (Marvin Gaye was struggling with drug issues while producing “Give it Up”), but he would be the first star to admit producing music while on this eras drug of choice: painkillers. If Thicke’s painkiller pop catches on in the same way Lou Reed’s heroin rock or David Bowie’s coke opera did, music lovers can expect more of their heroes to be honest about their addictions.
Or extremely dishonest about their real influences.