Classic Rock News

Elvis Costello defends pop star Olivia Rodrigo after accusations that she ripped off one of his songs

Ray Di Pietro; Eric Hernandez

A few days ago, ’90s rocker Courtney Love accused teen pop star Olivia Rodrigo of copying the imagery from her band Hole‘s album Live Through This; Love seemed pretty upset about it.  But when a fan accused Rodrigo of ripping off a song by Elvis Costello, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer took it in stride.

On Twitter, a fan tweeted a link to a story about the Rodrigo/Love controversy, and wrote, “No s***. First song on the album is a pretty much direct lift from Elvis Costello.”  The fan was referring to Olivia’s song “brutal,” which features an opening chord sequence that’s very similar to the keyboard part in the beginning of Costello’s 1978 song “Pump It Up.”

But Costello himself replied to the fan, explaining that popular music itself is derivative.

“This is fine by me, Billy. It’s how rock and roll works,” Costello writes. “You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy. That’s what I did.”

Costello then added hashtags of the names of two classic tunes that he confesses to “lifting” from while writing “Pump It Up” — Bob Dylan‘s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business.”

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