Campaign Launches To Raise Money For Writer Of Amen Break
Music history is littered with perfect examples of the butterfly effect, where tiny moments have gone on to have far reaching effects way beyond anything the creators first envisaged. Amen Brother by The Winstons is a case in point – buried in the middle of a fairly standard funk track is a few short seconds of drum break that have gone on to change the shape of music. The Amen Break made it into hip hop, then hardcore, then became the spine that Jungle was built around. It's rolling snare hits tell a tale that still sounds fresh after a million tellings, and 30 odd years of ravers have found themselves locked in it's endlessly satisfying groove.
So it's something of a downer that the guys who wrote the Amen Break have never received a single penny in royalties. Now a crate digger, Martin Webster, has decided to crowd fund some money to actually reward the creator of one of the most famous, influential drum patterns in history – here's how he tells the story:
"Richard L Spencer, (Lead vocals and sax player) who wrote the arrangement was totally unaware of its cult status until around 1996. It was during that time that he was recovering from a heart attack when he recieved a phone call from a record label looking to get hold of the masters.
This surprised him, he had not had any dealings with the music industry since 1971, which was when he left the scene to carry on with his life and work. During that time he had not received a single penny of royalties from publishing or airplay. Bear in mind that it sold over 1 million copies on the back of the A side "Color Him Father".
While recovering from his operation at home, he decided to research the song more and to try to find out why there was a sudden interest in it.
He quickly realised the scale of what had gone on regarding the sampling of the breakbeat, and never returned the call to the record label….
So here is where all of you come in, if you have ever written or sold any music with the amen break, or even just enjoyed one of the countless hundreds and hundsreds of tunes that contain it over various genres and styles of music, please donate a $ or £ towards the good cause of the worldwide music community giving something back to the man behind the legendary breakbeat."
We can't really think of a better cause right now than donating some cash to Richard L. Spencer – so if you fancy bunging a couple of quid to the guy behind THE GREATEST BEAT EVER then head over to the GoFundMe site and get your card out…