A homeless man from Los Angeles by the name of Eddie Johns has never been paid his due royalties from Daft Punk’s sampling of his song in their hit One More Time 20 years ago.
When Daft Punk sampled Eddie John’s song More Spell On You in a very inventive way for their hit One More Time, they did everything right in the eyes of the law by officially licensing the track and paying the due royalties twice a year.
The owner of the music rights, GM Musipro, who specialises in reissuing vintage French records, has claimed they could never find Eddie Johns to pass on his royalties.
Eddie Johns released his song More Spell On You in 1979. Daft Punk took sections of this song to create the main theme on their November 2000 single One More Time from their 2001 album Discovery.
It reached number one on the French singles chart, number two on the UK singles chart and number 61 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Pitchfork’s top 500 songs of the 2000s placed the song at number five and Rolling Stone listed it as number 33 on the top 100 songs of the decade 2000-2009.
GM Musipro acquired the rights in 1995 and claim they tried to find Eddie Johns and research him at the time. After discovering this, founder George Mary says “For our part, we are going to study his file and do the accounts to his credit. We will get back to him immediately on the subject, at the same time we will inform him of his rights”.
On first listen, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how the sample was used, but after watching the video below, you’ll understand how Daft Punk transformed the sample.
Eddie Johns suffered a stroke ten years ago which left him unable to work. He has been living in a supportive housing facility after struggling with homelessness over the last decade. Eddie Johns’ case manager Alyssa Cash told the Los Angeles times:
“He showed me his album cover, and when I found this video talking about how it was sampled by Daft Punk, it was like a lightbulb went off. That’s Eddie, this is his song.”
Eddie Johns told the Los Angeles times:
“I just hope I can get some credit, you know? I’d like to have something to give to my daughter.”