Firstly, sorry for the delay in updating this! It has taken some time to tie everything up, and to cut a long story short, transferring the money from the UK to Richard in America caused some big headaches with my bank being a bit awkward! Anyway, for everyone who donated, here is Richard with his huge Gofundme cheque :)People have asked me if the campaign could be opened again, or left open indefinitely. I have spent a lot of time asking (begging!) Gofundme if they would be able to change the gofundme account I set up originally so that the money went directly to Richard, unfortunately they say that this is not possible at all. Maybe something could be setup directly to Richard’s paypal or similar, I will look into it with him.As much as I would of loved to of presented him the cheque/money myself, unfortunately at the time it was not possible to get to America due to work and home commitments, hopefully one day it can happen!Once again, thank you to everyone who donated, the whole campaign became more of a success than I could ever imagine!(Click HD when you start watching the video)
Posted by The Winstons Amen Breakbeat Gesture on Tuesday, November 10, 2015
If you’ve ever shown even the slightest interest in music, then you’ve probably heard ‘the Amen break’ in your time. Known as perhaps the most widely sampled six seconds in music history, The Winstons’ “Amen Brother” features a breakbeat that’s been sampled a countless number of times in hip-hop, techno, and drum ‘n’ bass to name a few genres. However, none of The Winstons’ members have ever received any royalties or clearance fees for the sample.
The Winstons’ frontman, Richard L. Spencer, never sought any royalties for usage of the sample, and neither has Gregory C. Coleman, the drummer behind the breakbeat. Coleman unfortunately passed away in 2006, meaning that Spencer is the sole copyright owner of the sample, and he’s gone on record saying that he considers usage of the iconic six seconds to be plagiarism. Fortunately, someone heard Spencer’s thoughts on its use and set up a GoFundMe campaign titled ‘The Winstons Amen Breakbeat Gesture‘.
The campaign, which was set up by a DJ from the breakbeat hardcore scene in the UK called Martyn Webster, ended up raising £24,000 (which is around $36,260 at the time of writing give or take). Today, the Facebook page for the admirable campaign posted a video of Spencer receiving his cheque, finally getting the money he deserves for its rampant usage. While it’s only a fraction of what he’s probably entitled to, it’s a sweet gesture none the less.
Watch the video of him accepting the cheque above, and remind yourself of the sample below. For an example of exactly how many songs sampled the “Amen, Brother” breakbeat, click here.