Lindsey Buckingham resolved a case of accidental plagiarism after recording a track he forgot he hadn’t written, its creators reported.
The former Fleetwood Mac guitarist released “Swan Song” (available below) on his self-titled solo album, which arrived in September. He’d been given the demo on which it was based over 20 years ago, and with the passage of time, he hadn’t realized he hadn’t written it.
Originally titled “Mind’s Eye,” the track had actually been submitted by musicians Jordon Zadorozny and Brad Laner. “My thought was, ‘How do I know this song, and why do I suspect that I have sung it before?’” Zadorozny told Spin in a recent interview. “It was a strange feeling of deja vu, but a deja vu where your hero is singing your song.”
The incident had its roots in 2000, when he’d been invited to work with Buckingham on two songs. He’d brought Laner in to take part, and afterwards Laner had given Buckingham a CD of song demos. “It was obnoxious of me… But there was no way in hell I was not going to hand Lindsey Buckingham a CD,” Laner said.
The three artists hadn’t interacted in 19 years when Zadorozny told Laner about “Swan Song.” They decided to pursue the issue via Buckingham’s management, sending a version of “Mind’s Eye” and photos to prove the trio had once worked together. “He’d taken our song, made a demo himself of it, put it away for a rainy day,” Zadorozny said, “and, as it turns out, 16 or 17 years later found that demo and thought, ‘This is a cool thing I did back in 2000.’”
Once Buckingham became aware of the issue, he agreed a payment fee with the writers and added their names to the song’s credits. Future versions of the album will include those credits. “When this unintentional and inadvertent usage was raised to Lindsey, he quickly realized his mistake and a friendly resolution was made by all parties,” his management told Spin.
“It’s magnificent,” Laner said of the track. “He made it his own, and that’s a thrill. I have zero complaints about that.” Zadorozny added: “There’s almost no one else whose album I’d rather have my music on. I’m grateful to Lindsey for rediscovering this piece of music and I love what he did with it.”
Listen to Lindsey Buckingham’s ‘Swan Song’
Fleetwood Mac Solo Albums Ranked
There have been more than 40 of these outside projects, which deepen and add to the band’s legacy.