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Singer-songwriter Robin Thicke claimed during a court deposition released Monday that he's been lying for a year about his role in writing the biggest hit of his career, "Blurred Lines." Thicke says he was too high on Vicodin and Vodka to contribute anything to the 2013 song of summer, which was co-written by producer Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris, Jr.
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The revelation was part of Thicke's testimony as he defends himself in a lawsuit filed by Marvin Gaye's estate alleging that "Blurred Lines" plagiarized Gaye's 1977 "Got to Give It Up." In depositions in Los Angeles federal court, Thicke admitted he took more credit for the hit song than he should have because he thought "it would help sell records." Williams said he went along with it "because that's what happens in Hollywood."
Alternatively combative and cooperative, Thicke and Williams had a lot more to say than that.
1. "Mozart would be rolling in his grave"
When an attorney played a mash-up of both songs at the beginning of his deposition, Thicke begged him to stop:
"It's so hard to listen to it. Major/minor clashing. Not same key. Oh, that's hard. I would think my band was tone deaf...It's impossible musically. I don't know what musician can even listen to this while a major and minor are fighting each other...Mozart would be rolling in his grave right now."
2. "I told my wife the truth"
Whether Thicke is an honest person:
"No. That's why I'm separated...I told my wife the truth. That's why she left me."
3. "I've been called the 'white Marvin Gaye'"
On idolizing Marvin Gaye: Thicke said he first heard Gaye's music when he was eight years old and he loves it—just not as much as his own playlist. In fact, he said, "Got To Give It Up" ranks high, but only "after my own hundred songs."
"I've been called the 'white Marvin Gaye' since I was, since I got started," he said. "So I think I've embraced that, consider it an honor. And so sometimes if somebody is leading you into, you know, being compared to or connecting with Marvin Gaye, I might embellish."
4. "I got credit for being the star of the song"
On why he felt jealous if Williams gave him a co-writing credit and about 20 percent of the publishing royalties:
"I always prided myself on the fact that I wrote and produced my first six albums myself and the fact that I was unable to write and produce by myself a record that was that big and that successful. Once it became successful, I felt like I wanted to have some of the credit for the other six albums worth of work that I had done because Pharrell, being such a well-known producer and writer, everybody — as they ended up doing — gave Pharrell most of that credit. I got credit for being the star of the song, but Pharrell deservedly got the credit for writing and producing the song — the record...He was very generous by giving me a larger percentage of publishing than I deserved."
5. "I didn't do a sober interview"
Thicke does not recall any statements he made during interviews during the biggest year of his career:
"I had a drug and alcohol problem for the year and I didn't do a sober interview so I don't recall many things that I said..I didn't do a single interview last year without being high on both...Every day I woke up, I would take a Vicodin to start the day and then I would fill up a water bottle with Vodka and drink it before and during my interviews.
6. "I've actually only been sober off the pills"
"I've been sober for the last two months. When your wife leaves you, it gives you good reason to sober up...I've actually only been sober off the pills, off of Vicodin. I still drink."
7. "At the end of the day, he's a friend'
By the time Thicke arrived to the studio — he was late — 80% of the song was complete, Williams said.
"What you're hanging on your hat on here is a guy that, you know, wants the world to perceive that song...was primarily you know like his — he had the impetus or genesis for it. But that's not the way I work. He is also a friend of mine, right, and this is public record. At the end of the day, he's a friend of mine and I'm not trying to, you know, belittle his character in any way, shape or form. But that is what happens every day in our industry. You know, people are made to look like they have much more authorship in the situation than they actually do."
8. "There's a lot of incredibly talented white folk with really soulful vocals"
How Thicke made the song special, according to Williams:
"Because it's the white man singing soulfully and we, unfortunately, in this country don't get enough — we don't get to hear that as often, so we get excited by it when the mainstream gives that a shot. But there's a lot of incredibly talented white folk with really soulful vocals, so when we're able to give them a shot — and when I say 'we,' I mean like as in the public gives them a shot to be heard, then you hear the Justin Timberlakes and you hear the Christina Aguileras and you hear, you know, all of these masterful voices that have just been given, you know, an opportunity to be heard because they're doing something different."
9. "He's an Aries"
On Gaye's influence over Williams:
"He's an Aries. I respect him."