antiMusic Logo
Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Feeds
spacer

musicNEWS: Poison Pen? Authorship of Poison's First Hit In Question


02-08-04 Keavin
.
Did Poison write their first hit song? Now 18 years after the song “Talk Dirty To Me” helped make Poison stars, the authorship of the song has been called into question. 

A few weeks ago we ran a press release* in our Day In Rock report (see story) about the debut novel, “The Devil of Shakespeare” for rocker Billy McCarthy (the artist formally known as Billy Dior from the band D'Molls, which released two albums on Atlantic records in the late 80s.)  We subsequently received a package in the mail containing a CD-rom that included a video of “Talk Dirty To Me” reportedly being performed by the band Screamin’ Mimi’s in 1984, which featured McCarthy and Poison’s C.C. DeVille. 

The package did not contain a return address and the accompanying note was not signed. The note said that the sender had seen the article on Billy McCarthy’s new book and thought that we might find the video and an mp3 of the radio interview on the CD-rom “interesting”. This person claims to have worked with Screamin’ Mimi’s and alleges that McCarthy played a part in the writing of “Talk Dirty To Me” with DeVille. 

Due to copyright issues we are unable to provide the video here but here is a brief description.  It begins with a splash screen that says “Screamin’ Mimi’s Rehearsal ‘Talk Dirty To Me’ 1984”. The video is rather dark but you can make out C.C. DeVille playing guitar and the vocalist is obviously not Brett Michaels. This rendition of the song is extremely close to the Poison version which kicked off their rise to stardom. 

Obviously, we are unable to authenticate the video or when it was recorded. However, DeVille gave a radio interview where he mentioned the video. More on that later.

Billy McCarthy’s official website (BillyMcCarthy.com) includes a detailed bio of his musical career. According to that bio, DeVille was originally in the band Kid Rocker with McCarthy before that group broke up in the spring of 1984 and the core of the band (DeVille, McCarthy, & bass player Tracey Stevens) formed a new group called Screamin’ Mimi’s which brought in vocalist Sten Serrensino.

According to the McCarthy bio, “DeVille brings McCarthy one of the first songs he has ever written. He calls it ‘Talk Dirty To Me’. McCarthy structures it musically and arranges it.”

However, when the song was later released on Poison’s debut album, “Look What the Cat Dragged In” the authorship of the song, as all others on the album, was credited to the entire band. There is no mention of McCarthy. 

Also included on the disc was a clip from the “National A&R Radio Report”, a syndicated radio show that McCarthy used to host. In the clip McCarthy is conducting a phone interview with DeVille, who was out of Poison at the time.  (No date was given for this show, it appears to be sometime in 95/96 when Blues Saraceno was in Poison). 

Although DeVille did not directly confirm that McCarthy specifically played a part in the writing of “Talk Dirty To Me”, he did say that McCarthy should have received money from Poison “for that first album”. Deville also confirmed that there were video tapes of Screamin’ Mimi’s performing “Talk Dirty To Me”. (So it is a good chance that he was referring to the video sent to us.)

Here is a transcript of the conversation (click here to listen in real audio)

[Billy asked C.C. how many albums Poison had sold in their entire career and C.C. answered 20 million records.] 

Billy (jokes): “I haven’t made $20 thousand dollars in my career yet”. 

C.C.: Let me tell you something Billy, for that first album you should have made some money. 

Billy: I know

C.C.: …[can’t make out, perhaps “tell”] the story

Billy: Was I an influence on you?

C.C. Billy and I used to play in the same band. 

Billy: Yes we did, we played in Screamin’ Mimi’s 

C.C.: And it was an excellent band. In fact, we have video tapes of us doing “Talk Dirty To Me”. 

Billy: Yes, we do, there is actual tapes of that. Was I little bit of a writing influence on you?

C.C.: Well, well, well Billy I’d love to say yes because I mean it would be your [can’t make out]

So the video and this interview do raise some interesting questions. It appears that at the very least DeVille brought the song from Screamin’ Mimi’s to Poison when he joined. Just how big a part in the writing of that song McCarthy played is not clear beyond McCarthy’s claims to have arranged and structured it, but DeVille did say that McCarthy should have “made some money” from the first Poison album. Perhaps he was alluding to “Talk Dirty to Me”?  Or maybe there are some other songs on that album that McCarthy should have received some credit for? 

We will attempt to contact both camps for comment or clarification on this issue (see note below). 

*It must be pointed out that Vpublicist, a subsidiary of iconoclast entertainment group, the publishers of antiMUSIC, was previously retained to distribute the original press release for Billy McCarthy’s novel that was also printed in the Day In Rock report. However, since then McCarthy has changed publicists and we are trying to track down his new representatives as well as the publicist for Poison for comment and clarification on this issue. We will post an update with what we hear back. So this story may not be over quite yet.

Update: We published the following update in our Day In Rock report on 2/18/04

A couple weeks ago we ran a story at antiMUSIC about questions that were brought up about the authorship of Poison's first hit "Talk Dirty To Me". (click full story link below to read that article) We attempted to contact both sides to get their side of the story. We did email Bret Michaels publicist but never heard back. But we do have an official response from the Billy McCarthy camp. Below is a statement issued by his publicist on Wednesday.

Statement from Billy McCarthy spokesman John Digles regarding the recent controversy over authorship of the hit song "Talk Dirty to Me."

We have received numerous inquiries regarding authorship of the hit song 'Talk Dirty to Me.' Billy McCarthy played an important role in the sound of 80's rock as founder of D'Molls and in his work as a composer, drummer and producer with some leading rock bands. Billy thanks the fans for their interest and support. In recognition of his friendship with C.C. Deville, Billy is declining to comment on the story at this time. Fans who want a first-hand look at Billy's writing artistry should check out his debut novel, The Devil of Shakespeare, due this June. You can also preorder the novel on www.amazon.com and www.billymccarthy.com. The authorship of that work is not in question.

Screamin' Mimi's Circa 1984

l-r, stevens, serensino, mccarthy, deville

Billy McCarthy 2004


more on Poison

Preview and purchase music from Poison
 
 

.



advertisement
advertisement

.
News Reports
.

Day in Rock:
AC/DC Address Possible Future With Axl Rose- Nikki Sixx Has Humorous Outlook On Feud With KISS- Red Hot Chili Peppers Release Stream Of 'The Getaway'- more

Day In Pop: Justin Bieber Accused Of Song Theft With 'Sorry'- Bon Jovi Finish Work On New Studio Album- Meek Mill Reignites Drake Feud With New Remix- Jake Owen In Emergency Room- more

Megadeth's Nick Menza Cause Of Death Confirmed- Van Halen's Future Pondered By David Lee Roth- Led Zeppelin Trial Forces Robert Plant To Cancel Benefit Show- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock


advertisement

.
Rock News Stories
AC/DC Address Possible Future With Axl Rose

Nikki Sixx Has Humorous Outlook On Feud With KISS

Red Hot Chili Peppers Release Stream Of 'The Getaway'

The Ghost Inside Frontman Undergoes More Surgery

Temple Of The Dog Settle Dispute Over Master Tapes

Five Finger Death Punch Ink New Deal Despite Legal Battle

The Winery Dogs Release 'Captain Love' Video

Pop Evil Announce New Band Member

Ozzy Osbourne Helps Unveil Tram Named In His Honor

Previously-Unheard Jeff Healey Song Streaming For His 50th Birthday

Nick Menza Reflected On Megadeth's Rust In Piece In Final Interview

Asking Alexandria Question Danny Worsnop's Integrity

Machine Head's Robb Flynn Gets Stolen Dimebag Guitar Back

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band Live Bullet 40th Anniversary Special

The Obsessed Ink Deal For Comeback Album

Young Guns Part Ways With Ben Jolliffe

Lionheart Announce They Are Breaking Up

Richie Sambora Taking Different Direction On New Album Says Orianthi

Video From AC/DC With Axl Rose Hamburg Show Goes Online

Amaranthe Working On New Album

Ghost Community Streaming New Song 'Rise Up'

Katatonia's Jonas Renkse Talks Latest Album The Fall Of Hearts

Adrian Belew Excited About Work On New Pixar Short 'Piper'

David Bowie's Son On The Loss Of His Father

Lemmy Saved the Day For Clutch

Jenny Hval Releasing New Album In September

HeavyCon Moves To Bigger Venue Due To High Demand

Opeth Announce Winter Tour Of Europe

Other Music News Stories
Justin Bieber Accused Of Song Theft With 'Sorry'

Bon Jovi Finish Work On New Studio Album

Meek Mill Reignites Drake Feud With New Remix

Jake Owen In Emergency Room Following Biking Accident

John Belushi Documentary In The Works

Dierks Bentley Received Advice From U2 Frontman Bono

Paul Simon Streams EDM Inspired New Album 'Stranger to Stranger'

Cyndi Lauper Tributes Prince With 'When You Were Mine'

Nick Jonas Covers Zara Larsson's 'Lush Life'

Brett Eldredge Turned Thomas Rhett Onto Snapchat

1 Killed, 3 Wounded In Shooting At T.I. Concert

Brad Paisley Reveals Demi Lovato Duet 'Without a Fight'

Justin Bieber Sparks Controversy With Argentinean Flag Tossing

Florida Georgia Line Cover Backstreet Boys Song

One Direction's Niall Horan Working On New Songs

Jay Z's References 'Lemonade' and Prince On New Remix

Beck and Flume Release New Song 'Tiny Cities'

Lil Wayne and Birdman Call Off Settlement Talks?

Randy Travis Stars In New Film 'The Price'

Bruce Springsteen Offers His Coat To Underdressed Adele

OneRepublic Talk New Song 'Everywhere I Go'

Maren Morris Goes R&B With 'No Diggity' Cover

Dierks Bentley Discusses The Inspiration For 'Black'

Anne Hathaway And James Corden Face Off In Rap Battle

Singled Out: D. FRANCISCO's I Want Ya

Dierks Bentley Lines Up Media Appearances For Black Release

Kanye West Sued For $2.5 Million Over Plagiarism Claim

Drake's 'Views' Smashes Streaming Records

Reviews
All Recent Reviews and Interviews

MorleyView Marty Balin (Jefferson Airplane)

Red Tide Rising - Voices

Denner Shermann - Satan's Tomb

The Blues: Blind Lemon Peel Blues All-Stars - Don't Tear My Clothes

Steve Porcaro - Someday/Somehow

Kiefer Sutherland Live

The Allman Brothers Band - Live From A&R Studios, New York, August 26, 1971

Howardian - A Smurf at Land's End

Anvil is Anvil

Album of the Week: Generation X

Root 66: Darryl Purpose - Still the Birds

Quick Flicks: The Dollyrots - Family Vacation: Live in Los Angeles

5 Star Friday: Searching for Sugar Man

Rock Reads: Show Posters: The Art and Practice of Making Gig Posters

Vehemence - Forward Without Motion

Ben Craven - Last Chance to Hear

The Rides - Pierced Arrow

Psychedelic Shack: Black Rainbows- Deadsmoke- Duel- Holy Grove

Roots of Creation - Livin Free

On The Record: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Live - Volume 1

Classics: Prince's Purple Rain

The Blues: New Blues Revolution, Golden State - Lone Star Blues Revue, Peter Karp

Lita Ford - Time Capsule

The Blues: Jeff Healey - Heal My Soul

Rock Reads: Little Gray Bastards- The Incessant Alien Presence

Guns N' Roses Month: Chinese Democracy

Iron Maiden Live In Chicago

Grey Heaven Fall - Black Wisdom

The Blues: Keb' Mo' - Keb' Mo' Live: That Hot Pink Blues Album

Guns N' Roses Month: Use Your Illusion I and II

Passport: Lakou Mizik - Wa Di Yo

Keith Morris & the Crooked Numbers - The Dirty Gospel

Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.