Bill Withers recorded a number of massive hits, including “Lean on Me”, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, “Use Me”, “Just the Two of Us”, “Lovely Day”, and “Grandma’s Hands”. Withers’ life was the subject of the 2009 documentary film Still Bill. In April 2015, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He recently spoke at ASCAP Expo’s rollicking “Who Is He (And What Is He To You)” master class session, and among the takeaways ( “Everything isn’t the public’s business,” continued Withers, “unless you’re a Kardashian. If you can get paid [like them], then you get a pass.”), was this accurate gem.
On The “Blurred Lines” verdict: “Well, my wife thinks it was copyright infringement. I have difficulty with that. [Marvin Gaye] was a dear friend. But if we have to start copyrighting grooves, then the whole of rock’n’roll is going to owe Chuck Berry. It’s a touchy thing. Let’s wait for the appeal, then I’ll agree with the winning side.”
On career advice for new artists: “This isn’t an easy career to get into. But if you love it, try. Don’t cheat yourself out of your music and save enough of yourself to enjoy the beauty of it. Just don’t confuse music with the music business. If you think you have something to say, then make yourself available and the world will let you know.”