By Shirley Higgins-Croft
Eric Murray, self-proclaimed song-doctor and legend of the music industry, has finally weighed in on the long running Taylor Swift/Katy Perry feud.
Mr Murray had delivered his keynote address at the annual Tully Songwriters’ Festival, and was taking questions from the audience, when he was asked what his biggest regret was. The song-doctor was quick to answer that he had no regrets, only hits, but if he had to do anything differently it would have been to prevent the rift between TayTay and KayTay before it even started.
“Full disclosure: I have dated both Katy and Taylor for a period, but not concurrently,” said Mr Murray. “That is to say not in the same bed. They are sweet princesses, and it is so sad that their courtiers and handmaids have stitched up a such a meaningless quarrel. Why can’t we all just get along?”
Murray, who has co-writing credits with Swift on two of her studio albums, described how he first got to know the versatile songstress, and how this led to the jealousy that would drive a wedge between the two great artists.
“During the development of ‘Blank Space’, Universal were becoming concerned about the looming deadline to have the track in the can, so they called me in,” related Murray. “I’d never met Tayzer and there was immediate friction from the moment she flounced into the studio.”
“At the time, ‘Blank Space’ was, to use an industry term, completely frentéed. All she had was the pre-pre-chorus tongue-click and the “torture/warn ya” almost-rhyme. Now, I love an almost-rhyme, but I said to her that we really needed some chords and rhythm and tune and lyrics. I told her and Shellback to fuck off until they had something groovable that we could work with.”
“She was sulky at first – almost rude. She said something about how the modern process was all about digital vibe, emojis and bandwidth. But as soon as she found out about my work with Alanis and Madge and Loretta, she was all over me. Very handsy girl, but we kept it all above the belt until we had nailed the final version.”
Mr Murray went on to explain how the feud with Katy Perry subsequently began. “We were wrapping up the spoken-word semi-sassy talky bit in ‘Shake it Off’ when I got the call to ‘polish the pyramid’ with Kayzer,” he said’. I left straight away. “Tayzer obviously wasn’t used to working with a tune-slinging songwriter-of-fortune like me. We’re a dying breed. And then Kayzer went the pouts over some social media bullshit and they both ended up yellowish. Completely out of proportion but understandable.”
Mr Murray was then asked whether he would consider brokering a ceasefire between the two possies. He answered that since his ex-girlfriend Zendaya has aligned with the Swift camp, the situation has was out of control and only John Mayer had the credentials to bring the two sides together.
“JayMay is a complete fuckwit,” explained Murray. “Everyone in the industry knows that. But he’s got some guitar chops and a combination of notches and licks that might mean he can improvise a rocking solution to this fiasco.”
Mr Murray will shortly be embarking on a lecture tour of Syria with Guy Chambers. Meanwhile, the Tully Songwriters’ Festival continues today with workshops on songwriting techniques, featuring a special Skype session by Sir Ben Lee entitled “Tuneful Taqiyya.”