Watch David Byrne cover Biz Markie's "Just a Friend"

The Talking Heads frontman sang at an event hosted by a music copyright advocacy group

By Prachi Gupta

Published February 27, 2014 3:34PM (EST)

A group that includes Talking Heads' David Byrne, R.E.M.'s Mike Mills and Cake's John McCrea gathered to perform at an event hosted by the Content Creators Coalition at New York's Le Poisson Rouge on Wednesday night.

The advocacy group is trying to increase awareness of U.S. radio play laws, which it is currently petitioning Congress to change. Wednesday night's concert focused on a law that allows only the songwriter -- and not the performer -- to receive royalties for songs played on the radio.

Byrne, also an open critic of streaming music services, ended the evening with a wonderful rendition of Biz Markie's "Just a Friend."

In a Feb. 24 email announcing the performance, Byrne wrote, "Mr. Markie didn't write that tune (although he did probably write the rap). The drum and keyboard loop was lifted from a Freddie Scott recording, but the song was written by Gamble and Huff, the great songwriting team that wrote for The O'Jays and The Spinners. So chances are Biz Markie didn't see any royalties from all the radio play that song got."

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Biz Markie Copyright Covers David Byrne Music Talking Heads Video