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Rhoma riffing to Deep Purple hit sparks row over copyright

Jakarta Post - March 14, 2023

Jakarta – A video showing one of Deep Purple's road crew coming on stage to stop Indonesia's dangdut legend Rhoma Irama from performing the British band's biggest hit "Smoke On The Water" went viral on Tuesday, setting off a debate about copyright infringement.

In a short cellular phone video posted by @swetermerah, which has been viewed 832,100 times on Twitter, Rhoma Irama and his Soneta band, started off their opening slot for Deep Purple by performing the now-legendary power chord of "Smoke On The Water" before a member of the road crew jumped on stage and told Rhoma to cut his performance.

The roadie could also be seen circling the stage telling other Soneta members to cut the performance.

"Indonesia was taught how to respect intellectual property rights by Deep Purple," @swetermerah posted on his tweet with the short clip.

In a longer version of the video posted on YouTube, Rhoma and his band continued playing the British rock legend's biggest hit in a slightly modified version with Indonesian lyrics.

Responding to the incident, Rhoma told entertainment news portal Kapanlagi.com that he in fact had been told that he could perform the song to open the performance in Surakarta, Central Java, late last week. Rhoma shared the stage with Indonesian rock legend God Bless, who also opened Deep Purple's first performance in the country 48 years ago.

"This is regrettable. Before the performance we got confirmation. I didn't want anything to happen and then there was this incident," Rhoma said.

The septuagenarian dangdut legend said that he did not get a chance to meet with members of Deep Purple himself and that he only discussed the issue with concert promoter Rajawali Indonesia.

Contacted separately, Rajawali Indonesia founder Rachmat Alimi said that what happened between Rhoma and Deep Purple's road crew was a simple misunderstanding.

"Deep Purple thought that the song would be performed in full. But Soneta would only perform a five- or 10-second clip, just as an ice-breaker. This was communicated to them [Deep Purple] and they understood," Rachmat said, as quoted by news portal Era.id on Monday.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/culture/2023/03/14/rhoma-riffing-to-deep-purple-hit-sparks-row-over-copyright.htm