When I was in China, I read Jeremy’s copy of February’s Harpers (His mom brought him some back issues). The article by Johnathan Lethem (I think he was the writer) entitled “The Ecstacy of Influence” changed my thinking.
[Spoiler follows about article]
This article is a very clever one by Lethen. In it, he lays out very clearly the idea that no one is ever original and that in order to create one needs to use other human’s stuff.
At the end of the article, he informs the reader that the entire article has been cribbed and proceeds to give all the references. Very cool.
After reading this, I decided to leave my song “So Many People” the way I wrote it even though I (unconsciously) used the same (very very simple) chord progressions that Gillian Welch uses in “Look at Miss Ohio” on her Soul Journey Cd (highly recommended).