Thanks to all of the musicians who agreed
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Daniel Niles
Daniel Niles

Keith Mansfield and KPM inspired beats coming soon…


Welcome to the Beat Excavation – a project about Slough (UK) and its unique musical heritage…

Issue 2 - Keith Mansfield - Hyde Park in Brazil?

“It turns out I have a piece of music that is bigger than Grandstand, and nobody knows that I wrote it, AND I’ve not received a penny from it!”

In 1969 Keith Mansfield recorded a session and produced an album called ‘The Carnaby Pops Orchestra and Chorus’. It was written for a gentleman he used to do a lot of work for. Keith had eight compositions on the LP, one of which his boss had published.

“The man I worked for was a producer, a businessman, an agent. He didn’t have a publishing company set up. He didn’t know anything, but he owned this composition and called it ‘Hyde Park’. The album was completed and sounded very good, I got paid, and moved on to the next. I mean, every day, it was always new things. So I forgot all about it.”

In 1998, a Brazilian journalist contacted Keith’s musician friend, Alan Hawkshaw. The journalist was writing a book about a famous piece of music in Brazil, which he believed Alan wrote. He sent over the piece of music, but Alan said it wasn’t his. The journalist then sent it to some publisher friends of the pair. Nobody recognised it, but one said it sounded like Keith, so they then sent it over to him. It turned out to be ‘Hyde Park’ from the Carnaby Pops session.

“We found out the reason this mistake had been made, is that on the record sleeve it said ‘Hyde Park’. On the record label on the disc, it didn’t say ‘Hyde Park’, it said ‘Doctor Jekyll & Hyde Park’, composed by Alan Hawkshaw (which features on his LP ‘The Champ’ by The Mohawks). What had happened, because the publisher didn’t have his publishing company set up properly, when the clearance for the disc came out, they didn’t have a piece in their repertory called ‘Hyde Park’, but they did have a piece called ‘Doctor Jekyll & Hyde Park’, which they presumed that was it.”

Alan Hawkshaw let the Brazilian journalist know that it was actually written by Keith Mansfield. But, after that Keith heard nothing more from the journalist.

“I thought, oh well, it’s a piece of music written in the late sixties, maybe even a big hit. But you know, any money that’s been made must be long gone, I’m not going to see another penny, so I did nothing about it.”

It wasn’t until early 2010 Keith decided to browse through some of his compositions on YouTube. All his classics were on the site, as well as a few obscurities he had forgotten about – one upload leading to another – he enjoyed rediscovering his music from the past. He then made a discovery that completely blew him away.

“Well, I find a Bruce Lee compilation of films, it’s all in Brazilian, but features my track ‘Hyde Park’. So, as I’m watching…I’m seeing all these other videos, and I’m thinking what’s that? So I play them, and every one of them features my piece of music! And it’s not just my original piece, there’s all of these guitar players sitting in their bedrooms doing this rock bloody version of this tune! What are they doing?! I go through ninety clips, and most of them are posted in the last three years! I’m thinking, what the hell’s going on here? So then I find the reason why all these guitar players are doing it. In 2006 a big Brazilian rock group called Angra) did a guitar version of it – its got sixty thousand views! It’s this guy with big white hair, and they’re doing their burning guitar thing, it’s great!”

“So I turn on another clip, and it starts out with a beautiful Brazilian girl – it’s a TV programme, and she starts singing my tune, ‘papa papa pa papa’, and turns to a film of these guys grinding away playing it, then it cuts to fast cars, then it cuts to Brazilian footballers, and then it goes to the Brazilian rock group, laughing and joking and singing the tune ‘papa papa’ and all that!”

“I thought what the hell’s going on?! So then I find out there’s this programme ‘Esporte Espetacular’. It’s like Grandstand in Brazil. They used it right through the seventies.”

“I then see military bands playing it on YouTube! I see marching bands – they cut to an event, it’s a town square in Brazil, and down the street they’re playing my music! So then, I find choirs playing it, I find school orchestras playing it, I see them playing basketball, and somebody’s playing it on the bloody xylophone! I find a beautiful choir and it’s like it’s been used for an advert – really slick, professional, singing my composition.”

“So then I start seeing football, Sao Paulo, big stadium, and it’s like at Anfield, with thousands of football fans singing, and there’s a brilliant band going…’papa papa pa papa’, and they’ve got thousands of people waving their arms! The funny thing about it is, although the original was an orchestra and chorus, there were no words. Some sang la la la, or ba ba ba…I keep seeing video’s that have been named ‘Papa papa’!”

Keith is currently trying to resolve legal issues surrounding the publishing. Surely someone must have been getting paid?

“Well, one would presume so. Until you can prove it though, it’s no good…but it’s not the money…I just couldn’t believe it! For two weeks I was finding all these new videos…I went from one thing, to then finding marching bands, then finding orchestras, and then finding football fans…It was like, wow, this is fantastic! So whether I get the money or not is one thing, but I certainly want to end up in Brazil, expenses paid, at bloody Sao Paulo football stadium with all these fans (laughs)!”

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