Musician Behind Iconic “Amen” Break Finally Gets Paid

The Amen break is a six-second drum solo in “Amen, Brother,” a 1969 b-side by the Washington, DC funk/soul group the Winstons. It’s one of the most sampled drumbeats — and loops in general — of all time, showing up in songs by N.W.A., the Prodigy, Oasis, David Bowie, and even the Futurama theme song, and playing a major role in both ’80s hip-hop and ’90s European dance music.

Despite its ubiquity and far-reaching influence, however, none of the Winstons received a dime in royalties for it — until now, sort of. Earlier this year, British DJs Martyn Webster and Steve Theobald started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to pay Richard Spencer, the Winstons’ frontman and lone surviving member and the arranger and copyright holder for “Amen, Brother.” The crowdfunding campaign quickly exceeded its initial target of £1000, eventually closing with a total of £24,000 in March. And now, finally, after some difficulties in transferring the money from the UK to the US, Richard has received his check. “Thank you so much for this great contribution to my life,” he says in a response video on Facebook. “Thank you very, very much. A-men!” Watch below.

Firstly, sorry for the delay in updating this! It has taken some time to tie everything up, and to cut a long story short, transferring the money from the UK to Richard in America caused some big headaches with my bank being a bit awkward! Anyway, for everyone who donated, here is Richard with his huge Gofundme cheque :)People have asked me if the campaign could be opened again, or left open indefinitely. I have spent a lot of time asking (begging!) Gofundme if they would be able to change the gofundme account I set up originally so that the money went directly to Richard, unfortunately they say that this is not possible at all. Maybe something could be setup directly to Richard’s paypal or similar, I will look into it with him.As much as I would of loved to of presented him the cheque/money myself, unfortunately at the time it was not possible to get to America due to work and home commitments, hopefully one day it can happen!Once again, thank you to everyone who donated, the whole campaign became more of a success than I could ever imagine!(Click HD when you start watching the video)

Posted by The Winstons Amen Breakbeat Gesture on Tuesday, 10 November 2015