Okay, so “collaboration” may be a stretch but Mark Twain once said, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story“.

So, here’s the real truth.  A few of you have asked me how it is that Kanye West sampled (copied) a song I wrote and then produced and released an album called “Daytona” by rap artist, Pusha T,  with my sampled song as the #1 track on that album. Here’s how it happened:

The start;

In 1963, my dad taught me 3 chords on a ukulele so I could sing and perform a cowboy song in our 3rd-grade talent show.

In 1964, The Beatles performed for 70 million people on The Ed Sullivan Show. I then learned how to play guitar, bass guitar and piano.

A friend of mine, Alan Gwyllt, and I formed a group called “Air”. We eventually started writing and performing our own songs. We got a 4-track tape recorder and started recording our own music.

In 1972, somebody with money (we had none) heard us and offered to pay for us to go into a recording studio in Detroit and record a 45 rpm single, in hopes that it would sell. We decided on 2 songs, “Jump Back” and “Twelve O’clock Satanial”. Jump Back was supposed to be the hit (the “A” side) because it was a basic rock song with simple lyrics and simple chords. Twelve O’clock Satanial was much closer to what we loved.  It was influenced by what we were really into at the time, the more spiritual and universal message of Life type of music.“Emerson, Lake & Palmer”, “Black Sabbath”, “King Crimson” and “Yes”. The word ‘Satanial” is a made up word, meaning a scary ritual, performed by a black-cloaked committee at midnight to decide your eternal fate. The song has weird chords, weird words and an awesome double-bass drum groove. I played bass guitar, B-3 Hammond organ and sang back-up vocals.

The record only sold a small amount of copies and eventually became just a pleasant memory for us.


42 years later, a representative from a record label called “The Numero Group” located Alan and asked if he’d sign the rights to use Twelve O’clock Satanial for a compilation of songs to be used for a new Dungeons and Dragons type board game called, “The Cities of Darkscorch”. This record company had located lots of records like ours, who, at their time had not sold much and had a “dark sound” that would fit this new game.

The Cities of Darkscorch board game is about a heavy rock band going for a record deal and having to fight off other bands and monsters to do so. Along with the board and pieces for the game, the box set also contains the double album (CD and vinyl) of all the songs that go along with the board game and story.

Twelve O’clock Satanial is the FIRST song on this double record compilation.

February 2018

The same representative for The Numerao Group called me (he couldn’t locate Alan) and asked if I’d sign a release to allow Twelve O’clock Satanial to be sampled by a rap artist called “Pusha T”. His real name is Terrence Thorton. I agreed and signed with them.

24 May 2018

A new, seven-track album by Pusha T is released. The title is ‘Daytona”. Produced and co-written by Kanye West. The first cut on the album is called, “If You Know You Know”. This track uses Twelve O’clock Satanial as the music Pusha raps over! I found out Kanye subscribes to The Numero Group, heard my song and wanted to sample it for Pusha T’s new album.

The songwriting credits for the song are listed as follows;

Terrence Thorton
Kanye West
Alan Gwyllt
Richard Nisbet

Kanye sampled only ten seconds of Twelve O’clock Satanial, which you can listen to on YouTube. Kanye sampled the section between 10 and 21 seconds on our recording;


The album cover Kayne used is controversial. He apparently paid $85,000.00 for the use of a photo of Whitney Houston’s bathroom covered in drug paraphernalia, taken after she was found dead. Some people are upset over this but to me, that visual is very powerful in describing an epidemic of musical artists we love, dying from drug overdoses. Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Prince, Chris Cornell, Tom Petty etc.

In addition to sampling a section of my song, Kanye also sampled from Issac Hayes and the group we were influenced by, Yes. There is a song on Daytona that sampled a small section of a Yes song called, “Heart of the Sunrise”. That in itself is HUGE for me. My name is in the songwriting credits alongside Jon Anderson and Chris Squire (of Yes)!

Final thoughts; It’s interesting that my song and a song by Yes are being used as a background for rap music today. It’s also remarkable to me that Twelve O’clock Satanial was the one that got sampled over the one we thought would be a hit, Jump Back.

Here’s the song “If You Know You Know” from “Daytona”. Explicit lyrics and all. The sampled section of my song starts at the 36-second mark;


TAKEAWAY: Keep your integrity to what you love and things will somehow work out.