Australian Band Sheppard Not Happy With Seduced Docuseries Using Nxivm Video With Their Song Geronimo on Soundtrack

In the docuseries Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult, a Nxivm promotional video is shown which shows images of people at Vanguard Week, a 10-day event celebrating the nativity of Keith Alan Raniere, the founder of Nxivm.

The soundtrack of the Nxivm promotional video features a recording of “Geronimo,” a 2014 hit song by an Australian pop band named Sheppard.

The band, learning of the use of their song by Nxivm, asked their managers, Michael Chugg and Andrew Stone, to contact the producers of Seduced to rectify the copyright infringement – and have the soundtrack of their song removed from the documentary.

It is unclear whether the use of the Nxivm video constitutes fair use in the Seduced documentary since they only play an excerpt of the Nxivm recruitment video.

Sheppard’s legal recourse might be limited to suing the original producer of the Nxivm recruitment video, most likely Nxivm Inc.  This too might be problematic since Nxivm and all its assets are in the process of being seized by the US government.

How serious the efforts to stop the use of the song as seen on Seduced is anybody’s guess.  Sheppard has gotten good publicity by making statements expressing their horror that their song was used by Nxivm.

Band co-founder, George Sheppard, said, ‘We haven’t and would never have allowed our music to be featured by NXIVM in their promotional video, and we were not approached by the documentary to have this unauthorized usage featured in the program. It goes without saying that the allegations and charges surrounding the NXIVM cult are reprehensible and in no way would we want our music associated with such an organization or for it to be implied by the documentary makers that we have approved this usage.”

Why did Nxivm use the song “Geronimo”?  It was No. 1 on the Australian Recording Industry Association. [ARIA] Singles Chart.

Brendan Plowman of AdamNotEve noted that the “lyrics throughout the song suggest an idea of taking the plunge together. Risking it all in the hope of something bigger and better that lies ahead, even if it is ‘through the curtain of a waterfall’ and you don’t know what’s on the other side” while “the music and repetitive chorus are uplifting and exciting and everyone still can’t get enough of it. But it appears this is no accident”.

Sheppard is from Brisbane, and the band was formed in 2009.

From late April to early May 2014, “Geronimo” spent three weeks at No. 1 on the ARIA Singles Chart, knocking Pharrell Williams’ single “Happy” from the top spot after its 12-week run. It is the first single to have been recorded in Brisbane that reached number one.

Internationally, the track reached the top 10 in Austria, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Poland.

Sheppard was certified 5× platinum by ARIA, for shipments of over 350,000 units.

Here are the lyrics to Geronimo and perhaps readers can see the connection between them and the idea of being a part of Nxivm, led by Keith Raniere.

Can you feel it?
Now it’s coming back we can steal it
If we bridge this gap
I can see you
Through the curtains of the waterfall
When I lost it
Yeah you held my hand
But I tossed it
Didn’t understand
You were waiting
As I dove into the waterfall
So say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Can you feel my love?
Bombs away
Bombs away
Bombs away
Can you feel (my love, my love, my love, my love, my love) my love?
Bombs away
Bombs away
Bombs away
Say Geronimo!
Well we rushed it
Moving away too fast
That we crushed it
But it’s in the past
We can make this leap
Through the curtains of the waterfall
So say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Can you feel (my love, my love, my love, my love, my love) my love?
Bombs away
Bombs away
Bombs away
Can you feel (my love, my love, my love, my love, my love) my love?
Bombs away
Bombs away
Bombs away
Well I’m just a boy
With a broken toy
All lost and coy
(At the curtains of the waterfall)
So it’s here I stand
As a broken man
But I’ve found my friend
At the curtains of the waterfall
Now I’m falling down
Through the crashing sound
And you’ve come around
At the curtains of the waterfall
And you rushed to me
And it sets us free
So I fall to my knees
(At the curtains of the waterfall)
So say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Bombs away
Bombs away
Bombs away (Say Geronimo!)
Say Geronimo!
Make this leap
Make this leap
Make this leap
Make this leap
Can you feel my love?
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: George Josef Sheppard / Amy Louise Sheppard / Jason Bovino
Geronimo lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Frank Parlato

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  • My best limerick to date Frank is…..

    “Chef Jon’s Sin”
    There was a man who loved toss-salad
    Large Eggplants made him sing a ballad
    Little pickles,
    gave him a tickle
    After meals he took a mint and ant-acid

    Incidentally, do you know if Mr. Johnson liked the limerick?

  • One new Limerick and a rewrite:

    “The Easter Special”
    Once there was a woman name Esther
    Her guy, loved her to stuff-up his keister
    She’d play his petoot
    like a skin flute
    He’d take twelve dozen eggs on Easter

    “Soul Tan 3.0”
    Once there was a princess in a palace
    A mad wanker craved her sweet chalice
    All the while, he was scorned,
    he’d sit enrage and watch porn
    Wait on a girl and ur nuts fill with malice

  • Is it me or does the rock band look like extras from the old Star Trek show?

    ************

    “Soul Tan”
    Once there was a princess in a palace
    A mad wanker craved her pink chalice
    Erstwhile he was scorned
    So he’d sit mad and watch gay porn
    Wait on a queen and die of bent up malice

  • Frank, I didn’t even read this post. But if we don’t hear from you, hope you have a very, well deserved, happy Thanksgiving. I assume Vanguard is having a Cornish hen.

    • I don’t know who you are, but that was a rude remark. The world’s rotten anyway, so at let’s we just here to be tolerant of each other. (In hindsight, I’m sorry if I hurt someone, it wasn’t intentional.)

      • I am sorry, but the statement “Frank is more politically-correct than a unisex bathroom” is true.

        My man Frank is 3 shakes of a Lambs Tail from growing mammary glands.

        The lamb tail reference is lingo from the development of the nuclear bomb, its referencing the initial explosion until the final “second explosion”, nuclear explosion.

        • Unisex bathrooms exist because men want and demand them. It’s traditionally masculine behavior to remove female boundaries and vilify women for taking issue with it. Frank is doing the opposite.

          What Frank is doing is acting like an adult and a leader. A responsible caretaker of many stories. Frank has made himself more equitable and approachable.

          What do you think, a blog that covers a rape cult could dial it back a few notches and gain more readers? Must one have breasts to see the sense of this?

  • The song is so sappy-sweet it could give you diabetes. Saccharine, Up-With-People excrement. No wonder the idiots in Nxivm picked it as their theme.

    I had to go listen to some Opeth to rinse out my ears after listening to that. Thanks a lot, Frank!

    • @Aristotle’s Sausage: You said it! 🤮

      I’ll bet they aren’t too pissed off…no publicity is bad publicity and this gives them some reach in the USA.

    • My ears are bleeding and ringing from that foul song!
      *********

      Here is new limerick fit for Thanksgiving:

      “Chef Jon’s Sin”
      There was a man who loved toss-salad
      Large Eggplant made him sing a ballad
      Little pickles,
      gave him a tickle
      After meals he took a mint and antacid

      • Another humdinger for Thanksgiving

        “Captain Shaun’s Son”
        There was a man who love the navy
        His best friend’s name was Davy
        Davy chase seamen
        Our man tagged yeomen
        By Thanksgiving they’d plenty of gravy

        • Rewrite

          “Captain Shaun’s Son”
          There was a man who loved the navy
          His best friend’s name was Davy
          Davy chase seamen
          And tag many a yeoman
          By Thanksgiving they’d plenty of gravy

          Good God I to have to get a life

  • IP attorney here. The clip used seems like a clear case of fair use since it was a short clip which had news value. I’m sure attorneys for STARZ clear everything they air. But I sympathize with the artists who are probably horrified at the connection.

    Say, did Mark Vicente create this promotional video for NXVIM? Maybe they should complain to him.

  • Well shouldn’t Geronimo’s descendants have a misuse/misappropriation of likeness claim against the band for using Geronimo’s name without compensation?

    Pot, meet Kettle.

  • I cannot remember the song on Seduced (I do remember and could actually sing the theme on The Vow but not name it). If not much of the one on Seduced was used, it might be subject to “fair use” in the US. However, Australia and the UK have very very limited fair use exemptions compared with the US. I don’t know how long it was played for but if it was used as a theme tune, it probably should have been cleared in advance.

    • I can’t remember it either Jane. It’s not like it was a main title theme being repeated. Having said that, I have never heard the song before.

      It happens all the time with polititions/political groups/candidates using music without authorisation. I’m not sure if it ever goes so far as someone being sued over it because it happens all the time but I don’t know for sure. Maybe it’s a warning of legal action and it gets removed?

      • “It happens all the time with polititions/political groups/candidates using music without authorisation.”

        That is a different situation then the documentary since the politicians are free to use the songs at public rallies provided they pay the ASCAP fee. The artists that complain know this but like to pretend otherwise and gullible media people lap it up.

        As an IP attorney, the clip used seems like a clear case of fair use since it was a short clip which had news value. I’m sure attorneys for STARZ clear everything they air.

        Did Mark Vicente produce this video for NXVIM? Maybe they should complain to him.

        • I did not know this (ASCAP and outrage). That’s interesting. Thanks, Ben.

          I can justify my FR interest now, I learn something new every day!

  • The band is fake protesting, they are getting more publicity than they ever dreamed of – I never heard of them before this. LOL

    Besides, they committed ethnic misappropriation with their song in the first place, Geronimo was a native American. LOL

    Also, the HBO series was critical of NXIVM, so they should be honored to be associated with an effort in opposition to that scam. LOL

  • To be clear, it was the producers of Seduced that used an unauthorized song to tell the story of former members, not the now-defunct corporation of NXIVM?

    In other instances, bands would probably appreciate the exposure, if they had not reached mass success, but it sounds like this band has, and controlling where songs end up is an ongoing battle musicians often fight. It’s their song, and I can’t say I blame them for not wanting it associated with traumatic events and criminal activity. For myself, if I ever hear the intro song to The Vow again, it will trigger stress and anxiety. It’s forever ruined.

About Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato Investigates

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg; “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson; “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been featured prominently on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and acted as lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” He was credited in the Starz docuseries, 'Seduced,' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato has appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest, which was ironic since many credit Parlato as being one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

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If the whole world stands against you sword in hand, would you still dare to do what you think is right?

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