Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Rats sue Geldof

Bob Geldof is to face a legal challenge from four former members of the Boomtown Rats who claim he owes them unpaid royalties.

The dispute came to light in a statement issued by Gerry Cott, who quit the band in 1981, John Moylett, the pyjama-clad pianist who performed under the name Johnny Fingers, Simon Crowe, and Garrick Roberts.

"We jointly confirm that with the utmost regret we are pressing ahead with our claims against Bob Geldof and others for our rightful entitlement to a proper share of recording, publishing and merchandising income," the statement said.

''We have retained the London solicitor Angel and Co to act on our behalf and anticipate that proceedings will have to be issued shortly. We have no further comment at this stage."

The four musicians have listed their grievances in letters to the Performing Right Society (PRS), which collects licence fees for the public performance and broadcast of music, and the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS), which collects and distributes royalties.

They have also asked for financial information from Universal Music, who released re-mastered versions of the Boomtown Rats' six albums in February.

Geldof is credited as the sole writer on many of the songs. However, the other band members claim that their input into the records has not been recognised. They also claim it was agreed that all band members should benefit from record sales. Under this arrangement, the principal writer (or writers) receive half the proceeds from individual songs while the remaining 50 per cent is shared amongst the rest.