Bay City Rollers Sue Over Unpaid Royalties
The Bay City Rollers, the Scottish pop group that rode the enthusiasm of teenagers to the top of the charts in the 1970s, accused Arista Records in a lawsuit yesterday (March 20) of failing to pay milThe Bay City Rollers, the Scottish pop group that rode the enthusiasm of teenagers to the top of the charts in the 1970s, accused Arista Records in a lawsuit yesterday (March 20) of failing to pay millions of dollars in royalties over the last 25 years.
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan seeks unspecified damages on behalf of six band members, including bassist Alan Longmuir and drummer Derek Longmuir, brothers who started the group in Edinburgh in 1967.
The band, whose hits include "Saturday Night" and "I Only Want To Be With You," says in the lawsuit that Arista owes royalties on albums, compact discs, multimedia licenses, merchandise and rights to commercials, movies and ringtones.
The suit says Arista has taken the position that it has held royalties from the band members until it receives clear instructions from them as to how the money should be distributed. A payment of $254,392 in September 1997 is the only one that has been made to the band, according to the suit.
"Arista's claim over the last 25 years that it does not know who to pay is and always has been a pretext intended to deprive the Rollers of the royalties to which they are entitled," the lawsuit says.
The band, first known as the Saxons, sought a less English-sounding name and found it after throwing a dart that landed on a map near Bay City, Mich., the lawsuit says. In the United States, the group scored a No. 1 hit with "Saturday Night." It split in 1981.
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