Former Roller ready to sue ex-bandmates over royalties claims
FORMER Bay City Rollers singer Nobby Clark has threatened to sue his old bandmates if a legal claim they have launched against Arista Records is successful.
Today, in the latest instalment of an increasingly bitter row over the missing millions generated by the band's commercial success, he hit out at his one-time friends.
Six former band members have launched a writ in the US for unpaid royalties for hits such as Bye Bye Baby appearing on compilation albums.
But Mr Clark, 56, claims he was the creative force behind their chart-topping success and should receive a substantial share.
He is even prepared to take legal action to scupper the bid of the six former Rollers, including other original members bassist Alan Longmuir and his brother, drummer Derek, and Les McKeown, Mr Clark's replacement in the band.
Mr Clark said: "I've appointed a lawyer to look into this. It's my intention to make sure those guys don't get a penny.
"Or I will wait until they come back to this country and then I will sue every single one of them the minute they step off the plane.
"I started the band with the brothers when I was 15 years old. I created the name. The whole image was created by the three of us."
Mr Clark left the band in 1973, but it was not until eight years ago that he fell out with the other former members, when they launched their first bid for unpaid royalties.
Believing he had been frozen out of the claim Mr Clark launched a rival writ, but neither side ever reached the courtroom.
However, this week the six former members filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in New York, claiming Arista Records had failed to pay them huge sums in royalties over 25 years.
"There is no money they could ever get that they could say I am not entitled to," said Mr Clark.
"Every single album has my performances on it, all except for the ones in the latter stages of the band which did not sell well.
"There were six or seven hit singles that have been released on compilation albums all around the world, and I've not received a single penny.
"I wrote Because I Love You, which sold 800,000 copies."
Mr Clark, who now lives in Holyrood Road and relaunched his singing career in 2002, added: "As far as I know all the royalties were paid to Bay City Music Publishing, in London.
"Now I read the Rollers are suing Arista for fortunes. I just wish the whole story would go away but, be assured, I will not go away."
Mr McKeown has confirmed he was involved in a lawsuit but he said that they had all agreed not to comment on the case. Their lawyer was unavailable to comment on Mr Clark's claims.
The band says Arista has continued to profit as a result of selling albums, merchandise and rights to commercials, films and even telephone ringtones.
In the lawsuit, the Rollers claim a contract states Arista must account for and pay royalties to them twice a year, with obligations dating back to the 1970s.
The lawsuit alleges a payment of 133,000 in September 1997 was the only one made to the band, well short of the millions the musicians believe they are owed.
Joshua Krumholtz, of US law firm Holland and Knight, the lead counsel for the group, said on Tuesday: "Through this lawsuit, we intend to secure the royalties owed to the Rollers for the huge commercial success of their music. They have waited long enough."
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