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Wednesday, January 27, 1999 Published at 07:19 GMT


Spandau Ballet in court over royalties

Spandau Ballet in their 1980s heyday

Eighties pop group Spandau Ballet appeared at the High Court on Wednesday - three members of the band are suing another for allegedly unpaid royalties.

Singer Tony Hadley, drummer John Keeble and saxophone player Steve Norman are suing songwriter Gary Kemp for hundreds of thousands of pounds of publishing royalties going back to 1988. The hearing is expected to last two weeks.

Royalties agreement

[ image: John Keeble and Steve Norman: Suing their former colleague]
John Keeble and Steve Norman: Suing their former colleague
Gary Kemp is the sole credited songwriter on Spandau Ballet hits, but the three who are suing him claim there was an agreement to share the royalties.

The New Romantic band, who were arch rivals with Duran Duran as the most popular group of the 1980s, had a string of hits including True and Gold.

Although they never officially split up, the band has not recorded together since the late 1980s.

Fame and fortune

[ image: Gary Kemp: Says he never agreed to give away any of the royalties]
Gary Kemp: Says he never agreed to give away any of the royalties
Andrew Sutcliffe, who is representing the three explained to the judge, Mr Justice Park, how the school friends from north London grew into one of the "best known and most successful bands of the 1980s".

He spoke of their early roots playing in north London pubs and how they signed in October 1980 with the record label Chrysalis.

He said that all three say the band had discussions on how the royalties would be shared before the signing.

"They all say that Gary Kemp agreed from the early stage of the discussions that it was fair that all the members of the band should have some share of the publishing royalties despite the fact that he wrote the lyrics, music and basic chord structure of all the songs," said Mr Sutcliffe.

Mr Sutcliffe said the three were told by Gary Kemp and the band's manager Steve Dagger that the song writer would receive half the publishing royalties and the band, including Gary and Steve Dagger, would receive the other half.

"This meant that Gary would receive a total of seven twelfths of the earnings."

'Just not true'

[ image: Tony Hadley: Has now launched a solo career]
Tony Hadley: Has now launched a solo career
But in a statement issued before the hearing, Gary Kemp rejected any suggestions that he did not write the music for the Spandau Ballet songs.

"It is also claimed that I agreed to give up some of my future income. This is just not true and I am vigorously defending this claim," he said.

After their Spandau Ballet days Gary and his brother Martin Kemp, the fifth group member starred together in The Krays in 1990. Martin Kemp has also built a successful acting career including his EastEnders role as Steve Owen. He is understood to be taking no part in the action.

Tony Hadley, the band's lead singer, spent some time in music management and is now launching a solo career.

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