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Last Updated: Monday, 15 May 2006, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Marley bassist loses royalty bid
Aston Barrett
Aston Barrett said he had a partnership agreement

The bassist from Bob Marley's band The Wailers has lost his court battle for 60m in unpaid royalties.

Aston Barrett, 60, claimed he was owed royalties from a contract signed with Island Records in 1974, plus earnings from songs co-written with Marley.

But Mr Justice Lewison dismissed the claim, which was brought against the record company and the Marley family at the High Court in London.

Barrett played with The Wailers from 1969 until Marley died aged 36 in 1981.

He claimed Marley promised the members of the band equal shares of royalties from hit albums including Babylon by Bus, Natty Dread and Rastaman Vibration.

It was hard to listen to Aston Barrett reduce his friend Bob to someone who was more interested in playing football
Marley family statement
During the case, Marley's widow Rita told the High Court that Mr Barrett and his drummer brother Carly - who was murdered in 1986 - were "viewed as backing session musicians".

She did acknowledge, however, that Barrett and his brother brought a unique sound to the group.

Island Records founder Chris Blackwell also played down the contributions of the brothers and said Barrett surrendered his right to further royalties in a 1994 agreement.

In a statement released after the ruling, the Marley family welcomed the decision.

'Hurtful and expensive'

"For the last four years, Aston Barrett has persisted in this hurtful and extremely expensive claim which was actually settled in 1994.

"The family of Bob Marley is delighted that the claim has now been rejected in full.

"We always felt that this would be the outcome and it was hard to listen to Aston Barrett reduce his friend Bob to someone who was more interested in playing football than making music.

"Now that the action is over, the family want to concentrate on keeping Bob's legacy alive and to introduce new generations to his music."

He has reconstructed events in his mind according to how he would like them to have been
Mr Justice Lewison
Mr Justice Lewison also imposed an order barring Barrett from taking any further action without the permission of the court.

He said Barrett had been involved in legal action against the Marley estate in New York in 1986 and in both New York and Jamaica in 1989.

The US action was brought to an end by the 1994 settlement in which Island agreed to pay $500,000 (264,000) and legal costs.

Mr Justice Lewison said Barrett had the "greatest difficulty" in answering questions about business dealings and his testimony was not reliable.

"He was plainly close to Bob Marley himself, whom he trusted implicitly," he said.

"At this remove of time, his recollection of events was hazy. And I also consider that, as often happens, he has reconstructed events in his mind according to how he would like them to have been."


SEE ALSO:
Marley wife denies bassist's role
28 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Marley musician court case opens
16 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Marley's legend undiminished
10 May 01 |  Entertainment
Court battle for Marley musician
28 Mar 03 |  Entertainment


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