Voice recognition will solve Bay City Rollers' ongoing battle


By Christine Lavelle

A FOUNDING member of the Bay City Rollers says he will use voice recognition experts to help prove he is entitled to a share of a £65 million claim for royalty payments.

Nobby Clark was the original lead singer in the band but left in 1973 before they shot to stardom.

His replacement Les McKeown and current members Duncan Faure, Eric Faulkner, Stuart Wood and brothers Alan and Derek Longmuir – both of whom helped found the band – launched a legal bid in 2007.

They are demanding £65 million in unpaid royalties from record label Arista.

But that action does not include the three other former members – Clark, Pat McGlynn and Ian Mitchell – who say they are being frozen out and launched their own separate legal bid in the States.

They hope to win a share of any royalties already paid to band members, as well as any new award against the label.

But the case has stalled on a technical legal argument in New York.

Ongoing feud

McGlynn joined the band in 1977 but left a year later, and Ian Mitchell spent a seven month spell with them in 1976.

The ongoing legal feud now sees the band perform under the name Les McKeown’s Legendary Bay City Rollers.

Clark announced his intentions to call on the voice recognition expert came after Les spoke out in an interview last weekend alleging Nobby and other former members of the band were “climbing on other people’s backs” to make a claim.

During his interview Les, 54, said: “They are barking up the wrong tree. They can’t be climbing on other people’s back to make a claim.

“To attack the band is not the right way to go about it. Their grievance is with the record company, they shouldn’t complain about what we’re doing.”

‘The band spent my money’

But 60-year-old Nobby hit back: “They are not innocent in all this.

“I intend to show evidence in court that they received publishing royalties for a song written by me that sold over a million copies.

“The money was paid into Bay City Music, and the band spent my money.

“I also have evidence of Les McKeown appearing on television laying claim to singing songs that had my lead vocals.”

Nobby, from Edinburgh, said there had been dozens of albums released worldwide over a 30 year period with his voice used on songs.

But he says he is yet to be paid a single penny in existing royalties.

Cut out of claim

He also defended ex- band members Pat McGlynn and Ian Mitchell, as he said the band has used their guitar playing, vocals and images to sell more albums, but they have also been cut out of any royalty claim.

He said: “Not one of them has had the honesty to admit it.

“It will all be presented in court soon enough without Les McKeown appointing himself judge and jury in the newspapers – so on his head be it.

“We will be employing the services of voice recognition experts to prove who is singing what, once and for all.”

The band, hailed at the time as ‘tartan teen sensations from Edinburgh’, and had been dubbed the biggest group since The Beatles.

Their 1975 single Bye Bye Baby was number one for six weeks in the UK chart, creating ‘Rollermania’.

Nobby said he is sick of hearing about the Bay City Rollers and their ‘come back tour attempts’.

And he pointed out that their recently released greatest hits album disappeared after just one week in the charts.

He said: “I think that if there are any Rollers fans left out there they should hold a midnight vigil and burn all the copies of Rollers albums and singles that contain my vocals so that after the court case, I never have to hear any of them again.”