May 15, 2006
Bob Marley bass player loses royalty lawsuit
By Adam Pasick
LONDON (Reuters) - Aston "Familyman" Barrett, the bass
player for Bob Marley and the Wailers, has lost a 60 million
pound ($113.6 million) lawsuit over royalties and song-writing
credits that pitted him against Island Records and the Marley
children, testified that he and his brother Carlton "Carly"
Barrett, a drummer for the reggae band who was murdered in
1985, did not receive the money they were due following
Marley's death from cancer in 1981.
But Mr Justice Kim Lewison dismissed the suit in a ruling
at London's High Court on Monday, a move welcomed by Marley's
widow Rita and her family.
"We always felt 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," the
family said in a statement.
Barrett will be liable for court costs and may be forced to
sell two properties in Jamaica as a result of the ruling.
The Barrett brothers played on numerous albums by Bob
Marley and the Wailers, including "Natty Dread," "Rastaman
Vibration" and "Babylon by Bus." The judge dismissed their
claim to have written several of the band's songs including
"War" and "Them Belly Full."
During the trial, Rita Marley and Island Records founder
Chris Blackwell played down the contributions of the brothers
and said Aston Barrett surrendered his right to further
royalties in a 1994 agreement that paid him several hundred
"There is, in my judgment, no reason to decline to enforce
the settlement agreement against Mr Aston Barrett," Mr Justice
Lewison said in his ruling.
Island Records is part of Universal Music Group, the
world's biggest music company, and a unit of France's Vivendi.