Aston Barrett’s case is thrown out of court
Bob Marley’s former bassist Aston Barrett has lost his court case over alleged unpaid royalties.
A High Court judge threw out the claim by Barrett, who argued that he was owed royalties from a contract signed with Island Records in 1974.
He also claimed that he was due money from songs co-written with the late reggae singer.
However, Justice Lewison dismissed the case – brought against the record company and the Marley family – BBC News reports.
Barrett played with The Wailers between 1969 and 1981, the year Marley died, aged 36.
He claimed that Marley promised the members of the band equal shares of the royalties from albums such as ‘Natty Dread’, ‘Babylon By Bus’ and ‘Rastaman Variation’.
Marley’s wife Rita, though acknowledging that Barrett and his drumming brother Carly – who was murdered in 1986 – brought a unique sound to the band, told the High Court that pair were “viewed as backing session musicians.”
Representing Barrett, Stephen Bate told Justice Lewison: “Aston Barrett and his brother literally created the sound of The Wailers, though not for a minute to detract from the extraordinary songwriting ability of Mr Marley.”
He added: “It was the Barretts‘ unique sound which brought The Wailers international success.”
The Marley family and the owners of Island Records – Universal Music – said that Barrett gave up his right to further royalties in a 1994 settlement.