Sent Via: Gene Foley of Hardrive Records
January 18th 2000
As you all may know, I am the current manager of "The Bay City Rollers," and I am responsible for their current "reformation" of the most well-known original band line-up. Although I don't personally use the Internet, it has been increasingly obvious recently that there has been confusion and concern regarding the band and their activities, amongst many of you do use it. Accordingly, I think that it is probably time for me to set out the position clearly and try to alleviate any concerns, which some of you may have.
Recently, there has been confusion regarding Peter Stern's unofficial BCR's Web site. And this has been centered around the post-Edinburgh Hogmanay activities of the site and certain statements subsequently made by Woody and his wife, Denise
Whilst I know how deeply all of you feel for the band and how much lifelong support you have given them, their own current position is governed by their very complex legal position. Many of you will be aware that they have been trying to retrieve payments and royalities due to them from many years ago and even up to the present day. However, many of you will not be aware of just how deep that problem runs and the massive scale of the damage which it has done to the band.
Simply put, the band has been financially destroyed by the failure of their old label to pay their record royalities and by their huge past losses at the hands of certain of their past advisors. In fact, I was initially approached by the band specifically to help with this legal problem, as I have an established long history of settling such disputes for unpaid artists. Along the way, I brought the boys back together and we have made some small progress in repairing old, deep wounds.
However, as a result of the massive financial and personal damage that the past has wrought on all of the band, it is now absolutely essential for us to be very firm and clear about the way in which the band's image and music is offered for sale or reproduced. Indeed, as certain members of the band actually own their name as a worldwide registered trademark, they have a continued legal obligation to uphold the proper use of the name and likeness in certain areas.
Additionally, the band would be in breach of its current recording obligations if any material were offered for sale outside the terms and conditions of the band's new recording agreements. We have, therefore, to be very, very careful about the way in which anything is made available for the public which uses the band's name and likeness. This is far more important since the undertaking of the band's major U.S. lawsuit was initiated.
Along the way, many of the messages and statements posted on various sites regarding these matters and others have added to the confusion. I know that many of you are upset and concerned with messages from Denise, Woody's wife, but I feel that a lot of this is being taken out of context and has been misinterpreted. Denise takes a keen interest in Woody's life and career, and is often more concerned about his future and happiness than he is himself.
She sees the damage done by the years of loss and she is only interested in his welfare. Woody loves his fans, and lately he has (for the first time) made the effort to communicate with them, and that is due, in many ways, to Denise. You all have to forgive any over-reaction wives, mothers and family are allowed to care a lot - we all do, don't we?
Stuart and Denise would NEVER, EVER disrespect or disregard the fans, and we all feel that the message has been misinterpreted and misunderstood. I hope that you will all be able to understand and relate to that.
I also know that many of you are concerned about Peter Stern's site and you feel that there have been problems surrounding the site and the band. The truth is that we all have to accept that the band must have control of their future and destiny, and if confusion arises, as it has here, then we must all communicate properly to avoid any dispute arising, which would be of no value to anyone.
It is unfortunate that matters have reached such a state of affairs, but it is absolutely fundamental to the future of the band that everyone who cares about them fully understands that they have to be in control of their music, films and images. This is far more important after all those years of rip-offs and loss. I am sure that all of you, including Peter, would accept and endorse this.
So If any of you feel that Peter Stern's site has been compromised or unfairly treated, of if you feel that either Stuart of Denise has been unduly harsh, then I hope that you will try to balance that view against the hard realities and current legalities of "being a Roller." After more than twenty-five years of pain and financial deprivation, everyone in the camp is probably a little overzealous from time to time.
For myself, I would have loved to have seen Peter Stern at Hogmanay, but he wasn't introduced to me. He didn't make himself known, and we therefore didn't meet. You should all be aware that neither Peter, nor anyone else, has contacted me about the sale of anything related to the Hogmanay Gig. Indeed, I haven't been given the opportunity to see the photographs and comment on them. Likewise, the rumoured recording of the performance hasn't been made
available to me, and naturally, it is necessary for me to review anything of this nature involving the band. It goes without saying that I would have loved to have seen a few more of you personally, too - but security being what it was, and the dreadfully unfair allocation of tickets by the promoters being as it was, well - it was out of my hands
One more word about the Web site: After this note is posted, Peter, perhaps you will contact me and talk about this confusion. Everyone who loves this band is important to me - and to the band. But we have to "get real" about the band's future, and I personally owe it to them to insure that NOTHING interferes with their opportunity to restore their massive historic losses.
And if that means a slight change in the way the "Rollerworld" operates inside (and outside) the Internet - then that's what it will take for all of us. I hope that this can include you.
So - I hope that ALL OF YOU will understand and help us support the band's current fight for "Right against Might." "The Bay City Rollers" love, respect and cherish their fans, and nothing will EVER change that.
On a final note, you should all be aware that the "Definitive Collection" is yet another record for which the band will not receive a single penny in royalties. Personally, we would all be happy if you waited for the HARDRIVE RECORDS upcoming release - we know that we will get paid by those guys, because they're honest and they care!
With my fondest regards,
Mark St. John.