• Judge Rules in Lennon's Favor Against Levy (1976)

    From Norbert K@21:1/5 to All on Fri Aug 6 13:37:46 2021
    Upon finishing a rough mix of his long-delayed oldies album, Lennon proved to Morris Levy that he had been making progress by presenting Levy with a copy of the unfinished recordings. Levy released the rough mix as "Roots," compelling Capital and EMI
    records to rush-release Lennon's official Rock'n'Roll album. Levy sued Lennon for breach of oral contract-- and was denied. Capitol, EMI, and Lennon sued Levy for reimbursement of lost income and punitive damages.

    Samples of the Roots and Rock'n''Roll albums were played for the presiding judge Griesa. When these had completed, Levy's attorney stated, "Your honor, you have heard both songs. We don't need someone to tell you what you just heard."

    Friesa replied: "You don't. Do you want me to tell you?" Levy's attorney said "Yes." Friesa said: "I don't think there is any comparison. Rock'n'Roll is much clearer. The voice was very low and indistinct on Roots. It was almost hidden there.
    I could not tell it was John Lennon singing, or anyone singing. It was a voice."

    According to journalist Dave Marsh, "Lennon's people looked triumphant, while Levy's attorney resembled "a miner who's just heard the first timbers crack."

    Griesa went on to award Lennon $45,000 for damages to his reputation, and commented: "I am convinced of the fact that Lennon perhaps has a career whose balance is more delicate than that of other artists. Lennon's product tends to be somewhat more
    intellectual than that of other artists. Lennon's reputation and his standing are a delicate matter and any unlawful interference with Lennon in the way that Levy and Roots album accomplished must be taken seriously."

    -- Summarized from Dave Marsh's "Sue Me, Sue You Blues" article from the June 17, 1976 issue of Rolling Stone

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