Former Rolling Stones Guitarist Mick Taylor Threatens to Sue over Unpaid Royalties
Published Sep 15, 2009Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts may not be leaving after all, but the band are now dealing with some more issues. This time they're coming from former guitarist Mick Taylor, who may sue the band because he claims he hasn't been paid for royalties since the early '80s.
It's kind of a big deal, when you consider that Taylor played guitar on classic Stones albums like Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St.. Apparently, Taylor left the band in 1974 with the understanding that he'd get performance royalties for songs like "Brown Sugar" and "Angie." Shortly after that, though, the Stones switched labels and were advised to stop sending royalties.
"They all know it's not right. In fact, it is outrageous," Taylor recently told the Mail on Sunday. "They get all the money and I get the plaudits and praise, even from Mick ... I've tried to talk to Mick a couple of times, but I realize that hiring a lawyer is probably the only way they'll take me seriously. But they figure I'm not going to do anything about it."
Taylor was in the band for five crucial years before a mounting drug addiction and frustration over his lack of recognition caused him to leave the band. "I sort of liked them, but was never passionate about the Stones. In some ways I liked the Beatles more," he said.
Taylor added that he plans to formally contact the Stones about the unpaid royalties, saying: "I'm going to do something about it because it's morally wrong to cut my royalties for those six albums."
Mick Jagger and the rest of the current Rolling Stones have yet to respond to Taylor's statements, so it's safe to say that this dispute will end up in the court room. In the meantime, perhaps Taylor will pick up a copy of The Beatles: Rock Band to quell his frustrations.