Morrissey's final appeal to overturn 1996 Mike Joyce verdict dismissed
Posted on Wed, May 19 1999 at 10:32 a.m. PDT
by David T. <[email protected]>
Thanks to the many people who forwarded the following articles. I hadn't heard that Morrissey was appealing to the House of Lords, as it was his right to do as stated in this article regarding his failed appeal back in Oct./Nov. 1998. So it is finally over? First with the link to the news at dotmusic (May 18) is Matthew Zolan:

"Defeat is murder for Morrissey"

Former frontman for The Smiths, Morrissey has failed in his last ditch attempt to overturn a court ruling that he and Johhny Marr short changed the other members of the 80s supergroup.  As a result of the private hearing Morrissey and Marr now face the prospect of a payout in the region of Ģ1million and a legal costs bill running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The long running and acrimonious legal battle has been fought over the division of profits from The SmithsMorrissey and Marr took 40 per cent each while the other two members Michael Joyce and Andrew Rourke only received ten per cent each.

A 1996 High Court ruling found that Morrissey and co-founder Marr had short-changed their fellow members.  The judge branded Morrissey as "devious, truculent and unreliable", whereas he considered Joyce and Rourke, were "straightforward and honest" though "unintellectual and not financially sophisticated."

Three Law Lords dismissed Morrissey's attempt to appeal against the1996 ruling.  Marr was not involved in this appeal.

And first with the news at (May 18) is Sam:

"Morrissey - Day of the Lords"

MORRISSEY failed in his final attempt to overturn a 1996 High Court verdict that he and guitarist Johnny Marr short-changed former Smiths members Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke out of money owed during their stint in the band.

did not appeal the original verdict, but Morrissey - branded "devious" by the original judge - took the case to appeal, finally being defeated at a private hearing before three Law Lords.

now faces a payout of millions to Joyce - Rourke having already settled for a one-off payout - as well as hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal fees.

Comments / Notes

"This is the fierce last stand of all I am,
This is the final stand of all I am."
poor moz

- Wed, May 19, 1999 at 12:23:01 (PDT)

Poor Moz? Are you kidding?? He totally Ripped off Joyce and Rourke. For with out all 4 of the Smiths as a total band effort there would have never been The Smiths unique sound. Each band member contributed his unique sound to the band and without one of them The Smiths would just not have sounded like the Smiths we know and love. Why does everyone always feel bad for Moz? He is so selfish in my eyes and should be ashamed for taking his former band members to court over money thet deserved in the first place. They were once all very close and loving friends that made beautiful and meaningful music together AS A BAND! I'm sorry if you Moz lovers can't see the harsh truth behind what I say but I am happy the courts threw his arse out of court. It makes me so sad to think becuase of all this court stuff happening there will for sure never be a Smiths reunion because of his greed!
SubGenius <[email protected]>
USA - Thu, May 20, 1999 at 00:19:24 (PDT)

I agree wit Marrissey! As Moz and Marr have both said they were teh smiths. Rourke and Joyce were easily replaceable and you know it. There was nothing fantastic about the bass and drums of the smiths. And seeing as how they had no part in the forming of the smiths and were always off getting high while marr and morrissey worked they only deserve 10%!
Corey <[email protected]>
Pennsylvania - Thu, May 20, 1999 at 03:57:12 (PDT)

And if nothing else: He really should have KNOWN that this would happen! Dear god, this is England! As much as I love Morrissey - to me this is just contrary behaviour. What this joke of a judge said about him IN COURT in the first place was just too much for him, I guess. Anyway, instead of "proving" to everybody that he was wrong in the first place - which I`m not sure about - by appealing another time, he should have had some dignity and spare him all these additional court costs.
elsberry <[email protected]>
- Thu, May 20, 1999 at 04:09:59 (PDT)

If Moz honestly believes that Rourke and Joyce understood their %20 financial contribution, then I sympathize with his motives. We can't dismiss the fact that moz is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to prove this. I don't think its up to the courts to decide whether the actual figure of %20 is fair. That was Rourke and Joyce's responsibility at the time they discussed it.
And, btw, SubGenius IS absolutely correct. For those non-musicians out there, it is difficult to comprehend the contribution of a bass player and drummer that the singer so easily and publicly dismisses. As I've stated before in defense of Rourke and Joyce, a band is only as good as its worse member--so to say, Rourke and Joyce, were, for a time, the best rythym section alive.

- Thu, May 20, 1999 at 08:48:50 (PDT)

Frankly, Morrissey and Marr crafted the songs; Joyce and Rourke were brought in to play the drums and bass, accoriding to the musical compositions made by Marr. Therefore, actual "royalties" generated by the music itself should have been split by Morrissey and Marr, as it was their talent that created the songs. Joyce and Rourke were hired to help execute it, but had nothing to do with its innate genius. Why do they deserve to profit from music not of their own creation? They were paid to play the bass and drums, and that's what they did.....crying for more money is riding on the tails of someone else's brilliance. If the two of them were so creative and wonderful, perhaps they'd be gainfully employed today. Instead, one is bankrupt and the other is just gleefully sitting around spending other people's money. They were good at playing their instruments, but yes, quite easily replaceable. It is a pity the judges have been too blind to realize the fact that Morrissey and Marr are the ones who are entitled to ALL the actual royalties, since the music was their creation, not that of Joyce and Rourke.

Think of it this way: If you wrote a book, words and thoughts of your own compilation, would you feel that the person who typeset the text at the publishing house would be entitled to the profits you earned on your creation? I somehow think not....

Amy Beth <[email protected]>
Columbus, Ohio - Thu, May 20, 1999 at 09:00:14 (PDT)

I think people might be a bit confused as to what Joyce was suing over. Morrissey and Marr, as we know, wrote all the songs, hence earning themselves SONGWRITING royalties. What the 10% "agreement" was over was PERFORMANCE royalties. Like it or not, when the Smiths were in the studio, there were actually four members of the band, as it was when they were on stage. The monies owed to Joyce have nothing to do with songwriting monies accrued by Morrissey and Marr. As for the argument that Morrissey and Marr had to deal with all this extra crap that Rourke and Joyce didn't have to deal with, too bad for Morrissey. If he hadn't sacked each manager the minute they started to befriend Marr, the Smiths would've never had the troubles that they did. For someone who claims he can't stand people geared towards finance, he sure as hell put in quite an effort to hold onto money that most likely isn't his. Congrats, Mike.
maladjusted matt <[email protected]>
- Thu, May 20, 1999 at 11:06:56 (PDT)

Has anyone heard of "intellectual property"? The Smiths music was in some form or another owned by either Marr, Morrissey, or both. I dont see why Joyce and Rourke are tyring to compensate their own entrepnureal mistakes by suing Marr and Morrissey. Think of it this way folks: The Smiths were like a little corporation. Moz and Marr were shareholders while everyone else was like an ordinary worker. Even in their performance duties Joyce and Rourke were commisioned to perform for a certain wage. If that situation is true, wouldn't Moz and Marr have the right to garnish wages due to poor performance or lack of importance? The CEO of a company has a high stature and is paid accordingly. The expendable employee, by the same token, is paid significantly less. You see, The Smiths werejust a little corporation with CEOs and pee-ons alike.

Anyways, Moz deserves his cut because he did all of the cool cover art. VIVA MOZ!!!!

Business Administrator <[email protected]>
- Thu, May 20, 1999 at 15:29:10 (PDT)

The reason Moz doesn't want Mike to get the money is not because he's being selfish, it's because he doesn't think Mike deserves it! If Mike hadn't been so naive and just "assumed" that he was being payed the amount he wanted to be paid, then maybe he wouldn't have had to go through all that trouble of sueing Moz and Marr and breaking up the former groups friendship even more. What a fool.
Jae <[email protected]>
- Thu, May 20, 1999 at 17:44:24 (PDT)

Anyone ever hear of "studio musicians"? These are people you hire (for a pre-contracted fee)to do exactly what you want in the studio. You then can hire them (for a pre-contracted fee) to tour with your band, or not, and you are therefore free of any further obligation towards royalties.
Sadly for Morrissey, he went and joined a BAND, and thus ripped himself off of the majority of the proceeds which he so obviously thinks he deserves.
Sorry folks, the singer is the most commercially viable person in the band, but no musician on earth is gonna go down that path with a band (just starting out) if they know that the singer is gonna screw them once the band "makes is big"
I call it as I see it.

- Thu, May 20, 1999 at 17:47:48 (PDT)

Right on Hagfish! I'm a drummer, and I agree with you 100%. The rythm section is always overlooked, always taken for granted. You expressed exactly what I have been feeling for years.
By the way, I love your Hagfish website, a very cool concept!

Copious Mansoup <[email protected]>
- Thu, May 20, 1999 at 18:05:37 (PDT)

I'm in a band. I don't know how the Smiths worked as a unit. Our band has not arrived at the stage of loads of money and interview. We're not even close. I'll say this as a non-rhythm section member:

We're a group. I couldn't look at any of these guys and tell them they aren't worth 1/4th the money, because I know that's not true. Even the laziest ones of the bunch might slow down practice. In the end, their strengths as players and musicians make it come together.

I say this knowing we split all the business hassels. I know it would be harder for me to let go of money when other people did much less than me in trying to get the group to take off. I'm still dependent on them to get up off of it and catch up.

It is easier for Morrissey alone to demand more money. Most fans do not show up for his studio musician's talents. He was in a band, so that makes things blurry.

Bob Barker
At the Veterinarian's with a pair of pinking shears - Thu, May 20, 1999 at 22:36:07 (PDT)

Morrissey's a jerk. If he didn't want Mike and Andy to be full band members, he shouldn't have allowed them to join in the first place. And once you're in a band, there's no reason why anybody should be making FOUR TIMES as much money as the others just from performance royalties! Andy and Mike did one quarter of the work as live peformers so they deserve one quarter of the money. I don't feel sorry for Morrissey at all.

- Thu, May 20, 1999 at 22:49:46 (PDT)

Fact is: Moz and Marr were The Smiths. Moz are Marr were responsible for (even MORE than) 80% of the output. So itīs just fair to earn most!
I bet next week we gonna read something like "Craig Gannon wants his million, too!"

Dorian Kray <[email protected]>
- Fri, May 21, 1999 at 05:04:04 (PDT)

I don't know the in's and out's of it all but if Marr wrote all of the music (including, which I suspect it does, the drum beat and the bass line) then all you need is a half competent session player to tour and record with.
On the 'Young Guns go for it' programme, Mike Joyce said that he was on the tour bus, did the gigs etc., but if he didn't have any creative input, then he's lucky to get 10% if you ask me.

Paul Nightingale <[email protected]>
Channel Islands - Fri, May 21, 1999 at 07:29:25 (PDT)

i think moz had somefailure on business of the smiths.and,moz regret it.
but,this never means that moz is selfish and evil.
i hate all of people who are saying so.
they are all of death low and @#!!!ing hell.
when an artist express just like "sorrow will come in the end",that is a war.
truely morrissey got angry.i trust him.
actually,morrissey is very rich.
i cant judge if this problem is just only money.
so manythings arenot clear to me.
certainly,mike and andy are very good rythm section.everybody feel so.
but the only thing i can say is that i dont care
if they live or die now.
moz! if they dare touch a hair on your head
i ll fight to the last breath.

tadateru.uyama <[email protected]>
tokyo japan - Fri, May 21, 1999 at 11:50:17 (PDT)

Jesus Tadateru, lighten up! Save your "fight to the death" resolve for the guy who stole your Cheap Trick: Live at Budokan record.
Johnny Applesemen
- Fri, May 21, 1999 at 13:35:09 (PDT)

Mike Joyce deserves his money as much as Andy Rourke does(he blew it!)...even Craig Gannon should get what he deserves(he didn't get writng credits for "Ask") if he requests it! Morrissey is a greedy bastard who deserves what he's getting. I hope Craig comes forward and Mike gets even MORE money from him!! That's why Morrissey's music sucks now--he gets what he deserves!!
Boy Wonder
- Sat, May 22, 1999 at 10:10:30 (PDT)

are you all crazy?!?!?!?! mike joyce's drum parts were so simple it was almost insulting to marr and rourke who were so obviously well versed in theory. They were always so busy and creative in their writing where joyce played the most simple beat possible. he does not deserve a million quid for holding back the smiths' complexity.
joshua <[email protected]>
- Sat, May 22, 1999 at 11:14:22 (PDT) your homework...Gannon was paid 44,000 long ago...and as for everyone else. Morrissey and Marr withheld around 3-4 million in royalties that was supposed Andy and Mike's. Wouldn't you sue for it too? You're all lying if you say no.
Nate <[email protected]>
- Sat, May 22, 1999 at 11:34:09 (PDT)

The saying in business is: "It's not what you deserve, it's what you negotiate". I have found this to be true time & time again (Think about your salary & raises at work). Who really knows what The Smiths original, or later contractural agreement between the musicians is or was? It's silly to debate this issue without knowing the legal agreement and how that agreement was interpreted by the courts of law.
Yeah, for us Morrissey & Marr were the Smiths. But Andy Rourke & Mike Joyce were part of the sound we all relate to.

Mike Crostini <[email protected]>
- Sat, May 22, 1999 at 16:42:03 (PDT)

a true friend stabs you in the back
true moz fan 99
- Mon, May 24, 1999 at 20:30:07 (PDT)

Fight to the death? Please...I think the real point here is that the worst thing to come out of this mess is that Moz recorded "Sorrow Will Come in the End."
- Wed, May 26, 1999 at 21:21:01 (PDT)

Who cares about Morrissey, or the fact that he screwed his ex-band mates. His music stinks. I'm pretty sure that many @#!!! Morrissey fans will be incensed by my comments, but who the hell cares. You're all effeminate losers. If you dare to disagree with me, go to hell!
Suckthis <[email protected]>
- Fri, May 28, 1999 at 01:36:01 (PDT)

are you always winner ?? if so ,you are the hell,
we can understand pain and damage.
have you listened all of his songs?
i can trust his soul.
moz and marr comment on his ugly attitude

tadateru.uyama <[email protected]>
tokyo japan - Sat, May 29, 1999 at 09:03:56 (PDT)

OK Mr. "suckthis," Why would you even be on the moz website if you thought that everyone who listens to his music is a loser? He is an unbelieveable musician and you need to vent your personal anger elsewhere! As for the lawsuit, Moz will be able to work this out. I don't think you should be "worried" about him. I'm sure that he has plenty of money, and if he wants to spend it on lawyers, this is his decision.
Taylor <[email protected]>
Houston, Texas - Thu, Jun 03, 1999 at 07:43:47 (PDT)

* return to Morrissey-solo