Exclusive: The Contract for The Teardrop Explodes’ First Single, ‘Sleeping Gas’.
Above Photo: Page 1 of a Contract with Zoo Records for the production of Teardrops Explodes’ Sleeping Gas Single. (© Michael Finkler)
Readers will know that my Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out! also tells an unusual tale about Law and the Liverpool music scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
So I thought I’d feature this remarkable piece of music history, kindly sent to me by former Teardrop Explodes guitarist Mick Finkler.
The above is the contract (or more properly, probably a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)), which recorded the costs of the Teardrop Explodes’ first single, Sleeping Gas, which was released early in 1979.
It’s amazing that this document exists at all, as most bands back then didn’t have management that would have thought to produce even this basic document. Most bands were just grateful to be recording singles, not having costs itemized and even their royalty share specified (10% on singles, 50% on merchandise) as here.
An unusual legal provision stands out on page 2: “This is not a contract and as such the Artists do not have the right to beat up the directors of the company.”
Luckily this was never tested in court (whether this could amount to a contract or not) so there were no punch-ups legal or otherwise, and there were no legal disputes over this document or the royalties payable under it, so it could be argued that here, at least, this contract was worth the paper it was written on.
Which certainly wasn’t the case with many of the Punk and New Wave Bands and their subsequent legal troubles, which I shall be writing about in the coming months….
Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php
And to finish, why not?