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Exclusive: The Contract for The Teardrop Explodes’ First Single, ‘Sleeping Gas’.

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.

Page 2 of the contract. And that's it...

Page 2 of the contract. And that’s it…(© Michael Finkler)

So I thought I’d feature this remarkable piece of music history, kindly sent to me by former Teardrop Explodes guitarist Mick Finkler.

A promo shot of the band, with Mick Finkler on the left and (now) famous artist, Ged Quinn on the right.

A promo shot of the band, with Mick Finkler on the left and (now) famous artist, Ged Quinn on the right, with Julian Cope and Gary Dwyer centre.

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.

Members of The Teardrop Explodes and Echo & The Bunnymen in Zoo's Whitechapel offices, late 1970s, with Bill Drummond.

Members of The Teardrop Explodes and Echo & The Bunnymen in Zoo’s Whitechapel offices, late 1970s, with manager Bill Drummond (© unknown).

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.

Julian Cope.

Julian Cope.

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

ANother, and more familiar later version of The Teardrop Explodes, with Cope, Dwyer, Dave Balfe

A slightly later version of The Teardrop Explodes.

And to finish, why not?

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or signed paperback copies from:
News From Nowhere, Bold Street Liverpool; Waterstones, Liverpool 1 or Pritchards, Moor Lane, Crosby.

 www.bombedoutpunk.com © Peter Alan Lloyd

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