Bluebells court case press
Performance pulls strings with judge
This article appeared in the Guardian on Wednesday
July 03 2002 . It was last updated at 10:32 on July
High court judges are used to hearing about fiddles,
but yesterday a judge listened to one after he asked
a professional violinist to play part of The Bluebells'
hit Young At Heart.
Bobby Valentino, 48, a musician who was paid just £75
in 1984 when he added a fiddle part to the song which
reached No 8 in the charts that year was asked by deputy
judge Christopher Floyd QC to play the tune from the
Mr Valentino was seeking entitlement to royalties on
the song which later became a number one when it was
re-released in 1993 after featuring in a Volkswagen
After hearing him play, the judge ruled he was entitled
to royalties and should now share copyright with former
Bluebells member Robert Hodgens and former Bananarama
member Siobhan Fahey, now Siobhan Stewart, who co-wrote
the song first recorded by Bananarama in 1983.
Mr Justice Floyd said: "I conclude that the violin
part does make a significant and original contribution
of the right kind of skill and labour to the Bluebells'
version of the song. Thus Mr Valentino is a joint author
of the copyright in that work."
Mr Valentino, once a member of the Fabulous Poodles
and the Hank Wangford Band, and who also acts and models
as a Clark Gable lookalike, will now be seeking about
£100,000 in damages for unpaid royalties.
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