Monday 23 October 2017

Boomtown Rats pianist suing Bob Geldof for royalties says he's forced to put his house on the line

Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof and Johnnie Fingers (John Moylett) of the Irish New Wave band The Boomtown Rats pose for a portrait in January 1978 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Michael Marks/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Boomtown Rats pianist John Moylett has claimed that he has been forced to put his house on the line during a royalty battle with Bob Geldof.

The pianist, known as Johnnie Fingers, is in a royalty battle with Geldof over hit song I Don't Like Mondays, which he says he co-wrote but wasn't credited for.

Mr Moylett claims he contributed to the piano intro and lyrics "Down, down, shoot it all down."

He claims that Geldof pressurised him not to demand a song writing credit but promised him a fair share, and is now seeking royalties from the 1979 hit.

Bob Geldof and Johnnie Fingers (John Moylett) of the Irish New Wave band The Boomtown Rats pose for a portrait in January 1978 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Michael Marks/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Bob Geldof and Johnnie Fingers (John Moylett) of the Irish New Wave band The Boomtown Rats pose for a portrait in January 1978 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Michael Marks/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Mr Moylett, who lives in Japan, says he has been forced to put his house on the line in the battle, while Mr Geldof demanded "not less than" €885,000 for costs security should Mr Moylett lose the case, reports the Irish Daily Mirror.

Mr Moylett has offered €29,000 after borrowing from his family and half of his house, worth €236,000.

He would be forced to sell his 50pc stake in the property, potentially leaving the family homeless if he lost the case.

At the High Court yesterday after "a diligent investigation" of Mr Moylett's finances, Mr Geldof's lawyers tabled an application to increase this to between €59,000 and €88,000, plus half the house.

The musician lives in the house with his wife Yoko, young son and autistic daughter.

Romie Tager, representing Mr Moylett, said the use of the house as security could lead to the "eviction of the autistic daughter as part of that process."

He also said the value of the claim was "a ballpark figure of more than €590,000, but could be double that."

Mr Tager also disproved the claim that Mr Moylett could borrow more money from his family. 

Costs of the trial, which is due to take place in March 2018, could be up to €1.1m.

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