The DJ and producer is fighting against what he calls “the unauthorised exploitation of my music, and use of my name and likeness”.
Acid house pioneer A Guy Called Gerald has launched a Crowdfunder in order to commence a legal battle over unpaid royalties for his 1988 hit Voodoo Ray. A Guy Called Gerald – real name Gerald Simpson – claims label Rham Records never paid him royalties for the single, or for his 1989 album Hot Lemonade.
“As Voodoo Ray raced to No. 12 in the charts, I had to live in a squat, work at McDonalds and give interviews out of phone boxes,” Simpson writes on the Crowdfunder page. “Yet the guys running the label, selling my music, never paid me a single penny for my part in the label’s success.”
“Can you imagine the frustration? Acid House’s Summer of Love was in full swing and all I could think about was survival, while these guys spent the next four years exploiting my music,” he adds. “They ditched the label in 1992 and everything went quiet until 2019 when the nightmare started up again.”
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Last month, Simpson released a statement on social media. In it, he stated that he’d never received money from sales of the single or the album. He also said that when Rham Records relaunched in 2019, the label uploaded his music, “name and likeness and intellectual property” to Spotify without his permission.
Rham Records has denied Simpson’s claims. “We are aware of a recent social media post by Gerald Simpson regarding payment of royalties,” the label wrote in a statement published the day after (21 May) Simpson’s. “We refute the allegations made in his statement, and his recollection of events. We have repeatedly attempted to communicate with Gerald and his business manager, in order to pay royalties due to him but he has not so far acknowledged us. If Gerald would like to contact us we will be happy to send any money currently due to him immediately.”
Simpson aims to raise £20,000 to “commence legal proceedings against the people who have profited from my art and exploited what I had to offer to the emerging dance music scene.” Find out more and support the Crowdfunder here.