The People who have Ripped me off "

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My first album was as lead singer with one of the best group in the country at that time. In the middle of recording ‘The Promised Heights’ they parted company with the original singer Joey Dee (R.I.P) and I were asked to join the band and finish recording the album. Side one featured Joey and side two was I on lead vocals.
Our record company arranged a press reception at Ronni Scott's Jazz Club to launch the album and we played a fantastic live set for them. In the following issue of Blues and Soul the headline read ‘Cymand'e blows the roof off Ronni Scott's’ with a full page photograph of which 70% was me but Patrick was not in it. That was the picture that would seal my fate with Cymand'e.
As front man in the band my job is to keep the attention and entertain our audience. If I am doing my job then they will be looking at me most of the time and the photographers will be taking photos of me, so it was no big thing to me or the other members of the band when the Blues and Soul photos was published. Not so for Patrick Patterson (band leader). That’s when I started to understand what he was all about. He wanted to be the front man in the group and the centre of attention. As the front man, I was standing in his way so he found an excuse to get rid of me.
I did not expect to receive an equal share of the royalties from the Promised Heights album because I only sang on one side of it with Joey on the other, but I did expect to get what was due to me however Patrick Patterson and Steve Scipio (who own the name Cymand’e) decided that they needed my share of the royalties more than I did so they paid me nothing at all.

 

In 2006 I got a phone call from an ex-Cymand'e member asking if I would be interested in a Cymand’e reunion gig.  I was told Patrick and Steve don’t want to be a part of it but had no objection as long as we did not use the name as it was, but agreed we could use the name Cymande11. I was one of four of the original members of Cymand’e and we got together with other musicians and played a fantastic gig at the London Jazz Festival. That one gig led to a UK tour and offers started coming in. We had rekindled the Cymand’e fire but little did we know, what would bestow us.

 

The next thing we knew, we received an injunction from Patrick Patterson telling us we can’t use the name anymore. He and Steve Scipio then arrange to go into the studio with the ex-Cymand’e member (I was not invited) to record a new Cymande album.  I can’t wait to hear this album and I am confident it would not be an original Cymande album because the two things it would not be recorded with the love and passion we once
shared for the music. All Patrick and Steve will be thinking about is how much they could make from it. I am the last original voice of Cymande so how could it be an original Cymande album without my voice and that would never happen as I could not to give them the opportunity to screw me twice.

 One of the ex-sax players took Patrick to court in an attempt to get his royalties. Patrick told the court that he had removed the part that the ex-player had played.  Patrick won because the ex-player could not prove which of the sax sound was his. I could have taken him and Steve Scipio to court because my voice is on that first album and they can’t take it off. However, I believe if you try to do good and good will follow you.  I can walk with
my head held high in my community and I don’t have to be looking behind me every few yards which is very important to me.

 

Some years later I was recording a song called ‘Tomorrow Morning’ and I invited Patrick play lead Guitar on the session at the end of witch I paid him.
 

Joey Dee is no longer with us but from what I am told, he too got screwed after he parted company with the group.  I sometimes wonder what their children would think of them if they knew that their fathers stole the food from my children mouth to feed them. Do they care or think about his family? What do you think, what do I feel? Pity for both Patrick Patterson and Steve Scipio. 

 

 


Lloyd Coxone Record Producer and Sound System Man?

 

It’s 1976 and I have returned home to the UK after spending five month in Ghana, West Africa and I am feeling great!
Some weeks later I meet up with Lloyd Coxone and he plays me the backing track of a song he had recorded for me, and I loved it 
A few weeks later I would be going to the studio to record it and I was looking forward to that. When I arrived at the studio I was met by the engineer who informed me that Lloyd was running late and would be there shortly. He suggested that we run the track so that I could warm up my voice before we start to record. About half an hour later the bell rang and I went down to open the door thinking it would be Lloyd, but it was my friend Dennis Brown.  Lloyd had told him that we would be recording at this studio in Tooting, South London so he came along to hang out with us and I was glad to see him.
We ran the track some more times and decided to start recording my vocals. By the time Lloyd arrived we had my vocals recorded and I decided to do the backing vocals and invited Dennis to join me. After two or three takes we had nailed it so we mixed the track. My version of the ‘Easy’ was recorded and I went home with happy vibes.

Some days later I receive a call from Lloyd telling me that Chris Blackwell from Island Records loved it and wanted to release it. I had no problem with that, this would be the second time that Lloyd and I worked together. The first time was on a song called ‘Motion’. It sold a few copies but nothing to write home about and I never expected to see any royalties from it and that was ok. The agreement between Lloyd and me was 50:50 on any profit. He paid out for the production cost witch would be deducted from any royalty we received and the rest would be divided equally which I was happy with.

In February 1977, ‘Easy’ was released and takes off like a rocket up the charts to the number one position. Island Records contacted me setting up photo shoots and press interviews and I am making a few friends within the company. I was receiving regular updates on sales. It was doing over five thousand copies a day and was number one in the Reggae charts. It entered the top sixty of the national charts Top Of The Pops.

Not so long after ‘Easy’ was released Lloyd went off to Jamaica having pressed several thousand copies of the record on his own Tribes Man label.

Some weeks later Castor Brown came to see me and gave me seven hundred (£700) and he said that Lloyd had asked him to give it to me,

My single was selling over five thousand copies a day, not only number one in the reggae charts but now it was in the top sixty of the UK national chart, Based on that I should have been offered the opportunity of a Top Of The Pops appearance. About a week or two later I receive another call from Island Records to inform me that the press had broken down and they could not find another source to press it. No one was trying to secure Top Of The Pops gig for me. Soon we had lost the momentum ‘Easy’ went on to sell over seventy three thousand (73,000) as a single and it remained in the reggae charts for the most of 1977, reaching the number one spot three times in that year. It was also released on several compilation albums that have gone on to sell hundreds of thousands and I received an award for the Best Single 1977.

I could not help but ask myself, why did Island Records not find another source to press the single?

 

What I found out later is that the politics within Island Records led to what happened with my single. I was still unsigned and some people within the company started to question why I was getting all this attention. The management for some of the other acts on the label also started to ask why that attention was not been given to their acts. They killed my single because they did not want another company to cash in on what they saw as being their effort. They felt that I might sign with another record company who would then reap the rewards. Months later I receive a call from my friend inside the company informing me that they had made the first royalty payment to Lloyd Coxone over a week ago. He was shocked to learn I knew nothing about it.

Some weeks later Lloyd contacted me to inform me that Chris Blackwell was offering us fourteen thousand pound (£14000) to record an album in Jamaica.  I would have been happy with that because I would get the chance to work with Sly Dunbar, China Smith and Lloyd Parks, three of the musicians who recorded the backing track to ‘Easy’.  I told Lloyd I would think about it and let him know.  I already knew what my answer would be!

At no time at all did Lloyd sit down with me and say that “this is how much royalty I collected from Island Records”; “this is how much I got back from the sale of the singles I pressed on Tribes Man label”; “this is how much I spent on producing the track” or “this is how much we have made”. Instead he was asking me to come to Jamaica for maybe three months to record this album but failed to advise me how much of the fourteen thousand pound would be available to me to support my family when I am in Jamaica.

A few weeks later I received a call from a company called GTO. They told me they would be interested in signing me to the new label they would be launching called Gem Records, We got together and a deal was done.

On my second album for Gem Records ‘Children of Rastafari’ I invited Lloyd Coxone to produce it and I paid him. I think he is one of the best producers in the country and I believe we made a great team but at the end of the day he is just a low life thieve, all I got from ‘Easy’ was seven hundred pounds (£700). What he failed to understand is that if he had any integrity he could have made A hundred times more than what he stole.

Sir Coxone international or should that be Sir Coxone Thieveanational? You decide!!

 

Lawrence Myers

 

 

In 1979 I signed to Gem/RCA Records and recorded ‘The Where Is Your Love’ and then ‘Children Of Rastafari’ albums, Thousands of pounds to be paid to me for my publishing (I wrote 17 of the 20 songs that made up the 2 albums). Lawrence Myers C.E.O of Gem stopped David Simone and Edward Christi from paying me my royalty because he was using my royalty and the funds from RCA to prop up G.T.O .Films/music publishing, 

I have recently discovered that he has also sold the rights to my songs to a third party without my knowledge or consent this story is not over yet” 

January 2014.

Lots more to come. I don’t have photos of Lawrence, but this is where you can find himhttp://www.laurencemyers.com