Grand Slam / Laurence Archer Speaks out Against Music Industry Theft

Grand Slam guitarist and composer Laurence Archer has issued a statement detailing his frustration with the music industry and the theft of his songs. This comes with the news that Cleopatra Records are releasing a 6 CD set titled Slam Anthems on 9 June 2023. You can read Laurence’s statement in full below.

Laurence explains how he has written the majority of songs in every band and project he has recorded with since 1979 and has a large catalogue of songs registered with PRS. However, he has noticed a trend of people taking his songs and using them to make money without the rights, falsely registering them and selling recordings to record companies or bootleg companies.

This has resulted in Laurence losing potential earnings and causing immense stress. He stands up for his rights and hopes that fans will support him in the truth and true history of his relationship and involvement with Phil Lynott and the original Grand Slam project.

Slam Anthems is described in the press release as “a true treasure trove of superb new mixes of Grand Slam songs as well as killer full concert recordings that feature songs from throughout Lynott’s stellar career.”

Each disc comes packaged in its own wallet with rare band photos, and the whole box features a 20-page full-colour booklet filled with informative liner notes from music historian Dave Thompson.

In a recent interview with Grand Slam’s Mike Dyer, after Grand Slam’s show at Islington Assembly Hall, MetalTalk’s Mark Taylor wrote how he saw Grand Slam back in 1983/84 at the King Charles Hotel in Gillingham. “I was front row, a 16-year-old boy, right in front of Phil Lynott and shook his hand,” Mark said. “Those songs were buried in the vaults. There are dodgy demo tapes and live recordings out there, but seeing Grand Slam again, refreshed, and performing the songs how nature intended them to be, is wonderful to hear.”

“Laurence has been carrying this bloody thing,” Mike Dyer said, “which people have not understood. They think he’s a moody bugger, but he’s had to carry these songs in his head.”

Despite the challenges, Laurence remains positive, with a new album on the way and a commitment to always being true, fair, and respectful.

Cleopatra Records and Mark Stanway have provided statements which can be read at https://www.metaltalk.net/grand-slam-mark-stanway-and-cleopatra-records-issue-slam-anthems-statement.php.

Grand Slam. Islington Assembly Hall. April 2022.
Grand Slam. Islington Assembly Hall. April 2022. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

“Since 1979, when I started my career as a composer and guitarist, I have written the majority of songs in every band and project I’ve recorded with from that date to present day,” Laurence said in a statement. “I have a large catalogue of songs registered with PRS and all music institutions related to this, as you do as a writer to be able to earn money from sales and publishing alike.

“It seems to be a trend that others take those songs and use them to make money without the rights, to the extent where they register the songs to themselves falsely and sell recordings to record companies or bootleg companies alike, demos, live recordings etc.

“This means it takes away most if not all, potential earnings.

“The music industry has always been a minefield, but this is criminal.

“These people are not writers and have little background in writing songs and just want a fast buck approach to make money themselves without any intention to pay the real artists even though they sell product with your name on it.

“I’ve been ripped off and unaccounted to so many times it causes immense stress.

“I’ve never received a penny from any retrospective Grand Slam material that’s been released and previously the two UFO albums (another story). Well, it seems it’s happening again with the new GRANDSLAM ANTHEMS box sets as it did with the GRANDSLAM ‘Zoom records’ box sets released in the late ’90s, where all the revenues went to Mark Stanway, and it seems this is the case with the GRANDSLAM Anthems album being set for release in June.

“In 1992, Polygram released Dedication as a Thin Lizzy lost track. And even put a retro video edited to look like the ’76 Lizzy lineup was playing the song, which is strange considering I wrote the song in 1982 and recorded it with Phil in 1984, the only ever recording of Phil singing it.

“Yes, I won my case eventually as I had the song registered, but it didn’t stop them releasing it on an album of the same name and didn’t even credit me as a writer on the album as it would have given the game away. Dedication was just one song of many I had writing involvement on with Phil Lynott in the Grand Slam days.

“All these examples are like you doing all the work and somebody else taking the credit and the money and leaving you with nothing.

“You would think people in this day and age would not be able to do this or at least have the respect to play fair.

“I have had enough of this and will try and do what’s right to see the rightful people get what they deserve.

“So when you fans out there buy the new release of retrospective Phil Lynott’s Grand Slam material of old demos and live performance just remember I don’t see a penny of this. It goes into somebody else’s pocket and not the people who have created the material or written and performed them.

“Thank you to all the people who know and support me in the truth and true history who knew my relationship And involvement with Phil and original GRAND SLAM project,

“I stand up for my rights

“Also:

“To put the record straight, Grand Slam was formed in the year following the Phil Lynott solo project (which was named the three musketeers with Brian Downey, John Sykes and Phil) for a tour in Sweden.

“Some people seem forget that I was managed by Morris and O’Donnell ( Thin Lizzy management ) while in Wild Horses with Jimmy Bain, which is where I first met Phil. He got up on stage with us a couple of times in 80/81.

“Peace and love to all you fans, and I am forging on with the new Grand Slam – Grand Slam Rocks

“With the success of Hit the Ground Album.

“We have a new album on the way 100% new material, which I’ll know you guys will love. Release date to be announced

“I am always true and fair and respectful, just wish I’d get the same back.”

This article was updated on 4 May 2023 to include the response from Mark Stanway and Cleopatra Records.

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