rolling stones mick jagger patrick alley 1988 not guiltyTrivia

ROLLING STONES TRIVIA: Mick Jagger not guilty of plagiarism (1988)

Mick Jagger not guilty of plagiarism (1988)
April 26, 1988: The jury considers Mick is not guilty of plagiarism after being sued by Jamaican reggae singer Patrick Alley.


A copyright infringement lawsuit against Mick Jagger for “Just Another Night” ended with a verdict on April 26, 1988. Patrick Alley (also known as Patrick E. Glanville) filed a lawsuit against Mick in 1986. The 36-year-old Jamaican reggae musician claimed that Jagger had stolen his song “Just Another Night”

Alley sought $275,000 in statutory damages as well as “all gains, profits, and advantages” that had resulted from the sale of Jagger’s album. The album’s earnings were reportedly $6 million. Patrick Alley recorded his song in 1979 and released it on his album Touch Of Patrick Alley in 1982.

Jagger released his version as the single from his debut solo album, She’s The Boss, in 1985. The album sold more than two million copies after Jagger’s song became popular.

Jamaican drummer Sly Dunbar, who played alongside Robbie Shakespeare in the reggae duo Sly and Robbie, has also contributed to the albums of a number of well-known musicians, including Joe Cocker and Bob Dylan. Additionally, it transpires that he performed on both recordings of “Just Another Night. Furthermore, he was the one who alerted Alley to Jagger’s song.

Alley stated that he listened to the track after Dunbar informed him that his song was being “ripped off”. “After I played it”, he said, “I realized it was a similar thing … I was very shocked. I looked at the record for some credit of my name, and I didn’t see it,” explains Alley.

Alley’s attorney Charles E Baxley said at the time the suit was filed that “It’s the same song … The same words, the same music – it’s obvious”. The court case was filed in April 1988. Andrew William Thomas, a Julliard instructor who testified for the plaintiff as a music expert during the trial, gave testimony. When compared to the chorus of Alley’s song, he thought Jagger’s chorus was “virtually identical in pitch and rhythm.”.

mick jagger patrick alley just another night

Jagger played home-made and professional tapes during his testimony to illustrate how his song “Just Another Night” came to be. When a recording of a studio session from 1984 was played, Mick Jagger said, “Here we are getting the song to the point where it’s arranged so that we can get other musicians who record the song. The rock legend also admitted that he did not particularly enjoy Alley’s song. “I think there are a lot of people in this courtroom who don’t really like my music, but I personally don’t like that song. It’s kind of sentimental” He also added that he always acknowledges the authors of the songs he covers. This included performers like Otis Redding, Chuck Berry, and Muddy Waters.

The head of the theory department at the Manhattan School of Music, Daniel Ricigliano, was called to testify by Jagger’s defense team as a music specialist. Ricigliano testified that Jagger’s rendition made use of a lyric style that was frequently used in other songs he had written. To demonstrate, he played a few of the songs on the electric keyboard, including Brown Sugar, Beast of Burden, and Heart of Stone.

In addition, Ricigliano noted that since 1931, “Just Another Night” has appeared as the song title in at least 12 different songs.
A 6-person jury found Jagger not guilty on April 26, 1988, one week later. According to the jury, Alley was unable to demonstrate that Jagger had ever heard the song. “I don’t think the plaintiff really believed his song was stolen. They saw a chance for themselves and were going to take it.”

Alley appealed on June 2. He asserted that his song had been heard by Jagger, and he had fresh proof to support this claim. Jagger was cleared by the jury, though.
The jury concluded that despite the song’s release in both New York and Britain, the rock star could not have heard it.
(ref. not guilty)

From Rolling Stone magazine (1988):
Mick Jagger emerged as the victor in a highly publicized civil suit that charged him with stealing the song “Just Another Night” from an obscure reggae artist. Jagger’s song appeared on his 1985 solo album She’s the Boss.

A six-person jury in White Plains, New York, dismissed all copyright-infringement claims made by Patrick Alley, a Jamaican resident of the Bronx, who wrote his song “Just Another Night” in 1979 and recorded and released it four years later. In reaching its decision, the jury said Alley failed to prove that Jagger had ever heard or been aware of Alley’s song.

rolling stones mick jagger patrick alley not guilty court 1988

Following the trial’s conclusion, Jagger characterized himself as the victim of a spurious action. “I don’t think the plaintiff really believed his song was stolen,” said Jagger. “They saw a chance for themselves and were going to take it.”

Among the highlights of the week-long case were three days of testimony by Jagger, who provided a rare glimpse into his work habits when he played a succession of homemade and studio tapes demonstrating the development of his song. Cross-examination by Alley’s attorney – attempting to prove that Jagger could have heard Alley’s song on the radio – provided one of the trial’s lighter moments when Jagger admitted that he listens to a classical radio station when he wakes up. “I used to like to listen to rock music in the morning,” said the singer, “but not anymore.”
(ref. not guilty)

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