Fans are rallying in support of ’70s punk pioneers The Slits, who still owe their label an almost four decade-old debt of $10K off the back of their seminal 1979 album Cut.
The all-girl group were reportedly originally handed an advance of $45K to record the album, which they’ve been working off for 40 years now because of what frankly seems like one dodgy AF record deal.
Guitarist Viv Albertine recently claimed the band has never seen a single cent of royalties from their breakthrough LP, despite it hitting #30 on the UK charts after it dropped and being consistently named among the world’s most groundbreaking punk releases ever since.
— Viv Albertine (@viv_albertine) May 30, 2016
After tweeting new label Rough Trade (who are reissuing the classic disc to coincide with the 40th Anniversary Of Punk this year) for help negotiating with Island Records to wipe their remaining debt, the axegirl shed more light on the apparent dodginess of the group’s original deal with yet another social media update:
“Island paid a $45k advance to the Slits in 1979, a sum they have recouped many times over, but because the Slits get only 8% of Island’s profits (after all Island’s costs and repayments) which then goes towards paying off our advance – they say we still owe 10k,” she explained.
“We do not even have money for a lawyer… Even though many thousands of copies of Cut have been sold and Island are in profit from the record and Dennis Bovell, the producer, got a different deal and gets paid, the Slits have never received any money NOT ONE PENNY from Island for the ‘classic, in their top fifty albums of all time’ record, Cut.”
Sounds like the kind of record contract horror story that young bands are always getting warned about to this day.
“How about writing off the Slits’ paltry 40 year debt to celebrate 40 years of punk so we can receive royalties at last?” Albertine wrote on Twitter.
And punk junkies from around the world are now backing her call, launching a change.org petition dubbed Island Records, ‘how about writing off the Slits’ 40 yr debt to celebrate 40 yrs of punk!’
So far, it’s garnered almost 5,300 supporters.
Additionally, perhaps the son of Sex Pistols’ late manager could sell off an item from his multi-million dollar collection of punk memorabilia to help his fellow struggling punks, instead of burning it all in a lunatic protest against punk’s 40th celebrations.
Meanwhile, in other punk news, triple j sister station Double J have launched a month-long celebration of punk music throughout June.
Watch: The Slits – Typical Girls