Friday, June 23, 2006

John Wadlow and Seal: Reliable and Modest

I see that my old chums John Wadlow and Seal have been subject to a high court ruling, which means Seal will have to part with a minimum £500,000 in unpaid commission.

"Mr Justice Gray was only asked to deal with the question of liability during the trial, not to assess the sum owed, and ordered Seal to make an interim payment of £500,000 and £175,000 costs. The full amount to be paid to Mr Wadlow will be decided at a future court hearing." (BBC)

However what I found most interesting was the Judge's assessment of the two men's reliability as witnesses.

"He said he found Seal an "impressive witness" who felt betrayed by Mr Wadlow. "His answers in cross-examination were thoughtful, modest and fluently expressed," he said. "It appeared to me that, at least in the early years of his career as an artist, he had little interest in its financial aspects and preferred to concentrate on his music."

Judge Gray added: "I found Mr Wadlow to be a reliable witness. His recollection of events, whilst far from perfect, was for understandable reasons better than that of Seal. I suspect that his involvement in the music business came about as a result of his love of music rather than a desire to make money."

He added that Mr Wadlow had "felt himself entitled" to share in Seal's success once he became an international star.

Mr Justice Gray ruled that in relation to the 1990 management agreement Mr Wadlow had "misused his influence over Seal". But the March 1995 agreement was "plainly not procured by undue influence".

John's "undue influence" was to a certain extent reciprocal. Seal was and no doubt is an immensely charming man who could persuade you of his rectitude with a compelling combination of passion, wild analogy and twisted logic. John in fact was one of the few people in his life who was strong minded enough to resist.

At one point, John and his partner Julian had invested thousands of pounds of studio time in this gifted singer and performer, who promptly buggered off to Thailand for six months "in order to find himself" which pissed them off not a little bit. When Seal got arrested and made a pleading phone call for them to bail or bribe him out, John decided this was the perfect opportunity to teach him a lesson and kept him languishing there for two weeks in order to make him more appreciative.

One day I'll write the book...

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