The bitter legal battle over one of the anthems of the Summer of Love of
1967 has returned to the courts.
Rock star Gary Brooker is trying to reverse a High Court ruling that the organist who played the haunting theme on his massive worldwide hit, A Whiter Shade of Pale, is entitled to part of the copyright.
Matthew Fisher, 60, sued the leader of the group Procol Harum nearly 40 years after he recorded the song that sold 10 million copies.
John Baldwin QC, representing Brooker, told three judges at the Court of Appeal that Mr Fisher had failed to take the case to court earlier because he knew it would be the end of his career with the group.
He said: "There are advantages in being a pop star. Girls wink at you. There are huge lifestyle benefits from being a pop star and this was Mr Fisher's dream. And he realised that dream over the last 40 years."
Mr Baldwin added: "He wanted to stay in the band and live the life of a pop star. Being a litigant was not something he could do alongside that and he realised what he would have to give up.
"He continued playing with Procol Harum then claimed a share of the copyright without alerting Brooker or the record company to the fact that he was keeping his claim up with the result that they could not prepare themselves to meet the claim.
"He chose not to make the claim because it suited him to continue with the band."
He said this had resulted in an unfair trial with Mr Brooker unable to produce evidence to show it was his idea to use the Bach theme employed on the record.
Mr Justice Blackburne ruled in January this year that Mr Fisher is entitled to a 40% share of the musical copyright. The case continues.
More about the AWSoP lawsuit