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The Bay City Rollers, a popular Scottish pop group that topped music charts in the 1970s, have accused Arista Records in a lawsuit of failing to pass along millions of dollars in royalties over the past 25 years.

The federal lawsuit seeks unspecified damages on behalf of six band members, including bassist Alan Longmuir and drummer Derek Longmuir, the brothers who started the group in Edinburgh in 1967.

The band says in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday, that Arista owes it royalties on millions of dollars. That was money generated by selling albums, compact discs, multimedia licenses and merchandise, along with rights to commercials, movies and even telephone ring tones.

The band says in the lawsuit that Arista has taken the position that it has held royalties from the band members until it receives clear instructions from them as to how the money should be distributed.

The lawsuit says a payment of $254,392 in September 1997 was the only one made to the band, well short of the millions of dollars the band believes it is owed.

"Arista's claim over the last 25 years that it does not know who to pay is and always has been a pretext intended to deprive the Rollers of the royalties to which they are entitled," the lawsuit says.

A telephone message left with a lawyer for Arista was not immediately returned Tuesday.

The band, first known as the Saxons, sought a less English-sounding name and found it after throwing a dart that landed on a map near Bay City, Mich., the lawsuit says.

In the United States, the group scored a No. 1 hit with "Saturday Night" and rose high on the charts with "Money Honey," "You Made Me Believe in Magic" and "I Only Want to Be With You" before breaking up in 1981.


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