The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

South African says Elton John, lyricist stole words to 1980 song

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
By Bridget Doyle
Chicago Tribune
Published:
CHICAGO -- More than a quarter century after Elton John's "Nikita" told the tale of a star-crossed Cold War romance, a South African is alleging in a federal lawsuit filed in Chicago that the singer and his collaborator stole the lyrics.
Guy Hobbs, described in the suit as an award-winning freelance photojournalist, said he wrote the lyrics to "Natasha" while he worked on a Russian cruise ship in 1982 and became romantically involved with a Russian waitress during the height of the Cold War.
According to the lawsuit, Hobbs registered his copyright of "Natasha," sought without success to find a music composer and in 1984 forwarded the lyrics to several music publishers, including Big Pig Music Ltd. Hobbs said he was unaware of Big Pig's ties to Elton John at the time.
Hobbs returned to his career as a photojournalist, spending the ensuing years in Africa before settling in Cape Town. In 2001 he came across the lyrics of "Nikita" in a song book for the first time and was shocked by the many similarities with "Natasha," according to the suit.
The suit alleged John and Bernie Taupin, a lyricist and longtime John collaborator, copied "substantial, original portions" of "Natasha."
In a telephone interview, Daniel Voelker, Hobbs' Chicago attorney, said numerous attempts over the last decade to reach a settlement with John and Taupin went unanswered, so he decided to sue.
"(Hobbs) even had a musicologist take a look at the two sets of lyrics who said the two were far too close to be a product of chance," said Voelker, who filed a similar lawsuit against the band Poison last October.
Elton John's publicist didn't return calls for comment, but a representative for John and Taupin told the New York Post that the suit was without merit and questioned Hobbs' motives by waiting more than 25 years to file the lawsuit.
Story tags » Rock MusicCelebrities

More Nation & World Headlines

NEWSLETTER

HeraldNet Headlines

Top stories and breaking news updates

Calendar

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus