Rock star admits stealing song

Jojo Moyes
Tuesday 21 January 1997 00:02 GMT

As the walker Ffyona Campbell recently proved, there is no star as confessional as one with a product to plug.

And last night Dexys Midnight Runners star Kevin Rowland's apology for stealing the hit song "Come On Eileen" became a little clearer - with the news that he had an album due out in March. In a statement by his record company, Rowland said he was guilty of a cruel world-wide deception because the 1983 record was fellow band member Kevin Archer's idea. "I experienced hollow success with 'Come On Eileen' and Too-Rye-Ay, the musical sound of which ... mixed with Tamla-type soul, came from Kevin Archer and not me, as I claimed. The idea and sound was his; I stole it from him, hurting Kevin Archer deeply in the process. I conned people all over the world, from the people close to me and the people I worked with to the fans, to the radio and TV programmers, and I made a lot of money. To everybody I conned, I'm sorry. To my beautiful friend Kevin Archer, I love you, I'm sorry I hurt you. I was jealous of you and your talent. You deserved better, I hope you get what you deserve."

Rowland, 43, who is said to be no longer in touch with Archer, said he "felt like a total fraud, and unworthy and unable to deal with the acclaim that came my way".

Dexys Midnight Runners had a hit with "Come On Eileen"; their Too-Rye- Ay album went to number two the same year.

Last night a spokesman for Creation Records, with whom Rowland had just signed, said they agreed to publicise his statement "with some misgivings. He knows he's going to take some flak." His reasons for confessing 14 years late, they said, were unknown. Anything to do with the planned reissue of his Don't Stand Me Down album in a matter of weeks? "Perhaps he just wanted to get it off his chest," the spokesman said. Don't Stand Me Down, with "a new sleeve and two extra tracks", will be out in March.

Campbell's book, "The Whole Story", was published last year.

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