[the sea of waking dreams]

Lawyer: Neudorf hired for troubled album

By GREG JOYCE -- Canadian Press

VANCOUVER -- The man suing Sarah McLachlan for songwriting credit was hired because the superstar's debut album was in trouble, a lawyer suggested Tuesday.

Jonathan Simkin, who is acting for Darryl Neudorf in the suit, suggested his client played a central role in the album.

Neudorf is suing McLachlan and her record label Nettwerk Productions over alleged inadequate credit for his work on the 1988 album Touch.

"You say Darryl Neudorf came out (from Toronto) to facilitate," Simkin said in cross-examining Mark Jowett, co-owner of Nettwerk.

"But when he came out, there wasn't much of her material."

Simkin suggested that although McLachlan had arrived in Vancouver in late September, the album was far from complete by late January and there were few songs ready.

Recording was scheduled to start in March.

But Jowett stuck to his earlier testimony that he never gave Neudorf any indication that he was hired to help write or produce songs.

"I hoped he would inspire her," said Jowett, who discovered McLachlan in Halifax in 1986 while he toured with his band.

"My version of the project was that it would be collaborative, so I wasn't concerned about the lack of material from Sarah," Jowett told Justice Bruce Cohen.

The civil trial in B.C. Supreme Court resumed this week after being adjourned in early December. It's expected to conclude next week.

While McLachlan attended much of the earlier proceedings, she has not been in court since the trial resumed.

Neudorf, 34, a Vancouver producer and former drummer with the band 54-40, claims writing credits on four songs -- Steaming, Vox, Sad Clown and Strange World -- and credit as co-producer on the CD that propelled McLachlan to worldwide recognition.

Neudorf was credited with "pre-production co-ordination and production assistance" on the liner notes for Touch, but someone else was named producer.

McLachlan has testified Neudorf offered many ideas, but she used almost none of them.

In his questioning of Jowett, Simkin suggested Neudorf's role was no different than that of Darren Phillips, who got songwriting credit for some songs on the album.

Jowett said he intended Phillips to co-write songs with her.

But Simkin suggested that was the same for Neudorf.

"That sounds a lot like what was going on with Darryl Neudorf," Simkin said to Jowett.

"I didn't think of Darryl as a songwriter," replied Jowett. "My motivation was different."

Besides Jowett, the defence has three witnesses left to call, including the other Nettwerk co-owner, Terry McBride.

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