[the sea of waking dreams]

Neudorf describes McLachlan work as rescue project

Day Eight Recap
By IAN BAILEY -- Canadian Press

VANCOUVER (CP) -- The musician suing singer Sarah McLachlan for more credit on her debut album says he was recruited to provide some direction for a project that appeared to be in trouble.

As the McLachlan case wrapped up its second week Friday, Darryl Neudorf took the stand for the first time, describing the invitation that brought him to Toronto in 1987 to work with the rookie performer.

"The idea I had in my mind was that the project was taking longer than (executive Mark Jowett) was hoping and in a crisis mode," Neudorf, 34, told B.C. Supreme Court.

"Some potential collaborator possibilities were not working out as well as (Jowett) hoped," said the soft-spoken Neudorf, smiling as he told his story.

Jowett was co-founder of Nettwerk Productions, the modest Vancouver label that signed Halifax-born McLachlan when she was 19 and brought her to Vancouver to record her debut album.

Neudorf followed to work on "the Sarah project."

"There would be Nettwerk-related musicians contributing to an album that would centre around Sarah's vocals," Neudorf said.

As he recalled 1987, McLachlan looked on from a few metres away, taking notes during his testimony.

McLachlan has been present for most of the trial, visibly unfazed by the testimony of various witnesses. As usual on Friday, she signed autographs for a group of teenaged fans who attended the trial.

Neudorf is to continue his testimony on Monday and is expected to focus more on details of the collaboration now under scrutiny by Justice Bruce Cohen, who is hearing the case without a jury.

The former drummer with the group 54-40 wants cash and credit for his work on four songs featured on the Touch, the 1988 debut album of the Vancouver-based singer.

McLachlan has said nothing in court, but in transcripts of early legal proceedings read into the record Friday, she admitted she had a tough time writing songs.

Neudorf's lawyer, Jonathan Simkin, read the transcripts from testimony that McLachlan provided in pre-trial discovery hearings.

"Darryl was brought in as a guide," Simkin quoted McLachlan as saying. "I had never written any songs. (Darryl) was there to guide me, to help me."

When asked by Simkin whether she has difficulty with her songwriting, McLachlan replied "Yes."

McLachlan also agreed that it was difficult to assemble songs for the album.

Other witnesses have suggested that McLachlan was a talented singer, but sadly lacking in songwriting abilities. That was a problem because Nettwerk Productions wanted to bill Touch as a project written and performed by McLachlan. 

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