Part two of the battle between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ray Repp ended in Repp's favor, when Judge Shirley Wohl Kram ruled that Repp's song, "Till You," was NOT plagiarized from "Close Every Door," a song in Webber's 1969 show and album, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. According to Michael Riedel and Greg B. Smith's story in the Dec. 5 Daily News, Webber had claimed that Repp, a clothing store clerk, used two bars of "Close Every Door" for his own liturgical folksong, and that Repp could easily have come across the internationally-known score for Dreamcoat. The judge disagreed, which was lucky for Repp, since his guitar-based song reportedly has grossed only $78 to date.
The reason Webber bothered going after Repp is because Repp went after him first. Initially, it was Repp who claimed that Webber used the theme from "Till You" as the theme for 1987's The Phantom Of The Opera. That suit was thrown out by the same judge, who said the two songs were not "substantially similar." Apparently, Webber was so angered by what he considered to be a spurious suit, he warned the clerk that any lawsuit would be met by his own countersuit. With both cases finished, Webber is still considering an appeal on the Dec. 6 ruling.
-- By David Lefkowitz