‘Geoff Tate is Queensryche’
Defence: Geoff Tate
A record label executive has supported Geoff Tate’s battle with his ex-bandmates for the Queensryche name by stating: “Geoff Tate is Queensryche.”
And the singer has responded to their details of frequent violent behaviour by insisting he only hit his colleagues once – and he accepts his behaviour was unacceptable.
In a court deposition revealed by Blabbermouth, designed as a response to those filed by Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield and Eddie Jackson last week, Tate addresses several of the allegations they levelled against him.
He admits he struck Wilton and Rockenfield just before a concert in Brazil in April, but says: “I was upset at the time, having been told my wife and daughter had been fired and that I was ‘next’. I regret losing my temper and my actions are not acceptable. It is unlike me to act in this manner.
“I do not lose my temper, become loud or threatening, or hit people. People who know me describe me as even-keeled, mild-mannered and easy-going.”
While the rest of Queensryche say he continued threatening behaviour during the show, including spitting on bandmates while they played, Tate says: “I did not. Although I have no doubt it was upsetting to Rockenfield and Wilton, they were not injured. It was also clear that they were not and are not afraid of me – they did not press charges or request a restraining order.”
He points out they performed two more shows together and adds: “I do not believe that Rockenfield, Jackson and Wilton kicked me out of the band based on what happened in Brazil. I think instead they had planed on firing me since at least February 2012, and this incident just gave them an excuse to do it.”
Tate responds to Rockenfield’s allegation of violent behaviour in 2007 by saying the drummer failed to explain events leading up to the moment, as discovered by the singer’s wife and then Queensryche manager Susan Tate. “Susan noticed hanging from the merchandise booth drumsticks and heads signed by Rockenfield for sale. Queensryche didn’t sell sticks and heads. The man selling the merchandise told her that Rocknefield had told him to sell them, and to give him the money.
“Rockenfield had not discussed this with the band first, and we did not know about it. It was unfair because he was using valuable merchandise space and not sharing what he earned. We were all upset. I tried to talk about it with Rockenfield. He was in his dressing room, sitting at his laptop. He would not even acknowledge that I was talking with him. Unable to get his attention and become more and more upset, I shut the laptop screen down. I did not spit on him or push him, as Rockenfield now claims.”
He explains his take on the band’s allegation that he sold movie right to hit album Operation Mindcrime without discussing it, and without sharing the advance he’d been paid. “Operation Mindcrime was a concept album based on a story I wrote while I was living in Canada. I mentioned it to the other band members but they did not like it. They eventually agreed to the idea and the album went on to go platinum, selling more than a million copies.
“But I owned the copyright to the story, not the band. It was no different than how songwriting royalties are distributed. If you write the song you get the royalties. Similarly, since I wrote the story, I wonder the copyright for the story. Queensryche’s attorney agreed.”
And Tate denies he tried to cut his bandmates out of the deal, saying: “If the movie was made, Queensryche would get $250,000 to write the score.”
He further states that Rockenfield, Jackson and Wilton didn’t form pre-Queenrsyche outfit The Mob, because they had so singer and no name until he joined. He also contests their claims that he refused to work on songs they brought to the band, saying instead that they did not contribute any material.
Supporting Tate’s submission, Paul Gargano, a product manager for Century Media Record and InsideOut Music, and also editor of Metal Edge magazine, says: “I first got to know Queensryche in the early 1990s. Since then I have reported on their albums, tours and reputation in the music industry, conducted interviews, written liner notes, label copy and marketing assets on their DVDs, and also spoken as an expert about the band on VH1 and MTV.
“Fans and people in the music industry know the role Geoff Tate has played for Queensryche. It is fair to say that to many professionals, Geoff Tate is Queensryche.
“I have seen what happens to bands like Queensryche after those bands attempt to replace their lead singer. Warrant, Skid Row and LA Guns come to mind, but there are many others. The bands always suffer and do considerable damage to their careers and legacy.
“I believe Queensryche will lose fans and fewer promoters will take them seriously, causing damage to the band’s name and harming their future potential as a live and recording act.
“In my opinion the best course of action would be to stop any tours or recordings by anyone in the name of Queensryche until this litigation can be resolved.”
Lawyer Benjamin J Stone, representing Geoff and Susan Tate, says claims by Rockenfield, Wilton and Parker that they did not like the direction the band were going cannot be true since, by their own admission, they owned 75% of the band’s companies between them. He adds that Susan was accepted as manager only if she took half the wages paid to previous incumbents, at Rockenfield’s request. he adds: “The only event raised by them that actually occurred was the one in Brazil. This one isolated event does not justify kicking Geoff out of the band and demanding that he sell back his shares in the companies after 30 years of work.”