Live sue ex-singer for $2m
Three original members of 90s band Live are suing the fourth, singer Ed Kowalczyk, for $2m, saying he’s usurping their name to promote solo shows.
And the outfit – best remembered for 1994 album Throwing Copper and hit single I Alone – claim they were forced to go on hiatus in 2009 as the only way to get rid of the vocalist.
Guitarist Chad Taylor, bassist Patrick Dahlheimer and drummer Chad Gracey hired new singer Chris Shinn and continue to perform. But they’re angry that Kowalczyk named his solo album Alive and is advertising his shows as “Ed Kowalczyk of Live”.
They first sued him in 2010 after revealing that, the previous summer, he’d demanded a $100,000 ahead of a festival appearance in Europe simply for being the band’s frontman. Around the same time, they say they found out he’d signed himself up as sole recipient of the band’s publishing income.
In a blog post Taylor said: “There was a hidden contract signed in 2005. I personally discovered it via a communication breakdown. Ed is listed as the only signature. When I wrote him he failed to respond. Ed was able to stab his three best friends from middle school in the back.”
Discussing the “lead singer bonus” Taylor said: “I was informed of his request by our management and politely told them to ‘fuck off.’ Ed will no longer be the vocalist for Live. He is no friend of mine or the lifelong fans of Live.”
In 2011 Kowalczyk said: “I had come to the end of a chapter in my life and wanted to spread my wings beyond what I had been doing. The allegations levelled at me were all absolutely untrue. I have no plans to work with those individuals again. The spirit of Live is alive and well in my performances and my new material.”
The latest court papers call for “an injunction plus $2 million in statutory damages for claims of trademark infringement, false designation of original and trademark dilution.”