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Cheap Trick legal battle to continue

The legal battle between Cheap Trick and former drummer Bun E Carlos is to continue after a judge rejected the band’s attempts to end it.

Carlos, real name Brad Carlson, launched a lawsuit last year, claiming that Rick Neilsen, Tom Petersson and Robin Zander had forced him out of the band’s company and withheld his share of profits, even though they had a contractual understanding in place.

He says they agreed in 2010 that he would stop appearing live with Cheap Trick while remaining a full member with all the voting rights of his colleagues. He was replaced on stage by Neilsen’s son Daxx.

In 2012 Carlos spoke of his shock after the band recorded a track without him, saying: “I’m a full member of Cheap Trick in all respects. The other members have never seriously talked to me about leaving the band permanently.” His lawsuit followed the next year as their relationship broke down further.

In Northern District of Illinois Court last week, the band asked for five of Carlos’ 11 complaints to be dismissed. They argued that the drummer’s paperwork wasn’t specific enough, and therefore couldn’t be used as the basis of legal action.

But District Judge Robert M Dow disagreed, saying Carlos’ allegations were “explicitly alleged,” and ruled that another hearing should take place in December.

The original lawsuit against Cheap Trick said: “Defendants should be ordered to account for and pay plaintiffs all the money they are owed, and to compensate for their acts of self-dealing and other corporate misfeasance. The Court should also enjoin defendants from further misuse of the trademarks and other assets of the Cheap Trick Companies, and grant other appropriate relief.”

Guitarist Neilsen last week said he could have wound up a member of AC/DC or the Angels if his family’s attempt to emigrate to Australia had worked out in 1971.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.