The Rolling Stones sued for copyright infringement

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards onstage
(Image credit: Hans Klaus Techt)

The Rolling Stones have been sued for copyright infringement over their 2020 single Living In A Ghost Town

In court documents filed in Louisiana, songwriter Sergio Garcia Fernandez, who performs under the name Angelslang, claims that the Rolling Stones "misappropriated many of the recognisable and key protected elements” of two of own compositions – 2006's So Sorry and the following year's Seed of God – for Living In A Ghost Town.

In the lawsuit, filed against "Michael Phillip Jagger, Keith Richards, Universal Music Group, Inc., BMG Rights Management, LLC and Promopub B.V.Garcia," Garcia claims to have given a demo CD of the songs to a member of Jagger's family, and that Mick Jagger had received the disc. 

He also claims that Living In A Ghost Town borrows "vocal melodies, the chord progressions, the drum beat patterns, the harmonica parts, the electric bass line parts, the tempos, and other key signatures” from So Sorry and the “harmonic and chord progression and melody” from Seed of God.

Living In A Ghost Town was completed in isolation in London and Los Angeles, and was Rolling Stones' first release of original material in eight years, following the inclusion of Doom And Gloom and One More Shot on 2012's compilation album GRRR!

"So the Stones were in the studio recording some new material before the lockdown and there was one song we thought would resonate through the times that we’re living in right now," says Mick Jagger at the time.

The Rolling Stones have yet to respond to the lawsuit. Living In A Ghost Town and So Sorry are embedded below. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.