Ghost Vodka Makers Fire Back At Ghost’s Tobias Forge: “We Aren’t Willing To Be Bullied Or Compromised”

As previously reported, the makers of Ghost Vodka were recently hit with a lawsuit from the band Ghost due to their name. After the company went public with the news, the group’s attorney Ann-Charlotte Söderlund Björk responded by saying that the case was “about trademark rights that grant ownership for any and all alcoholic beverages.” Now, Ghost Vodka have fired back saying that they “aren’t willing to be bullied or compromised.”

Here’s Ghost Vodka’s new statement:

“Following our recent posts, speculation has been rife around the authenticity and origin of our statement and, on a more serious note, we would like to make things clear. We do have a court summons from GHOST the band regarding an alleged trademark infringement and we have formally responded to all correspondence via our own legal counsel.

“GHOST the band have had huge and sustained international success across their admirable and well acclaimed career. This we sincerely applaud them for, even if we aren’t personal fans of their music.

“We’re a small vodka brand that launched in 2015 with a cool concept and a few awesome bottles of vodka. Over the last five years we’ve built ourselves to the point of distributing in 36 countries worldwide. This has been done through hard work and belief in our brand, not big industry budget or backing. Our ethos and intention is to not follow any typical marketing
practices or industry gimmicks and to do things in our own organic way. We wanted an edgy, non conventional, stand out product and one of the world’s cleanest and most palatable vodkas.

“We’ve got that! We don’t follow, imitate or attempt to mislead anyone. You cannot mistake our bottle for anyone else’s and GHOST the band’s enormous fan base certainly wouldn’t confuse our product as having any affiliation with them. Our logos are totally different and our vodka and their gin are completely unequivocal in all departments. We sincerely do not believe there is a conflict or risk of confusion to consumers.

“We were completely unaware of GHOST the band upon launch. We were approached by their management to do a collaboration with the vodka back in 2016, among other projects, but decided not to pursue these any further. Four years later in 2020 we now have a court date in Stockholm for June. If there was some genuine concern about us why wasn’t it raised in 2016? Why have they waited for us to continue to build for another four years?

“It’s no secret that music in these days of streaming is not as lucrative as it was in the days of physical record sales and most of the income will be from live shows, sponsorship and merchandise. This is how artists deservedly monetise their craft. This is why in our opinion it looks like an opportunist swipe from the band to get a pay out!

“The main basis for the legal argument from the band’s side is that they hold a trademark for their figurative in Class 33 (alcoholic beverages excluding beer). They have a gin which launched many years after our vodka and say that we cannot trade as consumers will mistake our vodka for their gin and it has caused them to lose revenue.

“There are many products and brands using Ghost across a variety of sectors and industries. Ghost is an ancient internationally used and understood word. There are dozens of cases of co-existence that show the word can be used in harmony and widely by a multitude of people, brands and products.

“We aren’t using a logo with any similarity or attempting to trick consumers into thinking we are endorsed by GHOST the band. In fact our demographics are very different.

“Upon receiving this legal correspondence we have conducted research into the band and Tobias Forge. We have seen that Tobias is no stranger to litigation and is suing people with an alarming degree of regularity. It also seems there are many questions over his integrity and the authenticity of the origins of the concepts his brand has been built upon in the first place.

“Our issue is that the image and brand Tobias has built over the years and his behaviour in the real world seem to be very different. This is why we’ve highlighted him rather than letting him continue to hide out on the satellite orbiting his own ego whilst sending his team of lawyers and yes men out to do his dirty work. By contrast, our approach is vastly different. What you see is what you get, immature and unprofessional but honest and unapologetic about that. We’re about good times and don’t feel the need to conduct ourselves as though we’re a Fintech company or Hedge Fund. We aren’t willing to be bullied or compromised by his corporate lawyer’s assault simply on the merit that they can afford the legal bills that we can’t. We do not believe we should sit in silence and submit to every unreasonable demand that has been made of us over the past few months.

“We will be fighting these proceedings with the same energy and fire which have fuelled us to create and drive this brand from nothing over the last five years. In the past there have been far too many instances of large corporate entities bullying small businesses into oblivion. We know that money talks but if Tobias and co think that will be enough to carry them over the line here they will need to think again.

“To all the small businesses out there and anyone who has ever been pushed around by someone in a position of power – This one’s for you!”

[via Blabbermouth]

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Ghost’s Attorney Comments On Ghost Vodka Lawsuit

The makers of Ghost Vodka recently revealed that the band Ghost threatened to take legal action against them due to their name. The group previously released their own gin, but their attorney has since said that the “case is not about ‘gin vs. vodka,’ it’s about trademark rights.”

Ann-Charlotte Söderlund Björk, legal counsel and trademark specialist for GOZZO Advokater, issued the following statement to Loudwire:

“Svensk Drama Pop (SDP) holds an exclusive trademark registration throughout the European Union for the figurative sign ‘Ghost.’ Those rights are licensed to Global Merchandising Services Ltd, in whose interest these proceedings are brought. This case has been on-going for months now, and numerous attempts have been made throughout that period of time to reach an amicable settlement.

This case is not about ‘gin vs. vodka,’ it’s about trademark rights that grant ownership for any and all alcoholic beverages – gin, whiskey, wine, beer, ale, vodka, etc. For any other EU-based entity to use the word ‘Ghost’ as part of its alcoholic beverage brand name would be in violation of SDP’s exclusive rights. SDP is entitled to defend these rights as any other business would when their trademark rights have been infringed. That is standard procedure.”

Soundgarden File Countersuit Against Chris Cornell’s Widow

According to Rolling Stone, Soundgarden have filed a countersuit against Chris Cornell’s widow Vicky, accusing her and Chris’ estate of “fraudulent inducement.” This news comes after the band recently responded to a lawsuit Vicky filed against them over royalties and the rights to seven unreleased tracks.

Vicky previously said that the band have been withholding money in an “unlawful attempt to strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over certain audio recordings” that she claimed Chris wrote alone while living in Florida. She also said that she offered to share the tracks with Soundgarden if they respected Chris’ wishes by releasing them in a certain way and having his producer involved, but they allegedly refused. Vicky also accused guitarist Kim Thayil of putting her and her family in danger by suggesting that she is preventing the release of a new Soundgarden album.

For their part, Soundgarden claimed that Chris co-authored five of the recordings with other members of the band. Furthermore, they have since claimed that their January 16, 2019 set at the Chris Cornell tribute show was done for free to benefit charity, but Vicky never provided them with a full list of donations. They alleged that “Vicky Cornell did not have the intention of using some or all of the revenue from the Cornell Concert for charitable purposes, but rather for personal purposes for herself and her family.”

The countersuit also further dismissed Vicky‘s previous accusations:

“The Complaint is an offensive recitation of false allegations and accusations. Soundgarden categorically denies every material contention lobbed by Vicky Cornell, who filed her Complaint — rashly and without good cause — with the true purpose of extorting Soundgarden into conceding rights to which she is not legally entitled, and of coercing Soundgarden to prematurely distribute Soundgarden funds to her.”

On top of that, Soundgarden have also taken issue with Vicky having access to their social media accounts and the way she is representing them. The group are currently seeking a trial to settle the dispute.

Vicky’s lawyer Marty Singer has since issued a statement to Rolling Stone about the band’s countersuit:

“It is unfortunate that Chris Cornell’s three former bandmates – who have made millions of dollars from Chris’ hard work, talent and creativity – continue to attack Chris’ legacy, his widow, and his young children by making salacious, scurrilous, and vicious allegations in order to distract from the truth. Their transparently desperate counterclaims – which were intentionally filed shortly before the eve of the anniversary of Chris’ death and the eve of Chris and Vicky’s wedding anniversary – do not change the fact that they are the ones who have improperly asserted ownership of vocal recordings that were created solely by Chris and that they are the ones who have unlawfully withheld substantial sums of money from Chris’ widow and children (which is the very basis for the current lawsuit).

Suffice it to say that Vicky Cornell and the Cornell Estate vehemently deny the supposed “facts” contained in Soundgarden’s counterclaims, which will be met with swift legal action. It is ironic that Chris’ former bandmates now feign outrage over the 2019 Chris Cornell Tribute Concert conducted by Chris’s foundation – which raised over $1 million for the Charity Foundation and paid over $650,000 for EBMRF for medical research and which has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue of who owns Chris’ vocal recordings – – when Soundgarden received over $78,000 to perform at the charity concert .

As Chris’ former band members are well aware, every single penny of the proceeds generated by the concert were properly allocated and accounted for and their statements are not only false and defamatory but demonstrate the depths to which Chris’ former bandmates are willing to sink to tarnish his legacy.

It is also ironic that, after spending substantial time and attorneys’ fees (paid for out of the monies owed to Chris’ estate) arguing that the Florida court system lacks personal jurisdiction over them, Chris’ former bandmates have now sought relief from that very same court system by filing their counterclaims.”

Vicky also commented herself via Instagram Stories:

“As my beloved Chris would say, ‘They’ve reached a whole new low.’ A very easily disproven one…”

“When you attack the foundation, you attack my husband’s legacy. The foundation has nothing to do with the issue of who owns Chris’s vocal recordings. Their knowingly false allegations are a deliberate attempt to not just harm my credibility but the Foundation my husband and I created and everything WE stand for…”

“Times are gone for honest men and sometimes too far along for snakes… #noonesingslikeyouanymore”

“PS -yes- I had to be there, his children and his family had to be there -at the event I organized and made happen in honor and in tribute to the greatest husband and father -in honor of his legacy, his music and philanthropy

#ChrisCornellForever”

“#truthalwaysprevails

All monies in and out of foundations are public information -everyone is aware the event took place in Jan 2019- that means you purposely added this bogus claim knowing that 1040s not even due yet…

Be prepared to stand behind your accusation. You have played dirty this entire time…You can pretend publicly but you go to bed knowing what he’d think and do…. But I guess, sadly, I finally understand, it does explain why you didn’t turn the bus around.”

Ross Valory Countersues Journey’s Neal Schon And Jonathan Cain

As previously reported, Journey recently fired bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith after the duo allegedly tried to go through with an “ill-conceived corporate coup d’état” to take control of the band’s name. Now, Valory has fired back with a countersuit against guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain.

Valory’s attorneys filed a cross-complaint in Contra Costa County Superior Court on April 6. They also shared “evidence,” which they believe refutes Schon and Cain’s allegations, while also setting causes of action for monetary damages for trying to “wrongfully” remove Valory from the group.

Valory’s attorney Andrew Spielberger said the following:

“Ross is shocked and devastated by the conduct of his lifelong bandmates (Schon and Cain) and is disappointed that there was never any attempt to sit down and discuss what is most likely a misunderstanding and something that easily could have been worked out.”

He also added:

“If there ever was a time to have perspective in this world about disagreements — it is now. Unfortunately, this disagreement between ‘brothers’ who have played music together for the past 35 to 45 years was not able to be resolved during the current coronavirus crisis when many are suffering. Ross feels horrible about this whole unnecessary ordeal. But he is a fighter and he has hired able counsel to defend and fight for his rights. I expect he will be vindicated and justice will prevail.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Ill Niño Members Reach Agreement In Their Trademark Dispute

It looks like the legal battle over the rights to Ill Niño’s trademarks has officially come to end. Dave Chavarri and Lazaro Pina previously tried to launch a new incarnation of the group before being challenged by Cristian Machado, Ahrue Luster, and Diego Verduzco. However, it now appears that an amicable agreement has been reached. The following statement was issued:

“Hello Everyone, Ahrue, Christian, Dave, Diego, and Laz announce that they have reached a mutual, amicable, & binding agreement. Original members Dave Chavarri and Laz Pina are excited to continue with ILL NIÑO. Original member Cristian Machado, along with Diego Verduzco, and Ahrue Ilustre look forward to their next projects. No party has admitted fault and there has been no court judgment on the merits. The parties entered into a confidential settlement agreement. Thank you”

Misfits Sue Book Publisher For Using The Band’s “Fiend Skull” Design

According to Blabbermouth, Misfits have filed a lawsuit against publisher Abrams for using the band’s “Fiend Skull” artwork for a photobook, titled “Scream With Me – The Enduring Legacy Of The Misfits,” without authorization. The complaint was filed by Misfits AD, the company that Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only established to manage their intellectual property, including trademarks and copyrights.

The following was said in the lawsuit:

“[Abrams’ photobook] is rife with large-scale, repeated, and unlicensed reproductions of Misfits A.D. intellectual property. For example, the cover of the photobook prominently displays, without authorization, the Misfits A.D. ‘Fiend Skull design’ trademark and, in doing so, misleads consumers into believing that the photo book has been approved by, or is associated with, Misfits A.D., which is indisputably false.

The photobook also unabashedly copies wholesale copyrighted artwork associated with the MISFITS’ musical recordings and releases. The MISFITS’ copyrighted artwork is an integral part of the band’s extensive and highly successful line of officially licensed merchandise and its world famous lifestyle brand. In addition, the named authors of the infringing photo book have been falsely affiliating themselves with the MISFITS in connection with advertising and promoting the publication and release of the book, further harming Misfits A.D.”

The complaint also added:

“In addition to the infringing cover of the Book, the Book is structured around the MISFITS Artwork with chapters that consist entirely of unauthorized uses of the MISFITS Artwork, with each of the MISFITS Artwork reproduced multiple times on multiples pages of the Book and using both exact copies and variants of the MISFITS Artwork.”

Misfits A.D. reportedly sent Abrams a cease and desist letter after finding out about the book. The publisher said they got clearances from other copyright holders for the foreword, interviews, quotes, and a number of photographs in the book, but the lawsuit claims they denied needing authorization to use the “Fiend Skull” artwork.

UPDATE: Abrams have since issued a statement to Blabbermouth:

“Abrams intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit that has been filed on behalf of the MISFITS around the recent publication of the book ‘Scream With Me’.

As the plaintiff admits, the parties corresponded about this matter last July through their counsel. At that time, Abrams pointed out to the MISFITS’ counsel that the book’s publication was permissible under well-established trademark and copyright precedent. We are surprised to now see this baseless lawsuit nearly eight months later.

We are confident that the limited use of content that is alleged to be original to the MISFITS in the ‘Scream With Me’ book is well within the parameters of fair use. This same issue has been litigated in the recent past and courts have consistently held that such works are permissible, including in a well-known New York federal court case concerning a GRATEFUL DEAD visual book that documented the history of that band. In that 2006 case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the pictorial history of the GRATEFUL DEAD was a permissible fair use.

Rather than having a sound legal basis, this lawsuit against Abrams seems to be mostly about the MISFITS’ desire to publish their own book. Just as there can be multiple books about the GRATEFUL DEAD, there can be multiple books about the MISFITS.”

Appeals Court Sides With Led Zeppelin In “Stairway To Heaven” Copyright Case

An appeals court has officially decided to uphold the previous jury verdict that said that Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” was not a rip-off of Spirit’s “Taurus.” This news comes after a federal appeals court agreed to give the band a new hearing following the Ninth Circuit appeals court’s decision to overturn the jury’s verdict. You can read a 73-page court document regarding the case HERE.

[via Blabbermouth]

Soundgarden Respond To Vicky Cornell’s Lawsuit Against The Band

As previously reported, Chris Cornell’s widow, Vicky filed a lawsuit against Soundgarden over royalties and the rights to seven unreleased tracks. Now, more details on the case have started to emerge.

Vicky previously said that the band have been withholding money in an “unlawful attempt to strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over certain audio recordings” that she claimed Chris wrote alone while living in Florida. She also said that she offered to share the tracks with Soundgarden if they respected Chris’ wishes by releasing them in a certain way and having his producer involved, but they allegedly refused. Vicky also accused guitarist Kim Thayil of putting her and her family in danger by suggesting that she is preventing the release of a new Soundgarden album.

For their part, Soundgarden claimed that Chris co-authored five of the recordings with other members of the band. According to TMZ, they have since shared press clips from past interviews to prove their case. This includes one from February 2017 in which Chris said the following to Music Radar: “We have a lot of interesting songs…”. They are now trying to get Vicky‘s complaint dismissed or moved from Florida to Washington where the band are based. The following was said in the motion:

“Vicky Cornell is not the owner of the recordings at issue, which are provably Soundgarden’s and intended for a new Soundgarden album. Vicky Cornell is entitled to distributions from the Soundgarden partnership for Cornell’s share of band revenues, but only on the vote of the partnership which has not taken place. There is no “conspiracy” with the band’s financial manager.”

The motion also shared the names and writing credits for the recordings in question:

  • “Road Less Traveled” (Cornell/Cameron)
  • “Orphans” (Cornell/Cameron)
  • “At Ophians Door” (Cornell/Cameron)
  • “Cancer” (Cornell)
  • “Ahead Of The Dog” (Cornell/Thayil)
  • “Merrmas” (Cornell/Shepherd)
  • “Stone Age Mind” (Cornell)

Furthermore, Soundgarden also revealed that they were initially unaware about Chris’ death until they read about it on social media:

“The Band interrupted its April 2017 studio session in Seattle to begin a national tours tarting on April 28, 2017. (Cameron Decl. ¶21.) On May 14, 2017, the Band played in Kansas City, Missouri. After the show Cornell flew home to New York City. On May 17, he flew to Detroit, Michigan to join other Band Members for a Soundgarden concert that night at the Fox Theatre. Following the concert — as was customary — Thayil, Cameron, and Shepherd (the “Surviving Band Members” or “Remaining Partners”) made the late night trip in the Band’s tour buses to their next concert destination in Columbus, Ohio, where the Band had a concert on May 19.

Cornell stayed behind at a Detroit hotel with the plan to fly on to Columbus, as was his normal practice because Cornell was unable to sleep on buses. As their buses were headed to Columbus in the early morning of May 18, the Surviving Band Members learned that Cornell had been found dead in his hotel room in Detroit after midnight (tragically, Cameron first saw a “RIP: Chris Cornell” item on his Facebook page, called Thayil who was on the other bus, who then woke Shepherd, and they and their crew frantically searched news, social media and called friends and family, until they received the awful confirmation from their tour manager).

Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd were utterly devastated to lose their beloved friend, brother, and comrade, and were in a state of shock. As they pulled their buses to the roadside, embraced each other, and struggled with what to do next, their tour manager advised them not to go back to Detroit as it would be swimming with police, press, and other media, and there was nothing positive that could be achieved.

They also had a throng of highly-distraught crew and tour team members already in or headed to Columbus who needed support. So they organized a vigil in a conference room at their Columbus hotel, where they were accompanied by their crew, assistants and friends who hugged, wept and attempted to console each other for many hours.”

Vicky‘s lawyer Marty Singer has since responded to the band‘s claims:

“We obviously disagree with the band’s blatant mischaracterization of events, and stand by the truthful facts set forth in our complaint. It is disappointing that Chris’ former band members have now sought to taint his legacy by making numerous false allegations, and that they continue to withhold substantial monies from his widow and minor children (despite using those same funds to pay for their own legal fees).

The issue in this case is not who wrote the songs but rather who owns the specific recordings made solely by Chris while he resided in Florida. We are very confident that the Court will vindicate the rights of Chris’ Estate, and that the case will properly remain in Florida, where Chris resided and recorded the songs that are now the lawful property of his Estate.”

Soundgarden are currently requesting a hearing “due to the number of motions and number of issues involved.”

You can find court documents over at Scribd.

Judge Shoots Down Aerosmith Drummer Joey Kramer’s Request To Immediately Reinstate His Membership In The Band

As previously reported, Aerosmith’s Joey Kramer filed a lawsuit against his bandmates, claiming that they are keeping him from returning to the group. The drummer was trying to get the court to order him back in the band so he can perform with them at the Grammy Awards and MusiCares gala, but TMZ are now reporting that a Massachusetts judge has denied his request.

The judge said the following:

“Given that Kramer has not played with the band in 6 months and the dearth of available rehearsal time before the upcoming performances, Kramer has not shown a realistic alternative course of action sufficient to protect the band’s business interests.”

Kramer previously said that he sustained minor injuries in spring 2019 and was planning to rejoin the group in the fall. However, Aerosmith reportedly made him go through an audition in which he had to play along with a “click track” to prove that he was “able to play at an appropriate level.” After listening to his performance, the band allegedly said that he “did not have enough energy” to return.

Kramer issued a statement saying that the lawsuit was “not about money” and that he was “being deprived of the opportunity to be recognized along with [his] peers.” Aerosmith then followed up by telling People that Kramer’s “wellbeing is of paramount importance” and that “he has not been emotionally and physically able to perform with the band.” They also added that he “waited until the last moment to accept [their] invitation” for upcoming events.

This all led up to today’s (January 22) decision, which Kramer has since commented on:

“Although I’m extremely disappointed by the Judge’s ruling today, I respect it. I knew filing a lawsuit was a bit of an uphill battle considering that the corporate documents don’t reference any process for a band member returning from an injury or illness. However, the band waited until January 15th to tell me that they weren’t letting me play at the awards ceremonies this week. I can hold my head high knowing that I did the right thing — to fight for my right to celebrate the band’s success that I have dedicated the better part of my life to helping build.

The truth speaks for itself. Ever since I injured my foot last August and went through many hours of physical therapy to heal, not once did the band in its entirety offer to rehearse with me. That is a fact. I was also sent the full rehearsal schedule on January 18th and flew to LA the next day to rehearse and have many texts and emails stating the band can’t wait for my return. That’s also a fact. When I showed up to rehearse, I was greeted by two security guards who prohibited me from entering.

The band’s offer to allow me to participate in this week’s MusiCares and Grammy celebrations for red carpet photo ops only, is appreciated; however, with a fill-in drummer playing on stage at two events honoring our collective musical contributions, it is extremely hurtful to me. I am a professional musician who is eager to return to my rightful place with Aerosmith.

I want to thank my fans for the incredible outpouring of support and for sharing my goal of taking my place on stage as one of the five founding members of Aerosmith and continuing to play the music I love.”

It’s worth noting that TMZ have shared footage of the security guards blocking Kramer from entering the rehearsal space:

Aerosmith Drummer Joey Kramer Files Lawsuit Against The Band

According to TMZ, Aerosmith’s Joey Kramer has filed a lawsuit against his bandmates, claiming that they are keeping him from returning to the group. This news comes after the drummer previously took a break from the band due to injury.

Kramer says that he sustained minor injuries in spring 2019 and was planning to rejoin the group in the fall. However, Aerosmith reportedly made him go through an audition in which he had to play along with a “click track” to prove that he was “able to play at an appropriate level.” After listening to his performance, the band allegedly said that he “did not have enough energy” to return.

During his absence, Kramer was also required to pay for the cost of a fill-in drummer at a rate of $20,000 a week for performances and $10,000 a week for rehearsals. As Rolling Stone pointed out, this was part of an agreement in Aerosmith’s contract that said absent members will still get their full share, but replacements will be paid with part of their cut.

Kramer is currently trying to get the court to order him back in the band to avoid “irreparable harm.” He also issued his own statement on the situation:

“Ever since I was 14 years old, I had a set of drumsticks in my hand and a passion to create music. Being prohibited from playing with a band that I have given 50 years of my life to supporting, is beyond devastating.

This is not about money. I am being deprived of the opportunity to be recognized along with my peers, for our collective, lifetime contributions to the music industry. Neither the MusiCares’ Person of the Year Award nor the Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement honors can ever be repeated.

The fact that I would be asked to audition for my own job, demonstrate that I can play at ‘an appropriate level’ and play better than my temporary fill-in with a moving target of made-up standards is both insulting and upsetting. Other band members and their lawyers will likely attempt to disparage my playing and claim that I am unable to play the drums right now. Nothing could be further from the truth. I did everything they asked – jumped through hoops and made both a recording of playing along solo to a recent live recording of the band – one I had never heard before, and that process was videotaped. But I did it, and I did it well. In Aerosmith’s 50-year history, no other band member has ever been subjected to this scrutiny let alone be asked to audition for his own job!

I hope our fans can understand that all I’m trying to do is get back to playing with the band that they love – and that’s Aerosmith with all five original members. The greatest magic and success of Aerosmith happens when all the band’s founding members are together in the house. To be removed from my rightful place on stage to celebrate our success – a success that acknowledges my own life’s work, is just plain wrong.”

UPDATE: Aerosmith have now issued an official statement to People:

“Joey Kramer is our brother; his wellbeing is of paramount importance to us. However he has not been emotionally and physically able to perform with the band, by his own admission, for the last 6 months. We have missed him and have encouraged him to rejoin us to play many times but apparently he has not felt ready to do so.

Joey has now waited until the last moment to accept our invitation, when we unfortunately have no time for necessary rehearsals during Grammys week. We would be doing a disservice to him, to ourselves and to our fans to have him play without adequate time to prepare and rehearse. Compounding this, he chose to file a lawsuit on the Friday night of the holiday weekend preceding the Grammys with total disregard for what is our limited window to prepare to perform these important events. Given his decisions he is unfortunately unable to perform but of course we have invited him to be with us for both the Grammys and our MusiCares honor. We are bonded together by much more than our time on stage.”