|Guns N' Roses has seen more courtrooms than concert halls the past seven years, and the dawning of a new century hasn't changed matters much.
GN'R's management company, Big F D Entertainment (headed up by Doug Goldstein) is suing former bandmembers Slash (Saul Hudson) and Duff McKagan (Michael McKagan) for what Big F D says are monies owed, according to papers dated December 14 and filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The suit claims that the pair is in debt to the company to the tune of at least $400,000.
Slash's lawyer, Zia Modabber, told MTV News that the guitarist's contract with Goldstein ended some time ago and that the manager isn't owed anything. The lawyer added that Slash intends to vigorously defend himself in court.
The filed documents include a copy of Goldstein's contract, which covers not only the bandmembers' work with GN'R, but also the individual members' solo projects. The contract appears to be valid for either a term of three-years or until the last day of the next GN'R tour cycle, which ever comes last. The three-year period appears to have started in October of 1992 and ended in October of 1995.
GN'R released its last original product, the "Use Your Illusion" album set, in 1991, and the group last toured in 1993.
The key issue apparently lies with the definition and timeline of the term "tour cycle." Big F D legal counsel Bert Deixler told MTV News there's a new Guns N' Roses record on the way (presumably "Chinese Democracy," the project Axl Rose first mentioned to MTV News' Kurt Loder in November of last year) that will give rise to a GN'R tour, and that when that tour is over, the contract will expire.
Slash left the group in 1996 and was followed by McKagan in 1998. Rose retained the rights to the Guns N' Roses name and has assembled a new band that will be using that moniker. According to the documents filed last month, the band is expected to finish recording this spring and will start touring in the summer or fall.
McKagan is also accused of breaching the management contract by hiring independent managers in 1997 and again in 1999, although Slash's manager, Tom Maher, is not referenced in the documents. Maher declined to comment for this story, and McKagan's current manager, Katrina Sirdofsky, was not immediately available.
Calls to the band's label, Interscope, were not returned.
-- Sorelle Saidman