Bob Seger calls trial of Silver Bullet bassist “frivolous”
Over a year and a half after what is likely their last gig, Bob Seger and an original member of his Silver Bullet Band shoot each other in court.
The Detroit rocker and longtime bassist Chris Campbell have filed a lawsuit against each other in Oakland County Circuit Court, a suburb of Detroit.
Campbell and his wife, Courtney, under their trade name Crisco Inc., first dismissed in April with five counts of breach of contract against Rock Storm Ltd., a company owned by Seger and administered by its director of longtime Edward “Punch” Andrews who manages the touring business of Seger and Hideout Records & Distributors Inc., which manages Seger’s recordings.
Three of the charges relate to concert tours in 2014, 2017 and 2018-19, and two counts relate to alleged unpaid recording royalties.
Seger’s attorneys responded late last week by denying the allegations and making counterclaims against Crisco for what they saw as “frivolous action.” Both parties seek unspecified damages as well as a jury trial.
In a statement after the Campbells filed the initial complaint, Seger and Andrews said that “Bob Seger and Punch Andrews have been loyal supporters of our friend for over 45 years. On the advice of the lawyer, we are unable to comment on the complaint for now. We will respond to the complaint in the normal course of legal proceedings. “
The sticky, detailed and well-worded lawsuits break down into cash and revealed a particularly unusual situation within Seger’s executive offices. Campbell’s lawsuit alleges, and Seger’s response confirms it, that accountant Frank Copeland, who worked as an independent contractor for Seger and Andrews as well as the Campbells, turned away from all parties – starting with the Crisco account to 2011, then Rock Storm and Hideout. , funneling the latter’s money to Crisco under the guise of unauthorized “advances” on tour revenues and royalties. The Campbells, according to Seger’s response, sometimes requested advances on touring expenses, which helped the accountant to cover up his actions.
The lawsuits indicate that the amount embezzled, with respect to Crisco, was between $ 800,000 and $ 1 million.
“Instead of suing the person who stole the money, the plaintiff is trying to get the defendants back,” Seger’s lawyers write in their counterclaim. “At no time did Crisco or the Campbells offer to return the embezzled funds.” The Campbell lawsuit alleges that Rock Storm and Hideout withheld amounts owed to Crisco as a means of improperly recovering embezzled funds, while Seger’s response retorts that it was Crisco who broke his contracts with Seger’s companies “in asserting claims for compensation beyond any compensation as due under the contracts.
Campbell, now a Florida resident who began recording with Seger for the 1974 album Seven – the same year the Silver Bullet Band was christened – also claims it owes royalties on those releases. Seger’s attorneys, however, said Campbell received a session fee and did not have a contract with Hideout “or any legal right of any kind to royalties earned on songs recorded by Seger.” They added that “the payments made by Hideout and / or Seger to Crisco (or Campbell) over the years have been voluntary and at Seger’s sole discretion”, and that “the voluntary payments authorized by Seger have ceased and will not be not taken back for filing by the plaintiff of this frivolous action. “
Seger and the Silver Bullet Band last performed on November 1, 2019 in Philadelphia, closing what was billed as his farewell tour. During a recent SiriusXM virtual town hall, Seger told fans that a future tour was unlikely following the death of saxophonist Alto Reed in late December. “I don’t think I could go out without him,” Seger said during the shoot.
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