Rattgate: Warren DeMartini Suing Bobby Blotzer Over “Tribute Band”
Wow, the Ratt beef just got legal.
Last week, we announced that Ratt drummer Bobby Blotzer had put together an all-new crew of dudes, who had previously played as the Ratt Experience or something like that, to tour as Ratt and basically give his own legacy a jelly donut. Guitarist Warren DeMartini was pickles on parade about that shit, calling Blotzer’s incarnation of Ratt a “tribute band.” Blotzer fired back with some audacious dickhead comment about how he owned a the band name and therefore Demartini… owed him money or something? I don’t know. Anyway, no one was happy.
Welp, now things are heating up. Today, it was announced on Blabbermouth that DeMartini has officially filed a lawsuit against Blotzer, claiming, among other things, the following:
“There is nothing illegal in touring with a tribute band. Mr. Blotzer, however, has recently voiced his desire to use the name ‘Ratt’ and promote his tribute band as if it was the actual band. In essence, Blotzer wants to hijack the name and tour under the name Ratt. Defendant Blotzer intends to fool Ratt’s fans by touring with himself, a drummer, and a group of imposters calling themselves Ratt. None of the actual creators of the music of Ratt would be participating. Needless to say, plaintiff DeMartini’s position is diametrically opposed.
“DeMartini fully asserts that touring with inferior substitutes would dilute the value of the band, produce low revenue and damage the credibility of the band in the future.”
Which I’d say is a valid claim. Every time a band splits into several incarnations due to inside fighting — like, say, Queensryche — it makes everyone look bad. The fans feel torn, the promoters feel torn, the whole thing is inherently a shitshow.
The details of this situation are hairier than we can imagine, though. Some time ago, Blotzer apparently had a solo meeting with legal representatives of WBS, Inc., a company founded by him, DeMartini, and vocalist Stephen Pearcy, that deals with all of Ratt’s business, in which he elected himself chairman and president, ousting DeMartini (Warren got the title of “vice president of guitars”, in case you wanted something to put on your business cards). He then liquidated DeMartini’s shares in the company because the dude didn’t want to tour. DeMartini’s lawyers in turn claimed this decision was null and void because Warren wasn’t there.
It’s all a mess — you can read the full details here — but it seems like the gist of it is, Blotzer named himself king of the castle while everyone else was out getting lunch and is now acting like he’s the only member of Ratt the fans want to see (he pulled a Geoff Tate, basically). All of which is a lot of bullshit. No one wants to see an act with only the original drummer, and no one wants to watch a band onstage who they know are in the midst of messy legal bullshit. Blotzer is laughing all the way to the gallows with this one.
Anyway, we’ll see what comes of DeMartini’s lawsuit. Hopefully, this will all get resolved quietly, but these are hair metal dudes so somehow I doubt it.