Machine Head Sued by Former Bassist Adam Duce
The Adam Duce-Machine Head split takes another sad turn: nearly a year after the bassist was fired from the group, Duce has filed a lawsuit against the band and its manager, Joseph W. Huston, for trademark infringement, breach of partnership agreement, and defamation, “among other things,” according to Courthouse News Services.
Here’s a rundown of some of Duce’s allegations in the suit:
- Although each member of Machine Head was supposed to own 25% of both their general partnership (Machine Head) and corporation (Head Machine Touring Inc.), at the end of the day, guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn was taking more money than the other musicians in the band (which, in addition to Duce, would include drummer Dave McClain and guitarist Phil Demmel).
- Although MH made more than $2 million during a 2009 European tour with Metallica and more than $3 million during a 2012 European tour, the band’s members were unfairly under-compensated, and Flynn and Houston “squandered money throughout the trip without consulting plaintiff for the vast majority of ‘expenses.’”
- “Despite [Machine Head’s] increase in popularity and touring revenue,” Duce was “unable to make enough money to live within his modest means,” and therefore “supplemented his income as a licensed real estate appraiser” when the band wasn’t touring.
- The band fired Duce shortly before signing their new record deal with Nuclear Blast so that the remaining members could each take home a larger share of the profits.
- That when Flynn blogged about Duce’s firing, claiming “We may have fired Adam on 2-11-13, but Adam quit Machine Head well over a decade ago,” he was “directly attacking [Duce’s] work ethic” (thus, the defamation claim).
- Machine Head continues to use Duce’s likeness “on the band’s website and in promotions without his authorization.”
Lawsuits such as these are pretty common when someone is forced to leave a successful band, and those of us on the outside never know how much of it is true and how much of it is sour grapes. I’m tempted to write “I guess we’ll see what happens,” but it seems like nine times outta ten, these things get settled out of court and we never really learn the specifics anyway.
You can read more details on the suit here.