Cro-Mags Lawsuit Settled; There Are Now Two Cro-Mags
Well, you can add Cro-Mags to the list of bands that have two versions.
As always, this confusing-for-fans situation has arisen from a lawsuit: last year, founding bassist Harley Flanagan sued his now-former bandmates John Joseph (vocals) and Mackie Jayson (drums), alleging that he and he alone came up with the idea for the band in 1981, and that Joseph and Jayson have been using the Cro-Mags moniker without his permission since he left the group in 2002.
The good news is, that lawsuit has now been settled; the bad news is, now there are two Cro-Mags — the one with Flanagan, which will be known simply as ‘Cro-Mags,’ and the one with Joseph and Jayson, which will be known as ‘Cro-Mags JM’ (the ‘JM,’ of course, standing for ‘John and Mackie’).
Say Joseph and Jayson in a statement:
“As all of our loyal fans and supporters know, John Joseph, Mackie Jayson, A.J. Novello and Craig Setari have been performing as the ‘Cro-Mags’ for many years. Due to recent litigation involving Harley Flanagan, John Joseph and Mackie Jayson, we have all agreed that for the benefit of our fans and supporters we want to make sure that everyone knows who it is they are coming out to see. Therefore we have reached a settlement designed to avoid any further confusion. The lead singer and drummer on Age of Quarrel, John and Mackie, along with A.J. and Craig, going forward will perform under the name Cro-Mags ‘JM’ which we have a legal right to use. The ‘JM’ stands for John/Mackie. Of course, we need some time to make this change. There will be a three month transition where our shows may still be advertised as Cro-Mags and Harley will also be performing as Cro-Mags. During this transition period, to confirm which band you want to see, please check on our websites or social media pages. As of August 1, 2019, all shows under the Cro-Mags ‘JM’ name will feature us, and all shows under the Cro-Mags name (on its own) will feature Harley. Thanks for your patience as we wrap this up. Now that this is all said and done, we will be working on a new studio album, while continuing to deliver the live performances our fans have come to know and love over the years. A win/win situation. See you out there on the road.”
Flanagan, meanwhile, has released this video, which says more or less the same thing as the statement from Joseph and Jayson:
This is obviously a better resolution than the one Flanagan sought in 2012, when he showed up at the band’s performance at New York’s Webster Hall with a hunting knife, sending members William Berario and Michael Couls to the hospital with stab wounds (the charges were eventually dismissed). Still, the whole “There will now be two bands with slightly different versions of the same name” always ends up feeling ridiculous.
But hey good for Harley. Go get those t-shirt sale checks and higher show guarantees, son! Please don’t stab me.