According to The Blast, former JOURNEY singer Steve Perry has filed a lawsuit against musician Phil Brown to prevent the release of demos they recorded together in 1991. Perry claims that the songs were recorded on an 8-track tape recorder in Brown‘s garage and were never meant for to be heard by the public.
“[Perry] did not perform them as he would if the recordings were intended for public release,” the complaint says. “[Brown is] threatening to release certain old vocal performances of Perry as part of Brown‘s band’s release, even though Perry owns all intellectual property rights in said vocal performances, Brown abandoned any claim to those performances in 2002, and Perry has repeatedly demanded that Brown not release those works.”
Brown is credited as a production assistant and the bassist on the track “Tuesday Heartache” on Perry‘s 1994 solo album “For The Love Of Strange Medicine”. He also worked on the string arrangement for “I Am”.
Perry says that he never intended the vocal performances he recorded at Brown‘s home to be released publicly, and he ultimately decided that the songs he recorded — titled “Somebody Somewhere” and “Don’t Push The River” — were not appropriate for his 1994 solo album. None of the musical compositions he created with Brown, and none of the vocal performances he laid down in Brown‘s home in 1991 appeared on “For The Love Of Strange Medicine” or on any other recording by Perry. Perry says he did no additional work with Brown.
According to Perry, Brown claimed for the first time in 2002 that he had a copyright interest in Perry‘s 1991 recorded vocal performances, and threatened to release them. Perry, through his attorney, expressly repudiated Brown‘s claim to a copyright interest in Perry‘s recorded vocal performances and reasserted Perry‘s sole ownership of those recorded vocal performances. Brown subsequently never took legal action to dispute Perry‘s sole copyright ownership of his recorded vocal performances, and never purported to dispute Perry‘s copyright ownership of those recorded vocal performances in any way for 14 years.
After Perry released his latest solo album, “Traces”, in October, Brown, through his representatives, again began claiming an ownership interest in Perry‘s 1991 recorded vocal performances, and again threatened to release those performances to the public, the singer says. Furthermore, Brown‘s manager allegedly began circulating Twitter messages promoting the imminent release of Brown‘s new CD in a way that misleadingly made it appear that Perry is in Brown‘s band, APACHES FROM PARIS.
“By intentionally using Perry‘s image and misleadingly implying that Perry has authorized or approved Brown‘s conduct, and that Perry is a member of Brown‘s band just as Perry‘s solo ‘Traces’ album is in wide release and garnering significant publicity, Brown is seeking to confuse and mislead Perry‘s fans and the consuming public into believing that Brown is associated with Perry when he is not, to induce them to purchase Brown‘s music rather than Perry‘s,” the complaint reads. “Brown also seeks to mislead fans into believing that Perry‘s 1991 recorded vocal performances, of which Perry is the sole copyright owner, and which Perry decided not to release because they do not meet his standards, are somehow associated with ‘Traces’ and are being released with Perry‘s permission, when they are not.”
Perry is suing for an injunction prohibiting Brown from releasing the music and for unspecified damages.