According to The Blast, musician Phil Brown has responded to a lawsuit filed by former JOURNEY singer Steve Perry over 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.
Brown wants Perry‘s lawsuit thrown out, claiming that he “has at all times maintained both creative and physical control over the Brown/Perry songs. As such, under long-standing controlling authority, Brown had, and continues to have, the right to independently license, sell, perform, or otherwise monetize the four Brown/Perry songs without the consent of his co-author, Perry, so long as Brown later accounts to Perry for Perry‘s portion of any resultant proceeds.”
Brown accuses Perry of using his team of expensive attorneys to launch a “blitzkrieg against Brown into submission, and sought ex parte, without notice, a Temporary Restraining Order against Brown preventing him from doing what he had an absolute right to do — commercialize the Brown/Perry songs.”
Perry sued for an injunction prohibiting Brown from releasing the music and for unspecified damages.
The judge granted a temporary restraining order in Perry‘s favor in November 2018, which prohibited Brown from releasing the unheard tracks until a further court hearing.
Brown says he does not need Perry‘s permission to release the music and is demanding the lawsuit be thrown out and the injunction vacated.
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 said 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 said 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 said. 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 singer’s complaint read. “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.”