Blues Brothers Blues
A court in the Netherlands has ruled that actor/comedian Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi’s widow can’t stop a touring tribute show based on The Blues Brothers. The case was about the show’s co-opting of the Blues Brothers’ image without permission. The Hollywood Reporter says the judge ruled that the actors could not claim ownership of their trademark look — black glasses/hats/suits — because it’s “a style of dress and posture that had been used by many Blues musicians for decades.” Aykroyd and Belushi’s estate reportedly make a lot of money selling licenses to legit Blues Brothers tribute shows (like the ones that appear at car shows and minor league hockey games).
Drumming up Trouble
When Kevin Fennell, drummer for Indie Rock heroes Guided By Voices, posted an eBay auction to sell the drum kit he used with the band, the ridiculously high starting bid — $55,000 — caught the attention of news outlets and GBV mastermind Bob Pollard, who was pissed that Fennell was using the band’s name in his efforts.
The auction ended without a single bid … and with the firing of Fennell. According to Pitchfork, terse email exchange purported to be between the drummer and the frontman ensued, with Pollard telling him the firing was a long time coming. Upon hearing about the ordeal, guitarist Tobin Sprout quietly removed his “Guided by Voices-used cigarette butts, $800 a piece” postings on Craigslist. Allegedly.
Not So Great Rock and Roll Swindle
Robb “TaLLLLL” University, frontman for obscure L.A. band Lights Over Paris (and apparent fan of the letter “L”), really wanted to be a Rock star, but didn’t have the patience to see how things might pan out based on his talent. Instead, he decided to showcase his ability to secure outrageous bank loans, allegedly using millions of dollars to live the Rock star life, buying the band a customized tour bus, taking lavish vacations and living in a deluxe high-rise in downtown L.A. The singer — whose band released one EP and a song/video featuring a verse by rapper Game and a Rolls Royce — was recently sentenced to seven years in prison after the court determined he defrauded various banks of $11 million in loans. Wonder how his whole Rock star act will go over in jail?