Goo Goo Dolls Sue Metal Blade Records

Nov 27, 1996, 12:00 am PT

Johnnie Rzeznik and Robbie Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls filed a breach of contract lawsuit against their record label, Metal Blade, on Nov. 26 in Los Angeles Superior Court. (Drummer Mike Malinin isn't named as a plaintiff because he only joined the group in 1995, after the band's last album A Boy Named Goo was released.) Metal Blade Records signed the Goo Goo Dolls in 1988 and released Jed in 1989. The label then entered into an agreement with Warner Bros. Records to distribute the band's albums, beginning with Hold Me Up in 1990. Since then, Metal Blade/Warner Bros. released the band'sSuperstar Car Wash and A Boy Named Goo. The suit states that the members of the Goo Goo Dolls have "never received one penny in royalties," even though the band has sold millions of albums.(A Boy Named Goo has sold more than 2 million copies in the U.S. alone.) The band claims that Metal Blade has kept the "millions of dollars" and signed them to a "grossly unfair, one-sided and unenforceable contract." The suit goes on to call the contract "unconscionable" and the record label "greedy." The royalty rate intitially assigned to the band was 8% of the suggested retail price of a CD, which, according to the band's publicity firm, Mitch Schneider Organization, is less than 30% of what a typical new artist would earn. A statement from MSO, issued Tuesday, also called Metal Blade "no different than a common bootlegger." Michael Faley, president of Metal Blade, had not seen the lawsuit when allstar called for a comment. He says the label will issue a formal statement on Monday, Dec. 2. -- Carrie Borzillo

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