The attorney for Billy McCarthy and James Stonich, who were members of a Chicago band known as KID ROCKER, has released a radio interview transcript in which POISON guitarist C.C. DeVille allegedly tells McCarthy, “You should have made some money off” the fist POISON album.
POISON was sued last month by McCarthy and Stonich for allegedly stealing four of KID ROCKER‘s songs. The plaintiffs claim that C.C. DeVille auditioned for KID ROCKER in 1984 prior to joining POISON and was allegedly shown completed and formatted songs and was lent master-recorded studio tapes.
KID ROCKER disbanded that year, but McCarthy purportedly presented songs — including “Hit And Run” and “Wham Bam Slammin’ Romance” — for DeVille‘s use as a member of another group, SCREAMIN’ MIMIS. DeVille later joined POISON and proceeded, along with his bandmates, to incorporate KID ROCKER‘s songs in POISON‘s own work, including the tracks “Talk Dirty To Me”, “I Won’t Forget You”, “Fallen Angel” and “Ride The Wind”.
POISON‘s debut album, “Look What The Cat Dragged In” — which contains the above-mentioned songs — sold approximately 4 million copies.
Attorney Daniel J. Voelker said the above-mentioned radio interview “says it all” regarding the merits of his clients’ case. Here is a portion of the interview, which aired in 1994 on station KIEV, 870 AM, Los Angeles:
McCarthy [to C.C. DeVille] “How many albums has POISON sold in their career?”
DeVille: “20 million records.”
McCarthy (jokingly): “I haven’t made 20 thousand dollars in my career yet.”
DeVille: “Let me tell you something, Billy. For that first album, you should have made some money. . . Billy and I used to play in the same band.”
McCarthy: “Yes we did, we played in SCREAMIN’ MIMI’S.”
DeVille: “And it was an excellent band. In fact, we have video tapes of us doing ‘Talk Dirty To Me’.”
Voelker said that the authenticity of this transcript is undeniable and that he is prepared to submit the actual recording to the court.
To clarify earlier press reports, “KID ROCKER was never signed to Atlantic Records as currently reported by some media outlets,” said Voelker.
Instead, he said the band was managed by Bill Aucoin (KISS, BILLY IDOL) and produced at one point by Eddie Kramer (JIMI HENDRIX, PETER FRAMPTON).
Voelker said James Stonich has written over 130 songs and co-written with household name artists. Billy McCarthy is a published author, executive producer of a documentary on legendary drummers and is a former Atlantic recording artist.
McCarthy and Stonich are extremely eager to present the mounting evidence of this case in a court of law, said the attorney.
Voelker said it was interesting to note that in attempts to defend POISON, the band’s attorney does not address whether POISON has committed copyright infringement. Instead, POISON‘s attorney “has merely released a smoke screen questioning the motives of the lawsuit,” said Voelker. “Rather than avoiding the facts, we are very much looking forward to a vigorous litigation of them,” he said.
The copyright infringement lawsuit filed in federal district court on October 19, 2011 in Illinois includes, in addition to “Talk Dirty To Me”, three more POISON hits: “I Won’t Forget You”, “Fallen Angel” and “Ride The Wind”.
In the lawsuit, which can be found in PDF format at this location, the plaintiffs are demanding disgorgement of all profits from the songs in question, statutory damages for willful infringement, and an injunction that prevents POISON and singer Bret Michaels from performing this allegedly stolen material.
Mark D. Passin, attorney for the members of the group POISON, told The Hollywood Reporter the claims have absolutely no merit.
“POISON will vigorously defend against the baseless accusations alleged in the complaint,” he says. “Obviously, if the POISON songs that are the subject of the complaint infringed any songs written by Plaintiffs McCarthy and Stonich they would have filed their lawsuit over 20 years ago when POISON released the albums on which the songs are embodied. It is unfortunate that success in the entertainment business often invites unmeritorious lawsuits.”
Acclaimed ’80s Swedish glam-rock band EASY ACTION, which featured in its ranks future EUROPE guitarist Kee Marcello, reportedly took POISON to court for allegedly “stealing” the chorus to the EASY ACTION song “We Go Rocking” for the POISON U.S. smash-hit “I Want Action” and was said to have been awarded a financial settlement in the case.