The American Idol contestant Chris Daughtry is being sued by his former band mates, who claim that they are owed royalties for four songs that they helped to write. Ryan Andrews, Scott Crawford and Mark Perr have taken the matter to Guildford County Superior Court. The former members of Absent Element - who recorded one album together, entitled Uprooted, have claimed that they played a part in writing the songs and are seeking compensation. Chris is currently on tour with his new band, Daughtry.
This recent court case certainly won't be the first time in rock history that band members have taken their former comrades to court over money issues. In 1989, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke of the seminal Mancunian indie group The Smiths famously took lead singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr to court, claiming that they were owed more than the paltry 10 per cent share they each took home from the band's earnings. And in the 1990s, members of the influential punk band the Dead Kennedys also claimed that their singer Jello Biafra had conspired to pay them lower royalty payments. Although Biafra was credited as sole songwriter on most of the band's material, after their demise, this became a point of contention for his band mates.
A more frequent occurrence is that band members become aggrieved that their former band mates are carrying on the name without them. In 2009, Ozzy Osbourne sued Tony Iommi for "wrongfully" claiming the use of their former band name, Black Sabbath. Luckily for the former members of Absent Element, Daughtry doesn't seem too keen to carry the band's name on and is happier to trade on the fame that he's found for himself through AMERICAN IDOL.