Amplifier - Archives

25 Years Later, Obscure Hair Band Finally Decides to Sue Poison

Amplifier

View photo

.
25 years after Poison released hair band anthems like "Talk Dirty to Me" and "I Won't Forget You," Bret Michaels and his band of glam rockers are being sued by another group that claims Poison stole those tunes. According to the Hollywood Reporter's Hollywood Esq. blog, two members of Kid Rocker -- not to be confused with Kid Rock -- have filed a lawsuit against Poison, alleging that guitarist C.C. Deville, who auditioned for the Chicago band in 1984 before he joined up with Michaels, turned the Kid Rocker songs "Hit and Run" and "Wham Bam Slammin' Romance" into Poison hits.

Kid Rocker were a popular act on Hollywood's Sunset Blvd. scene prior to signing with Atlantic Records. However, they disbanded in 1984, but not before auditioning DeVille. In fact, Kid Rocker's Billy McCarthy started another group called Screamin' Mimis, and C.C. was briefly a member of that band until ultimately leaving to join Poison. McCarthy claims that DeVille had access to Kid Rocker's master tapes, and took those riffs with him when he joined Poison. (Unfortunately, no evidence of Kid Rocker's music exists on the Internet, so The Amp can't compare and contrast the songs.)

EMI and Capitol were also named in the copyright infringement lawsuit, which seeks all profits from the songs Poison has racked up in the past quarter-century, plus punitive damages. Add it all up, and millions of dollars in back royalties could be at stake. The highlight of THR's story: When asked why it took so long for his clients to file the suit, Kid Rocker's lawyer responded, "Good question," and then didn't elaborate further. It's implausible to believe that Kid Rocker somehow avoided hearing those songs for 25 years, especially since they were already familiar with DeVille. It's like that time Ghostface Killah was sued by the Iron Man composer a decade after the fact, but even worse.

Because Kid Rocker filed in their home state, their lawyer will point to a previous Illinois case that ruled there is no statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in a copyright infringement case if the violation is still ongoing. Since people are still buying Poison's debut album Look What the Cat Dragged In, the LP that had all the infringing songs in question, it's considered a "continuing wrong," and therefore still grounds for a suit. Check back in another 25 years for when Kid Rocker sue Kid Rock for stealing their band name.

View Comments