A former member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers has sued the band, along with its manager and lawyer, for expelling him without cause and failing to pay his share of royalties.
Jack Sherman claims, in a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, that band founding members Anthony Kiedis and Michael Balzary (a k a Flea) expelled him in 1985 without advance notice when they ran into his house for a meeting “giggling and abruptly announced ‘you’re fired’ and ‘you’re out of the band, bye.’ ”
Since then, Sherman says he has not been given an explanation for what happened and has not received his full share of royalties on the band’s recordings and music publishing.
Payment allegedly reduced
Sherman didn’t get his publisher’s share for the album “Freaky Styley,” the suit said, and was “arbitrarily” assigned a lesser share of four songs he wrote for the band’s second album.
The suit says Sherman’s delay in seeking legal redress should be excused because of his past emotional problems.
He was “severely emotionally and physically abused as a child,” the suit said , and that “undermined his self-confidence and assertiveness to such an extent that he has regarded all abusive behavior directed towards him as normal and deserved.”
Sorting out business affairs
The suit says that after about two years of therapy, Sherman is just now capable of putting his business affairs in order.
Sherman also says the delay should be excused because Kiedis, Balzary and manager Lindy Goetz had a fiduciary relationship toward him and because attorney Eric Greenspan told him that no royalties were due to him in 1985.
Sherman allegedly did not get a publishing check until August 1991 and did not get an album royalty check until May 1992.
The suit says the first Chili Peppers album, however, recouped advances by at least the end of June 1990.
Before that, Sherman says all he got was a $ 1,700 check which he assumed was a settlement for his expulsion, but no explanation was provided.
The complaint also alleges that attorney Greenspan had an improper conflict of interest representing him and the other band members.
The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, an order that Sherman should get direct payment of his share of royalties, an accounting, and dissolution of the Chili Peppers partnership.