Ramones drummer files $900k royalties suit
It turns out that, mortality-wise, the Ramones were the exact inverse of Spinal Tap: in punk rock's first family, only the drummers survive. Now, just over three years after the last principal Ramone (Johnny) left this world, one of the band's many kit-bashers is out to get paid like a rock star.
Richard Reinhardt, once rechristened as Richie Ramone, filed a lawsuit last Friday claiming that he never signed off on digital distribution for the six songs that he wrote for the band. Named as defendants in the suit: Wal-Mart, Apple, RealNetworks, the band's management and (this seems pretty low) the estate of Johnny Ramone. Reinhardt is seeking $900,000 in unpaid royalties for digital sales of those six timeless ditties (one of which is entitled "Smash You"). Please reserve all "Richie Rich" jokes until after the man gets paid.
This unpleasantness comes just before the release of a new Ramones DVD on Oct. 2. Entitled It's Alive: 1974-1996, the set documents the complete history of the band that tore rock 'n' roll a new one.
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