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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2010.05.20 - The Guardian - Axl Rose: Chinese Democracy Was 'Sabotaged' By Former Manager (& related articles)

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2010.05.20 - The Guardian - Axl Rose: Chinese Democracy Was 'Sabotaged' By Former Manager (& related articles) Empty 2010.05.20 - The Guardian - Axl Rose: Chinese Democracy Was 'Sabotaged' By Former Manager (& related articles)

Post by Blackstar Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:34 am

Axl Rose: Chinese Democracy was 'sabotaged' by former manager

Guns N' Roses frontman sues music mogul Irving Azoff, claiming that he was responsible for the failure of the band's last album

By Sean Michaels

Axl Rose is suing his former manager, Irving Azoff, alleging that the Ticketmaster boss conspired to sink Guns N' Roses' most recent album. In a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, Rose claims that Azoff tried to "force [him] into a position where he would have no choice but to reunite with the original members of [Guns N' Roses]".

Filed on Monday at Los Angeles Superior Court, Rose's claim is a response to another lawsuit, brought by Azoff in March, in which the music mogul accused Rose of owing him about $1.9m (£1.3m) in concert earnings. Azoff's Front Line Management began representing Rose in early 2008, shortly before the release of Chinese Democracy – and not long before Front Line was acquired by Ticketmaster, putting Azoff in charge of both companies. Last summer, it was reported that Rose had sacked and rehired Azoff at least three times.

Azoff is definitely sacked now. He is one of the most powerful players in the music industry – CEO of the company that controls 70% of the concert-ticket market (through Ticketmaster), chairman of promoters Live Nation, and manager of the Eagles, Christina Aguilera, John Mayer and Kings of Leon – and Rose has come at him with both guns blazing. The singer's lawyers have painted a portrait of a music-biz Godzilla who manipulates and lies to his clients, coercing them into doing whatever he desires.

Rose blames Azoff for the commercial failure of Chinese Democracy, Guns N' Roses first album in 14 years. According to Rose, the album was "sabotaged" by Azoff, who wanted to force him back into the arms of Slash – and a lucrative reunion tour. Because Rose was "adamantly opposed" to this reunion, the singer claims Front Line purposefully spoiled the Chinese Democracy album art, botched a sales deal with Best Buy, and even leaked songs online.

Furthermore, Rose believes Azoff "lied" about a prospective "super-tour" with Van Halen, who he also manages. By keeping this possibility hanging over Guns N' Roses' heads, Azoff allegedly prevented a proper tour from happening. "Upon realising that he couldn't bully Rose and accomplish his scheme, Azoff resigned and abandoned Guns N' Roses on the eve of a major tour, filing suit for commissions he didn't earn and had no right to receive," the lawsuit states. While Azoff is seeking 15% of those concert earnings, Rose wants $5m (£3.4m) from Azoff, citing breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud and breach of contract.

Contacted by journalists, Azoff's lawyer joked about the breadth of Rose's accusations. "He didn't accuse Irving of being on the grassy knoll in Dallas on November 22, 1963?" he told the Hollywood Reporter. However, there are wider implications to Rose's lawsuit. Guns N' Roses' lawyers have dragged the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger into the proceedings, pointing to Azoff as evidence of the companies' anti-competitive practices. The deal, which is still under consideration in the UK, was approved by the US justice department under certain regulatory provisions.

Even Axl Rose's name is a matter of contention. In Azoff's original lawsuit, the singer is identified as "William Bill Bailey". This is, according to Rose, an "adopted name" he no longer uses; his legal name is W Axl Rose. Moreover, the Bailey moniker, which came from Rose's stepfather, apparently "carries significant emotional damage from Rose's childhood". Azoff "was apparently aware of this, Rose's lawyers claim, and used it "out of spite and vindictiveness to cause Rose emotional distress and harm".

Speaking about Rose's lawsuit, Azoff was to the point. "On advice of counsel I cannot respond at this time," he said, but will discuss [it] in my upcoming book, My Life With William Bill Bailey."

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2010/may/20/axl-rose-chinese-democracy
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2010.05.20 - The Guardian - Axl Rose: Chinese Democracy Was 'Sabotaged' By Former Manager (& related articles) Empty Re: 2010.05.20 - The Guardian - Axl Rose: Chinese Democracy Was 'Sabotaged' By Former Manager (& related articles)

Post by Blackstar Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:46 pm

The New York Times, same date:
-----------------------------------------

ARTSBEAT; Axl Rose Files Lawsuit

By Ben Sisario

Perhaps no day in the life of Guns N’ Roses is complete without news of both a new “vook” and a mud-slinging lawsuit.

Axl Rose has filed a $5 million lawsuit against his former manager, Irving Azoff, saying that he sabotaged sales of Guns N’ Roses’ comeback album and lied about a potential “super tour” with Van Halen (which Mr. Azoff manages) as part of a plan to force Mr. Rose to reunite with his estranged former band members.

Mr. Rose, the lead singer and only remaining original member of Guns N’ Roses, says in his suit that Mr. Azoff failed to promote his 2008 album, “Chinese Democracy,” and deliberately mishandled concert dates, “forcing Rose into a position where he would have no choice but to reunite with the original members of Guns N’ Roses for a reunion tour.”

It is a response to another lawsuit filed in March by Mr. Azoff (who in addition to being a leading artist manager is also the executive chairman of Live Nation Entertainment), which said Mr. Rose owed him $1.9 million in unpaid management fees. Mr. Azoff became Mr. Rose’s manager in early 2008, and “Chinese Democracy” was released in November through an exclusive retail deal with Best Buy.

The suit — which was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter and TMZ, within minutes of each other — was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday.

Mr. Rose also accuses Mr. Azoff of name-calling. “Out of spite and vindictiveness to cause Rose emotional distress and harm,” his suit says, the lawsuit Mr. Azoff filed in March uses Mr. Rose’s adopted name, William Bailey, instead of his legal name, W. Axl Rose. “Azoff knew that the name William Bailey carries significant emotional damage.”

Asked to comment on Mr. Rose’s suit, Mr. Azoff said in a statement on Tuesday, “On advice of counsel I cannot respond at this time, but will discuss in my upcoming book, ‘My Life With William Bill Bailey.’ ”

https://archive.nytimes.com/query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage-9E02E3DD143EF933A15756C0A9669D8B63.html
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2010.05.20 - The Guardian - Axl Rose: Chinese Democracy Was 'Sabotaged' By Former Manager (& related articles) Empty Re: 2010.05.20 - The Guardian - Axl Rose: Chinese Democracy Was 'Sabotaged' By Former Manager (& related articles)

Post by Blackstar Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:52 pm

Ticket News, same date:
------------------------------

Axl Rose lawsuit highlights Ticketmaster / Live Nation merger concerns

By Alfred Branch Jr.

A legal fight between Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose and Live Nation Entertainment Executive Chairman Irving Azoff escalated this week when Rose sued the powerful artist manager for alleged bullying tactics as part of a plan to try to manipulate Rose into touring again with the original members of his band.

Azoff sued Rose earlier in the year for alleged breach of contract over unpaid commissions for a recent Guns N’ Roses tour, and Rose countersued this week bring up the specter of the Department of Justice consent decree that the federal agency negotiated with Ticketmaster and Live Nation when the two merged.

“Ticketmaster recently merged with Live Nation, the largest concert promoter in the United States. Azoff is Chairman of the newly merged entity, Live Nation Entertainment. The U.S. Department of Justice challenged the merger on the grounds that it would create a monopoly – and violate the federal anti-trust laws – in the sale of ticketing services to major concert venues in the U.S.,” Rose’s lawsuit states. “The DOJ allowed the merger to go forward only after the parties entered into a stringent consent decree which precluded the newly merged entity including Azoff from, among others, abusing its position in the market to impede competition.”

Azoff created the artist management company Front Line Management, which he sold to Ticketmaster prior to the merger, and he managed Guns N’ Roses for a while under that umbrella.

The lawsuit continues, “Azoff now controls the trifecta of (1) artist management, (2) concert and touring promotion and (3) ticket sales. Azoff decides and manipulates what artists he wants to promote through favorable touring deals. He uses his power to punish artists and harm their careers if they do not follow his orders. That is what happened here.”

Rose claims Azoff sabotaged tours and record sales; allegedly lied about a tour with Guns N’ Roses and Van Halen; and then resigned as manager but expected compensation. Rose also accuses Azoff of “spite and vindictiveness” for using Rose’s adopted name, William Bailey, in the first lawsuit, knowing that it would cause Rose “emotional distress and harm.”

Under the terms of the consent decree, Live Nation Entertainment promised not to “retaliate” against entities that chose to no longer do business with it, but the language in the document primarily centers around venues, promoters and ticketing, which the DOJ believed it had more ability to direct during the merger negotiations.

“Nothing in this Section prevents Defendants [Live Nation Entertainment] from bundling their services and products in any combination or from exercising their own business judgment in whether and how to pursue, develop, expand, or compete for any ticketing, venue, promotions, artist management, or any other business, so long as Defendants do so in a manner that is not inconsistent with the provisions of this Section,” the consent decree states.

It continues, “Evidence that Defendants do or do not (a) bid for, contract with, win, or retain a venue, artist, or promoter as a client, and/or (b) promote a show or shows in particular buildings or group of buildings (even where similar shows historically have been promoted in those buildings) is not alone sufficient to establish, or create a presumption of, a violation of this Section.”

Rose is seeking damages of about $5 million; Azoff’s initial lawsuit sought damages of about $2 million.

Rose’s attorney, Skip Miller, declined to comment on lawsuit. In a statement, Azoff continued to poke fun at Rose, “On advice of counsel I cannot respond at this time, but will discuss in my upcoming book, ‘My Life With William Bill Bailey.’”

https://www.ticketnews.com/2010/05/axl-rose-lawsuit-highlights-ticketmaster-live-nation-merger-concerns/
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