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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!
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2014.02.23 - Facebook/Metal Sludge - Rapidfire Guitarist Implores Fans of Axl Rose to Support His Efforts to Help Release 1983 Recordings

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2014.02.23 - Facebook/Metal Sludge - Rapidfire Guitarist Implores Fans of Axl Rose to Support His Efforts to Help Release 1983 Recordings Empty 2014.02.23 - Facebook/Metal Sludge - Rapidfire Guitarist Implores Fans of Axl Rose to Support His Efforts to Help Release 1983 Recordings

Post by Blackstar Tue Dec 27, 2022 8:35 pm

Rapidfire guitarist implores fans of Axl Rose to support his efforts to help release 1983 recordings after death of friend & attorney; "The release of the "Ready To Rumble" CD in 2014 will be stopped over MY dead body"

Rapidfire 1983 Facebook:

February 18th 2014 — So today I bring bad news. The Rapidfire Attorney and my Brother and Best Friend, was found dead in his home from a suicide. This only increases my resolve to get you fans the recordings out ASAP in his honour. I will work harder than ever to deal with Mr. Rose and his never ending legal harassment. I know my rights. I own, wrote, paid for, played on and produced this CD. Mr. Rose and his attorneys know that they have NO BASIS WHATSOEVER to stop the release for you fans but he can harass and harass me. At this point I have nothing to lose and have already have a fantastic artist for the CD 6 panel cover as well as getting ready for a final mix and mastering. This MAJOR setback just fires me up to release these songs in Joshua’s honour. I have every legal t crossed and i dotted. I will keep you all posted as well as share the letters between his camp and me. Get Ready To Rumble in 2014. Thank you Josh for putting up my shit, and over 10 years of harassment and threats from Axl’s camp even though they are well aware that they don’t have a legal leg to stand on. The most dangerous part…. I KNOW they don’t have a legal leg to stand on. Everything Rapidfire is owned by me, all the songs, performances and masters. Mr. Rose and his attorneys can try to mess with me all they want. I do NOT scare easily and I have nothing to lose. Lets ROCK…. for Josh…… I love you my Brother….. Kev.

*

Facebook – The release of the “Ready To Rumble” CD in 2014 will be stopped over MY dead body and since Josh is gone via suicide, PARTIALLY FROM DEALING WITH TEN YEARS OF THIS HARASSMENT AND CRAP FROM AXL’S CAMP……. IT’S ON……AND FAN SUPPORT VIA LETTERS WOULD BE MOST HELPFUL AND APPRECIATED. Mail a letter TO AXL’S ATTORNEYS AND SEND ME A COPY AT KEVIN@RAPIDFIRE.COM in order to express your demand and desire, as fans of Axl who want to hear his earliest ever recordings, from his first time in a recording studio, when he was still an untattooed “Bill Bailey” fresh off the bus. PLEASE TAKE 5 MINUTES and write these letters from every country around the world that you “DEMAND AN END TO THE HARASSMENT AND THAT YOU WANT TO HEAR THE EARLIEST RECORDED PART OF THE HISTORY OF AXL’S CAREER. THESE RECORDINGS, PHOTOS, AND FLYERS WHICH ARE A PART OF HISTORY THAT DESERVE TO BE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC. Please tell Douglass S. Mark Esq, AND AXL, that you WANT YOUR RAPIDFIRE CD, AND TO STOP HARASSING THOSE WHO, WITHIN THE FULL CONTEXT AND EXTENT OF THE LAW, SPECIFICALLY COPYRIGHT LAW, PLAN TO RELEASE THE RAPIDFIRE CD WITH BILL BAILEY ON VOCALS.



His address is:

Axl Rose c/o
Douglas S. Mark Esq.
Mark Music & Media Law, P.C.
120 El Camino Dr., Suite 104
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

So hopefully Axl and his million dollar bully lawyers do not ILLEGALLY disrupt the ability for us to conduct business and interfere with the 100% LEGAL release of this CD. BTW Everyone including Axl gets paid per CD. I’m sure Axl doesn’t care, but this is a 100% legit project that in my personal opinion we have tried too hard and waited too long for a way to “appease and please” Axl. Josh worked slower than I do personally, and in his attempt to “appease” Axl and a female friend of Josh, Axl and Slash’s, that it has taken over 10 years to get to where we are. The material is 100% legally mine to release, sounds great, and I own all the government form copyrights, master tapes and actually have the receipt with my name as the one who paid for the recordings. Axl can frivolously sue me into oblivion, or not, I don’t care. I have nothing to lose. Im releasing it. So fire up, please send your letters to Axl c/o Douglas S. Mark, Esq., and lets get this going once and for all. Rapidfire needs fan support to show the desire for this to be released. BTW, do you know we got over 80,000 hits on the UNANNOUNCED sample of Ready To Rumble, until Axl’s lawyer bullies filed an ILLEGAL copyright infringement with You Tube? As Josh put it in his letter to Douglas S. Mark, Esq., Axl’s attorney that filing ILLEGAL copyright infringement was, to quote Josh’s letter “Arguably, it was even a violation of 17 USC § 506 (c).” All we had to do is show You Tube the copyrights of which I have for every song, and it went right back up. It seems that these lawyers will pull any stunt legal or illegal to stop me. IT WON’T WORK. THE ALBUM IS COMING OUT.

I look forward to your fan support. Josh and I have worked 10 long years trying to please everyone except the three other members of Rapidfire and Josh himself. YOUR LETTERS WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED, (ALBEIT NOT NECESSARY) TO THE RELEASE. Thank you for reading…. if ya did…

Kevin Lawrence


https://metalsludge.tv/rapidfire-guitarist-implores-fans-of-axl-rose-to-support-his-efforts-to-help-release-1983-recordings-the-release-of-the-ready-to-rumble-cd-in-2014-will-be-stopped-over-my-dead-body/
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2014.02.23 - Facebook/Metal Sludge - Rapidfire Guitarist Implores Fans of Axl Rose to Support His Efforts to Help Release 1983 Recordings Empty Re: 2014.02.23 - Facebook/Metal Sludge - Rapidfire Guitarist Implores Fans of Axl Rose to Support His Efforts to Help Release 1983 Recordings

Post by Blackstar Tue Dec 27, 2022 8:36 pm

The original postings on the Rapidfire 1983 facebook profile have since been deleted.
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2014.02.23 - Facebook/Metal Sludge - Rapidfire Guitarist Implores Fans of Axl Rose to Support His Efforts to Help Release 1983 Recordings Empty Re: 2014.02.23 - Facebook/Metal Sludge - Rapidfire Guitarist Implores Fans of Axl Rose to Support His Efforts to Help Release 1983 Recordings

Post by Blackstar Tue Dec 27, 2022 9:51 pm

Another - now deleted - posting on Rapidfire 1983 facebook page (via Metal Sludge) - letter from Joshua Solomon (Kevin Lawrence's friend and attorney) to Doug Mark (Axl's attorney):
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last and long legal letter to Doug Mark 1/1/14:

Re: The Rapidfire Recordings/Your Client: Axl Rose.

Dear Doug:

This is a somewhat difficult letter to write – not due to the subject matter, but because I choose to walk a fine line. In 2013 you did and said things on behalf of your client that have no legal or factual basis. I cannot condone such behavior, but I also will not condemn you for it. I seek to prevent a war, not start one. In this situation doing so requires blunt honesty. It is not intended to offend. It also requires giving you fair warning. It is not intended as a threat.

I don’t know whether you or your client took the time to read “The Story of the Rapidfire Recordings.” Hopefully, you did. If you haven’t, please do. I do not plan on reiterating any of its substance here. I realize it is long and that much of the tale may be of little interest to you. Just focus on the facts, their legal impact and the overall tone of the message. At times, you may get the impression that I was attempting to cozy up or curry favor. That is not the case. The Story contained absolutely nothing I did not believe to be true.

In order to understand fully why I portrayed Axl Rose as I did, you need to know that one of my single degrees of separation from him happens to be another of my oldest and dearest friends. She has absolutely no connection to my client, Kevin Lawrence, but she has deep roots with Axl. She was no mere hanger-on. She was an integral part of GNR’s inner circle during the Band’s earliest years. To me, she is practically family. I trust and value her opinion accordingly. To her, Axl is like family. Their many years apart have done nothing to dim her fierce loyalty. My perspective is based on hers because it is well-informed and reliable. And to a degree, her deep allegiance to Axl colors my convictions and actions. I would never choose to do anything that hurts her, or anyone she loves.

To the extent that I had an agenda regarding the future of the Recordings when I wrote their story, I made no attempt to hide it. Simply put, I think it’s idiotic and wasteful to battle over issues that are not open to debate – and I hoped to avoid a fight where none was necessary. To the best of my knowledge, there can be no legitimate dispute between Kevin Lawrence and Axl Rose when it comes to Rapidfire or its recordings. If there’s something I’m missing, I’m all ears.

One thing I might not have made entirely clear in the Story is just how little my client cared about whether or not the Recordings were ever made public. As strange as it may seem, Kevin’s initial motivation to dig them up actually was no more than a misguided effort to set the record straight regarding Axl’s history in the studio. He saw the potential for profit, of course. And the cost/benefit analysis I described was real. Then again, how much would it cost to prevail over Axl with the Cleopatra Records decision as both precedent and a roadmap? Perhaps you noticed that I linked to the decision on the preliminary injunction and left out certain details about the final disposition of the case. This was intentional.

My goal was to educate, not to embarrass. I also wanted to address everyone’s questions all at once, and once and for all. Pointing out that Axl lost on summary judgment and was ordered to pay Cleopatra Records’ fees and costs would have raised more questions about Kevin’s decision. It also would have unnecessarily rubbed the defeat in Axl’s face, and those of his attorneys. I have no problem poking fun at our profession or its practitioners. But I took great pains to avoid identifying the individuals who wrote the letters in 2004. It certainly was not out of fear of being sued. It was out of courtesy.

Courtesy also explains why I declined to comment when the reporter for Yahoo! Music contacted me about your firm’s baseless claim of copyright infringement on YouTube. Yes, what you did was annoying. Yes, it was an abuse of YouTube’s rules. Arguably, it was even a violation of 17 USC § 506(c). But no, it was not worth drawing battle lines over. We gave a gift to people who had been begging for it. Aside from temporarily wiping the smile from his face, your action did Kevin no harm. It was the fans trying to follow all those useless links who paid the price – your client’s fans, not mine.

Frankly, your quote in the article was the most irksome aspect. I doubt you would knowingly assert false claims of infringement. Your failure to return my calls after I queried you on the basis for your allegation told me enough. You leapt before you looked. Claiming that “(w)henever there’s unauthorized Axl Rose or Guns N’ Roses audio, video or merchandise, we take aggressive efforts to have it removed from the marketplace,” simply cannot be true. Searching “axl rose” on YouTube nets around 573,000 hits, and “guns n roses” nets nearly 1.9 million. It beggars belief to suggest that your firm’s aggression is so broadly and blindly applied – especially when one notes that many clearly unofficial posts have been up for years and have received tens of millions of views.

With no apparent effort to stem the tidal wave of unauthorized GNR music and videos on YouTube, it’s hard to see your action against Kevin’s post as par for the course. The clip from “Ready to Rumble” was put up without fanfare and was accompanied by a bare, factual description. Beyond that, it was nothing more than a few seconds of a song written, recorded and copyrighted by Kevin Lawrence. Your client does have certain rights in connection with the Recordings. Preventing them from being played publicly is not one of them.
From our vantage point, the public reaction to the “Ready to Rumble” clip merely reinforced things we already knew. There is a tremendous audience for these songs; they are worthy in their own right; and they showcase your client’s talent in a purely positive way. Releasing it was not a precursor to anything, nor did it change our position regarding the disposition of the Recordings in general. Your actions did, however.

To date, I don’t think anyone can claim that Kevin or I have failed to treat both your client and his protected rights with great respect. Such respect must be reciprocal, however. Just as Kevin must tread cautiously when making reference to Axl Rose or Guns N’ Roses in connection with Rapidfire, Axl needs to respect all of Kevin’s rights when it comes to his protected properties. And I would argue that false claims of ownership are far worse offenses than bumping up against the boundaries of fair use or the right of publicity. Kevin has religiously avoided the latter since he learned of these concepts in 2004. I thought that we’d gotten past the former at the same time.

Of course, Kevin has gone beyond mere compliance with the laws that protect your client. He kept the Recordings under wraps and took no steps towards releasing or marketing them. He did this with full knowledge that he had every right to do so. And it was not because he had no desire to have the world hear his music. He simply weighed his interests and determined that, on balance, it was not worth pursuing. The decision was predicated in part on practicality, but it was primarily about respect. It was also a decision I influenced.

To understand Kevin’s decision fully, you need to know that neither he nor I have ever been certain what Axl’s specific wishes were when it came to the Rapidfire Recordings. The letters from his attorneys in 2004 were meaningless nonsense, which I interpreted as boilerplate. My subsequent conversations with his counsel were no more enlightening. Under the circumstances we could only make semi-educated guesses about what Axl really wanted. Doing essentially nothing with the Recordings was no skin off Kevin’s back, and seemed like the appropriate course.

Nevertheless, over the years people remained interested in Rapidfire. Every once in a while Kevin would answer an inquiry and make some vague reference to releasing the songs one day. Eventually, he made responding to the public my responsibility. After years of mostly ignoring the e-mails I received, I decided to tell the story of the Recordings from the beginning. It was posted on the silver anniversary of “Appetite for Destruction” as a salute to GNR. The result was more interest in the recordings themselves, and no backlash from any quarter.

Because people were clambering for more – even just a little taste of these fabled recordings – I decided to give the fans a little gift to commemorate another anniversary. I created the “Ready to Rumble” clip and sent the link to the fans whose e-mail addresses I had saved over the years, along with the following message:

“Thirty years ago today, Kevin Lawrence went into the studio with Axl Rose, Mike Hamernik and Chuck Gordon. They recorded five songs. As all of you know, none of them have ever been released to the public. Although nothing has changed in this regard, I can see no harm in posting a small sample of the opening track. So many people continue to express their interest in the Rapidfire Recordings, it seems like a good way to satisfy everyone’s curiosity and to mark this anniversary. Enjoy.”

There was no press release. I did not announce it on any of the fan sites. Kevin only found out about it when I asked for his approval on the day it was released. My action had no business purpose. No one made any money as a result. I gave the public a gift. Your client’s rights weren’t violated. And if it had any impact on his image, it was a positive one. More to the point, I was acting well within my rights and the boundaries of the law. The same cannot be said of your response.

The point here isn’t to bust your chops. And I’ve already said you’ve done no harm, so there can be no foul. I am simply making a point. If you decide to take action, make certain you have the legal right to do so and be straightforward about your motivations. We owe this level of care to our clients, and to one another as colleagues. I refuse to practice any other way. I hope you and I are of like minds on this subject. And I hope you will help keep me honest. This will have great relevance going forward.

The chances are that Kevin was the only person surprised by the public’s reaction to the “Ready to Rumble” sample. He’s his own worst critic, which left him pleasantly unprepared for the fact that people responded so favorably to his music. When the press picked up on the news and the comments started pouring in, he began to consider releasing the recordings seriously for the first time since 2004. Your ironically hypocritical act of bringing everything to a screeching halt was what sealed the deal in his mind. If his rights weren’t going to be respected, what point is there in continuing to keep his music under wraps out of courtesy?I agree with him.

The purpose of this letter is to inform you that Kevin will be releasing the Rapidfire Recordings to the public in 2014, and to give you one final chance to convince me that your client has some legal right to prevent this from happening. In fact, Kevin and I will go beyond that and will consider any reason you or your client can articulate that might affect the decision to release the Recordings, irrespective of its legal basis. Although the latter is nothing more than a courtesy, I assure you that legitimate reasons will be taken just as seriously as legal rights. We have not abandoned courtesy or our willingness to consider Axl’s personal wishes. At this point, we don’t even know for certain that he instigated the false allegations of infringement.

It is important for you not to mistake this kindness for weakness, however. Kevin’s rights and remedies in this situation are absolutely clear. Unless we are convinced to do otherwise, they will be vigorously defended and pursued. I strongly advise against holding anything back now. Doing so will only bolster Kevin’s ability to recover his legal fees and costs from Axl, and could expose your client to liability for other damages. Consider this to be your speak-now-or-forever-hold-your-peace moment.

If I receive no response from you within thirty (30) days from the date of this letter I will presume your client has no interest in the matter and will not interfere with my client’s activities in any way. If you need more time, a reasonable extension will be granted. Be advised, however, that any legal action taken after this offer has expired will almost certainly be considered strategic, with all of the consequences that word implies. Given the clear evidence of copyright ownership and the very real possibility of issue preclusion stemming from the Cleopatra Records decision, ultimately, litigation will end up being a costly, losing proposition for your client alone.

If you would like to discuss any of the foregoing, your calls are always welcome.

Please note that by sending this letter, I am not enumerating all nor waiving any of Kevin Lawrence’s legal rights, and all such rights are hereby expressly reserved.

Happy New Year,

Joshua Solomon
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