Former Members Of Heart Suing Rock And Roll Hall of Fame
Posted by Joseph Lee on 05.21.2014
For using their likenesses...
Billboard reports that two former members of Heart are suing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for using their likenesses to promote the 2013 ceremony even though they weren't inducted. Bassist Mark Andes and drummer Dennis Carmassi were members of the band from 1982 to 1993. During that time, the band had four Grammy nominations and ten of its 20 top 40 hits including "These Dreams", "Alone", "All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You" and more. When the band was inducted, it only included the original lineup from the 1960s and ‘70s. Andes and Carmassi were not included.
They said that when fans and other musicians congratulated them on their success, they were "humiliated" to explain "that they were inexplicably not chosen for induction."
The complaint reads: "Plaintiffs are not asking that defendant Rock Hall induct them into the Hall of Fame. Instead, this is an action to protect the rights, reputations, and likenesses of Mark Andes and Dennis Carmassi through the causes of actions false light invasion of privacy, misappropriation of name and likeness invasion of privacy, injurious falsehood, libel, slander, and right of attribution falsification of rock and roll history for Defendants' wilful and unauthorized use of Plaintiffs' images and likenesses."
After the announcement on December 11, 2012 that Heart would be inducted (but that Andes and Carmassi would not), they wrote a letter asking for an explanation and defended their role in the success of the band. Hall of Fame CEO Joel Peresman said to them: "We have a group of people who are very focused on these things and collaborate on the various areas of their expertise. As we do every year we went very carefully over all of the history and the members of Heart that were are [sic] being inducted besides Ann and Nancy [Wilson] were the ones everyone felt should be inducted. I am sorry if these others feel this isn't right but this is the final decision of our committee."
Images of the band, including those featuring Andes and Carmassi, were used on the biography page of the website for the band, including the band's 1985 self-titled album cover art. Ann and Nancy Wilson asked the Hall to reconsider since the two "were in the band when it garnered several Grammy nominations and their biggest commercial success", but the Hall refused. The complaint also sites a Billboard article and video in its exhibits as proof that Ann and Nancy wanted the two inducted.
While at the Red Carpet for the 2013 event, Ann said: "They should be here. They really should be here."
Andes and Carmassi want damages for all losses, treble damages on all trademark claims, punitive damages and exemplary damages.
The complaint added: "Although induction to the Rock Hall is normally a positive thing, to be knowingly and/or recklessly placed in such a position by Defendants is highly offensive to a reasonable person when being placed in that position requires having to continually correct the record on an issue of such personal importance.
The Rock Hall has not responded. This is the latest controversy surrounding the ceremony. KISS refused to perform at this year's event because only its original members were inducted.