MARK TREMONTI | SONGWRITER | GUITAR Oct 30, 2013 11:10:28 GMT -5
Post by on Oct 30, 2013 11:10:28 GMT -5
New York (October 08, 2013, 5:09 PM ET) --
Rock band Creed's Grammy Award-winning guitarist, Mark Tremonti, will
receive $2.4 million to settle allegations he was cheated out of a
larger stake in the publishing business of the band's record label,
hours after jurors heard opening arguments in a Manhattan trial on
Tremonti had alleged that Wind Up Records Inc.'s late owner, Alan
Meltzer, had promised him a 24.5 percent equity stake in some of Wind
Up's music publishing subsidiaries in exchange for using the label's
lesser-known bands as openers as Creed toured at the height of its
popularity in the early 2000s. Wind Up sold those publishing assets for
$32.5 million in 2007.
But Wind Up and Meltzer's estate — he died in 2011 — had said that the alleged oral agreement was never finalized.
Attorneys involved in the case said they were pleased with the
settlement or didn't immediately respond to requests for comment
Tremonti and Creed vocalist Scott Stapp both sued over the alleged oral deal in 2011, but Stapp settled his case in December. Terms of Stapp's settlement were not disclosed.
In opening arguments before the six-member jury earlier Tuesday, Tremonti's attorney, David S. Brafman of Akerman Senterfitt LLP,
said Wind Up had signed Creed in 1997, taking its debut album "My Own
Prison" platinum and selling more than 11 million records of its
sophomore album, "Human Clay," since it was released in 1999.
In 2001, Brafman said Meltzer flew to Florida and asked them to help
promote Wind Up's other acts, none of whom neared the success of Creed,
by using them as opening bands on the tour for their third album. In
exchange, Meltzer agreed to give Stapp and Tremonti each a 24.5 percent
stake in some of Wind Up's music publishing subsidiaries. The existence
of that handshake agreement was mentioned in an email about the tour
several months later, Brafman said, yet Wind Up never gave Tremonti what
it had promised after it sold those subsidiaries in 2007.
"They shook hands on it, and Mr. Tremonti fulfilled his end of the bargain. They have not," Brafman said.
But Andrew T. Solomon of Sullivan & Worcester LLP,
who represents Meltzer's estate, told the jurors that Tremonti had
waited years after the alleged agreement and the sale to sue because
there never was any such agreement.
He pointed to numerous other publishing and recording contracts that the
label signed with the band members, including some that contained "no
oral modification" clauses. And while a draft proposal existed for the
alleged oral agreement that was dated five days after the email Brafman
had pointed to, no final agreement was ever reached.
"Mr. Meltzer never intended … to give a gift to Mr. Tremonti of $7.5 million," Solomon told the jurors.