Violent Femmes Bassist Brian Ritchie sued lead vocalist Gordon Gano (above) on Wednesday, saying he was deprived of credit for some of the group's songs and a proper accounting of its earnings.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in, also accuses Gano of trashing the band's reputation by allowing its signature hit, "Blister in the Sun," to be used in a Wendy's commercial.
Gano, reached by telephone at his Manhattan home, called the lawsuit "a complete surprise" — especially since the band still regularly performs and just returned from a tour in South Africa.
"This action is the unfortunate culmination of an ongoing intra-band dispute between Ritchie and Gano over Gano's misappropriation and misadministration of Ritchie's interests in the jointly owned songs and assets of the band, misappropriation of assets solely owned by Ritchie, improper accounting and nonpayment of royalties," the lawsuit said.
The Wendy's deal was a buzz-kill for the band's fan base, the suit says, causing one fan to comment in an online blog that after hearing "Blister in the Sun" in a commercial, "My ears perked up. Then my jaw dropped. Then my heart sank."
If there's any consolation for Ritchie, he should know the earlier version of the Wendy's spot featuring the Dead Kennedys' "Holiday In Cambodia" has done nothing to besmirch that band's reputation.