Cheap Trick Sues Former Drummer

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 4, 2013 7:00PM

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Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander and Tom Petterson of the band Cheap Trick perform on stage during the 35th Anniversary of Cheap Trick at Budokan at the John Varvatos Bowery NYC store on April 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for John Varvatos)

There’s a point where music and commerce overlap and icons Cheap Trick have passed that intersection. The pride and joy of Rockford, Illinois are embroiled in a battle with founding member Bun E. Carlos and have filed suit in Delaware against the drummer, asking a judge to confirm he is no longer a sitting member of Cheap Trick Unlimited, the corporation established to handle the band’s business affairs.

Carlos (real name Brad Carlson) hasn’t toured with the band since 2010 but claims he and former manager David Frey have been screwed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation under the corporation contract and other agreements. Carlson’s former bandmates, Robin Zander, Tom Peterson and Rick Nielsen, contend that they “were (and are) free to decide that the defendant is no longer a member of the band.”

The other three members of Cheap Trick amended the bylaws of their corporation contracts granting equal shares of merchandise and tour revenue and ousted Carlson from the band. Carlson and Frey promptly filed a lawsuit in Chicago. Cheap Trick’s attorneys told Bloomberg News, “While the dispute at issue in the Illinois Federal Action overlaps with the dispute at issue in this action, a prompt resolution of the corporate governance dispute is needed and the Illinois Federal Court is not in a position to provide that expedited relief.”