Former Bassist Adam Duce Sues Machine Head for Infringement, Defamation + More
On Feb. 11, 2013, Machine Head fired bassist Adam Duce after over 20 years of playing music together. Very little has been heard from Duce since, but news just broke that the former Machine Head bassist is suing the band, all three current members and the group’s manager for alleged trademark infringement, breach of partnership agreement, defamation + more.
In a statement issued by Robb Flynn shortly after Duce’s departure was publicly revealed, the Machine Head frontman claimed that Duce had mentally checked out long ago. “We may have fired Adam on 2-11-13, but Adam quit Machine Head well over a decade ago,” Flynn wrote. “He just never bothered to tell anyone… but we all knew it.”
Following Flynn’s words, no retort was made by Duce, but the details of the bassist’s current lawsuit offers his side of the story. Duce’s complaint reads that although all four Machine Head members split revenue equally, Flynn received a larger portion of the band’s proceeds at the expense of his bandmates.
“Despite their increase in popularity and touring revenue, plaintiff became concerned with how little income he was receiving, despite the time and hard work put in to developing the Band,” says Duce’s complaint. “After receiving very little compensation despite the millions the band was bringing in, plaintiff requested and reviewed the records from the tours. Plaintiff found that [Joseph] Huston [Machine Head's manager], Flynn, and PFM [Provident Financial Management] had squandered money throughout the trip without consulting plaintiff for the vast majority of ‘expenses.’”
The complaint continues, “Flynn, Huston, and the rest of the Band ‘fired’ plaintiff – expelling him from the band after he put 21 years of his life into it.” The defamation part of Duce’s lawsuit stems from Flynn’s above quote and the rest of his statement, which Duce says directly attacked his work ethic.
As a longtime member of Machine Head, Duce claims that he still holds interest in the band’s partnership and company, but has not received any distributions from either. Additionally, Duce claims that no agreement was made about his future royalties and profits since departing from Machine Head. According to Court House News, Duce “seeks damages and punitive damages for trademark infringement, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of partnership agreement, intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic relations, negligence, defamation and unfair competition, and he and wants the band enjoined from using the Machine Head marks.”
Stay tuned as news continues to break about Adam Duce’s lawsuit against Machine Head.