POISON Responds To Song Theft Allegations

October 27, 2011

A lawyer for 1980s hair-metal band POISON has released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter slamming as "baseless" a new lawsuit that claims several hit songs on the group's debut album, "Look What The Cat Dragged In", were stolen a quarter century ago from another band.

POISON was sued last week by Billy McCarthy and James Stonich, who were members of a Chicago band known as KID ROCKER, for allegedly stealing four of KID ROCKER's songs. The plaintiffs claim that guitarist C.C. DeVille auditioned for KID ROCKER in 1984 prior to joining POISON and was allegedly shown completed and formatted songs and was lent master-recorded studio tapes.

KID ROCKER disbanded that year, but McCarthy purportedly presented songs including "Hit And Run" and "Wham Bam Slammin' Romance" for DeVille's use as a member of another group, SCREAMIN' MIMIS. DeVille later joined POISON and proceeded, along with his bandmates, to incorporate KID ROCKER's songs in POISON's own work, including the tracks "Talk Dirty To Me", "I Won't Forget You", "Fallen Angel" and "Ride The Wind".

POISON's debut album, "Look What The Cat Dragged In" which contains the above-mentioned songs sold approximately 4 million copies.

In the lawsuit, which was filed on October 19 in Illinois federal court, the plaintiffs are demanding disgorgement of all profits from the songs in question, statutory damages for willful infringement, and an injunction that prevents POISON and singer Bret Michaels from performing this allegedly stolen material.

Mark D. Passin, attorney for the members of the group POISON, tells The Hollywood Reporter the claims have absolutely no merit.

"POISON will vigorously defend against the baseless accusations alleged in the complaint," he says. "Obviously, if the POISON songs that are the subject of the complaint infringed any songs written by Plaintiffs McCarthy and Stonich they would have filed their lawsuit over 20 years ago when POISON released the albums on which the songs are embodied. It is unfortunate that success in the entertainment business often invites unmeritorious lawsuits."

Acclaimed '80s Swedish glam-rock band EASY ACTION, which featured in its ranks future EUROPE guitarist Kee Marcello, reportedly took POISON to court for allegedly "stealing" the chorus to the EASY ACTION song "We Go Rocking" for the POISON U.S. smash-hit "I Want Action" and was said to have been awarded a financial settlement in the case.

Read more from The Hollywood Reporter.

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