Back in January of 2020, Alan Parsons sued his former live-performance manager for breach of contract, trademark infringement, and more. Now, a jury has awarded The Alan Parsons Project co-founder nearly $5 million in damages.
U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton Jr. just recently entered the $4.95 million final judgement against the case’s defendants, manager John Regna and his World Entertainment Associates of America (WEAA) business.
In brief, regarding the action’s details, the 13-time Grammy nominee (and one-time winner) Alan Parsons stated in the original complaint that he, via his “loan-out company,” had entered into a “partly written, partly oral, and partly implied” contract with Regna in 2009.
Regna had “aggressively sought to persuade” Parsons to approve “a broad and all-encompassing contractual relationship,” per the suit, under which he and his company “would control virtually every aspect of Parsons’ professional and musical endeavors.” But the filing individual “resisted these entreaties” and limited the pact’s scope “to live performances and appearances.”
The agreement was terminable (by Parsons’ company) “at will” and covered “the booking of live performances and appearances, the receipt, handling, safekeeping, and proper accounting of monies earned,” and more, the veteran producer and engineer said.
“Regna and WEAA specifically promised that their loyalty to the brand they were helping to grow and maintain would survive the termination of their business relationship,” 73-year-old Parsons communicated. “These promises necessarily contemplated that, even after the relationship terminated, Regna and WEAA would not do anything to diminish or damage the brand that they were generously compensated for helping to grow, maintain, and protect.”
And the particular company policy of WEAA purportedly relayed: “‘Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson were the sole members of the Alan Parsons Project. By virtue of that, there cannot be any ex-members of the Alan Parsons Project other than Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson… [A]ll work-for-hire musicians and singers are prohibited from saying that they are an ex-member of the Alan Parsons Project (a recording franchise), or the Alan Parsons Live Project (a touring and recording franchise).’”
Driving the point home, the “Games People Play” artist Parsons indicated that Regna had told third parties during their partnership: “‘There were two, and only two, members of the Alan Parsons Project.’”
But after Parsons in early April of 2018 terminated the arrangement with Regna and WEAA following “long and careful deliberation and for many good reasons,” these defendants “promptly commenced a scheme to destroy the value of the” trademarks in question, according to the action.
On this front, Regna and WEAA were said to have “solicited various session musicians…who had performed as workers for hire decades ago on recordings by The Alan Parsons Project to embark on a worldwide live concert tour under the false and misleading name ‘The Original Alan Parsons Project Band.’”
Needless to say, the “unlawful scheme” didn’t sit well with Parsons, who, owing to post-termination venue “holds” for unauthorized shows, was allegedly forced to choose between playing gigs that he hadn’t arranged, harming his reputation by declining to do so, or allowing the bogus band to perform.
Additionally, it was alleged that Regna had failed to take down a much-viewed video of a Parsons performance from his YouTube channel, turn over several contested domain names, and pay $35,000 for a concert delivered to On The Blue Cruise passengers.
At the time of writing, Parsons – who’s preparing to kick off a European concert series next month – didn’t appear to have publicly addressed the $4.95 million judgement in his favor. Last year, multiple courtroom confrontations between artists and their (former) managers entered the media spotlight.