Members of the Seattle-based progressive rock band QUEENSRŸCHE have slammed their former lead singer, Geoff Tate, for comparing his alleged assault of his ex-bandmates in Brazil to an incident involving bassist Eddie Jackson that occurred 24 years ago.
Tate, who was fired from QUEENSRŸCHE in June after fronting the group for three decades, recently sought to prevent his former bandmates from touring and operating under the QUEENSRŸCHE name without him.
On September 2, Tate announced that he was launching his own version of QUEENSRŸCHE with RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer, former QUIET RIOT, OZZY OSBOURNE and WHITESNAKE bassist Rudy Sarzo and former MEGADETH and KING DIAMOND guitarist Glen Drover.
In a motion for partial summary judgment filed September 21 in Washington state’s King County Superior Court, guitarist Michael Wilton, drummer Scott Rockenfield and bassist Eddie Jackson asked that the court declare that Tate “has no right to the QUEENSRŸCHE band name, marks and media assets since he has no grant of authority from the Tri-Ryche Corporation [which controls all QUEENSRŸCHE name and trademark rights. — Ed.] that owns them, unless and until he is able to succeed on his claims to dissolve the QUEENSRŸCHE corporations, and to enter a permanent injunction to the same.”
In a response in opposition to defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment filed October 8, Tate and his wife, Susan, QUEENSRŸCHE’s former manager, wrote: “During the METALICA tour [in 1988], Eddie Jackson came onto the tour bus where Geoff Tate was sitting and, unprovoked, preceded to ‘Kung Fu’ kick Geoff in the face. As Geoff recounts, ‘It was a brutal blow that caught me completely off guard. Two other witnesses, Messrs. Beyer and Rafeal, both of whom provided declarations, corroborate Geoff Tate’s memory of this incident.”
In their reply on motion for partial summary judgment filed on October 12, Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson write, in part, “It is undisputed that on April 14, 2012, Plaintiff Geoff Tate assaulted Defendants Scott Rockenfield and Michael Wilton backstage just before a performance at Sao Paulo, Brazil. In their response in opposition to this Motion, Plaintiffs are now trying to create an issue of fact around this assault. This contention is untenable, however, as Plaintiffs already conceded the opposite in their own briefing when discussing the Brazil incident: ‘But Geoff admitted at the outset that he hit Rockenfield and Wilton…’
“Although the fact of the assault is undisputed, it is true that the intensity of that assault has been more fully admitted by Mr. Tate as these proceedings have progressed, starting with ‘attempts to hit’ and ‘shoves’ and eventually progressing to ‘hitting’ and ‘slapping.’ However, Mr. Tate deciding to be more truthful as time has gone on does not create a dispute of fact precluding Summary Judgment. Furthermore, the fact of the assault was documented by several members of the QUEENSRŸCHE crew, as originally submitted in Defendants’ response to the Motion for Preliminary Injunction. The fact that Mr. Tate assaulted two of his fellow shareholder/director Bandmates on stage, right before a performance, is beyond dispute. Plaintiffs also equivocate on Mr. Tate’s vicious and recent workplace assault on Defendants with an incident involving Eddie Jackson from 24 years ago. Not only is the comparison of a 24-year-old incident to one of a few months ago preposterous on its face, but Mr. Tate states in his own declaration that Mr. Jackson took responsibility, apologized the next day, and Mr. Tate accepted. With this incident, Plaintiffs make the illogical argument that since Mr. Tate was assaulted two dozen years ago, he then had free rein to commit an assault of his own with no fear of being replaced. Simply because the rest of the band did not replace Eddie Jackson 24 years ago, they are not precluded from replacing Geoff Tate now.”