Legal fight brews over im­por­tant grunge tapes

The China Post - - LIFE -

The co-founder of a famed Seat­tle record­ing stu­dio is be­ing sued to turn over the mas­ter record­ing tapes from a defin­ing al­bum of the grunge era — “Tem­ple of the Dog,” which fea­tured mem­bers of Pearl Jam and Soundgar­den.

A&M Records filed the law­suit in U.S. Dis­trict Court last week, The Seat­tle Times re­ported. The com­pany said it bought the al­bum from the su­per­group in 1991, but Ra­jan Parashar, who launched Lon­don Bridge Stu­dios with his brother, won’t give up the mas­ter tapes.

The band Tem­ple of the Dog was founded in 1990 by Sound- gar­den front­man Chris Cor­nell, who was joined by fu­ture mem­bers of Pearl Jam, in­clud­ing Ed­die Ved­der, who had just moved to Seat­tle. The al­bum was recorded in just 15 days, af­ter Cor­nell wrote sev­eral songs as a trib­ute to Mother Love Bone singer An­drew Wood fol­low­ing his fa­tal heroin over­dose.

In the law­suit, A&M said that un­til 2013 it be­lieved the mu­si­cians had the mas­ter tapes. But a rep­re­sen­ta­tive re­layed that they were in the pos­ses­sion of the Parashars — some­thing Ra­jan Parashar’s lawyer con­firmed on Fri­day.

“He’s had them all along,” at­tor­ney War­ren Rheaume said. “They’re his.”

Parashar’s brother, Rick, died last Au­gust.

Ac­cord­ing to the law­suit, Rick Parashar ini­tially pro­duced “Tem­ple of the Dog” on a ver­bal agree­ment with the band. Af­ter the al­bum’s suc­cess, the law­suit said, they memo­ri­al­ized the deal in a con­tract signed in 1993, in which Rick Parashar agreed to turn over the mas­ter tapes and all rights to them for US$35,000.

The al­bum was re­leased by A&M Records in 1991 to crit­i­cal ac­claim, but failed to chart. That changed the fol­low­ing year, when A&M re­al­ized it was sit­ting on a col­lab­o­ra­tion of two of its most popular acts. The al­bum was reis­sued with a video of the sin­gle “Hunger Strike” and peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. Bill­board 200.

Ra­jan Parashar was not part of any agree­ment be­tween his brother and A&M, Rheaume said.

The Parashar broth­ers built the stu­dio in 1985, and it be­came a vor­tex of the Seat­tle grunge record­ing scene. Rick Parashar’s cred­its in­clude mul­ti­plat­inum re­leases for Tem­ple of the Dog, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Blind Melon and Di­nosaur Jr.

The law­suit de­mands that Parashar turn the tapes over im­me­di­ately. It also asks for dam­ages and legal fees.

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