Judge Won't Bar Use Of Doors Name
A judge tentatively declined Monday to issue a temporary restraining order barring the Doors members Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger from using the band's name on their concert tour, but withheld a finA judge tentatively declined Monday to issue a temporary restraining order barring the Doors members Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger from using the band's name on their concert tour, but withheld a final ruling in the case. California Superior Court Judge Gregory W. Alarcon heard legal arguments but gave no indication as to when he would make a final ruling on the petition filed by the Doors' drummer, John Densmore.
Densmore sued Manzarek and Krieger in February for breach of contract for touring without him under the name "The Doors 21st Century." The lawsuit sought a court order prohibiting keyboardist Manzarek and guitarist Krieger from calling themselves the Doors when they perform without Densmore, and requested that Densmore be paid a share of profits from any shows that have already taken place without him.
Densmore's suit claimed that after lead singer Jim Morrison died in 1971, the three remaining members agreed they would split any future profits from the Doors music equally and that the band's name would not be used unless all three of them were involved.
Densmore's attorney, S. Jerome Mandel, argued Monday that the additional label "21st Century" was of no use since it did not appear anywhere in advertising for the current tour by Manzarek, Krieger, and singer Ian Astbury of the Cult. Mandel told the court that there is no evidence Manzarek and Krieger will suffer damages if the name of the tour is changed. He said his client is not interested in stopping the tour.
"These concerts are already sold out. There is no evidence that if the name is changed, concerts will be canceled," Mandel said. He said Densmore wanted the tour to be called something like Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger, formerly of the Doors.
But John H. Lavely, the attorney for Manzarek and Krieger, told the court that an injunction at this stage would do irreparable harm. "Concerts will be canceled, reputations will be hurt, jobs will be lost," Lavely said, estimating that a name change would cost his clients about $3 million. Lavely argued that the tour is leading to radio play for the Doors' music, sparking record sales that benefit Densmore as well as his clients.
The tour, which began in March and is scheduled to resume next week in Tampa, Fla., has sparked two other lawsuits. Morrison's parents have filed a trademark infringement suit against Manzarek and Krieger. In addition, former Police drummer Stewart Copeland has filed a $1 million breach of oral contract lawsuit claiming Manzarek and Krieger reneged on a promise to use him during their tour and on an upcoming album.
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