Thursday, October 14, 2010

Irving Azoff Responds to Axl Rose Legal Claim

Earlier this year, we reported on Axl Rose's bombshell claims against Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff. Now comes the response.

Azoff, as head of Front Line Management, which once represented Guns N' Roses, is suing Rose claiming the rocker violated an oral agreement to pay 15% of earnings, or nearly $2 million, from a lucrative concert tour.

Rose responded by filing a countersuit that claimed Azoff had gained enormous power in the music industry by involving himself in the "trifecta" of artist management, concert and touring promotion. Rose contended that Azoff had insufficiently promoted his Chinese Democracy album, lied about tour dates, and was trying to bully Rose into a full Guns N' Roses reunion.

At the time, Azoff's lawyer, Howard King, was incredulous. He quipped, "Rose didn't accuse Irving of being on the grassy knoll in Dallas on November 22, 1963?"

Alas, the countersuit is stil on the docket, and earlier this month Azoff filed an official answer to Rose's charges.

Azoff offers up 14 affirmative defenses to Rose's claims he breached fiduciary duty, committed constructive fraud and breached a contract.

Among them: the claims are barred by statute of limitations; there was a waiver; There was an accord and satisfaction; that Rose consented to Azoff's actions; that Rose failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate the damage; and that any harm that came to Rose was due to the singer's own negligence, fraud or misconduct.

No word yet on the timing of a jury trial, but given the personalities involved, this could be a barn-burner.


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