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May 4th, 2004
Former Guns N' Roses Members Fight for Control of Songs
Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses ruled rock in the '80s with hits like "Sweet Child of Mine" and "Paradise City." The original band members parted ways in 1995, but now, former band mates Slash, whose real name is Saul Hudson, and Duff McKagan are suing Rose, claiming he ripped them off to the tune of at least a million dollars.

Duff and Slash now have a new band called Velvet Revolver, and are about to go on tour. But they're bound to have some things on their mind -- mainly the lawsuit against their former front man which pertains to who controls the rights to old Guns N' Roses hits.

In the suit, Duff and Slash claim Rose doesn't have any controlling interest in the songs, but they say he killed deals that would have put their tunes in a half dozen movies, including "Just Married," "We Were Soldiers," "Death to Smoochie" and "Old School."

And you won't hear the band's huge hit, "Welcome to the Jungle" in the movie "Blackhawk Down," because, according to the lawsuit, Axl wouldn't let the producers use it. Instead, he wanted to re-record it, thereby allegedly cheating his ex-band mates out of the licensing fee.

David Powell runs "The Music Bridge," a company that deals with music rights for movies. According to Powell, "Licensing is very important for any band or any artist that gets out there in popular culture."

In Powell's business, when the movies come calling, most bands seem eager to participate, since, "There are many income streams that can be generated from the songs, as well as the master recordings, for years and sometimes generations to come."

Source(s): http://celebrityjustice.warnerbros.com  
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