Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos is suing his bandmates, saying -- although he's technically still part of the band -- he's being cut out from touring and other band activities, according to Ultimate ClassicRock.com.
The band is also being sued by former manager David Frey over money, but that isn't as interesting, so we'll maybe talk about that at the end.
Carlos, a founding member of the Illinois rock group that broke big in the late 1970s, was still a full member in all band activities until March 2010, when the band released a statement announcing that he "is not currently the touring drummer for Cheap Trick. Bun E. remains a band member. Everyone is healthy and Cheap Trick will continue to tour as planned."
While it sounded like Carlos' absence was only temporary, he remained in exile during subsequent tours and occasional trips to the studio. In a 2012, Carlos said, "I'm still in the band, but I don't tour, I don't hear from them. I prefer to be out on the road performing with them. Maybe we'll kiss and make up."
According to the lawsuit, "Carlos is no longer required to participate in live performances by the band, but remains a full member of the band." The drummer accuses other band members of failing to live up to the agreement by, among other things, "refusing to allow Carlos to participate in any of the activities of the band (including the recording of a new studio album), entering into numerous contracts on behalf of the Cheap Trick Companies without Carlos's consent and otherwise preventing Carlos from participating in the management and operations of the Cheap Trick Companies."
The website reported Frey was apparently fired in July of 2012 and says the firing is "null and void" because his contract required a unanimous vote, and since Carlos didn't vote, it doesn't count. Frey said the band also hasn't paid the balance on the $350,000 he fronted it to cover medical expenses following the stage collapse at its 2011 Ottawa Bluesfest appearance.
Cheap Trick hasn't responded to the suit, which according to UltimateClassicRock.com seeks "an accounting and punitive damages for breach of contract, trademark infringement, false designation of origin, false advertising, unfair competition and breach of fiduciary duty."