Axl Fights Back

Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose filed a lawsuit against guitarist Saul “Slash” Hudson March 3rd seeking a federal court’s confirmation of Rose’s “ownership of his own creative works,” a statement from Rose’s management said.

The claim is in response to an earlier suit filed by Hudson and former GNR bassist Michael “Duff” McKagan, which alleges Rose named himself the sole administrator of the band’s copyrights. It accuses the singer of profiting from their revenue shares to the tune of $500,000 a year.

Rose’s attorney, Howard Weitzman, said the singer asked to receive only his portion of royalties, and that the overpayment was due to a clerical error by ASCAP. He said Rose returned extra funds to the organization.

“It would have been Axl’s preference to resolve the disputes with Slash and Duff in private,” Weitzman said. “However, Axl could no longer sit quietly and allow the continuing dissemination of falsehoods and half-truths by his former bandmates.”

Hudson and McKagan, who now play in Velvet Revolver, filed suit against Rose in 2004 alleging the singer wrongly claimed ownership of the group’s assets after he quit the band in 1995. It also claimed that Rose has blocked the two from licensing the band’s recordings to movie producers.

Rose’s statement claims that Hudson and McKagan’s suit attacks Rose’s integrity “in a vindictive attempt to aggrandize their own stature, rewrite history through false statements, which have been repeated by the media.” The singer says he has worked diligently to maintain the artistic integrity of GNR by not licensing the band’s songs to potentially embarrassing projects.

“For over 10 years, Slash, a consummate press, photo and media opportunist and manipulator, has attacked Axl Rose on a number of levels,” the Sanctuary Group-released statement said.

Weitzman said that contrary to the lawsuit, Rose has never denied that other members made substantial contributions toward the band, but added, “there is little doubt as to who was the creative catalyst behind the group’s success.”