Rose And Azoff Start To Rock

The litigation involving Axl Rose and Irving Azoff has gotten off to a rocky start, with the judge suggesting a referee may be necessary.

A recent deposition of Azoff was suspended when tempers flared, according to Rose’s attorney, Sasha Frid.

Azoff got so upset that he threw a copy of the Wall Street Journal at Frid, the attorney told the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rita Miller blamed attorneys on both sides for the problems.

“It sounds like you guys are going to be in a knockdown, dragged out war,” Miller reportedly said. “If both sides take extreme positions, it ends up costing both sides a ton of money.”

Miller says, unless the two sides start playing nice, she will appoint a referee that is supported by Azoff’s legal team and opposed by Rose’s, according to the paper.

Front Line Management sued Rose and Guns N’ Roses in March, claiming unpaid commission of more than $1.8 million. Rose countered with a suit claiming Front Line and Azoff didn’t properly promote Chinese Democracy and lied about a prospective tour with Van Halen.

Azoff’s attorney, Steve Rothschild, denied that his client threw a WSJ at opposing counsel, but agrees he suspended the deposition after Frid began asking questions about Azoff’s role as chairman of Live Nation Entertainment. Rothschild said the questions were irrelevant and designed to harass his client.

Rothschild told the paper the final straw was when Frid gave a copy of the Journal to Azoff and asked him about his stature in the music industry. Frid said the inquiries were an attempt to see if Azoff has any conflicts between promoting tours and managing artists.

The trial is set for April 2011.