Fresh off their latest tour, the Violent Femmes are headed for a surprise gig in federal court. Bassist Brian Ritchie sued lead vocalist Gordon Gano yesterday (Aug. 15), saying he was deprived of credit for some of the group’s songs and a proper accounting of its earnings.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, also accuses Gano of trashing the band’s reputation by allowing its signature hit, "Blister in the Sun," to be used in a Wendy’s commercial.
Gano, reached by telephone at his Manhattan home, called the lawsuit "a complete surprise" — especially since the band still regularly performs and just returned from a tour in South Africa.
"We just played a really, really good tour," he said. "Since the early ’80s, everything’s really good. We’re playing better than ever."
In the suit, Ritchie claims he founded the band in 1980, taking on drummer Victor DeLorenzo that year and Gano in 1981.