Ex-Ramones Drummer Sues Over Royalties
A drummer who spent four years in one of the greatest punk bands of all time, The Ramones, filed a federal lawsuit today (Sept. 21) claiming he is owed nearly $1 million in royalties on songs sold over the Internet.
Richard “Richie Ramone” Reinhardt, who performed with the Ramones between 1983 and 1987, sued Wal-Mart, Apple, RealNetworks, the band’s management and the estate of late guitarist Johnny Ramone, claiming he had never fully signed over the rights to the six songs he wrote for the group.
The tunes are “Smash You,” “Somebody Put Something in My Drink,” “Human Kind,” “I’m Not Jesus,” “I Know Better Now” and “(You) Can’t Say Something Nice.”
Specifically, Reinhardt said there was never any written deal authorizing the sale of those songs digitally. He said he is owed at least $900,000 in royalties, and asked the court to issue an injunction preventing further use of his compositions without permission.
A spokesman for Wal-Mart declined to comment. Officials at Apple and RealNetworks did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the lawsuit. Ira Herzog, a longtime business affairs representative for the Ramones, did not immediately return a phone message.