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Alan Parsons sues former business partner over Project shows

By | Published on Wednesday 29 January 2020

Alan Parsons

Musician and producer Alan Parsons is suing a former business partner for organising shows that use variations of his former band name The Alan Parsons Project.

Also known for his studio work with The Beatles and Pink Floyd, Parsons used the Project moniker for his partnership with the late Eric Woolfson. They released records together throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

In more recent times Parsons worked on a solo basis with the American company World Entertainment Associates Of America, and its boss John Regna, on various projects between 2009 and 2018. But Parsons ultimately ended that partnership, in part, he now says, because of “Regna’s erratic and intolerable behaviour”.

In a lawsuit filed in Florida last week, Parsons says that – after they stopped working together – Regna put together a live show featuring session musicians who worked with the Alan Parsons Project back in the day and then started promoting that show using his name. There has only been one performance to date, but – Parsons says – dozens more are planned.

On the WEAA website the offending show is currently billed as “The Project, the original voice, original musicians of The Alan Parsons Project & Friends”.

In his lawsuit, Parsons says that Regna has variously promoted the venture as “The Original Alan Parsons Project Band”, “The Alan Parsons Project Band”, “Alan Parsons Project Original Musicians”, “Alan Parsons Project Musicians”, “The Voice Of The Alan Parsons Project” and “The Original Members Of The Alan Parsons Project”.

All of these variations are misleading, Parsons argues, because the only “members” of the Alan Parsons Project were him and Woolfson, neither of whom are involved – Woolfson having died in 2009.

Of the musicians who Regna has recruited for his Project project, says Parsons, “some … never appeared on any of the ten The Alan Parsons Project albums, [while others] appeared on only one or a few, or appeared on only a few tracks on various albums”. Also, “none of them appeared on the first album” so “they are manifestly not the ‘original’ musicians of or with The Alan Parsons Project or ‘the men who made the records'”.

For good measure, the lawsuit goes on: “Nor have any of these work-for-hire musicians ever performed in concert as ‘members’ of The Alan Parsons Project, or been named in any recording or concert contracts to which the Alan Parsons Project was a party”.

Parsons argues that by pursuing this project Regna is infringing his trademarks, breaching past contracts and participating in unfair competition in a way that has “caused and is causing Parsons many millions of dollars in actual damages”. And to that end he’d like his former business partner to bloody well stop. And to pay some lovely damages. Lots of lovely damages.