According to Christa Titus from Billboard, a Washington state judge ruled October 19 that singer Geoff Tate – who was fired from the band QUEENSRŸCHE after fronting it for 30 years – may perform with his own version of the group until a lawsuit he filed against three former bandmates is settled.
Superior Court Judge Carol A. Schapira denied a motion for partial summary judgment that guitarist Michael Wilton, drummer Scott Rockenfield and bassist Eddie Jackson requested Sept. 21 to stop Tate from using the Queensrÿche name and associated imagery as the case proceeds to trial. The trio filed the request because Tate had announced his own Queensrÿche lineup online on Sept. 1-2. According to a statement to Billboard from Jackson, the announcement “of a second Queensrÿche lineup, upcoming tour plans and new musical direction has caused some confusion for our fans.”
Tate originally sought a preliminary injunction to prevent his former bandmates from working under the name Queensrÿche when he and former band manager Susan Tate (Geoff’s wife) filed the suit on June 22 in King Country Superior Court. Schapira denied their request on July 13, but noted in her remarks that, since enough information wasn’t available for her to make a determination, Geoff Tate was not forbidden from using the name, either.
Billboard asked Tate’s representative, Jeff Albright of Albright Entertainment Group, if Tate wished to comment on the ruling, but did not receive any comment by press time.
“Queensrÿche is disappointed in the denial of the motion to prevent our former vocalist from using our name, but we respect the court’s decision to do so. That said, we apologize for any confusion to our fans that a second entity sharing our name may cause,” the band said in a statement to Billboard. “We look forward to seeing all of you on the road and bringing you new Queensrÿche music in the near future. Thank you all for your continued support, and for now we will just have to let the rocking do the talking.”
The Tates claim the defendants illegally fired Geoff from the band because of “blind greed,” and that their attempt to move forward as Queensrÿche without him will harm the band’s brand. They seek compensation that includes Geoff Tate being awarded the rights to the band’s name. Queensrÿche, which filed a countersuit against the Tates, accused Geoff of creative obstruction and violent behavior, and Susan Tate of questionable business practices.
Read more at Billboard.