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Bob Seger sued by Silver Bullet band bassist

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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An original Silver Bullet Band member is taking aim at Bob Seger and his manager in a lawsuit.

Bassist Chris Campbell and his wife Courtney, under their corporate name Crisco Inc., are suing in Oakland County Circuit Court for five counts of breach of contract -- three related to Seger tours with his Silver Bullet Band in 2014, 2017 and 2018-19, and two counts for alleged unpaid recording royalties.

The defendants listed are Rock Storm Ltd., a Birmingham-based partnership between Seger and manager Edward "Punch" Andrews that handles Seger's touring business, including souvenir sales, and Hideout Records & Distributors Inc., and Gear Publishing Company, also based in Birmingham, which manages Seger's recordings.

The suit also alleges that Crisco was, along with Rock Storm and Hideout, embezzled by former financial manager Frank Copeland. The theft was discovered during late 2018, according to the filing, and Crisco charges that "Andrews and Seger...withheld and purported to recoup funds from Crisco to compensate themselves and their entities for the money that Copeland had taken from them," to the tune of more than $800,000, "despite having no contractual right to do so."

For all five counts, the Campbells are seeking unspecified damages "including, but not limited to, payment of the additional amount owed to Crisco" under contracts. The suit says the Campbells have been requesting information and documentation since November of 2020 "in an effort to resolve this dispute without litigation" but that the Seger camp has "repeatedly refused to provide Campbell and Crisco with information and records" save for one financial summary from the most recent tour.

In a statement, Seger's camp said that, "Bob Seger and Punch Andrews have loyally supported our friend for 45 plus years. On advice from counsel we are unable to comment on the complaintt at this time. We will respond to the complaint in the normal course through the judicial process."

Campbell, who now resides in Florida, has been working with Seger since the early 70s and first recorded with him for 1974's "Seven" album. The Silver Bullet Band was christened that same year, and Campbell has remained with the band ever since, through the Nov. 1, 2019 conclusion of Seger's farewell tour, in Philadelphia.

In the suit the Campbells claim that both Rock Storm and Hideout have not paid Crisco everything it is owed and claimed some recoupable expenses that were not part of the contracts. For the 2018-19 tour, in fact, the suit maintains that no contract was ever signed, though Campbell was paid in part for his performances.

The suit claims that Andrews -- who maintains a determinedly low profile -- "has a historical practice of failing to document agreements" and that "some members of the Band and employees of Andrews understood that Andrews misstated Rock Storms tour income" and that the manager "keeps a second set of books for financial issues related to the band." It adds that "Andrews often used strong-arm tactics" to force the bassist to sign contracts "that contained terms that were favorable to Rock Storm and detrimental to Crisco or Campbell.

The suit also requests a jury trail. The case has been assigned to Judge Martha D. Anderson and is now awaiting a response from attorneys for Seger and his camp.

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