• Title: Violent Femmes’ Ritchie sues Gano over Wendy’s flap
  • Author: Andy Tarnoff
  • Publication: www.onmilwaukee.com
  • Date: Aug. 16, 2007 at 9:46 a.m

In March, Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie wrote to us, telling us he, too, was a disappointed as fans with lead singer Gordon Gano’s decision to sell “Blister in the Sun” to Wendy’s.

Now, Ritchie, a Milwaukee native, is taking it one step further, suing Gano, claiming he was deprived credit for some of the group’s songs.

Here’s the story from the Associated Press:

The suit seeks a ruling declaring Ritchie half owner of the band’s songs and an accounting of past and future royalties. “This action is the unfortunate culmination of an ongoing intra-band dispute between Ritchie and Gano over Gano’s misappropriation and mis-administration of Ritchie’s interests in the jointly owned songs and assets of the band,” the lawsuit said.

Ritchie’s apparently also irked by the band’s recent decision to sell licensing rights to its iconic song “Blister in the Sun” to Wendy’s for use in a commercial.

Gano, reached by the AP, 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.” Gano says he wrote the band’s songs with one or two exceptions.

In March, Ritchie told OnMilwaukee.com, “It’s a common misconception that ‘we’ sold out and ‘we’ are doing idiotic things when it’s really Gordon exclusively.

“The sad thing is he makes almost all the money on these things but ‘we’ share the blame and humiliation equally. Which sucks.”

The blog I wrote on the subject is quoted in the 28-page complaint filed in New York in Tuesday. You can read the entire complaint below.

Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee.com for updates to the suit.