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Black Flag's Greg Ginn Sues Ex-Bandmates Over Name

Co-founder goes after touring version of band

August 5, 2013 10:55 AM ET
Henry Rollins black flag
Henry Rollins
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Black Flag co-founder and guitarist Greg Ginn is suing his former bandmates over their use of the groups's name and iconic logo in their touring version of the band. Two versions of Black Flag have been on the road this year: one fronted by Ginn called Black Flag; and another with Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson called Flag.

Ginn claims he and his label, SST Records, exclusively hold the rights to the Black Flag name (as well as Flag) and logo, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Flag have been using a logo similar to Black Flag's on the road and have focused on touring efforts while Ginn's Black Flag have been working on a new album alongside touring.

500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Black Flag, 'Damaged'

Ginn wants an injunction against Flag's tour, which kicked off in May and is scheduled to wrap up at the Fun Fun Fun Fest on November 8th in Austin, Texas. The suit alleges that Flag's name and logo are "a colorable imitation" that is "likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception among consumers."

Henry Rollins has also been named as a defendant in the lawsuit; the former Black Flag frontman and Morris filed an application to trademark the Black Flag name in September 2012. Ginn claimed the pair misled the Trademark Office by using album covers to pretend they've continuously used the Black Flag name since 1979. Ginn even accused Rollins and Morris of using bootleg SST shirts as evidence they've been making products in that time frame, calling it "outrageous fraud."

In April, Black Flag manager and pro skateboarder Mike Vallely said Morris and Flag were simply after money. "They see a shitload of money sitting there and they want it, and they want Greg to open the gates and give them the keys and let their Century City machine come in and run the show, and have Greg be their guitar player," Vallely told Rolling Stone. "But that's not what fucking Black Flag is about, man."

Black Flag's next show is set for tonight in Stuttgart, Germany.

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