Manson Sues Spooky Kids

Shock rocker seeks to stop sale of early recordings

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Marilyn Manson has filed a lawsuit against a former bandmate and Empire Musicwerks to try and stop the sale of Lunch Boxes and Choklit Cows, a collection of recordings he recorded years ago as a member of the Spooky Kids.

Manson (a.k.a. Brian Warner) and bandmate Madonna Wayne Gacy (real name Stephen Bier) filed the suit on April 28th in a United States District Court in California, claiming copyright infringement, and unauthorized use of illustration, images and film footage. The shock rocker requested a cease and desist on the album, released in April, and also wants all promotional materials eliminated and payment of approximately $500,000 in punitive damages.

In addition to the label, the suit also names Scott Putesky, who assembled the collection. Putesky, Manson and Bier were members of the Florida-based Spooky kids, a band that gave way to the Marilyn Manson group that formed in the late Eighties.

Putesky, performing as Daisy Berkowitz, played with Manson through 1996's Antichrist Superstar. The two engaged in a legal tangle in 1998 over compensation for Putesky's contribution to the group. According to Putesky, a settlement was reached that gave him ownership of the early Spooky Kids tapes, from which ten songs were pulled for Lunch Boxes along with some video footage. "I've tried a couple of times since then to reach him, just to be friendly, since everything was done and over," Putesky told Rolling Stone last month, "but he hasn't shown any interest, so I just assume he hates me."

Putesky had entertained thoughts of assembling a second Spooky Kids collection. "I still think they sound good," he said. "The way they're styled is very telling about the band at that time. It's not industrial or metal or pop, but something odd and in the middle."

Empire Musicwerks' and Putesky's lawyer doesn't seem to think the suit will successfully block the distribution of the material. "The lawsuit is a desperate attempt by Manson to continue to oppress the members of his band who are largely attributable to his success," attorney Richard C. Wolfe said. "He should support Scott Putesky to bring these historical recordings to the group's fans."

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