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Boston Sue Artemis

Scholz claims label under-publicized album

With his lawsuits threatening to outnumber his album releases,
Boston leader Tom Scholz has revved up the litigation machine again
and is suing his label, Artemis Records, for more than $4 million.

Scholz filed suit in New York on Tuesday, claiming that the
band’s first album in eight years, 2002’s Corporate
, failed to take off because the label didn’t promote
it properly, despite promises that Boston’s fifth album would be a
priority. The suit claims Scholz signed with Danny Goldberg’s
Artemis because of Goldberg’s “repeated promises that his label
would give the highest priority to promoting [Corporate
]; that Artemis had the capability and willingness to
distribute Boston’s albums to maximize sales; and that Artemis
would provide ‘hands-on’ attention that other larger labels could
not or would not provide.”

Rather than provide those services, Artemis — home to fellow
former major-label renegades Steve Earle and Warren Zevon — was
more about “smoke and mirrors” than commitment to its artists,
Scholz claims, adding that the label fired key radio promotion
staffers prior to the album’s release. The suit also alleges that
Artemis has failed to properly account for and pay royalties on the
album and assigned inexperienced A&R staff to deal with
Corporate America.

A spokesperson for Artemis said the company had not yet seen the
suit and could not comment.

Though he’s released fewer than half a dozen albums in
twenty-five years, Scholz has been prolific in the courts. In 1982,
he was sued for $20 million by his former label, CBS/Epic Records,
for failing to deliver a follow-up to the band’s second album in a
timely fashion. (The band’s first two records have sold more than
20 million copies to date.) Scholz counter-sued and got an
injunction lifted that allowed him to record under the Boston name
(he was also sued and later settled out of court with three former
bandmates over use of the name). He won the suit against CBS in
1990, but lost another case and was ordered to pay more than $1.5
million to former manager Paul Ahern, who claimed he was owed
royalties; in 1996, Scholz won an appeal and the case was sent back
for re-trial.

Scholz isn’t the first artist to strike out against his label
for alleged poor promotion. Prince slagged former Arista boss Clive
Davis for the failure of his Rave Un 2 The Joy Fantastic
album, and George Michael launched a failed lawsuit against Sony,
which he claimed attempted to turn him into a “pop slave.” Last
year, Michael Jackson, referred to former Sony chief Tommy Mottola
as “the devil,” when complaining about the alleged lack of
publicity for his failed comeback album, Invincible.

In October, Scholz raved about Corporate America to
Rolling Stone, highlighting the return of original
vocalist Brad Delp and the addition of guitarist Anthony Cosmo (son
of former Boston guitarist Fran Cosmo) and bassist Kimberely Dahme.
“There’s a new flavor to this CD,” Scholz said. “There’s been a
fair amount of maturing, and the introduction of Anthony and
Kimberley has changed things.” He also admitted to spending more
than a year on the album’s title track.

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