Publishers Helios Music Corporation has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Garbage. The suit, filed on May 11th in the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, charges the members of Garbage — Duke Erikson, Shirley Manson, Butch Vig and Steve Marker — with lifting music and lyrics from the 1968 hit “Bend Me, Shape Me” by the group American Breed for Garbage’s 1998 track “I Think I’m Paranoid” (from their second album, Version 2.0). Also named in the suit is the band’s former label Almo Music.
American Breed were a Sixties pop group from the Chicago area who scored three hits, “Bend Me, Shape Me” the best known of the bunch. Helios Music claims that the chorus of “I Think I’m Paranoid,” (“Bend me, break me/ Anyway you need me”) is similar to the chorus of the American Breed song (“Bend me, shape me/Anyway you want me”) and the publisher is seeking credit for the song and damages to be determined in court.
Meanwhile, Garbage are at work on their forthcoming record titled Beautiful Garbage. The band filed a lawsuit against their label, Universal Music Group, in Los Angeles last January for declaratory relief, asking the court to free them from their contract with Universal. The suit argues that the band’s 1994 contract, signed with Almo Sounds, included a “key man clause,” which would allow the band to leave the label if Almo chairman Jerry Moss left the label for any reason; Moss retired last year.