Strap yourselves in, this one is complicated. The family and estate of the late, beloved guitarist Randy Rhoads–his mother Delores Rhoads and sisters Kathryn Rhoads D’Argenzio and Kelle Rhoads–are suing Peter Margolis, Andrew Klein, the publishing company Velocity Publishing Group, Inc. and co-author Steven Rosen. The lawsuit claims that the defendant Peter Margolis initially entered into an agreement with the Rhoads family for the making of a documentary film centering on Randy Rhoads. The agreement involved assurances from Margolis to the Rhoads family that the documentary would be completed within three years. For that film the Rhoads family provided numerous photos, clips, interviews, memorabilia and other information.
According to the Rhoads’ family publicist Nancy B. Sayle of VQPR, LLC (via Blabbermouth), “Margolis assured the family that the film would be completed within three years. From that point on, however, Margolis himself did not own any of the ideas and materials obtained or created in the production of the documentary, or any of the photos, videos or sound recordings collected for use in it, having assigned all of that to Dakota Films, the company financing and producing the documentary.” Apparently, the film was never completed even though their were several claims made that the film was “in the can.” The Rhoads family were none too happy with the quality of the produced footage they saw prior to this point. Meanwhile, around June of last year Velocity Publishing Group published a book entitled simply Randy Rhoads. The coffee table book is being sold through the publishing company’s web site for a lean $99.00. You can see a video on the book here:
The statements goes on to explain that many of the provided materials–meant only for the originally promised documentary–ended up being used in this book without the family’s permission. It continues:
The family contends that Margolis and Klein have stolen the materials; they have no rights or ownership of, from the failed documentary. They used them in the book, in order to try to exploit Randy and the family for their own profit, while trying to establish themselves as ‘authorities’ on Randy Rhoads. They have falsely implied that they have the Rhoads family’s support and cooperation for the unauthorized book. The family emphasizes that in no way did they authorize or participate in publication of the book, nor have they had anything more to do with either Margolis or Klein since the production of the unreleased documentary ended. Moreover, according to the family’s complaint, the book contained more than fifty instances in which Klein and Margolis had used, without permission, photos, excerpts from interviews and other personal information that had been provided to them by the Rhoads family solely and exclusively for use in the authorized documentary film and for no other purpose.
As a result, the Rhoads family is suing the defendants for fraud, breach of contract, invasion of privacy, misappropriation of rights of publicity and making extensive and unauthorized use of personal information and photos from the documentary project.
Oddly, another recent project centering on Randy Rhoads also features Margolis and Klein as producers. This one is a separate coffee table book and bundled documentary movie entitled Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years. The book is crafted and the film directed by longtime friend and personal photographer of Quiet Riot’s Kevin DuBrow and Randy Rhoads, Ron Sobol (brother of LA punk vets The Dickies’ Stan Lee). Instead of Dakota Films, who was the original production company Margolis was working on with the Rhoads family, this book and DVD bundle was produced by Red Match Productions. mxdwn attended a private screening of this film on December 12th, 2012 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Sobol, Margolis and Klein were all present as well as Zakk Wylde, former Quiet Riot members Rudy Sarzo and Drew Forsyth, and Randy Rhoads’ longtime girlfriend Jodi Raskin Vigier. That movie at least is a solid effort that depicts in detail the formation of Quiet Riot and their relentless, yet unsuccessful attempts to get the band signed to a record deal. The film ends abruptly at the point where Rhoads leaves the Quiet Riot to join Ozzy Osbourne’s band. After the showing, the producers, director and those close to the band interviewed in the piece did a Q&A with the crowd. In that Q&A they indicated that they had not confirmed beyond the sale of the DVD with the book bearing the same name what release plans they had for the documentary. It is also interesting to note that the producers and director hired a soundalike guitar player Sean Kelly to perform Rhoads guitar parts on songs they were not able to get the rights to use in the movie. The book and film are for sale as a bundle through Red Match Productions web site for $69.99. Here’s the trailer for this movie:
However, it’s important to state clearly, the lawsuit explained above is centered around the other Randy Rhoads book, Randy Rhoads, and not the bundle Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years by Ron Sobol. It seems that the film and its content are not in breach of any agreement with the Rhoads family or using any of the material Peter Margolis had originally obtained from them. On the flip side though, the coffee table book Randy Rhoads does use some of the same photography of Ron Sobol’s from his release.
This video from Artisan News Service further indicates that the lawsuit does not involve the Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years book and movie:
At attempt to reach the producers of both projects for comment on the lawsuit and accusations was not returned by press time.
For those unfamiliar Randy Rhoads went on to international stardom as Ozzy Osbourne’s guitar player on the Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of Madman albums. He died tragically at the age of 25 in a plane accident in Leesburg, Florida. Kevin DuBrow went on to success still in Quiet Riot in the mid 80’s on the back of their album Metal Health. DuBrow died in Las Vegas of a cocaine overdose in 2007.