A&M Records starts a legal battle over Temple of the Dog‘s only album, which is considered a Seattle grunge masterpiece. The defendant in this lawsuit is Rajan Parashar, brother of late Temple of the Dog producer and London Bridge Studio owner Rick Parashar.
Recorded in late 1990 at London Bridge Studio, Temple of the Dog features Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and drummer Matt Cameron. The album also includes vocalist Eddie Vedder, guitarist Mike McCready, guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament — all of whom would later experience massive success in Pearl Jam, as mentioned by Loudwire.
According to the Seattle Times, A&M allege that Rick Parashar sold the master tapes and all rights to them for $35,000 back in 1993. However, the tapes were never given to A&M. The current lawsuit claims that Rick failed to respond to several requests by A&M’s attorneys to turn over the tapes. A&M are now aiming to gain possession of the tapes, plus compensation for damages and attorneys’ fees.
Parashar’s attorney, Warren Rheaume, has made it no secret that Rajan has the tapes. “He’s had them all along,” says Rheaume. “They’re his.” Rheaume adds that Rajan Parashar was not part of any agreement between his brother and A&M. “Raj made the facility available, he wrangled people over the two-week recording period, and I believe he was the recording engineer,” Rheaume told the Associated Press. “Raj has no agreement with A&M.”
Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell also has something to say concerning this matter.
“A&M Records paid for the recordings and the use of the studio,” Cornell told the Associated Press, adding that for the studio owner “to pretend he has a right to keep the recordings makes no more sense than the owner of a laundromat claiming he owns the clothes you washed in his washing machine.”
As stated by Rolling Stone, A&M Records long believed that one of the members of Temple of the Dog – Cornell, Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron and Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament and Mike McCready (and, in a backup vocalist role, Eddie Vedder) – were in possession of the master tapes, but only discovered in 2013 that the Parashars still owned them.
Members of Temple of the Dog have previously reunited on several occasions, including a Pearl Jam event, Neil Young charity night and coupling with the members of Mad Season to perform a few songs. But the legal debate on the fate of their one and only album’s master tapes was raised just now. Stay with us to get to know more as the story unfolds.