LOS ANGELES (CN) – The founding keyboardist and trombone player for the genre-bending 1980s all-black punk band Fishbone claims his former bandmates forged his signature on a new contract to cut him out of royalties.
Chris Dowd claims in Superior Court that his former bandmates – John Fisher, Walter Kibby, Angelo Moore and Philip Fisher – amended the group’s original 1985 contract by forging his signature on a 2000 agreement in which they accepted an $85,000 advance.
In 1994, Dowd says he quit the band he helped form in 1979. Since then, he says he has had “relatively little contact” with the remaining members, aside from a “brief reunion” in 2008.
After leaving Fishbone, Dowd joined Seedy Arkhestra with legendary crooner Jeff Buckley. Dowd contributed the scathing anti-Fishbone song “Flog Your Dead Horse” to the Seedy Arkhestra album “The Puzzle.”
Fishbone, which blends ska, punk, soul and rock with messages of unity and equality, never entered the mainstream, but influenced innumerable rockers and rappers. The band’s current lineup announced plans to release an album this year. Regardless of the lineup, Fishbone has always been known for its wild shows.
A documentary about the band, “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone,” made its rounds last year at film festivals around the world.
Dowd wants punitive damages. He is represented by Peter Afrasiabi, John Tehranian and Ian Gibson with the Newport Beach, Calif. firm One LLP.