Former Guns N’ Roses Man Sues Axl Rose

     SANTA MONICA (CN) — A former member of Guns N’ Roses who was left off the band’s reunion tour sued Axl Rose this week, claiming the lead singer owes him more than $125,000.
     Chris Pitman filled a variety of roles in the band, especially in the studio. He primarily played keyboards, but also bass, drums, sang backup vocals and helped with engineering. In his Tuesday lawsuit in Superior Court, he claims Rose didn’t pay him for more than a year, but gave him a promissory note for $125,000 that has been due for more than four years.
     Pitman joined Guns N’ Roses in 1998, about a decade after the group enjoyed its biggest success with the albums “G N’ R Lies” and “Appetite for Destruction.” According to Billboard.com, Rose by then has alienated most of the original members with his erratic behavior. When guitarist Slash left the band in 1996, Rose was the only remaining founder member.
     Pitman says in his lawsuit that he was “a loyal and dedicated engineer and musician for Axl Rose” for nearly 18 years. During that time, he says, he was “toiling at all hours” for more than a year without pay — one of many unpaid employees at the time. He says the promissory note of Oct. 4, 2011, came due a year later.
     Pitman says Rose didn’t pay, but Pitman stayed in the band. According to Rolling Stone, he played keyboards in the band’s “Appetite for Democracy Tour” that ended in 2014.
     According to Blabbermouth.net and ultimateclassicrock.com, Pitman got himself into trouble this year when he announced prematurely that the band would appear at the Coachella music festival in Indio.
     After tweeting, “We are playing at Coachella 2016, look out!” he added, “I was just informed by mgmt to not acknowledge anything about coachella, gnr, etc. So there, denied!”
     Upon hearing that Slash and other original members were back in the band for a tour and he had been left out, Pitman called it a “nostalgia tour,” and a “money grab,” then apologized. The two-month North American tour ended on Aug. 22 after shows in 21 stadiums. It grossed $116.8 million, according to Billboard.
     “While Guns N’ Roses are currently making multi-millions of dollars in 2016 for their corporate brand. Axl has failed to pay Chris, forcing him to bring this action,” Pitman says in the complaint.
     His attorneys Howard King and Seth Miller with King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano did not return emails or phone calls this week.
     A spokesman for United Talent Agency, which handles publicity and management for Guns N’ Roses, said the agency had no comment.

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