Asia lead singer fired from Las Vegas musical.
After singing superstar was sacked from the Las Vegas musical ‘Raiding the Rock Vault’, co-director John Payne has started a court case that inclues breach of contract, copyright violations and slander. Payne was the singer in the British rock band Asia from 92 to 06. Along with record producer David Kershenbaum, Payne helped set up the format behind Raiding the Rock Vault, which starts at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and takes audiences on a musical journey from 1948 to 1989. The show features members of some well-known English bands and numbers from The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin and other similar acts.
In May, he was suspended. The following month he was fired. Now, in a court case against Rock Vault Tours, the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and its new owner Westgate Resorts that’s somewhat reminiscent of Julie Taymor’s suit after being let go from Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Payne is asserting that the show can’t simply go on without properly paying him for his contributions.
According to the suit, which has now been removed to Nevada federal court, Payne and Rock Vault Tours entered into an agreement that provided the plaintiff, as co-writer, with 2.5 percent of net box-office receipts until costs were recouped and then 3.5 percent thereafter. Payne also got royalties as a co-director: 2 percent of net profits until recoupment and then bumped up to 3 percent.
Payne’s challenge in the lawsuit might be overcoming an agreement assigning his ownership interest and royalties. He says he was told last May that he assign rights or be fired. He signed “under duress,” he says. “Accordingly, the agreement was not supported by adequate consideration.”
He’s now alleging that the defendants breached a performance agreement to pay him $1,000 for each Raiding the Rock Vault show (besides being co-writer and co-director, Payne was a bassist and a vocalist in the show) and breached the royalties agreement. He’s asserting copyright infringement, pointing to the show’s format being registered with the Copyright Office as “Dramatic Work and Music; or Choreography.”
He’s also suing for slander for unspecified public comments made about his suspension by the defendants. And he’s suing for an alleged violation of his publicity rights. Allegedly, the defendants used him to advertise the show even after he was suspended.
See John in action with his old band Asia;