A ‘Houseparty’ divided can’t stand

Boston’s legendary J. Geils Band has long been Detroit’s adopted sons, but it looks like at least one of its members is taking umbrage to being disowned.

Reuters reports that the blues-rock-soul group’s namesake guitarist, John Geils, filed suit this week against the other members — Richard “Magic Dick” Salwitz, Danny Klein, Peter Wolf and Seth Justman — claiming they are unlawfully using the band’s trademarked name for an upcoming tour without him and interfering with his business activities.

The band members had planned 11 concerts without Geils under the moniker “The J. Geils Band,” beginning Aug. 25. In the suit, filed in Boston Superior Court, Geils is seeking full rights to the trademark, prevention of other members’ use of the name, and damages.

James Weinberger, the attorney representing the other members of the band, said, “We will address the claims in the lawsuit including our own claims against John Geils and Francesca Records [a label Geils co-owns] at the appropriate time,” he said.

So does this mean ticketholders for the band’s Dec. 7 gig at the Fillmore in Detroit might see a different name on the marquee? Not sure simply taking the “J. Geils” part out would help — then the estates of Levon Helm and Rick Danko would have to file a suit of their own.

UPDATE: Billboard reports more details of the suit.

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