Estranged Cro-Mags Bassist Harley Flanagan Sues Band

Posted on: May 30th, 2018 at 5:03 am by

Webster Hall stabbing, July 2012

Estranged Cro-Mags bassist, Harley Flanagan, is again battling the band. This time, in court.

Flanagan, who previously attacked his former bandmates before a Webster Hall gig six years ago, claims that he alone owns the trademark to the name of the band which he founded in 1981, and that the current lineup usurped the group. According to the New York Post, Flanagan is suing in Manhattan federal court due in part to infringement, claiming he trademarked the “Cro-Mags” name for recording music back in 2010 and as it relates to merchandise in 2009 (and then again in 2017).

There is no mention in the lawsuit of the stabbing incident during the CBGB Festival, in which Flannagan lunged at William Berario and Michael Couls with a hunting knife. Bowery Boogie was the first news outlet to break that story, resulting in the above photo seen around the world.

Meanwhile, Flanagan penned the following missive on Facebook a few days ago to shed light from his perspective:

A lot of people are going to be talking a lot of crap about me because I’m finally taking John Joseph AKA John McGowan and Maxwell Jason to court over their violation of us trademark laws and the theft of my name Cro-Mags. Before any of you rush to judgement or open your mouth think about this: I have been attempting to reach out to all of them for years to see what I could do to try to put the band back together. John and Macki have always been unwilling to do so. This is the name I came up with, and songs I wrote.

Not only am I the only person who has appeared on every single Cro-Mags album but I am the only person who has written or co-written every single song and every single set of lyrics. I came up with Cro-Mags before John, Mackey, Parris or Doug were even players; this is been well-documented.

Although I have tried for years to stop the Faux-Mags playing under the name Cro-Mags (I have sent numerous cease-and-desist letters to the players, to the clubs and to the retailers selling bootleg Cro-Mags merchandise), all the while I have maintained my willingness to negotiate with all the Age of Quarrel line-up members, so everyone could benefit; even though they have been violating my trademarks.

Picture someone stealing your work and going out and selling it as theirs, stealing food off of your children’s table and money out of their pockets.

All of the efforts I have made to stop them from misuse of the trademark or negotiate some sort of settlement have been shut down, so I am forced to go the legal route. I have always been willing to negotiate and I still am, but I am not willing to get ripped off anymore.

I hope you all can understand my position.

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