Weezer: The Beer Lawsuit
Divided they stand, together they sue.
Looking for a cure for what ales them, the apparently still-together members of Weezer sued Miller Brewing Co. Friday, accusing the Milwaukee-based institution of unlawfully using the band’s image in a series of print ads to promote beer and other alcoholic beverages.
According to the alt-rock quartet’s complaint, the three ads that showed up in 2004 on the pages of Rolling Stone misappropriated the band’s name and image by stating that Weezer–along with “other bands and musical performers with whom [Weezer] do not wish to be associated in any advertisement”–endorsed Miller products.
Not wanting anyone to destroy their image, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, drummer Patrick Wilson, guitarist Brian Bell and bassist Scott Shriner are seeking actual damages (they feel the misappropriation of their good name has cost them millions); all profits received by Miller and fellow defendants from the ads in question; punitive damages amounting to three times either the actual damages or the defendants’ profits, whichever is higher; and an injunction against any further use of the band’s image.
Weezer has also targeted marketing firm Young & Rubicam and production company Giannini Creative Imaging in the lawsuit.
Although following the platinum-level success of 2005’s Make Believe Cuomo told MTV News in July that Weezer’s latest break may be a break-up, an Aug. 12 posting on the band’s Website referred to the members’ current state as “one of positivity and growth.”
“Now please, take those ‘Weezer split?’ headlines and place them firmly into the ‘Don’t believe the hype’ bin,” read the site a week later. As of last weekend, a live DVD project was on hold, however, and while cover art has been created for a greatest-hits album, no new songs have been recorded yet. “It if happens, it will definitely have some new tracks,” the band said, adding that Cuomo has been working on some fresh material.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Maladroit boys are keeping busy while Cuomo cleanses his aura and enjoys married life after almost three years of self-imposed celibacy (he tied the knot with Kyoko Ito in June).
Bell and Wilson went retro to play Lou Reed and John Cale in the upcoming Edie Sedgwick biopic Factory Girl, starring Sienna Miller as the Andy Warhol muse. The Weezer mates also recorded a cover of Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” for the film’s soundtrack.
Wilson has a side band, too–The Special Goodness, with The Offspring drummer Atom Willard–and Bell fronts his own group, Space Twins, as well.
Weezer: The Beer Lawsuit