Stephen Doniger, the attorney representing three members of RATT's classic lineup — singer Stephen Pearcy, bassist Juan Croucier and guitarist Warren DeMartini — in their legal dispute with Bobby Blotzer over the rights to the group's name, has shot down as untrue the drummer's claim that the trio had no plans to tour again until Bobby resurrected the band with all new members and started playing shows in late 2015. "The guys [Pearcy, Croucier, DeMartini and Blotzer] toured together between 2012 and 2014," Doniger told LA Weekly. "They stopped because Stephen Pearcy's twin sister died and he had to take time off. At that point, DeMartini and Croucier decided not to tour without all partners for the integrity of the band. But within a year, Blotzer was taking steps to usurp control of the trademarks so that he could tour by himself as RATT."
Back in November, a California judge decided that the corporation WBS, Inc. — of which Blotzer and DeMartini were thought to be the sole shareholders — did not have ownership interest in the RATT marks and that the name and brand was still owned by the members who were part of the original RATT partnership agreement. "There's a court order saying WBS has no trademark rights in the name," Doniger told LA Weekly. "Thus, WBS has no right to authorize anyone to tour as RATT."
Asked about what he feels is the biggest misconception of the RATT dispute, Blotzer's attorney Drew Sherman told LA Weekly: "That Juan Croucier owns the RATT trademarks. The summary judgment ruling was not a final judgment and the trademarks have not transferred away from WBS. Even if they did in the future, they would be owned by the Ratt Partnership, not Juan Croucier. And the only two remaining members of the Ratt Partnership, according to Croucier, are him and Bobby."
Blotzer has filed a request for reconsideration, and a hearing has been scheduled for January 23 in a downtown Los Angeles federal courtroom. Sherman said: "There are significant contradictions in sworn testimony by Mr. Croucier." But Doniger had a different take: "Blotzer tried to pull a fast one and has now ended up with nothing."
Doniger is seeking over $250,000 in costs and attorney's fees from WBS for his clients.
The Pearcy-fronted version of RATT will embark on the "Back For More" tour later this year, with the first confirmed date being the previously announced appearance at the M3 Rock Festival, set to take place on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.
Blotzer's lineup of RATT currently includes singer Josh Alan alongside guitarists Mitch Perry (TALAS, HEAVEN, STEELER, MSG, LITA FORD) and Stacey Blades (L.A. GUNS) and bassist Brad Lang (Y&T).