Metal Sludge — In the on-going Autograph legal dispute between original guitarist/co-founder Steve Lynch and the current vocalist (Simon Daniels) and drummer (Marc Wieland) we’re bringing you the latest from the Daniels‘ side.
Metal Sludge first brought you this back on November 14th 2022 with our article: “TURN UP THE LAWSUIT … Original Guitarist and Co-Founder Steve Lynch: “The legal process is fully engaged” against his Former group Autograph, Hints at New (real) Version”.
Since there has been some back and forth between the sides via various social media posts sharing some of their opinions, and even some legal documents for fans to read.
As of spring 2022 the only original member still in Autograph was bassist Randy Rand who sadly passed away last April.
Since Rand‘s untimely passing, the situation seemed to develop into matters that eventually became legal.
In late November 2022 Lynch posted again stating that he was being sued by his former band, and the current members (Simon Daniels and Marc Wieland) who Lynch had a direct hand in hiring into the band that he co-founded back in the early 1980’s.
Our article: “HIRED GUNS FILE LAWSUIT … Autograph founding Guitarist Steve Lynch is being Sued by the Very Musicians he Hired into the Group” was Lynch sharing his view of where things had progressed to.
Now in recent days Lynch spoke out again and we shared that on January 4th in our article: “Autograph Founding Guitarist Steve Lynch Update To Fans: “Daniel Simoni and Marc Wieland have Now Sued the Beloved Widow of Randy Rand”.
Since the most recent Lynch post was made public, the current members Daniels and Wieland have reacted with a brand new post of their own.
We have now shared below what Daniels‘ wrote on his official Facebook on January 4th 2023.
January 4th 2023 (1:00 PM pst)
Statement from Me and Marc Wieland of Autograph:
We’ve seen the recent postings by Steve Lynch about the dispute over the Autograph name. We have to respond to let our fans know what is going on. As we all know, our friend and original Autograph bassist Randy Rand passed away last year while we were working on our last album, “Beyond.” Randy was a brother. We lost a band member and a friend. Much of that is personal, and we have dealt with it personally. But the album is partially business, and he wanted this album out. His widow Regina assured us many times that he did too, and that it should come out.
We want to make this very clear:
Steve Lynch started legal action against Regina and us days after Randy passed away, bottom line.
Steve Lynch left the band three years ago and gave us his blessing. He knew about “Beyond.” So we were completely surprised when — after we brought a very limited lawsuit to figure out if (after nine years of being full band members) we use the name for live performances — we were personally sued by Lynch for putting out Beyond. He has sued us, our record label and the company that we jointly owned with Randy for “use of the AUTOGRAPH Mark and the Logos to promote recordings, performances and merchandise.”
This was a complete shock, and now the law requires us to join everyone who could be responsible for the behavior Lynch complains of. Sadly, that includes Randy’s widow because she told us to put out the record. She signed papers on behalf of Autograph Band1, LLC, which was Randy’s company and a company that Lynch is now suing. We, as individuals in this group and part of this company, are not going to bear the risk for putting out a record that everyone agreed should come out.
When we were first threatened by Lynch in June, Randy’s widow had our back. She wrote things like “Randy want[ed] this album out more than anything – I promise to do whatever you need me to do to help with this!!!!” “Yea well the album better come out because Randy is on it – and they can’t stop you from [playing] now!” On another text, she wrote “Oh god help – autograph is not done!!!! No!!!! Me and you can come up with a plan to take care of Steve.”
But after the album came out, she started writing to promoters and telling them not to let us play this music. We’ve been full members of this band for nine years. We were partners in two companies with Randy, they recorded at our studio, they used our songs. We believe we have a right to play that music.
Maybe the courts will decide differently, but that is why we went to court – ONLY to figure out if we could play Autograph music live. In response to this narrow problem, Lynch pulled out a bazooka and sued our record company, our booking agent and our company with Randy for putting out the last Autograph record. So ya, we are going to protect ourselves, and we are required to bring in everyone needed to settle this. One of those people is Randy’s widow, who encouraged us to come out with the record, and who signed papers and ok’d money from the company to pay for the record AND the video that we made to honor Randy. We aren’t happy about it. We’ve named her in the last complaint, but we haven’t served her with the case, gotten a subpoena for her or contacted her at all.
However, we are NOT going to be painted as villains by Lynch, who left the band three years ago and gave his blessing to carry on.
We’ve also included screen captures at the bottom of this article of Daniels‘ recent post as well.
It appears that this just might be another in a string of band vs: band as to who will control the brand name.
As most know reading this, similar legal battles have went down with Great White, L.A. Guns, Queensryche and Ratt to name a few.
Stay tuned to Metal Sludge for Breaking News, Updates and Features along with both New and Classic interviews.