LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The name of legendary Rock & Roll band, The Drifters, is the subject of a litigious scuffle in the UK. The legal proceedings, initiated on the eve of a 3 part docu on the band, accompanied by a British tour in support of the first new Drifters album in 30 years.
The Treadwell family, the heirs of George & Faye Treadwell who originally managed and controlled the Drifters in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They exercised artistic control over the band and helped to shape its image. They juggled personnel in the band extensively, eventually including 4 different lead singers over the years. It is from these personnel changes that the dispute arises. A number of bands have been performing under the name of The Drifters and now the Treadwells are attempting to reclaim the name that they assert belongs to them.
The suit, brought against former tour manager Phil Lunderman, former agent Mark Lundquist and former Drifters Roland Turner, Pete Fletcher, Pat Alan and Victor Bynoe, requests the court to prevent the named defendants from performing under the name Drifters and that they close websites www.the-original-drifters.com and www.drifters.co.uk.
Treadwell's contracts with the performers provided payment for every 7th performance and included a clause that stated that the name of the Drifters belonged to Treadwell. The suit alleges that unlicensed groups using the name are now in violation of this contract. After Treadwell's death in 1967, his wife Faye assumed control of the name. After she became ill, a band used the Drifters name to tour. The Treadwell's daughter Tina has brought the litigation. The matter will now be decided by the British High Court – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers