A drummer who spent four years in one of the greatest punk bands of all time, the Ramones, filed a federal lawsuit in New York on Friday contending he is owed nearly $1 million in royalties on songs sold over the Internet.
Richard “Richie Ramone” Reinhardt, who performed with the Ramones from 1983 to 1987, sued Wal-Mart, Apple, RealNetworks, the band’s management and the estate of its lead guitarist, saying he had never fully signed over the rights to the six songs he wrote for the group.
Specifically, Reinhardt said there was never any written deal authorizing the sale of those songs digitally.
He said he is owed at least $900,000 in royalties and asked the court to issue an injunction preventing further use of his compositions without permission.
Three of the group’s founding members, Johnny, Joey and Dee Dee, have died in recent years.
The original drummer, Tommy, became a producer for the band and was replaced by Marky Ramone. Reinhardt took over on drums during a Marky hiatus in the 1980s.