The mother of deceased Alice in Chains lead singer Layne Staley has sued her son’s former bandmates (guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney), claiming they cut her out of royalties owed on the band’s hits.
Nancy McCallum’s suit alleges she’s owed about 16 percent of the band’s income, but that the group is trying to cut her out of the equation.
The Seattle, Washington grown band has responded, saying that Layne Staley’s heirs will still receive money from songs he wrote or co-wrote, but that McCallum is attempting to be far too involved with her late son’s band!
Word is, Staley’s mother has crossed the line and is now trying to SLAP the band a copyright infringement suit over the name, since she has been attempting to copyright the Alice In Chains name.
McCallum claims that she only did this to protect her son’s legacy, since the group has continued to perform and record as Alice In Chains after Staley’s death in 2002.
In September, the group told McCallum it was liquidating Staley’s position in Alice In Chains, which essentially means that, while his heirs would still receive royalties from songs he wrote, they would not be getting a share of the profits for merchandising, endorsements, and so on.
It also hired an accountant to estimate what Staley’s share of the band was worth—a number that, at $341,000, is far less than the $705,000 Staley’s family has already been paid in the 10 years since he died. Nevertheless, McCallum is asking for a court order that would allow her to keep her 16 percent stake in the group and would award her any of her son’s assets currently controlled by the band, whatever those would be.
Staley was the best known member of Alice in Chains during the band’s 1990s heyday, which saw the release string of hit albums including the quadruple platinum “Dirt.”