The cramped, randomly-booked LES venue Pianos was apparently served with papers earlier this week indicating that BMI and a “collection of labels and artists” were suing the club for playing, without license, the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” and, of course, “Final Countdown,” among other tracks that pretty much explain why we don’t go in there that often. The petty suit, which above all probably just indicates what dire, desperate, money-grubbing straights major labels are presently in, alleges Pianos caused “great and incalculable damage” by not securing the rights to the various Weezer songs it blasted out on to Ludlow at all hours of the day and night. Cityfile pegs the actual cost of these rights at around a dollar a day; Gothamist asked an ASCAP VP and were told “the average annual license fee for all bars, restaurants, nightclubs and similar establishments is less than $2.50 a day. With a maximum annual cost of $912.50.” In other words, cheaper than the lawyer the venue must now presumably obtain. Actual documents below.
Bret Michaels, Bee Gees Square Off Against Pianos [Cityfile]
Bret Michaels Sues Pianos! [Gothamist]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 2, 2009