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Survivor Co-Founders Prepare for Legal Battle Over Band Name

Jason Davis / Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Davis / Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Survivor co-founders Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik are engaged in a legal tug-of-war over use of the band’s name.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Sullivan has filed suit against Peterik, alleging that Peterik — who left the band in 1996 — is in violation of an agreement between two sides granting Sullivan exclusive use of the Survivor name.

According to Sullivan, Peterik should be barred from billing himself as “the co-founder of Survivor” in promotional materials for live appearances, and the suit also takes issue with the title of Peterik’s 2014 autobiography, Through the Eye of the Tiger: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Life of Survivor’s Founding Member. (In the spirit of full disclosure, it should be noted that the introductory pages of Peterik’s book include a quote from this writer.)

Through his attorney, Peterik declined comment on the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages and all profits derived through his allegedly “unlawful action,” as well as a public acknowledgement that his “goods and services are not connected with Survivor” and court delivery of “all products under his control bearing the Survivor trademark for destruction.”

Peterik and Sullivan joined together after Peterik departed the Ides of March, starting Survivor in 1978 and producing a string of hits during the following decade, including the platinum albums Eye of the Tiger and Vital Signs. The group temporarily disbanded following the release of 1988’s Too Hot for Sleep LP, and although Peterik departed several years after their 1993 reunion, Sullivan has continued to lead the group through a succession of lineup changes. Survivor’s most recent studio album, Reach, was released in 2006.

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