There’s a Fight Brewing Over Temple of the Dog’s Master Tapes
A&M Records is suing the owner of a Seattle facility where the grunge classic Temple of the Dog was recorded, trying to reclaim the master tapes. Rajan Parashar, the co-founder of London Bridge Studios, refuses to turn them over.
Temple of the Dog released a lone, self-titled album in 1991, but it didn't become a Top 5 hit until a year later – after the band's principal members had gone on to wider fame with Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Parashar's late brother Rick originally oversaw sessions that lasted just 15 days, as Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell sought to pay tribute to his late friend Andrew Wood.
Wood had been the singer in a group called Mother Love Bone with Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament, both of whom were part of Temple of the Dog before Pearl Jam's rise. Temple of the Dog was rounded out by Matt Cameron (later a member of both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam) and a then-unknown second vocalist named Eddie Vedder. Since the album's release, Temple of the Dog has only rarely reformed, typically as part of guest appearances at Soundgarden or Pearl Jam concerts.
A&M Records lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court at Seattle earlier this week, says the label had an agreement dating back to 1993 in which Rick Parashar – also producer for Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Blind Melon, and Dinosaur Jr. – would hand over the Temple of the Dog tapes in exchange for $35,000. Rajan Parashar’s lawyer acknowledges that his client is in possession of the masters. “He’s had them all along,” attorney Warren Rheaume says. “They’re his.”
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