Reporting Scott T. Sterling
For many younger music fans, Mark McGrath is best known for his work on TV, including a stint hosting tabloid news show Extra, and his status as a three-time champion on VH1′s Rock and Roll Jeopardy!
For those who were around in the late ’90s, however, McGrath will forever be remembered as the frosted-tipped frontman for feel-good rockers Sugar Ray, scoring massive MTV and radio hits with songs like “Fly” and “Every Morning.”
Now, the singer/TV host is being sued by two of his former bandmates in Sugar Ray, charging McGrath with a “series of self-serving and vindictive actions.”
According to Billboard, ex-Sugar Ray members Murphy Karges (bass) and Stan Frazier (drums) are suing McGrath and the band’s guitarist, Rodney Sheppard, charging that they were cheated out of money they were owed, making slanderous statements on Twitter and blocking them from rejoining the band after McGrath allegedly “proceeded to engage in a concerted and measured effort to push Karges, Frazier, and (Craig ‘DJ Homicide’) Bullock out of the band for the purpose of capturing the bulk of their share of revenues for himself,” according to the lawsuit (via Courthouse News Service).
In the lawsuit, Frazier and Karges claim that between the years of 1995 through 2010, the singer routinely sidestepped band responsibilities due to “moody behavior” (and commitments to Extra), flew to gigs in first-class while regulating the rest of the band to coach, and eventually demanded at least $10,000 per show.
The pair also charge that McGrath sabotaged the recording of the band’s most recent album, 2009′s Music for Cougars, by locking them out of sessions and reworking songs with outside producers without their knowledge or consent.
The suit takes a personal turn with the accusation that McGrath slandered Karges and Frazier on Twitter, submitting such since-deleted missives as “[S]ince those 2 left, we’ve become a world class band,” and “Sugar Ray is very happy with Stan cooking taquitos at the Fair and Murphy moving unit for Aaron Rodgers … glad you guys admittedly moved on,” the latter a reference to Karges working with the NFL star Aaron Rodgers to help launch the Suspended Sunrise Recordings label for the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback.
Ultimately, the pair want their cut of lost touring revenues, and to be allowed to rejoin Sugar Ray for future endeavors, regardless of how awkward those endeavors might be thanks in no small part to the lawsuit.