Former Jefferson Starship guitarist Craig Chaquico is suing the current incarnation of the band, which includes his old bandmates David Freiberg and Donny Baldwin, over the use of the band name on tour bills and merchandise.
Chaquico was interviewed by Best Classic Bands about the lawsuit, which he says has to do with a breach of contract. “All of the band members, including David Freiberg and Donny Baldwin, agreed in ’85 that the name would be retired for future use in connection with live performances, recordings and merchandise. Now Freiberg and Baldwin are performing with others who have no connection to the original group, using the name in violation of that agreement. If any of the members who signed the ’85 agreement want to use the name, they need the permission of all the other members who signed the agreement and Freiberg and Baldwin do not have my permission.”
Chaquico was the only Starship member to play with all iterations of the band from their formation in the mid-‘70s to the end of the ’80s. Paul Kantner reformed Jefferson Starship in the early ’90s and eventually got permission from the old members to continue to tour under the band name. Since Kantner’s death in 2016, Chaquico claims the remaining members of his Starship lineup, who have continued to tour under the name, do not have the right to do so.
“In 1993, I was the first to consider giving Paul Kantner permission to use the name for his solo projects, which he had begun doing in violation of the ’85 agreement,” Chaquico explains. “By then, both names, Jefferson Starship and Starship, had been retired, and everyone was doing their separate solo projects anyway. I gave him permission to use the name because he invited me into the band originally and the eight of us started it together. We went way back, and he was always the other guitar player onstage with me when we had two guitars. However, my permission was specific to Paul; I did not give Freiberg or Baldwin permission to use the name. Once Paul passed away, in 2016, no one had the right to use the name anymore. We tried to resolve this without litigation, but unfortunately we were ultimately forced to go down this road.”
Read the full interview here.