Drummer Richard Reinhardt (a.k.a. Richie Ramone) is suing Wal-Mart, Apple, RealNetworks, the band's management and the estate of founding lead guitarist John “Johnny Ramone” Cummings for nearly $1 million in royalties on songs sold over the Internet.
Richie Ramone performed with the Ramones between 1983 and 1987, and wrote six songs for the band during his tenure. But he claims he never fully signed over the rights to those songs and there was never any written deal authorizing the sale of those songs digitally. He has asked the court to issue an injunction preventing further use of his tunes without permission.
Why sue Johnny, you ask? Well, the lawsuit names a pair of production companies associated with the band via the estate of the deceased six-slinger.
In case you live under a rock, the Ramones came out of the CBGB’s scene in new York during the mid-‘70s and helped define punk with their chainsaw guitars, fast rhythms, and sugar pop vocal melodies. They kicked MAJOR ass for 22 years before their last show in 1996. Johnny and singer Joey (a.k.a. Jeff Hyman) were the only consistent members over their near quarter century existence, with the drum stool rotating three times (technically four) and the bass position changing twice. Johnny, Joey and founding bassist Dee Dee have all died in recent years.
Journaltimes.com: Former Ramone Sues Over Song Downloads