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Case Closed: The Battle of the Queensryches is Finally Settled

Queensryche with singer Geoff Tate (upper center) - not to be confused with the other Queensryche - is pictured in this 2012 photo. (Peter Ellenby image)

Two years ago, after many nasty, tumultuous spats, the Seattle rock group Queensryche broke into two. But both lead singer Geoff Tate and original band members Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton wanted to keep the Queensryche name. They went to court, but the judge wasn't ready to make a decision. So the judge allowed both parties to continue using the name until a decision was made. So for the past two years, two separate Queensryches have toured and made albums, both called Queensryche. Until now.

Without having to go back to court, the ex-bandmates came to an agreement. Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton bought the name from Geoff Tate, so they can continue to perform 30 years worth of songs, many of them written by Tate.

"It's very similar to the Pink Floyd breakup," said Tate. "Some members collectively kept the name and another member, me, got what I feel is a very significant piece of work, the Operation: Mindcrime Albums, both albums. I get that and they get the name and we go our separate ways."

When I last spoke with Tate, he felt very confident he'd get to keep the name, and felt it belonged to him since he wrote 80% of the songs. But after two years, he said he didn't want to fight anymore.

"I don't know if you've ever been in a court case or a lawsuit but it's an incredibly draining experience. So negative and so tedious and it goes on and on and on forever. It's taken up the better part of two years now. I was really happy it's done and I think the other side is too. Now we can move on."

Tate can legally use the Queensryche name through August so he will do a brief Queensryche "farewell" tour this summer. This Thursday, his "Rock and Vaudeville" show starts at The Triple Door.

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About the Author


Rachel Belle is a feature contributor and personality on The Ron & Don Show on KIRO Radio (weekdays 3-7pm), and host of Ring My Belle Weekends (Sundays at 3pm).

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