Published Apr 15, 2015Soundgarden's Chris Cornell has weighed in on the current legal battle over the recordings of early '90s grunge supergroup Temple of the Dog, with the vocalist suggesting the former owner of Seattle-area studio's current possession of the master tapes is disingenuous.
It was revealed earlier this month that A&M Records had filed suit against London Bridge Studio's co-founder, Rajan Parashar, demanding the immediate return of the Temple of the Dog recordings. The band entered the studio in the early '90s before turning over a self-titled LP in 1991. Parashar's brother Rick, who passed away in 2014, co-produced the album.
A&M claims that Rick Parashar backed out of a 1993 business deal that was to have him give up physical tapes and rights of the recordings to A&M for $35,000. The tapes were in his possession until his death. Since then, Rajan has held on to the tapes. He's claimed that since he was not part of the original deal, he's not contractually bound to give the tapes over to the record label.
A recent statement from Cornell blasts the surviving Parashar, suggesting he has no business holding on to the Temple of the Dog recordings.
"A&M Records paid for the recordings and the use of the studio," Cornell told the Associated Press. "To pretend he has a right to keep the recordings makes no more sense than the owner of a laundromat claiming he owns the clothes you washed in his washing machine."
Parashar's lawyer, Warren Rheaum, has argued that his client can, in fact, lay claim to the tapes since they were cut in his studio. "Raj made the facility available, he wrangled people over the two-week recording period, and I believe he was the recording engineer," Rheaum said.
A&M reportedly had long-believed the material to be in possession of the group, which also featured future Pearl Jam members Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mike McCready, and Matt Cameron. Eddie Vedder likewise contributed vocals to a number of songs, including big hit "Hunger Strike." The album was a tribute to Mother Love Bone's Andrew Wood, who died from a heroin overdose in 1990. Gossard, Ament and McCready had also played in Mother Love Bone.
It's as yet unclear if A&M has any plans for the tapes, if returned, beyond possessing them. It should be noted, however, that Temple of the Dog comes up on its 25th anniversary in 2016.
UPDATE: The current owners of London Bridge have issued a statement on the matter, reiterating that Raj Parashar is no longer with the company.
We recently learned about the lawsuit between previous London Bridge Studio owner Rajan Parashar and A&M Records and wish to clarify we are in no way associated with the situation or with the former ownership of the studio.
As the current owners of London Bridge we pride ourselves upon tirelessly working to preserve the deep history rooted at London Bridge, while simultaneously updating and upgrading our world class facility to make this historic studio available to our diverse and talented community of artists and musicians for generations to come.
We are also enormous fans of The Temple of the Dog album recorded here, and we hope with all sincerity that both parties can reach an amicable and swift conclusion to this dispute.