During a recent appearance on the “White Line Fever” podcast, former EUROPE guitarist Kee Marcello spoke about how his 1980s Swedish glam-rock band EASY ACTION were forced to take legal action against POISON for allegedly stealing the chorus to the EASY ACTION song “We Go Rocking” for the POISON U.S. smash-hit “I Want Action.”
EASY ACTION was said to have been awarded a financial settlement in the case.
Marcello said: “I got [in] contact with the producer of POISON‘s album [Look What The Cat Dragged In], Ric Browde, and he told me he brought the EASY ACTION album and the HANOI ROCKS album to the studio when he did the POISON album, and he put on ‘We Go Rocking’ and suggested the band make a cover out of it. And they said, ‘It’s a f*cking Swedish glam band. Who’s gonna know?’ And they just ripped us off. And this is Ric Browde personally saying this. So it’s so f*cking obvious that it happened.
He continued: “If it would have been me doing such a mistake, I would say, ‘I’m so sorry. I f*cked up. Man, I took your song. I’m so sorry. I’m gonna make it up to you.’ [But] to this day, believe it or not, they completely bluntly deny it. When POISON played at Sweden Rock Festival, they had a press conference, and somebody asked — a lot of people asked — ‘What about Kee Marcello? What about EASY ACTION? What about ‘We Go Rocking’?’ And they said, ‘[We] never heard of any of those.’ And that was the end of it. Then people tried to go on, but they just bluntly denied it. And it’s so ridiculous. At least agree you’re wrong sometimes. So, I don’t know. I don’t wanna see those a—sholes.”
On how EASY ACTION ended up receiving a financial settlement in the case, Marcello said: “The publisher [for ‘We Go Rocking’] is Warner Chappell Music. I’m [listed as the] hundred percent [writer] of the music, and there’s three of us [who are credited for] the lyrics — the singer, the bass player and me — in ‘We Go Rocking.’
“The thing is I was so busy when this happened, I didn’t sue; it was Warner Chappell Music that sued them and threatened to take them to court,” he said. “It was really a dumb deal. I wonder why they didn’t do that. Instead they made a settlement out of court. But as you know, when you do a settlement, they don’t have to [publicly admit] that they [did anything wrong]. If we would have taken them to court, I would have been a co-writer on their song, which I think would have been fair. That’s how you admit you’ve been doing something wrong.
“Because [if I had been listed as a co-writer on ‘I Want Action’], every time they do a best-of POISON album and the song is on there, some money goes to me. It doesn’t now. We just got this sum of money, a settlement out of court. If I would have been more plugged into the whole thing… If there’s one regret I have, it’s not dragging their sorry a—ses to court.”