Source:  San Francisco Chronicle

November 1, 2000
Guitarist Sues His Former Band Members
Third Eye Blind accused of conspiracy to oust him

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer


The ousted guitarist of Bay Area rock band Third Eye Blind is suing his former band members, management, attorneys and record label in federal court in Oakland, claiming that they conspired to kick him out.

The lawsuit filed by Kevin Cadogan, 30, of Berkeley, will be the subject of a hearing Friday before U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken.

Third Eye Blind has produced two multi-platinum albums, including a 1997 self-titled debut that included the No. 1 ``Semi-Charmed Life.''

Cadogan said he co-wrote 14 of the songs on the two albums but was dismissed from the band in January after playing at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. His firing came days after he reportedly refused to sign off on a $1 million deal from Elektra Entertainment Group Inc.

Cadogan filed suit in June, saying band founder Stephan Jenkins did not give him 50 percent ownership of the band as promised in 1993. Jenkins was given 100 percent of the shares, without Cadogan's knowledge, as the band increased in popularity and caught the attention of record labels, the suit said.

Stephen Kroft, a Los Angeles attorney representing Third Eye Blind, said, ``My clients do not believe there is any validity to any of Mr. Cadogan's claims.'' David Evans, a San Francisco attorney, said the claims against the band's attorneys were ``without merit.''

The lawsuit, alleging breach of contract, conspiracy to perpetuate a fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence, said the band tried to minimize Cadogan's role while producing its second album, ``Blue,'' last year.

``The efforts were cited as limiting the number of songs written by the plaintiff, altering the master recordings, disparaging and mocking references, minimizing album credits accorded to plaintiff, eliminating him from the album artwork and preventing him from reviewing the record,'' the suit said.

``He was the creative driving force behind this band,'' an attorney for Cadogan, Tom Swift of Chicago, said yesterday. ``It appears that Stephan Jenkins couldn't handle the fact that Kevin was due his rights on this.''

The defendants have denied any wrongdoing and have asked Wilken to dismiss several counts in the lawsuit, saying they lack details and were brought forward after the statute of limitations for fraud had run out. Cadogan, voted songwriter of the year at the 1999 and 2000 California Music Awards, now has his own band, called Cousin Kevin.

E-mail Henry K. Lee at

2000 San Francisco Chronicle   Page A22