LOS ANGELES – The Beach Boys are seeking millions in damages from two California men, claiming they stole a trove of photos, recordings and other band memorabilia from a warehouse with the intent to put the items up for auction.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Los Angeles on Wednesday. It names three defendants: Allan Gaba, the owner of a North Hollywood warehouse, his friend, Roy Sciacca, and Gem Systems Inc., a company Sciacca was involved in.
Brother Records Inc., the band's corporate entity, brought the case, claiming Gaba and Sciacca violated the group's copyright and trademark rights and their "right of publicity," among other claims. The band is seeking millions of dollars in damages, including more than $20 million for the trademark claim alone.
According to the complaint, the band had been using Gaba's warehouse to store musical instruments, original sheet music, charts, photos, contracts and other items culled over the years from the early days of the popular '60s group.
In 1994, the band decided to clear out the warehouse, but claims Gaba had removed between 13 and 25 boxes full of their memorabilia without permission.
Then last October, Sciacca contacted Britain-based entertainment auction house Cooper Owen and tried to put the items up for sale, the lawsuit claims. The auction was canceled a half-hour before it was to start, the document said.
Sciacca, who the band claims still retains several boxes of their effects, told officials at Cooper Owen that he had purchased the memorabilia two decades ago, according to the complaint.
No listed number for Gaba or Sciacca could be located.