July 29, 2008

Billy Corgan Sues Gurnee Filmmaker: Smashing Pumpkins Lead Singer Charges the Work’s Unsatisfactory

By Ameet Sachdev, Chicago Tribune

Jul. 29--Billy Corgan, lead singer of the Smashing Pumpkins, has sued a Gurnee filmmaker because he is unhappy with the work the man produced. The singer also claims the filmmaker refuses to turn over all of the footage he shot unless he receives more money.

Corgan is seeking more than $100,000 in damages from Lester Cohn of Pure DV Productions, according to the suit filed July 22 in Lake County.

The singer said he paid Cohn to videotape some of his concerts and studio sessions from 2003 through at least 2005. At the time Corgan was performing as a solo act and with other musicians, according to his lawyer Marc Silver of Barnes & Thornburg.

Corgan planned to use the footage to create works in different media, Silver said. But Cohn allegedly has provided only a portion of the footage, which Corgan said in the suit "was completely unsatisfactory and not completed in a professional, workmanlike manner in accordance with the standards of a music filmmaker."

Corgan said in the suit that Cohn misrepresented his filmmaking expertise and does not deserve the money he was paid. The singer also would like the rest of the footage, which he charged Cohn is holding hostage.

"Mr. Corgan is trying to obtain what's rightfully his in a format that was promised," Silver said.

Phone calls to Cohn and his attorney were not immediately returned.

The Smashing Pumpkins are scheduled to play a host of shows in the coming months to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

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