Questlove and Black Thought Sued By Ex-Roots Drummer Over Unpaid Royalties
According to the New York Post, Frank “Knuckles” Walker, a percussionist and longtime member of the Tonight Show house band, file a claim on Thursday (Aug. 17) in Manhattan Federal Court. He alleges in his suit that Questo and Thought refused to pay him his money and fired him as a way to keep him quiet.
“They simply kicked him out of The Roots and presumed he would forget about almost two decades of hard work, dedication, and effort he put into [the group],” reads Walker's lawsuit. He also claims that Quest and Thought, along with manager Shawn Gee, paid him “unfair compensation” and used his image to promote their performances after firing him back in May.
In an interview with the NYPost, Walker claims that Questlove and Thought have been allegedly handling business in a very negligent way. “I’ve been a member of the roots for 17 years and there has been a lot of bad paper work and bad business,” he states. “This is definitely a pattern with these Roots guys.”
Walker joined the Philadelphia-based Roots crew in 2002 and have performed on several of their musical projects, including their Grammy-winning collaborative album Wake Up! with John Legend. The musician is seeking royalties from performances where his image was used to promote their live events. Walker claims that his images were used without his permission.
“Defendants made no efforts to come to an agreement regarding past and future royalties, compensation and profits for [Walker],” his suit says.
Walker also claims in his lawsuit that his bandmates subjected him to “cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard” of his rights and were allegedly done “willfully, maliciously, and oppressively.” He is seeking monetary damages “in an amount sufficient to punish Defendants and to deter Defendants from committing such acts in the future.”
Questlove, Black Thought and their manager had no comment on the matter.