MORE

Lawsuit Pits Punk Label vs. Hair Metal Label

Turns out Sammy Hagar can drive 55 after all!
Turns out Sammy Hagar can drive 55 after all!
Courtesy of the artist

You know Frontier Records, right? The seminal local punk label was behind '80s albums from classic bands like Circle Jerks, the Adolescents, Suicidal Tendencies, TSOL and Red Kross.

Or, wait, perhaps you're thinking of Frontiers Records, the Naples, Italy imprint which specializes in hair metal and classic rock, and has put out albums from Warrant, Sammy Hagar, Winger and Nelson. And we're talking about fairly recent albums from those acts.

Confused? You're not the only one. In fact, considering that albums from Frontiers - from Italy - have in recent years come to American soil, the owner of our hometown label is none too pleased. She's just filed suit in the U.S. District Court's Central Division for California, alleging copyright infringement and seeking $500,000 in damages. 
Here's the backstory: In 1980 a Bomp! Records alum named Lisa Fancher started Frontier, which was critical in jumpstarting the enormously influential Southern California hardcore scene. Important early releases like the Circle Jerks' 1980 first work Group Sex put the label on the map, and its 1980s roster reads like a who's-who of the L.A. and Orange County scenes.

Frontier has slowed down, but it still sponsors shows and puts out music from notable acts like goth rockers Christian Death. 

Italian-based Frontiers, meanwhile, has found its own weird little niche, putting out albums from once-platinum acts who are past their prime. Not too many people were checking for the most recent Night Ranger album, 2011's Somewhere in California, for example (or Sammy Hagar and Friends from last year), but there's most certainly a market for this kind of thing.

And that's not just in the European and Japanese markets that will seemingly devour any crap from aging, formerly-famous American rock acts that gets recorded; Frontiers landed a distribution deal in the U.S. in 2010.

Fancher's goal with the lawsuit? To get Frontiers to change its name, at least in America. She claims that representatives from the Italian label brushed her off, claiming there wouldn't be confusion because the genres of music they work in are fairly different.  

We'd concede that point, but then again we're a music critic, albeit one with a special passion for cock rock. As for our parents, or even our sister? They would definitely be confused, per Fancher's claim.

The moral of the story? The '80s are long over, but the jocks and the punks are still fighting it out.

Like us on Facebook at LAWeeklyMusic
Follow

Why the Door Guy at the Club Hates You
Top 20 Punk Albums in History
Top 20 Hardcore Albums in History
Henry Rollins' 20 Favorite Punk Albums