Eric Valentine is a record producer-about-town with credits ranging from Nickel Creek to the All-American Rejects to Good Charlotte to, well, Maroon 5. He also can get your tracks on a bunch of high-profile soundtracks (Transformers!). Dude knows industry people and, if you're an aspiring musician of the inoffensive/blockbuster-soundtrack-ballad variety, you probably wanna meet Eric Valentine and hang out with him. If you do, however, make sure it's actually him you're
offering to blow trying to ply with favors in exchange for an introduction to Adam Levine or Michael Bay.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Valentine (born Eric Dodd) has just filed a lawsuit against one Louis Adkinson, who allegedly "has assumed his identity and shopped producing services throughout the music industry."
According to the Hollywood Reporter:
The lawsuit claims Adkinson, whose adoptive brother is the manager of Valentine's Los Angeles recording facility, broke into his office and stole a plaque commemorating Valentine's work on the "Shrek" soundtrack. According to the suit, Adkinson and Damon Elliot, another producer and the son of singer Dionne Warwick, then "conspired to misappropriate and trade off the good will of Valentine's name and use that name to steal from musicians and others who wanted to work with Valentine."
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Valentine's description of Adkinson's alleged M.O. makes him sound like a cross between Will Smith in Six Degrees of Separation and your standard gonna-make-you-a-star Hollywood bottom feeder:
"He endears himself to people and gets entrenched in their family lives," Valentine said of Adkinson. "He portrays himself as a high roller and tells people he can make them a music star."
Mark Ballas, a "Dancing With the Stars" dancer who records albums with fellow "DWTS" star Derek Hough, said Adkinson initially fooled him into believing he was recording with the real Valentine.
"For the first week, he had us," Ballas said. "He said he'd worked on Maroon 5, he had pictures on his phone holding up the real Eric Valentine's plaque from his office."
But Ballas, who has a music degree, began to notice that his producer might not be who he claimed he was.
"He didn't have any musical knowledge," Ballas said. "He didn't know a C chord. He didn't know anything."
Protip: If you're gonna impersonate a Maroon 5 producer and try to bamboozle Dancing With the Stars staff, please at the very least learn a C chord. It looks like this: