Another day, another disgruntled rhythm-section member seeking retribution against his former employers on MySpace.
First it was former Panic! at the Disco bassist Brent Wilson, who was fired, then threatened to sue his ex-bandmates (see “Panic! At The Disco Split Gets Nasty: Band Alleges Wilson Did Not Play On LP” ). Now it’s former Good Charlotte drummer Chris Wilson (no relation), who left the band last year due to “personal health problems” (see “Good Charlotte Drummer Leaves Band Over ‘Health Problems’ “ ) and has since kept busy manning the kits for Jacksonville, Florida, pop-punkers the Summer Obsession.
When his departure from GC was announced, it was followed by the de rigueur “we love him and wish him well” statement from his bandmates (see “Good Charlotte Express Concern For Their Former Drummer” ). Wilson contends those sentiments were less than sincere, given the actions of Good Charlotte masterminds Joel and Benji Madden in the year following his split.
“So I’ve kept my mouth shut for long enough,” Wilson wrote on his MySpace page. “It has been roughly a year and a half since my departure from GC, and all I can say is, ‘What the f—?’ How many times can I possibly get stabbed in the back? I know I f—ed up, and I’m sincerely sorry for what I put you through. But why are you guys acting as if everything is OK? Why don’t you start telling the kids about how I never made one cent off of any merch, CDs [or] DVDs, royalties (of songs I played on), publishing (songs I played on) or TV performances (in which I signed contracts stating exactly how much I was supposed to receive). Where did it go?
“Why do you still blow me off and never return phone calls?” he continued. “Why have I been trying for a year to get my gear back (four drum sets, wardrobe case, cymbals, etc.) with no assistance from you at all. I’ve been on the road with the Summer Obsession for almost the past year with a bullsh– drum kit that’s falling apart. Come on, Benji, I don’t know how many times I’ve asked you, with you responding that you would get right on it. … Tell your assistant or whoever does everything for you to please help me out. I’m tired of waiting.”
And his rant didn’t stop with royalties or stolen drum kits. He also accused the Madden brothers of paying him as a member of GC’s road crew and forcing him to sign a contract, which “f—ed me out of anything.” Wilson goes on to write that the Maddens promised his current band that they would be opening for GC on their headlining tour, a slot that ultimately went to the Pink Spiders (see “Good Charlotte Roll Out U.S. Tour Dates For Still-Untitled Fourth LP” ). He also said the brothers took advantage of him while he was in the midst of a personal crisis, a state they helped put him in.
“The reason why I lost my mind was because I joined a band with two of the most egotistical, self-centered, back-stabbing, corrupted individuals who are filled with broken promises,” he wrote. “You guys were my best friends and yet I wasn’t good enough. What is going on? Come back to reality! You are complete contradictions to everything you would try to make fun of. You know what is crazy? I live in a f—ing van, you live in mansions! Where’s the justification there?”
Wilson said he’s ready with a retort when his former bandmates respond to his allegations.
“You have broke one too many promises, and now it’s time to call you out,” he wrote. “I won’t be ignored. … Your fans will know! I have nothing to lose anymore! Hollywood has corrupted your souls, money means more to you than your own friends. I’ve done my part, now it’s your turn. I’ll be waiting patiently for your response. But just know, this is only the beginning. Until you treat me as though you honestly give a sh–, I’m going to spill this to everybody.”
It looks like he’ll have to get that reply ready sooner rather than later, because on Friday afternoon (September 29), Good Charlotte — who are currently touring in support of the upcoming Good Morning Revival! LP (see “Good Charlotte Celebrate Happier Sound, Sober Outlook On Good Morning Revival!“ ) — responded to Wilson’s diatribe in a statement issued to MTV News that was later posted on the band’s official MySpace page. “We wanted to let you know what our feelings are and what the truth really is,” the statement, signed “Billy, Paul, Benji and Joel,” reads. “Chris is saying that we’ve cheated him out of money that he felt he deserved, but that’s not true. Chris was well-paid for drumming for us but he did not write the songs with us, so he’s not included in the songwriting royalties. This is something he knew all along.”
The statement continues that Good Charlotte “feel badly if [Wilson] mismanaged the money he made while playing with our band. He also posted that we tried to prevent the band Over It from being part of the ‘Snakes on a Plane’ soundtrack. This makes no sense, as we have been friends with the guys in Over It for years now. Chris is also accusing us of withholding his gear, which is untrue. During the time Chris played with our band he was going through ‘personal health problems’ and we insisted he go to rehab, in the hope he would get better. So, we made the arrangements and advanced him the money.
“We really don’t know what to make of this since we had a good conversation with Chris recently, even after he threatened to sue us earlier this summer,” the statement continues. “All of this really saddens us as we did our best to help him and to protect his reputation and privacy.”