Injunction lifted against the Gladiators in France

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droop-lion-and-the-gladiators-demo-photo.jpgReggae band Droop Lion and the Gladiators, were successful in getting a Supreme Court injunction lifted against their performances in Europe.

Local booking agent Jeffrey Stephenson, and the core of the band - guitarists Clinton Rufus and Gallimore Sutherland, keyboardist Veron Sutherland and harmony singer/percussionist Ludlow Robinson - were recently embroiled in legal wranglings with Al Griffiths, son of the legendary Albert Griffiths in Jamaica.

In October, Griffiths, the former leader of the The Gladiators had been granted an order by the Supreme Court barring Stephenson and Cartel Concert, a French booking company from using the name 'The Gladiators'.

"It was most upsetting because we were hit with an injunction in Jamaica filed by Al and Anthony Griffiths on October 2, and then we went to Europe, we were hit with an injunction in France filed by Michel Jovanovic. They were fighting the war on two fronts to stop our tour, but we eventually won in France, and the tour was successful," Stephenson said.

French booking agent Michel Jovanovic, had attempted to block the band's performances in Europe. Jovanovic allegedly registered The Gladiators' name in March 2015 for use in Europe. This, Stephenson claims, would allow him to assemble a unit called The Gladiators to perform in that continent.

Jovanovic operates the Paris-based Mediacom which has booked shows for The Gladiators since 1996.

"However, the Supreme Court in France ruled that the musicians have the right to use the name anytime and anywhere without interference from anyone. We are taking that ruling now, and will be approaching the Supreme Court in Jamaica to get the injunction lifted in Jamaica," he said.

The band recently did 35 gigs across Europe, namely France, the United Kingdom, Austria, Spain, Belgium and Czech Republic with singer Droop Lion as Droop Lion and The Gladiators Band.

"This is a landmark ruling, and it has ramifications for other musicians who have been abused by artistes and their relatives over the years. Musicians have the right to earn, once they build a brand, it is like a company that they have helped to build and they have the right to earn from their work in establishing that brand," Stephenson said.

Reggae singer Albert Griffiths started The Gladiators in 1967 while he was a session guitarist at Studio One. Errol Grandison, David Webber, Clinton Fearon, Sutherland and Rufus are some of the band's early members.

Best known for the song Hello Carol, The Gladiators recorded a number of roots songs in the 1970s such as Bongo Red and Roots Natty. The toured extensively throughout Europe, the United States, South America and the Pacific and soon they became made a top draw. In 2005 illness forced Griffiths permanently off the road.

He was replaced on vocals by his son Albert Jnr. Other sons, Anthony on drums and Rory, who died in 2011, also joined the band. Stephenson said Albert Jnr left in 2013 after a falling-out with band members.