Bay Area band forced to give up "Neverland" name

Foreverland band at an event in Redwood City (Photo courtesy of www.foreverlandsf.com)
February 12, 2010 7:03:49 PM PST
A Bay Area band known as "Neverland," which performs Michael Jackson's songs, has been told by the Jackson estate to stop using that name.

An attorney for the estate says the name Neverland is associated with Jackson through his ownership of the Santa Barbara County ranch by that name, so it might appear the estate endorses the band. The band was told that if they do not change the name, the estate will take action

"They very well might be able to. As far as we can tell it is really gray," band manager Morty Okin said.

For now, the 14-piece tribute band which formed in March 2009, has changed its name to Foreverland because it does not have the resources for a court fight.

However, that entails the hassle of changing the website, promotional materials, and future bookings.

Some of the band members gathered at Mezzanine Lounge before Friday's performance in Felton, somewhat surprised, since this band is serious about the music.

"It's a testament to these pieces; they're so amazing and so challenging," singer Alex Brose said.

Lawsuits have been rare what with tribute bands around like Barely Manilow, Dead Zepplin, and AC/DSHE.

Singer Mark Edwards used to sing with Mandonna.

"No one ever gave us any problems at all from Madonna's camp and we played for years," he said.

When the band appears at Mezzanine on Feb. 26, will it be Neverland or Foreverland? This legal battle may not quite be over yet. Okin says if they can find an entertainment attorney who would take their case pro bono, they may challenge the estate.

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