Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Sad Case of "The Imperials"

I've talked about "The Imperials" here before. They were far and away my favorite musical group when I was in my teens. The "Sail On" album was like a revelation to me. In an earlier post I talked about hiding behind the soda machine listening to it on a mono cassette player because it was too much like rock 'n' roll for my Christian school.

So today I was thinking about that great old album. I have some MP3s from it that I bought online, but I've always wanted the whole thing. So I googled a few things and came up with this article at Christianity Today's website.

To summarize, The Imperials that I knew and loved -- that performed in city arenas and stadiums to huge roaring crowds and won several grammys -- was founded by a man named Armond Morales. Today his son Jason Morales heads up a group called The Imperials, which does not include any of the original artists, and which makes albums no one listens to and goes around performing in churches and the like.

Now the younger Morales is SUING HIS FATHER for rights to the name "Imperials".

Now, here's the punch line: why is he doing this? Why would a man file a lawsuit against his 70+ year-old father for exclusive rights to the name of the legendary Christian band that was his father's legacy? The answer: to keep his father from "ruining the band's reputation" by performing now and then under the name "The Classic Imperials".

So enter me, an old fan of "The Imperials" looking to renew my interest in the band. I google "The Imperials" and find this load of crap. I can't believe this. What kind of idiot must Jason Morales be to think that his father performing with his old buddies under the name "Classic Imperials" is going to spoil the band's reputation more than this whole ridiculous lawsuit business?

To think that after all those years building the name and reputation of The Imperials, the poor Mr. Morales would live to be sued by his own son over rights to the name.... It's heartbreaking.

I've read the "open letter" at the (young) Imperials official website, where they try to spout pious sounding nonsense in an attempt to make this sound like something that's not completely ugly and foul. But when you boil it down, even in thier own letter, he's suing his father because his father was singing with some of the other former band members under the name "Classic Imperials", and young Mr. Morales thought it would "confuse the fans" to have two bands using the same name. So he files a lawsuit against his father to clear up the matter! How ludicrous!

Jason Morales' "Imperials" would have no fans if it weren't for the decades of work that his father did! And even as it is, the band today doesn't deserve to mop the stage where his father's band performed! Can Jason really believe he's working to restore the reputation of The Imperials by taking his father to court?!

I'm telling you, this completely kills any interest I might have had in this band. And then to read this open letter in which he goes on and on about his "ministry" and "God told me" this and that -- it makes me sick. I wouldn't go to hear these people sing if you paid me. I wouldn't download an MP3 of this band for free. That's how mad I am!