Howard Gee/Catalinbread Lawsuit

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by tlsmack, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

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    https://www.instagram.com/p/B35nuGEH0xr/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

    At least the suit is over, I hope Howard starts making some great pedals again now that this is behind him!!!!


    kittycastermusic
    Hey everyone. The lawsuit with Catalinbread is over. Here is our official statement:

    Both parties involved would like to announce that the legal dispute between Catalinbread and its former employees has been settled. We are all glad to have arrived at a mutually agreeable accord, and to be moving forward with our respective endeavors. We share a combined pride in our previous work together, and are glad to have put this difficult situation behind us. Each of us would like to wish the other party peace and good luck. ✌️❤️
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  2. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wonder how long it will take for Gee and his associates to get financing to open his own shop and ramp up production?
     
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  3. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

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    I hope the settlement does not restrict his ability to start right away!!!
     
  4. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Why is everyone so supportive of this guy? From the court briefings, he seems like a DB who tried to drive Catalinbread out of business after Nic's mother took over.
     
  5. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Meister

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    Where can I see the court briefings? I've never heard anything about this.
     
  6. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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  7. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    You're aware that the word "alleges" appears at the top, right? Also that "Defendants' motion to dismiss [21] is granted in part", and the part that wasn't dismissed was settled, meaning the court made no finding?

    People "allege" all kinds of BS in lawsuits. What's undeniably true is that Howard designed the pedals that made Catalinbread what it is. No disrespect to Nic, but the company's products changed completely when Howard came on board. Nic and Howard clearly had a successful partnership, one that Nic's successor (his mother) was unable to continue. Regardless of the nature of the dispute, I'm fairly certain that suing Howard wasn't going to solve their problem of having no new designs. Since Howard left, what have they done besides release a tubescreamer clone?
     
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  8. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted

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    On the other hand, if you create or produce something for the company you are employed by to create or produce it, isn't it the companies and not yours, depending on your terms of employment or your contract or whatever?
     
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  9. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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  10. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    That's really the heart of the matter, isn't it? None of us know the legal status of Howard's work with Catalinbread. I think it's entirely possible that Howard had (or thought he had) a deal with Nic that Nic's mom didn't want to continue once she became involved with the company after Nic's death. I think the first round of products from Howard's new company will answer that question.

    The sad thing is, Catalinbread seemed to be a successful company that produced quality, well respected products. The obvious thing to do after the changing of the guard following Nic's death would be to continue with the winning strategy, but that's not what happened. In my experience, it's the greedy and small minded who turn to the legal profession for assistance in these matters.
     
  11. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are a currently a gillion-zillion-fuhshillion pedal companies right now. Do we really need Howard to fill some sort of void somewhere? Put me in the Meh Camp.
     
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  12. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    His designs are excellent and different. Sure, there are tons of companies but Catalinbread was one that mattered and it was because of Howard. The mother screwed the pooch. She lost the creative mind behind the products and their best marketer.
     
  13. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Is that what happened or did he try to take his ball and go home while trying to burn down the playground in the process?
     
  14. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think the Katzenkonig pedal is a great example of some progressive thinking that produced a useful and new-sounding
    dirt pedal, rather than just building another clone in a cool-looking box with a couple of different
    cap or resistor values or maybe an extra mini-switch. There's other examples of this kind of innovation in their catalog.

    Other companies are being very innovative, too. A lot of it caters to the shoegaze and bedroom market, though-- really chaotic
    synthy sounds, crazy fuzz tones, other esoteric weirdness. One real challenge is to create new stuff that isn't mostly a novelty, or
    for really avante garde players, but rather to create stuff of actual utility on stage for guitarists going for more traditional tones.

    I wonder if the pedal craze will wane one of these days as more and more people move to the digital realm and where just about
    any sound can be made with the right software plug-in. A plug in is certainly way cheaper and potentially even more versatile.
    On the other hand it seems that young people have almost a steampunk aesthetic and really love stuff that works the old-fashioned
    way. Tube amps, analog pedals (no SMT!!) made the old school way, vinyl records, modular synthesizers, etc.

    Another CatalinBread pedal I thought was a pretty cool idea (though I never bought one) is the pedal they created to try and get a classic
    Ampeg V-4 sound out of a typical Fender tube amp. Very cool that they thought about how seminal that V4 sound was for a certain
    period in the Rolling Stones, for example. Hiwatt is another underappreciated amp for some really classic tones, IMO.

    I certainly have no knowledge of who was right or wrong in this legal battle. Typically, who is right and who is wrong depends on
    your perspective. Given how they started out as a little company, I bet that there weren't contractual agreements spelled out in writing
    and signed, so then there's a lot of arguments about what the verbal contracts really meant and whether they even existed. Usually the
    better way to go is for reasonable people to sit down and have a mediation. Saves a ton of $$ on legal fees and leaves more money
    on the table for all parties involved. But some people just aren't reasonable....
     
  15. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Meister

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    I don't see the pedal craze waning that much, though if it does, there's still going to be a boutique market that thrives because people inherently like premium or limited/collectible things. Not quite the same market, but I heard an interview with Buzz Osborne from the Melvins where he was asked if people not buying records as much anymore has really affected them and he said no, now we just make less of them and charge more. Instead of doing 10,0000 7 inch singles and selling them at $4 each, they'll do 100 with limited screen printed covers and sell them for $30 each. Boutique pedal companies are going to do the same thing.
     
  16. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Well, that's Catalinbread's version of the story... the one from the lawsuit that was dismissed and/or settled out of court. I imagine Howard has a story too, one that you'll probably never hear because of the lawyers. I find it's usually advisable to hear both sides of a disagreement, and if one side tries to prevent you from hearing the other side, well, there's usually a reason.

    No matter how you slice it, of the people alive on this planet today, Howard Gee is the one most responsible for Catalinbread's success. Without him, they have nothing but legacy products and a Tubescreamer clone. He worked successfully with Nic Harris for years, a situation that changed immediately after Nic's death and Nic's mother taking over the company. Take from that what you will.
     
  17. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Tele-Meister

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    the unseen subliminal aspects of business are not always immediately apparent to those not involved in the drawing up of the actual contracts not to mention the under the table side deals.
    " bla-bla-bla-bla-bla-bla you know all this chit-chat is gonna get you get you hurt."
    The Joker Suicide Squad
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  18. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    It is a fuzz pedal with a Rat filter control. He didn't exactly reinvent the wheel with that design.
     
  19. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know what the Katzenkonig is. Putting peanut butter and chocolate together
    to create a Reese's peanut butter cup was not reinventing the wheel, either, and yet look
    how popular a product it became. Some of the very best inventions come from putting existing
    components together in a way that others hadn't thought of. Sometimes it works out to be awesome,
    sometimes it's a dud.

    I also like the fact that CatalinBread was absolutely honest and transparent in explaining exactly what it is. No silicon goop or mojo needed. They just said here's what we did and check it out-- it sounds great!.
     
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  20. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Not only that, but they released the schematic.
     
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