Three months after four fans sued Creed alleging that Scott Stapp was so wasted he couldn’t perform at a December show in Chicago, the band’s singer has responded and denied the allegations. In fact, Stapp told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday that, quite to the contrary, he was offering an over-the-top, dramatic gesture meant to convey the difficulties he was facing in his personal life at the time.
In a pair of lengthy voice mails the singer left with the paper, Stapp said that what fans mistook for him passing out onstage during the song “Who’s Got My Back” was actually a piece of rock and roll theater in which he lay down to make a point. “It was a symbolic, personal gesture,” Stapp said. “I had some things going on in my life. I kind of felt alone. And it was a symbol that I didn’t think anybody had my back at the time. Some people get it. Some people don’t.” A Creed spokesperson confirmed that the voice mails were in fact from Stapp.
In late April, the four fans filed suit against the group, its management and Ticketmaster over a December 29 show at the Allstate Arena in Chicago during which they claimed the singer was too intoxicated to perform. In their complaint, the fans sought reimbursement for tickets and parking fees and asked the judge to consider a class-action suit on behalf of the 15,000 fans in attendance that could end up costing the group up to $2 million.
Creed’s attorneys filed for a motion to dismiss the class-action suit on July 8, which a judge is expected to rule on in September. “The motion basically argues that you can’t bring a lawsuit against a band for sucking,” said the attorney for the disgruntled fans, Daniel J. Voelker. “That this is a subjective issue.”
In the suit, the fans claimed that Stapp was, “so intoxicated and/or medicated” that he could not sing the lyrics to any of the band’s songs, that he left the stage for long periods of time and rolled around on the floor as if in pain. They also claimed that he appeared to pass out at one point during the show.
Stapp’s voice mail did not appear to explain why he thought the fans sued, but he did claim he was fighting off an undisclosed illness at the time. “We didn’t feel like it was an awful show,” he said, following his reported review of a videotape of the Chicago concert. “That’s why it kind of shocked us… We appreciate the fans. We know that the fans are the reason we are here today. And that night, we gave it everything that we had – like we do every night.”
In January, while not offering refunds, the band apologized to those who felt the show was subpar. “We apologize if you don’t feel that the show was up to the very high standards set by our previous shows in Chicago,” a note on the official Creed Web site read. “For now we hope that you can take some solace in the fact that you definitely experienced the most unique of all Creed shows and may have become part of the unusual world of rock and roll history!”
Some fans who attended the show wrote to MTV News’ You Tell Us section, calling the performance everything from “horrible” to “the worst show I have ever seen,” while one characterized the plaintiffs as “ridiculous” for suing the band.
The Sentinel reported that Stapp said in the past Creed has performed makeup dates for shows they thought were substandard, but that the Chicago show did not qualify. “If these allegations were true, the band would, of course, feel that the fans deserved a free show,” Stapp said. “These allegations are a lie. They’re false.”
A spokesperson for Creed said that the band is in the midst of taking a year off from recording and touring.