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The Five Greatest Rock and Roll Swindles

The Five Greatest Rock and Roll Swindles
Sayre Berman

Circulating on the social medias for about a year now has been this wild story of a Taiwanese man who sued his wife for producing ugly offspring. Sure, the headline had us aghast too, but upon further review, it turns out the wife duped the man. According to the story, the mother of the three uncomely kids had 100 thousand dollars worth of plastic surgery before meeting their procreator. Reports indicate that the judge in the case ruled in the father's favor, stating that the wife had hoodwinked the fella on grounds of false pretenses by never disclosing the plastic surgery. It makes sense on paper, somewhat, but the verdict really opens up a whole can of genetic worms.

There are reports that this story is really a hoax, which means we were suckered too, but there is nothing conclusive on either side of the argument. With all this bamboozlement going around, we got to wondering about rock and roll's greatest swindles. There's the story told about the Sex Pistols, in the mockumetary The Great Rock n' Roll Swindle, in which the Pistols are played out to be pawns in manager's Malcolm McLaren master plan. Turns out McLaren cheated the Pistols out of a great deal of their earnings. Happens a lot in the music business. After the jump, read our list of the top five greatest rock n' roll swindles.

5. Sting is taken for 6 million pounds, or $9.8 million, by financial adviser.

Keith Moore, Sting's former financial adviser (who also worked with Queen) was sentenced to six years in prison for embezzling millions of dollars right from under Sting's tantric nostrils. It took years for the Police frontman to even notice the indiscretions.

4. Lights Over Paris singer scams bank out of millions of dollars in loans.

Despite only having $10,000, to his name, Robert Mawhinney (stage name Robb "TaLLLLL" University) managed to secure over $11 million in credit from the bank. The frontman for synth-y Orange County act Lights Over Paris provided false documents declaring $8 million in assets. He wasn't such a good con man, however, because a few weeks ago, he was sentenced to 7-years in prison for his actions.

 

3. Morrissey and Marr screw over the two other guys in the Smiths.

We tread lightly here since Moz and Marr are held in the highest regard in County Grind offices. The premise, in the tumultuous court cases, which dragged on for years, is the acclaimed crooner and his guitar wielding bandmate, Johnny Marr, garnered over 40-percent of the Smiths' performing and recording royalties, pretty much shafting bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce. The two lesser know Smiths members only received 10 percent each. The judge in the case ruled in Joyce's favor (the plaintiff in case) ordering that he receive approximately £1 million in back-payments and 25 percent of future sales.

2. Metallica scams the world into believing they are actually creative.

Metallica, perhaps one of heavy metal's most well known acts, has purportedly ripped off many riffs to make their top selling bangers. The group's lead singer, James Hatfield fessed up to one such instance in an interview with Guitar World.

1. Milli Vanilli lip syncs its way to a Grammy win

One of pop music's greatest swindles, Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus didn't sing a note on their debut album Girl You Know It's True. Having actual talent didn't hold them back, the group won a Best New Artist nod at the 1990 Grammys.




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