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Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys Being Sued for Howlin’ Wolf Documentary

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles claims that Dan Auerbach was responsible for walking away from a documentary on blues legend Howlin’ Wolf after he overspent on the project. The producer, Smokestack Lightning, Inc., is seeking no less than $100,000 in damages from the Black Keys frontman.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Auerbach became the director and executive producer of Smokestack Lightning: The Legendary Howlin’ Wolf after he was interviewed for the film, along with blues-based rockers like Led Zeppelin‘s Jimmy Page and Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones. He did so in exchange for complete creative control and nine percent of the profits.

That was when the problems started. The complaint says that “[Auerbach] quickly demanded certain material alterations and vast expansions to the then existing Picture,” which was already in post-production at the time. He re-shot and added interviews, hired a different writer and used “an entirely new camera and filming format.” In addition, any time that the producers acknowledged the rising budget, he threatened to leave if things weren’t done exactly his way.

Then, before all the changes he made had been completed, he walked away from it and would not reimburse Smokestack for the costs incurred. Auerbach is being sued for “breach of a verbal agreement and of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unfair business practices and negligent misrepresentation.” He has not commented on the matter.

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