MSN Music Blog - Reverb

Not quite a reunion

Save Ferris sues Save Ferris singer for booking Save Ferris reunion without Save Ferris

By percy thrillington Jun 27, 2013 8:41PM
No one ever said being in a band was easy. Sometimes it's even hard to have formerly been in one. Take, for example, the story of Save Ferris, a prominent band of the so-called third wave ska revival of the mid-'90s: they came from Orange County, had a couple of near-hits (the 1995 ska cover of "Come On Eileen" being the biggest) in the wake of No Doubt's ascendancy, showed up in a film ("10 Things I Hate About You"),  and broke up in 2002, having distinguished themselves from their bro-centric contemporaries (Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, et al) mostly via the presence of a female in the group, singer Monique Powell, whose glamorously rowdy style made her the band's most recognizable member, as is often the case with singers. 

Flash forward to April, when the Orange County Fair announced that its summer concert series would include a Save Ferris reunion show July 27 at the 8,500-capacity Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, CA. Nothing terribly noteworthy there: bands reunite all the time (the series will also include shows by the Go-Gos, the B-52s, X, Three Dog Night, the Grass Roots and, opening for SF, the English Beat). But this was not to be a typical reunion—or rather, it was to be an increasingly typical one. Turns out Monique Powell is the only member of the original band who will be participating in the show, much to the chagrin of her former bandmates, who posted the following denunciation to the Save Ferris Facebook page:

Anaheim, CA, April 9, 2013 - To Our Fans: It was brought to our attention that on or about April 8, 2013 Monique Powell, the former singer for the band "Save Ferris," announced that a Save Ferris "reunion show" would be taking place at the Orange County Fairgrounds on July 27, 2013. We feel it is important that fans of the band Save Ferris know that this is NOT a reunion show and the show will NOT include any original or former Band member other than Monique Powell. We have not authorized Monique Powell to perform under the name Save Ferris and the original and former Band members regret any confusion to our fans that may be caused as a result of any misleading statements or marketing materials disseminated by Ms. Powell or any other parties connected to this concert engagement. From what we can infer by the marketing and advertising materials we have seen thus far, this engagement is simply a Monique Powell performance of Save Ferris material accompanied by various musicians, who are unknown to the Band.
Due to the large number of inquiries we have received about this subject matter, we felt it was appropriate to release this statement to better clarify the participants of this event so that the public and our loyal fans can make an informed decision regarding whether to attend the event.
Although we would like to perform an actual "reunion show" at some point in time featuring the original and former Band members, we would like to take this opportunity now to thank all of the Save Ferris fans who have continued to support our music and the Band over the years. Thank you!

But the show remained on the schedule, so the chagrin became something altogether more aggressive. The OC Weekly reported last week that the former bandmates were suing Powell.

Save Ferris frontwoman Monique Powell could find herself in legal hotwater over the decision to do a reunion show at the OC Fair without any of the other original members.
The singer was recently sued by her former bandmates for falsely promoting what's been billed as a reunion show at Costa Mesa's Pacific Amphitheatre on July 27. A conversationwith the band's original guitarist Brian Mashburn confirmed that he and his former bandmates Bill Uechi, Eric Zamora, Brian Williams, Oliver Zavala and Evan Kilbourne were definitely not happy about the announcement about the show back in April. Now, they're seeking unspecified damages for promoting the Pacific date as a proper Save Ferris appearance and an injunction that would prevent Powell from using the moniker ever again. Harsh? Eh, not really, according to Mashburn, considering Powell never even told the band what her plans were for the show.
"On [April 8] we found out that Monique Powell scheduled a Save Ferris "Reunion" show without inviting or telling any of the original band members," says Mashburn. "And because word spreads so quickly on social media these days and pre-sale tickets were going on sale Wednesday, the band wanted to do the responsible thing and inform the public and its fans before they purchased tickets that this wasn't a "reunion" show and didn't involve any band members other than Monique."
Powell joined the band in 1995 after original singer Adrienne Knolff quit. Mashburn says that most of the songs likely to be performed at the OC Fair gig were written either solely by him or as a collaboration between him and Powell. The band--still considered heroes in OC's Third Wave Ska scene--rose to prominence after 1997's ska-style cover of "Come On Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners but split in 2002 after two albums. The remainder of Save Ferris went on to perform as Starpool with lead singer Alan Meade.

As with recent stories about Stone Temple Pilots and Queensryche, this saga brings up interesting questions about who retains the legal, ethical and (dare one say) spiritual rights to a defunct band's name and image—the original players or the face and voice most closely associated with the group's notoriety. To date, Monique Powell has only made one statement about the fracas: 

"While I had hoped this could be a reunion of sorts with all, or some, of my former SF band members, unfortunately that isn't the way it looks to be turning out."

But a post on her Twitter feed two days after the lawsuit news broke seemed to indicate her position, albeit obliquely (and self-aggrandizingly):
@Monique_Powell: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~Mahatma Gandhi

She is a lead singer, after all

Jul 25, 2013 8:22PM

This one's for that chubby blonde with the cheap fake boobs and the fake tan that's been stalking Mo for a number of years. Professional karaoke singer, seat filler, and oxygen thief. Never written a song in her life: "Chloe Starr", we've caught you!. :) So far our atty's have uncovered three Catfish accounts linked to you. We'll find the rest. Don't worry :) Are you ready??

Jul 25, 2013 8:20PM

"Don't be fooled, MONIQUE POWELL co-wrote 75% of the songs, co-produced 100% of the albums, financed the first EP, was the band's first manager and booker, and chose SAVE FERRIS's ONLY "hit" song, which, coincidentally, was a COVER. For their second single Mashburn lied about the involvement of 2 other writers. People's inability to recognize POWELL's immense contribution to SF can only be summed into one thing: old fashioned MISOGYNY."-AUTHOR UNKNOWN

Jun 29, 2013 1:10AM
Did I really just waste my time reading this story?  YES!!!  I also agree with Bubba60 about their biggest hit being a remake.  That really isn't something a band should be proud of.  Anyone can do a remake.  It takes true artists to write original songs that become a hit.
Jun 29, 2013 12:16AM
Spam! It's pink and it's oval, SPAM.  Seems like me & two others here know who Save Ferris is. You guys missed out. Check them out.

Now to Monique...Fa reals dude? Real assholish of you.

Jun 28, 2013 10:31PM
i thought this was about Ferris Bueller 
Jun 28, 2013 9:32PM
Jun 28, 2013 7:26PM
Considering this girl wasn't even an original member.....................she probably shouldn't be using the name without the permission of the rest of the band.
Jun 28, 2013 6:17PM
Is it proper to call a woman a "douche"?  ...and really who has ever heard of these turds?  I think it's always sad when a bands biggest "hit" is a remake of another bands song that was by far a larger hit in it's time... oops again.. WGAS!
Jun 28, 2013 6:07PM

i loved this Band and really miss their sound. wish they could put allt he self important **** behind em get back together and start making music. Monique Powell was so hot and had sucha  great voice. Come back guys... we need ya.

Jun 28, 2013 5:08PM
Never heard of them.  The only save ferris I know was a movie starring Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Gray.

                         "FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF"
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