Spike Lee objects to punk band that borrows his name
The Reliable Source
Spike Lee objects to D.C. band that borrowed his name
G’Ra Asim admits it: They named their band what they did in hopes their namesake would take notice.
Well, that worked. Days after The Washington Post wrote a story about Asim’s band, their hero hit them with a cease-and-desist.
The name of Asim’s band: A Spike Lee Joint.
Exactly the same tag*line Spike Lee uses on his movies.
The D.C.-based pop-punk outfit had been playing under that name for about a year, but four days after a March 27 profile by our colleague Lonnae O’Neal Parker, Asim got a letter from Lee’s lawyer saying the name was a violation of the director’s rights and to stop using it immediately. Lee’s attorney, Arthur Indursky, did not return our calls; nor did Lee’s office.
Asim told us the name choice was part homage — “the spirit of our music is not dissimilar to the spirit of his filmmaking” — and part punk-rock statement. “In punk culture, pretty much any band name has been selected for shock value,” said Asim, who is African American and whose bandmates are both white and black. “I felt like one of the only things left that someone could do to be provocative would be to take a figure from black culture and give it a new context in what’s seen as a predominantly white culture.”