ADRIAN VANDENBERG says former VANDENBERG bandmates “started six lawsuits against him over band name”
In a new interview with Neil Turbin (ANTHRAX) of The Metal Voice, Dutch guitarist Adriaan “Adje” Van Den Berg (a.k.a. Adrian Vandenberg) was asked if he would ever reunite with former VANDENBERG singer Bert Heerink for some live shows or a studio album.
He responded: “No, with Bert it’s over. I never wanna see that guy again. Because he and the former bass player started six lawsuits against me, and they lost them all. They claimed my name — my name and the band name. They said, ‘You know, we were a part of it, so we wanna have that name.’ And I said, ‘No, no, no.’ So I had to defend myself. It was six lawsuits. It cost a lot of money and a lot of negative energy. Otherwise we could have done some reunion shows or whatever, and we didn’t. It is embarrassing also, because when you think you’re friends or something. And then 30 years later, after I was in WHITESNAKE for 12 years, toured all over the world and all the stadiums, you name it, they [thought], ‘Oh, wait a minute. There’s money to be made.’ So they wanted to tour without me — like a VANDENBERG without Vandenberg, so to speak. And they had the illusion they were gonna win. So I never need to see those guys again, because there was so much lying going on in those lawsuits.”
Vandenberg originally opened up about his legal disputes with his former bandmates in a 2012 Facebook post. At the time, he wrote: “Sometimes there are things in life that are so ridiculous and seemingly far-fetched, that if the scriptwriter for a cheesy TV soap would come up with it, the producers would roll on the floor laughing, foaming at the mouth and tell the writer to start looking for another job. Well, in my life a situation just as surrealistic is happening as we speak.
“Some of you may remember that before joining my close friend David Coverdale in his band WHITESNAKE, I had my own band under my own name ‘VANDENBERG‘, which I founded, wrote all the music and lyrics for, made the paintings for the album covers, designed the logo for etc. etc. and I eventually disbanded my own band in 1986 to join WHITESNAKE.
“Now sit down, fasten your seatbelts, here comes the surrealistic part: almost a year ago I got summoned by a lawyer representing the three guys who I invited to play in my band at the time in 1981, trying to claim my own name ‘VANDENBERG‘ and actually trying to prohibit me from using my own name ‘VANDENBERG‘ through a lawsuit .. now how bizarre is that?!?
“These individuals, singer Bert Heerink, bassist Dick Kemper (appropriate first name) and drummer Jos Zoomer, each of them factually not having achieved anything worth mentioning in about 27 years, now opportunistically trying to lift piggyback on the name/ reputation that I was fortunate to build through years of working my ass off with VANDENBERG, MANIC EDEN and WHITESNAKE. A sad situation indeed, since I always thought these guys were friends.
“The Bert Heerink attempt is even more pathetic than the others, since I had to fire him from my band a year before I disbanded it, for reasons that I won’t disclose right now. So this individual wasn’t even in my band when I disbanded it. Nevertheless this person attempts to claim my personal name 26 years later.
“Naturally the judge wiped their claims away. You’d expect these leeches would crawl back embarrassed under the damp, mossy stones that they’d been hiding under for 27 years, but noooo; right now they’re trying once again to hijack my name through a different route (a ‘trademark office’).
“It is basically like when you invite a couple of people for a ride on the backseat of your new car, and then after the ride these passengers claim that your car is now theirs because they were given a ride in it. Some people have no shame.”
VANDENBERG released three albums — “Vandenberg”, “Heading For A Storm” and “Alibi” — before Adrian disbanded the group in 1986 to join WHITESNAKE.
Vandenberg was a member of WHITESNAKE for 13 years at the height of the band’s fame, contributing the solo on “Here I Go Again”. He was also part of supergroup MANIC EDEN, and more recently released a number of albums with VANDENBERG’S MOONKINGS.
Vandenberg‘s namesake band released its comeback album, titled “2020”, in May 2020 via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group. A follow-up LP, “Sin”, will arrive later this year.
Adrian is joined in VANDENBERG‘s current lineup by vocalist Mats Levén, drummer Koen Herfst and bassist Randy Van Der Elsen.
The group’s fifth full-length offering, “Sin”, was produced by Bob Marlette (OZZY OSBOURNE, ALICE COOPER, ROB ZOMBIE).