Rolling Stones Hit With Copyright Lawsuit Over 2020 Song ‘Living in a Ghost Town’

The Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were hit with a copyright lawsuit on Friday (March 10) claiming their 2020 single “Living in a Ghost Town” — a rare new song from the rock legends — lifted material from a pair of little-known earlier tracks.

In a lawsuit filed in New Orleans federal court, songwriter Sergio Garcia Fernandez (stage name Angelslang) is claiming that Jagger and Richards “misappropriated many of the recognizable and key protected elements” from his 2006 song “So Sorry” as well as his 2007 tune “Seed of God.”


How would members of the iconic band have heard those songs, which have less than 1,000 spins on Spotify? Fernandez claims he gave a demo CD to “an immediate family member” of Jagger.

“The immediate family member … confirmed receipt … to the plaintiff via e-mail, and expressed that the musical works of the plaintiff and its style was a sound The Rolling Stones would be interested in using,” Fernandez’s lawyers wrote in Friday’s complaint.

A copy of the alleged email from Jagger’s relative was not included in public filings.

Released at the peak of the COVID-19 shutdowns in April 2020, “Living in a Ghost Town” was the first original material released by the Stones since 2012. The song, a blues-rock tune with reggae influences accompanied by a COVID-themed video, reached No. 3 on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart in May 2020.

But Fernandez says the new song was created by borrowing key features from his songs, including the “vocal melodies, the chord progressions, the drum beat patterns, the harmonica parts, the electric bass line parts, the tempos, and other key signatures” from “So Sorry” and the “harmonic and chord progression and melody” from “Seed of God.”

“Defendants never paid plaintiff, nor secured the authorization for the use of ‘So Sorry’ and ‘Seed of God,’ his lawyers wrote.

A rep for The Rolling Stones did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday evening.

Bill Donahue