Mad Fan With a Cause Seeks $400 Billion

In the June 2008 issue of Boston magazine, we told you about Bart Steele, the Chelsea musician who believes Jersey rockers Bon Jovi stole his song “Man, I Really Love This Team” and released it as “I Love This Town,” which was used in TV spots for baseball’s playoffs.

Today’s Herald reports that Steele is suing Bon Jovi for $400 billion. Yes, that’s billion. With a “B.” Surely that must a typo.

“Actually, they owe me more than that,” Steele tells Boston Daily.

In the lawsuit (which you can read on Steele’s MySpace page) he asks for $100,000 per Bon Jovi CD sold. Sales of Lost Highway, which includes “I Love This Town,” currently total about 4 million units. “This total does not include even digital sales royalties, or a portion of concert profits,” Steele’s lawsuit states.

“This is real. This happened,” Steele says. “This is corporate America’s biggest fuck-up. I’m going to change the laws to favor the artists.”

Steele maintains he’s not suing Bon Jovi to earn a quick buck. In the lawsuit, Steele says he’ll donate 99 percent of any settlement to musician’s rights organizations to help other small artists who find themselves in a similar predicament.

“[Bon Jovi] is part of the corporate America machine,” Steele insists. “He doesn’t do it for the art anymore, he does it for the money. Think about how sucky our art would be if everyone did everything for the money.”

The Ballad of a Mad Fan

Photo by Peter Tannenbaum

  • Scott

    Well Bart Steele, here is your fifteen minutes of fame. Enjoy it because you are not going to see a dime from any of this. And while you are at it, you should try and sue every songwriter that used the word “love” in their song after you did. What an idiot!!! The songs aren’t similar at all.

  • C Miranda

    Give me a break, Mr. Steele!!! Did he go to you for all his other hits too? It is a shame that the legal system has to put up with bogus law suits like this, barring more important issues to be heard. If you think that the public will sympathize with you on this, give me a break. The only other bigger fool than yourself is the “lawyer” you hired to represent you on this crap……grow up and get a job!!!!

  • Rob

    Bon Jovi has stolen many songs. Bart is the first one to stand up to him and say, no, you can’t do that. This is what happens when you rip off other people’s art and make a lot of money with it. Let’s hope there’s some justice done here — not just for Bart and Chelsea City Council, but for all artists who see their art used by others and are powerless to fight back. By the way, I believe Bart is not using a lawyer. He’s doing this on his own. Hang in there Bart, ignore the naysayers, you gotta do what you gotta do.

  • Denise

    It’s about time someone takes Bon Jovi down from their high horses. Go Bart!

  • Karen

    This guy is going to be laughed our of court (if by some miracle it gets that far). The only similarity are the words ‘I Love’. And $400 billion?! Hilarious!

  • Rory

    The Biggest differences between these two songs… Talent. Exactly what other songs has Bon Jovi ripped off? Like him or hate him the fact is Jon Bon Jovi is one of the most talented musicians in the world right now, which is why everything he touches turns to gold.
    Why would he need some Boston loser’s crappy jingle; which in no way recieved the publicity he says it did even in boston with the Red Sox. The song sucks and has no musical similarities WHAT SO EVER except for the words “I Love”. If Mr. Steele was able to even pass himself off as a Real musician he’d know that. I hate how people always try and connect anyone more successful then them to this corporate American greed. Bon Jovi Started out jamming in a garage just like every other band.
    This is a publicity ploy; plain and simple. Everyone who reads this article or any others about this goes straight to his website to listen to his song. Unfortunately for him his music sucks and any profit he may recieve aren’t even going to come close to the lawyer bills he is going to pile up. I know you’re in Denial Bart, but not everyone was meant to be a musician.. EXCEPT IT.

  • Gedichte

    ohh he will donate 99% ??
    that is soooo bountiful of him.
    he will just take 4 billion for himself??

  • rcurry

    It is interesting that this would happen. If you read the lyrics for both songs you can see the only similarity is l love and this town. However the MLB uses BonJovi’s song for a comerical that shows baseball players and teams but yet the song is not about baseball but about BonJovi’s hometown. Written broadly to apply to anytown in the U.S. This lawsuit is somewhat of a joke. How many artist have use the words i love and come out with a song after this artist are you going to sue them as well?

  • amya

    Anyone who has bothered to research this in detail knows this is Bart’s song. He copyrighted his work. It was used without his permission, and that is illegal. Bart, you deserve the appropriate credit for your work. Additionally, your music is simply amazing; you are a truly talented musician.