A New York State judge has granted a restraining order that puts a planned auction of legendary The Band keyboardist Garth Hudson’s belongings on hold. The move was made after Hudson’s attorneys filed a complaint with the courts alleging that the organ whiz was the victim of attempted extortion.
Last month, a Kingston, NY landlord sold a number of Hudson’s belongings to the public after claiming that he had failed to pay more than $50,000 in storage fees. Hudson’s supporters gathered at the event after the musician requested that his Facebook fans buy the items and allow him to reimburse them. The landlord had planned to sell more of these items—things like sheet music, photos, reel-to-reel tapes and his instruments—at another auction on April 6. However the new restraining order will keep that from happening for the time being. Hudson is now demanding that the landlord, Mike Piazza, return his possessions and pay damages and legal fees.
Hudson also accuses Piazza of moving his belongings on two occasions without his permission, which he claims damaged some of the items. Hudson also claims that Piazza stole a number of his possessions—including a pump organ—before selling them on eBay.
Lawyers from both sides are inspecting the items, which have been moved to a new location. A meeting between the lawyers for both parties is scheduled for April 11.
The former catcher’s old team continues to be in financial straits, and he’s been hawking his “bizarre” book in hopes of a post-retirement paycheck, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised, if nevertheless saddened, that Piazza appears to have turned to a life of crime.
Attn: Adland. I am an attorney and represent Garth Hudson in the litigation discussed in your story above. Please note that the Mike Piazza who is the defendant in the litigation IS NOT THE Mike Piazza of baseball fame. Same name, different person.
Please correct your story immediately.
John E. Clark