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Judge halts sale of Garth Hudson items

  |   March 1, 2013 at 6:38 PM
KINGSTON, N.Y., March 1 (UPI) -- Garth Hudson won a court order blocking a New York landlord from selling his musical items dating from his days with The Band to recoup unpaid storage costs.

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Mary Work in Kingston, N.Y., issued an order to show cause Friday, temporarily stopping the sale of items ranging from Hudson's C.G. Conn Ltd. alto saxophone to cassette tapes of old performances by the influential Canadian-American rock group.

The order called on all sides to return to court Thursday to show why the court should not issue an order in favor of plaintiff Hudson and his wife, Maud.

The Hudsons state in a lawsuit they weren't properly notified of the landlord's plans to sell Hudson's belongings.

Hudson attorney John Clark also says the landlord "looted" some of Hudson's possessions and "extorted" more money than Hudson actually owed, the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, N.Y., reported.

The online auction had been scheduled for April 6 because the owner of an arts-focused mixed-use former shirt factory in Kingston, 90 miles north of New York City, said Hudson owed $60,000 to $70,000 over seven years of storage in a 2,000-square-foot loft.

An attorney for Kingston's JMW Auction Gallery told United Press International auctioneer Jay M. Werbalowsky was ordered by the court to secure the Hudson archive, for the time being, so it can be protected.

"We have no horse in this race," attorney Joseph E. O'Connor told UPI.

Hudson, 75, who lives near Kingston, said through a friend he didn't want to comment about the situation.

The former member of The Band, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, fell on hard times in 2001.

Landlord Michael Piazza told the Times Herald-Record he was willing to work with Hudson but wants his money.

"I could have thrown his stuff on the street, but I've been supporting him for years," he told the newspaper. "He came to me, left his stuff and just disappeared. I'm not his father. I'm not his mother. If he wants his stuff back, show me the money."

Topics: John Clark
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