Lawsuit rips Fishbone for crowd-dive

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Angelo "Dr. Madd Vibe" Moore is featured crowd-diving on Fishbone's web site. Fishbone has been sued by a woman injured at a Philadelphia show.

As one of the self-proclaimed pioneers of stage-diving, Fishbone front man Angelo "Dr. Madd Vibe" Moore has been perfecting his form for more than 25 years.

But his diving produced an unwilling ripple in his human sea while the band performed last month at the World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.

On Friday, a woman who was at that show filed a lawsuit against Moore, charging that he broke her collarbone when he launched off the stage onto the outstretched hands of the audience. Kimberly Myers, 42, of Voorhees, N.J., claims in the suit that she attended Fishbone's Feb. 23 show at the World Cafe's downstairs stage and that "without any warning," Moore dived off the stage and into the audience near where she was standing.

The suit claims that she also suffered a fractured skull, perforated eardrum and hearing loss and that she had to be taken from the venue by an ambulance.

Her lawyer, Neil Jokelson, declined to comment on how Myers was struck by Moore during his dive.

The lawsuit charges that Moore did not apologize to Myers and that instead, the band "continued its performance as if nothing had happened."

Also cited as defendants in the lawsuit were the World Cafe Live, Fishbone and the Los Angeles-based band's manager, Silverback Artist Management.

A quick online search of Fishbone makes it clear that the band is known for stage-diving. A large picture of Moore crowd-surfing appears on the home page of the band's Web site and on their My-Space page.

The "about" section on the MySpace page reads that "some music icons and historians" credit Moore as one of the first stage-divers, though the icons and historians are not named.

The lawsuit acknowledges that Fishbone has a history of stage-diving but notes that Myers was "not familiar with their music, stage craft or performances."

The suit said that World Cafe, however, should have been aware of Moore's stage-diving past and was liable for Myers' injuries because the venue should have warned the audience that diving might occur.

Neil Sulkes, general manager of World Cafe Live, said Fishbone was the opening act for another band, The English Beat, and that he's not aware of any performers ever before stage-diving there.

"We certainly do not condone and do not approve of stage-diving by the artists on our stage and we certainly didn't have any advance notice that he'd jump off the stage," Sulkes said. "We feel horrible this young lady got hurt. We don't condone it."

He said that he has not seen the lawsuit but noted that World Cafe, in all of its artist contracts, states that any negligence on the part of the performers is their liability.

"We cover ourselves if something like this happens," he said.

Jokelson would not comment on why Myers was not aware of Moore's stage-diving past.

"We have a policy of not talking about pending litigation," Jokelson said.

Neither the band nor its managers were available for comment yesterday, according to a representative of Silverback Artists Management of Culver City, Calif.

Fishbone, which categorizes its music as "US ska/rock fusion," was founded in South Central Los Angeles in 1979, according to its MySpace page. Only two of the six original members, including Moore, remain in the band.