Last year saw the release of Only the Strong Survive, an album in which Bruce Springsteen opted to a host of soul songs that have inspired him over the years. The album got high marks from critics; writing at Pitchfork, Sam Sodomsky noted, “It’s got character, and more than that, it’s got energy: Springsteen has never sounded quite so lighthearted, so unburdened, on record.” For longtime listeners seeking a slight change of pace from Springsteen, it was a welcome addition to his catalog.
Unfortunately, Only the Strong Survive has also brought Springsteen something else: a lawsuit related to the Pontiac GTO featured in the album’s artwork.
As Anthony G. Attrino reports for NJ.com, a lawsuit filed by Louis M. Billotti contends that a 1968 GTO owned by his father, Louis A. Billotti, was photographed for the album in 2021, for which the elder Billotti received a check for $450. The lawsuit goes on to state that Billotti’s father never received a contract and was told that more money would be forthcoming. No money came, the lawsuit argues, and the elder Billotti died in 2022.
The lawsuit named Springsteen, his record label and his managers as defendants.
Photographer Lynn Goldsmith Reflects on Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town” EraGoldsmith’s new photo book captures The Boss at a pivotal moment in his career
Attrino writes that Springsteen’s label, Sony Music Entertainment, has not commented on the suit. Springsteen’s attorneys have taken the position that the issues at hand are the result of third parties outside the control of Springsteen or his management.
It’s a contentious subject, for sure — with the fact that one of the parties involved has been dead for over a year complicating matters dramatically.
This article was featured in the InsideHook newsletter. Sign up now.