Ed Kowalczyk wants to get Live back together.

The former lead singer of the York-native rock band broke his silence about recent legal issues last week.

In an email statement sent through his lawyer John Rosenberg, Kowalczyk wrote: "Despite what has happened ... I remain willing to put it all behind us, and I would be excited to pursue a reunion with my bandmates, giving LIVE fans all over the world what they truly want."

In July, Action Front Unlimited, a corporation that owns trademarks for Live, filed a federal lawsuit against Kowalczyk. It alleges that Kowalczyk is misleading fans by branding himself "Ed Kowalczyk of Live."

The suit goes on to say that in late 2009, the three other band members Patrick Dahlheimer, Chad Gracey and Chad Taylor "elected to remove Kowalczyk from the band Live as a result of certain disagreements."

"I never left LIVE," Kowalczyk wrote in the email. "We all agreed to take a two year hiatus. But virtually immediately after we made that decision, lawyers representing Chad, Chad and Patrick began their legal attack on me."

In a separate lawsuit filed in May 2010 in New York, Dahlheimer, Gracey and Taylor allege Kowalczyk and the band's longtime manager, David Levin, violated terms of a contract. It also states Kowalczyk owes the other members of Live percentages of an advance and publishing income.

"As to the details of the legal proceedings, for now I will only say that both suits are baseless and totally without merit," Kowalczyk wrote via email.

In a text in July, Taylor wrote "the legal drama ... pales in comparison to the personal nature and disappointment of losing a childhood friend."

Dahlheimer, Gracey and Taylor formed Live with Kowalczyk in York during the late 1980s. The band went on to sell millions of albums and tour the globe.

In 2009, the band did announce a hiatus. But it soon looked permanent. Dahlheimer, Gracey and Taylor started a side project called The Gracious Few. In March, they took the stage as Live at York's Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center with a new lead singer - Chris Shinn.

Kowalczyk pursued his solo career. He returned to York to perform twice - once in 2009 and again in 2011. He is slated to play Penn State York's Pullo Family Performing Arts Center Nov. 9. The show is billed "Ed Kowalczyk of Live." In October, the title of the show was changed.

Kowalczyk and Levin filed an answer to the 2010 lawsuit. It stated that the suit was "motivated by jealousy and animus ... on the eve of the release of Kowalczyk's solo album and just as he was about to embark on a tour in support of that album."

The tone of Kowalczyk's recent email is different: "I didn't start this unnecessary fight and it seems to me that there is already more than enough of this kind of negativity in the world," he wrote. "Let's get LIVE back together. I'm ready."

Dahlheimer, Gracey and Taylor declined to comment about Kowalczyk's email.

Their business partner Bill Hynes replied in an email message: "(Kowalczyk) has no desire to get the band back," he wrote. "The guys won't comment because they are moving forward with the lawsuits because they have exhausted all efforts with Ed."

ERIN MCCRACKEN, FlipSide staff

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