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'Spirit in the Sky' Norman Greenbaum Faces Palimony Suit


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'Spirit in the Sky' Songwriter Greenbaum Faces Palimony Suit From 'No. 1 Norman Fan'

[smaller]By PAUL PAYNE

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT[/smaller]

One-hit wonder Norman Greenbaum, whose 1969 song Spirit in the Sky is ranked among the top rock tunes of all time, is the subject of a palimony suit filed in Sonoma County Superior Court by an ex-girlfriend and fan club leader.

Greenbaum, 67, of Santa Rosa, is accused by Tracy E. Outlaw of South Carolina, of fraud for failing to live up to the terms of an agreement in which the former Clemson University employee would quit her job and move across country in exchange for one-half interest in Greenbaum's Saddleback Court home and a third of his estate, according to court documents filed this month.

Outlaw claims Greenbaum failed to disclose that he was a heavy drinker who mixed alcohol with prescription drugs before she arrived in June. Also, she said Greenbaum “concealed the fact that he had previously induced a woman to move from the East Coast to Santa Rosa, California, and had ended that relationship in a way that left the woman destitute,†the lawsuit states.

Outlaw said Greenbaum forced her out on Aug. 16 without providing her a promised $150,000 if the relationship ended.

“Norman Greenbaum's conduct was outrageous,†the lawsuit says. “It was so extreme as to exceed all bounds of that usually tolerated in a civilized society.â€

Greenbaum, who has lived off royalties from the hand-clapping, fuzzy guitar hit, declined to discuss his relationship with Outlaw or her accusations. He said his lawyer is investigating her claims.

“Anyone can make accusations about someone,†Greenbaum said. “To this moment, nothing has been proved.â€

A hearing in the lawsuit is set for Jan. 6.

Outlaw's lawyer, Jennifer Applegate of Santa Rosa, said her client was Greenbaum's personal assistant and romantic partner. She declined to give Outlaw's age. A Facebook page advocating a Grammy award for Spirit in the Sky lists Outlaw as the “No. 1 Norman Fan Officer.â€

Applegate said Outlaw and Greenbaum discussed the move for months and visited each other before Outlaw quit her job as public information officer at Clemson's Department of Pesticide Regulation, sold her Anderson, S.C. home and traveled west.

Now, she said Outlaw has been forced to move in with her parents. They live in Americus, Georgia, according to the lawsuit.

The initial lawsuit filed in September sought $1 million in damages, including for emotional distress. An amended complaint was filed Nov. 5.

Applegate said the two sides are negotiating a settlement.

[smaller]Copyright © 2010 PressDemocrat.com — All rights reserved. Restricted use only.[/smaller]

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Norman and the Fender amp w/reverb made one of the most recognizable songs of the late sixties, ever!...

It was his manipulation of that Fender amp that made the song! IMHO

I might be wrong and he could have played throuh a different amp.

But my gut tells me he played through a Fender.

My gut has been wrong before...rarely ;)

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