By all appearances, hit pop singer, Lionel Richie, has severed his relationship with local band Honky Tonkitis.
The band itself refused to admit as much.
"Look, things are a bit, I dunno, strained, I guess, between Lionel and the band at this point," singer Johnny Maplewood explained, "but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's over between us."
"The guy just stopped taking our calls, is all," accordion player Don Turner elaborated. "Here's a guy who used to depend on us for everything, and suddenly it's as if his answering machine stopped working. And we know he's got a service that he pays good money to make sure he never misses a call."
The band does feel resentful over the treatment.
"When you consider how many songs we wrote for him, how much time we spent with him in the recording studio, and the hundreds of hours we devoted assuring him that Dancing on the Ceiling was a good album, well, let's just say we don't deserve this type of treatment," drummer Kurt Weber noted.
"I know I'm new to things with the band," fiddle player Larry Gääärd commented, "but I can see they're hurting over this. Lionel, if you're reading this, it's time to reach out, man, before some permanent damage is done."
"Look, it's probably nothing," Maplewood concluded, "I'll probably go home tonight to find another one of those memorable messages on my answering machine with his voice saying, 'Hello? Is it me you're looking for?' and all the problems will be swept away."
Richie: Going down life's lonesome highway without a friend or two?