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Melbourne, FL (Florida Today) -- Gallagher's performance during the inaugural '80s in the Park music festival went over like a watermelon getting slugged by a sledgehammer, the concert's founder says.

The fruit-smashing comedian failed to fulfill his duties as master of ceremonies during the hair-band-heavy concert held at Wickham Park Pavilion, said Richard Hendry, event organizer.

So afterward, a contractual dispute arose between Hendry and Gallagher's former manager, Craig Marquardo of Oregon. Hendry refused to pay Marquardo Gallagher's $5,000 appearance fee — and in response, Marquardo sued Hendry last November in Brevard County Circuit Court.

Circuit Judge George Maxwell has not yet ruled on the lawsuit, and no upcoming court dates are scheduled.

Contacted by cell phone Wednesday, Gallagher declined comment. Marquardo's lawyer, Philip Zies of Melbourne, also declined comment on the case. Hendry does not have a lawyer of record on the case.

'80s in the Park debuted last September. Warrant, Slaughter, Quiet Riot, Georgia Satellites and Gene Loves Jezebel headlined the lineup, as did AC/DC, Motley Crüe and Dio tribute bands. An estimated 12,000 to 13,000 fans attended the weekend show.

Gallagher was advertised as the master of ceremonies. Per contract, Gallagher agreed to make intermittent appearances between 12:30 and 6 p.m. during both days of '80s in the Park for a $5,000 flat fee.

But in a court filing, Hendry stated that Gallagher would not announce the bands, and he "only was on stage three times for less than two minutes over the two days and 16 bands."

In an interview this week, Hendry labeled Gallagher's appearance "a train wreck."

"It was a complete nonperformance. He spent most of his time backstage. He didn't do his job at all," Hendry said.

But Marquardo said '80s in the Park was a disorganized affair, and Gallagher entertained hundreds of spectators by performing two fruit-smashing shows. He also signed free autographs and posed for free photographs — unlike other 1980s celebrities at the event.

"He provided 10 times the audience interaction and service than he would have, had he simply performed his duties on stage," Marquardo said.

Gallagher typically charges an appearance fee of $15,000 a day, but Marquardo said he wanted to test the marketability of a fan-interactive "Sledge-O-Matic Experience" in advance of an upcoming Las Vegas convention.

Marquardo said Gallagher's tent was supposed to be themed like his 2012 Geico television commercial — where he batters watermelons at a farmers market — but Hendry provided inadequate equipment.

Hendry offered to pay Gallagher $2,500 in October, court records show, but Marquardo declined.

Marquardo's other client at that concert was Tommy Tutone, the pop band that recorded the 1981 smash hit "867-5309/Jenny."

Tommy Tutone's contract called for a $1,000 deposit and $4,000 after the event. Hendry paid Marquardo the $1,000 deposit. The week after '80s in the Park, Hendry wired Marquardo another $400 and a promissory note pledging to make six monthly payments of $600, court records show.

However, the $3,600 balance remains unpaid. Marquardo's lawsuit seeks this sum, as well as Gallagher's $5,000 fee.

Hendry said he had planned to pay Tommy Tutone, but because the lawsuit was filed and remains ongoing "there's absolutely no way we can give Marquardo a dime."

In April, Marquardo received $10,000 from a Pennsylvania promoter after a payment dispute stemming from a Gallagher comedy routine, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

'80s in the Park will expand this fall to a three-day festival, set for Sept. 26-28 at the Wickham Park Pavilion.

The 21-band roster includes former lead vocalists John Waite (Bad English), Brian Howe (Bad Company) and Stephen Pearcy (Ratt), along with Jack Russell's Great White, L.A. Guns and Faster Pussycat.

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