Band claims Lavigne stole its tune

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Pop singer Avril Lavigne faces a lawsuit by the members of a 1970s rock band who claim her hit song "Girlfriend" rips off one of their tunes.

Songwriters Tommy Dunbar and James Gangwer alleged in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco that Lavigne and her co-writers lifted their 1979 song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," which was originally performed by new wave band The Rubinoos.

"We are not so naive as to chalk it up to some sort of cosmic coincidence," Dunbar said in a statement. "The lyric, the meter, the rhythm -- they're identical."

The first court date has been set for Aug. 28 in Oakland.

A spokeswoman for Lavigne reached by the Associated Press did not have a comment on the lawsuit.

The lawsuit is not the first mention of the similarities between the two songs. Music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, in a review published on Billboard magazine's Web site, noted that the chorus of "Girlfriend" was a "total lift from the Rubinoos' 'I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.' "

Lavigne's "Girlfriend" currently sits at No. 8 on Billboard's Hot 100 list and previously held the top spot.

The Rubinoos toured and recorded from 1975-83, and had a hit with a cover version of Tommy James and the Shondells' "I Think We're Alone Now." They also wrote the theme song for the movie "Revenge of the Nerds."
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