posted on October 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm

i been in the moosic biz for 32 years now

and people keep telling me that i dont understand it

usually i find the people telling me that are the people who are withholding my dough

i have the bizness acumen of a wet sponge

i admit it

but lemme toss around a few ideas here

first of all

the music biz is one of the only if not the only bizzes in the world

where the guys at the very centre of it are the guys making the least

most nights at a gig

you can be sure everyone there is earning more than the players

i aint talking about pink floyd or brooce springsteen either

im talking about the other 98 per cent (incl myself)

the first bit o money i ever made was in 1980 when i signed a fifty/fifty publishing deal

for 500 bucks

the company i signed with are still hanging on to me

but in 2015 i will be able to slip out

after 35 years of them dipping into me

all because of that one stupid day in 1980 when i needed the 500 bucks

izzat fair?

eventually a manager got it changed to a 75 25 deal

ie i get 75 cents of each dollar i make n they get 25

wow thats a lotta money they collected for me over the years

and they did alright from their measly advance so long ago

at the same-ish time the church signed a deal

and we were off making albums that never recouped their cost

ie the album cost say 150 grand to make plus a few 100 grand vids

so you can never sell enough to get any money

thats been pretty standard for almost all albums

i have had 4 or 5 record companies go bust and take all my/our royalties with em too

including carrere in england

stunn in NZ

thirsty ear in america(boy i’d like to catch up with that c**t in a dark alley)

and another mob who bought 20 thousand MATS from me n marty

then distributed em n got the dough n then went bust!

in 1984 i signed a pub deal with my then manager

when we quit with him

he sold the catalog on

and i was acquired and disposed of a few times

in the middle of the nineties a big pub firm did this to me

they sent my money round n round the world

each branch in each country would apply a handling fee

until they whittled a cheque that had been about 10 grand a six month period

down to $250 a six month period

this was perfectly legal

in fact it was a STANDARD PRACTICE until a few years back….

the said manager commissioned us at 20 per cent of the gross

which meant that in 1988   when we were earning around 100, 000 gross a week

he was getting 20, 000 grand a week while the band was on  800 bucks a week

which is still what the church pays itself

800 bucks a week (when we are on the road)

off the road=nothing

(in fairness we do occasionally divvy up small mounts if a tour does well)

so theres some real non -indexation of wages for ya

1988 800 bucks a week, 2012 800 bucks a week


when we left the guy in 1990

he jumped up n down and got even more money out of us

he claimed were unpaid commissions

but he never ever presided over a tour that made money

they all lost money a small fortune (he made while we lost!)

but arista records picked up the loss

and tacked it onto a minus position we could never escape from

i remember ringing up the slimy philistine hopeless manager and saying

“how come you get 20 grand a week n i get 800?’

he said


ha ha ha

so i still aint never been paid for any of those albums…only my songwriting royalties

(and then only if i was lucky!)

yeah guys

all those records you bought

very little if any at all came down the line to me

it still isnt

if this happened in any other business there would be an outcry

but we musicians are not very good at anything other than music


imagine this scenario if you will

(this is all imaginary from here on in)

some old veteran band eventually bumps into a very generous patron

now the patron doesnt wanna just hand out money to the band

that would be hopeless

but what he wants is for them to finally get some financial relief

some of the members were living below the official poverty line at the time

ie 35,000 grand a year in aust

so a couple of members of imaginary band go looking for a way to do it

they find some much younger guy who is a fan of this imaginary band

hes got a little label going and theyre impressed he aint some evil suit like in the old days

the kind and generous sponsor dips his hand in pocket a provides a “shitload” of money

for younger guy with his little sorry..i mean label to buy back said imaginary bands catalog

and put it on his honest john label called mom n pop records

wow at last n finally our heroes will get some $!! YAY!!

but guess what?

oh damn i bet you guessed

mr mom n pop still aint paying the old boys

hes a fan yep

he dont wear a suit, nope

but the boys still aint getting nothing

even tho quite a bit is coming in

i bet in this imaginary world and imaginary band too

that you would not expect mr younger mom n pop guy would also take 50 per cent

whoah! no way…i mean that would mean hes earning 3 times more dough

than stevie mainman who is the geeza WHO DREAMED THIS WHOLE FUCKIN TRIP UP!

(in this imaginary example natch)

hes pocketing dough from records

hes pocketing dough from kind imaginary patron

but he aint paying the guys properly (read ;AT ALL!)for records they made 25 years ago

when he was  just a little snotty nose kid

jesus…the irony!

stevie mainman does a quick knee jerk calculation n figgers out


boy no wonder the imaginary anger

so he decides to take the law into his own hands

he decides fuck copyright fuck libel and fuck everybody else

its time he finally made some frickin money outta his own music himself

(luckily he had taught himself to sculpt in the meantime or he woulda been broke!!)

this mainman guy realises he has some powerful allies

allies that grew up listening to his sweet music and are not impressed

and allies that maybe are anxious to see things put right at all costs

well mainman got nothing to lose (literally by now)

also hes released a few solo records and sold a few hundred copies

and hes AMAZED to see how much money a few records can make!

and when he thinks of mr mom n pop he gets real real angry n bitter

and confused

he blurts out this

he blurts out that

he leaves his band who are wonderful musicians n friends

but who seem to labouring under some delusion that they know what they are doing

after all

in our imaginary world they got mainmans band hitched to mr mom n pop

who now

as per usual

aint giving our tired old veterans their just desserts after all this time

mr mom n pop seems to be taking from both sides

(or thats how it seems to our hotheaded imaj. hero)


i hope you enjoyed my theoretical example of how your whole lifes work can go wrong

besides do musicians even need to be paid when they obviously are having such a good time anyway?

who cares if agents, managers, publishers and record company guys are getting all the cream?

(despite the fact they cant sing, write or play a note!!)


well there you go

judge for yerselves!



and watch this

the turtles (who sang on most of marc bolans hits explain the biz….)

114 Responses to “close to the ledger : mammon mia here we go again….”

  1. avatar
    GJM | 7 October 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    So who do you hate most… Chugg, Gudinski or Judge?!?!?

    But seriously, what can us fans do to help you out? And what do Tim, Marty and Pete think of all this?


    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 7 October 2012 at 6:18 pm #

      i dont hate any of em
      in fact stephen judge is a bloody nice guy
      i have spent time with him and hes good company
      i just dont like not getting me fucking just desserts

      • avatar
        BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 7 October 2012 at 9:56 pm #



        25/75 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

        don’t you even think for a second that those numbers are not
        PROFITABLE to you…its a far cry from 0% – which is what the future
        CLEARLY will be !!!

        Steve will survive – always hav always will !!!

        You , on the other hand ….????

        FIX THIS – PLEASE !!!

        make the call…fix this !!!

  2. avatar
    Once | 7 October 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    MMMM..agreed. Sign up with Pineapple Prodctions. Which will not exsist until late November. Wait for it. Best advertising in the world. Know nothing about record production – that’s all YOU. :))

  3. avatar
    Billy Balwin | 7 October 2012 at 3:38 pm #


    I want to make a donation to the band so that it keeps going. Let me know how i can do this.

    I think us fans needs to put our heads together to work out how we can make this whole thing viable, so you and the guys gets some money finally. I am outraged and appalled that you and the church have nothing for the wonderful music and memories you have given us.

    I know i have contributed thousands of dollars to the band / solo projects alike for the past 28 years but I want to help more.

    What can us fans do to help you guys make the money direct? I have some ideas but not sure how the whole copyright issue works with releasing your bootlegs via on line download, releasing your jams and albums via on line only. I have some other ideas I want to float. How can I get in touch?

    We gotta make this work for you guys finally. Sue C, Willo, and co… Lets discuss and get involved…..

  4. avatar
    Tony Flint | 7 October 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    What a riveting read, Steve. You’re fucking AWESOME! I used to get $100 a night in 1985 – guess what I get in 2012? Yup, $100 a night. Plus all the decent small gigs have dried up leaving the pay-to-play sharks to destroy all creativity and originality in our young musicians. More power to you Sir!

  5. avatar
    Kohl Ette | 7 October 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Ah dear steve, I remember reading approx 18 months ago about your nightmare and sleeping problems. I thought it sounded bad and have been worried about it for some time though I have been told that is not personally healthy for me to do. But I can’t help it and I think I am understanding your nightmare more and more recently. I know worry achieves nothing but I remember at approx the same time writing ‘anger is an energy’ in my quotes. You seemed to disagree with that for a while. I have admired how you’ve had your head down so often achieving what you can. Not only that but nurturing spirituality in yourself and others. Perhaps now you are gathering your fiery energy and, well, I just keep thinking of the other aussie band’s song ‘Head Full of Steam’ which probably don’t touch what you’re feeling and rightly so. Best of luck directing your fury where it should be directed. I have a few issues with beaurocracies possibly looming myself and trying to conserve a bit of energy for that. It’s so unfair I want to cry and I have to admit there have been a few times over the past 18 months where I have sensed your unhappiness to the point I do cry. That doesn’t even seem to be about us so much but just the sadness of a world that has such crazy ‘priorities’. I almost wish I had studied maths more conscientiously at school now to help you but really I too am of a creative bent and although I have a qualification I remember a careers officer telling me I had done the most useless degree possible. The saving aspect is that I nourished my soul. But I guess that is just useless?

  6. avatar
    Kohl Ette | 7 October 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Another useless piece of information: I just heard a king parrot sing outside my window and it sounded encouraging. Maybe a good omen.

  7. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 October 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    I love your way with words… we all do… you have all of our thoughts willing an abundance of strength and love to you… victory is set xxx

  8. avatar
    Andreas | 7 October 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Hey SK, I been thinking about this mess for a whole day. I am no one, what I think is unimportant. Anyhow, here’s my left-brain take:
    1) is your frustration aimed at the label guy only? if that is so, you need to do what one guy said yesterday on your blog, ie do it all yourselves, trying to export the whole concept that is behind into; Actually, I always thought your churchband site was a little lame. With more personal input from the band members, people would go there more often, and you’d make more money from selling your band stuff without any middlemen. Plus, the band, not just you, should hire a lawyer to look after your interests against secondmotion or whoever is exploiting you.
    2) is your frustration aimed at MWP, PK and TP? If you are like brothers as you say, you can certainly mend it, even at this point. I think you should try to cool down, talk to them, and probably find out that you all have much more to lose if you go separate ways. Lose in terms of relationships, creativity, artistic output, satisfaction in what you do. Also, I think, lose money; if you have been amazed at the money you made with garage sutra or addenda (great outputs!!! but mainly directed to hardcore fans), I urge you to consider the money you’d made with a DIY version of the church which would aim at a much larger market.
    And here’s my right-brain version:
    3) To leave after 32 years, after all you have created, is like turning the light off for a world of people for whom your music is one important reason to believe that there is something more that counts in life than this bleak reality made of money, selfishness, interests which we all have to cope with in our everyday life. The church have been different from any other musical act or band after the Beatles. I put you guys on the same level as the Beatles in terms of importance of the message and integrity. It always has amazed me that people can’t see. If it were for me, I wouldn’t even be able to communicate with you on a blog or shake hands backstage with you in London or Philly, because you’d be so big that you wouldn’t care about fans and you’d actually have to cut them out. If you’re here, on this blog, if you’re letting all of us know what happens in your life, it means this contact is bidirectional, and you appreciate what contribution we can make to you, with our thoughts, vibes etc. Well, the overwhelming message of your fans, from this community, to you now is, fight to the last to protect your interests, but please don’t, don’t let the curtains fall on the church.
    Thanks for reading this, Love,
    Andreas Genoa/Italy

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 7 October 2012 at 6:13 pm #

      i appreciate what you say
      andreas of course
      lemme make some things clear
      i have no interest in re-recording my back catalog
      i am not interested in kickstarter or crowdfondle or whatever to raise money
      i just want some dough finally for all those records that i mainly wrote and sang on!
      thats all
      the church is over
      get used to it!
      i am now on my own
      a one man show
      no ones getting their hands on my fucking stuff again
      thank you tho for your input!

      • avatar
        Andreas | 7 October 2012 at 6:23 pm #

        I’ll always support you, listen and buy your stuff. I love it… it’ll be easy to crave for more. And I’ll try to get used to the fact that the church is no more… although that won’t be easy at all!

  9. avatar
    Andreas | 7 October 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    P.S. In situations like this, it is important not to listen to the wrong people. Please, stick to those who really love you.

  10. avatar
    Cath | 7 October 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    People don’t see/ hear ont eh same level cause they are not on that level, they don’t understand.

    Fury is so justified, I so feel for you guys.
    I reckon, draw up your own contracts if you did stay together hire yourselves whatever you need, and just proceed via something like bandcamp. You got the website, the fans, studios, engineers, the merchandisers, the venues, manufacturers and online platforms, , Accountant, solicitor, and someone to work for you on your terms . I get it’s not as easy as that but surely it should be.
    Can’t change what’s been but can write the future on your terms.
    Can’t you take these dudes to court or some ombudsmen or something?

    who cares if agents, managers, publishers and record company guys are getting all the cream?


  11. avatar
    Warrenzo | 7 October 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Steve, what an eye opener of a story! I knew record labels and manager’s were money hungry pigs but wow, you’ve shown they can be lower than a snakes belly.
    More power to you bro, keep fighting the fight and don’t let the mongrels get you down. Looking forward to more great tunes from you, sell ’em direct online, go independent (if affordable) and avoid record label vultures!

  12. avatar
    Steven Krut | 7 October 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Here’s a practical idea for a new revenue stream unrelated to the current unpleasantness. You have a very pleasant speaking voice, so maybe you could record some audiobooks to sell. Steve Kilbey reads The Upanishads. Steve Kilbey reads the New Testament. That one could be a big seller. Just a thought.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 7 October 2012 at 7:34 pm #

      ive thought of that….do ya reckon people’d go for it?

      • avatar
        Ryan Murdock | 7 October 2012 at 7:55 pm #


      • avatar
        eekie | 7 October 2012 at 8:03 pm #

        yes! I’ve long thought you’d be great for audiobooks and voiceover work.

      • avatar
        andy | 7 October 2012 at 8:49 pm #

        ‘the failed’ will bloody well go for it!
        keep an eye on yer inbox…….

        • avatar
          drumwise | 8 October 2012 at 1:59 am #

          Steve Kilbey reads Oliver Twist. Steve Kilbey reads Twelfth Night.

        • avatar
          Steven Krut | 8 October 2012 at 3:47 am #

          I’d hate to encourage something that proves fruitless, but I think it’s worth dipping your toe into it as an experiment. You could perhaps color your readings with some music too. Maybe you could also establish yourself with some publishing companies as someone on their roster of people who do the readings for the audio versions of their books. Not sure how the audiobook industry works, but it’s pretty large.

          • avatar
            Steven Krut | 8 October 2012 at 3:48 am #

            Oops, this was meant as a reply to your question, Steve, not a reply to Andy’s comment.

      • avatar
        veleska1970 | 8 October 2012 at 12:12 am #

        this idea was brought up a while back, and i still think it would be an excellent idea. yes, steve, i think people would go for it.

      • avatar
        Lara | 8 October 2012 at 1:47 am #


      • avatar
        Anonymous | 8 October 2012 at 7:32 am #

        dear steven
        i certainly second the “pleasant speaking voice” assessment
        you’ve got an interesting larynx there, mister —
        most remarkable not so much in quantity (range) as in quality (magic)
        but you have to be relaxed and not mad — not even a tiny bit…
        then it would really soar…
        i don’t even buy audiobooks —-
        — but if ever you decide to do this…
        absolutely worth trying (right, earthed is a proof it works!)
        and reading is a kind of acting innit?
        so —- the best of luck to you
        and please keep your fans and allies informed
        and a hug

      • avatar
        Anonymous | 8 October 2012 at 2:43 pm #

        Hear hear! Steve Kilbey reads CS Lewis! Kafka! Kundera! Even lowbrow stuff…Nick Hornby???

      • avatar
        Heather daydream | 9 October 2012 at 6:43 am #

        I’ve been saying that for years! Cripes, listening to you recite Erskine stories is a spellbinding joy (did I hear you or did I imagine that I heard you?)…listening to you read your poems at the pub in Glebe…listening to you speak on the television…..snippets here and there…your recitations are the best and addictive. I have purchased and abandoned so many “talking books” lately for my long drives…Edgar Allen Poe book, the Prophet…read by thespians! Momentarily hilarious, they are ridiculous and only serve to reming me how much I would rather travel with your voice. I would buy a cd of you reading the milk carton. I also think you’d read children’s stories excellently. Do it it now…record and release them yourself – I’d be happy to help and happy to buy.

    • avatar
      reid | 8 October 2012 at 4:33 pm #

      i have thoroughly enjoyed art, man + technology
      my first thoughts were that you should do a spoken word bible and bhagavad gita
      or at least the good bits (?!)
      super minimalist backing track
      or just words no music
      hell i’ll do the music
      you massage the words into existence
      sign me up!

  13. avatar
    Melissa | 7 October 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Wow, working part-time in Aged Care also puts me in the poverty wage bracket too! We have something in common 😉

    One day when I finally win the lotto, I’ll give you blokes a couple of million, nothing would make me happier!

    Good luck, and don’t give up xxx

  14. avatar
    Cath | 7 October 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Another thought for cash generation, you have enough visual art now, you could publish a book of it with commentary on the work, poetry, musings on what you were reading,dreams , inspiration etc, and most definitely write a memoir. You could mentor other artists, , do more speaking engagements, all sorts, you have a wealth of experience you could monopolise on.

    Or, write a musical accompaniment to go with the above suggested, S.K’s selected readings from various scriptures 🙂
    What about plays Steve? sure you could dream up lots of compelling work.

  15. avatar
    Billy Baldwin | 7 October 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Is it worth buying tickets for the art rock show since the church are no more? What a shit ending to an amazing career. Really really disappointing. Really annoyed Steve that you don’t even acknowledge your fans want to help and can help, and their love for this band. I don’t know if you realy understand what you guys mean to us and also how much we want to help support the band directly financially. The offer has been put forward by heaps of people over the past few days. I don’t get you mate. Wish I could contact the others to discuss it. All I can say is that we have tried to give you options. After all, we are the ones that bought your music, your tshirts, went to your gigs (sometimes 3 per year) for the past 28 years…..

  16. avatar
    Billy Baldwin | 7 October 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    Don’t know now if I want to support you Steve. People giving you positive options and you seem ungrateful. Are you really reading what we are saying. Forget the past, we are giving you the option to go forward with our full support. More than what we have to. You don’ t even know us and we are willing to slip you some money to keep going. … I don’t understand you Kilbey…

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 7 October 2012 at 10:47 pm #

      i really am sorry, mate
      i was being glib
      i was being embarrassed by peoples pledges to help me financially
      because suddenly it seemed that this was a ploy to moan about being broke and getting money outta people
      billy im sorry
      if you wanna help me its as simple as continuing to buy my records etc
      thatd be great
      i really do apologise
      there was no intent to insult you
      or any of my fans

  17. avatar
    sharon daniel | 7 October 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Audiobooks great idea. Works for Nick Cave quite well. Steve you’d be a natural as you do have a easy to listen to voice. Go for it. Gradually accepting the situation & as extremely difficult for a church fan to say, but….do what you deep down know is the best, with a clear conscious & no malice. This decision has to be for all the right reasons. If for any reason you don’t proceed then I’m totally on board with everyone else to make the situation 100% acceptable for everyone. Not sure how, but I’m here, fully & totally dedicated. Just say the word.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 7 October 2012 at 10:44 pm #

      steve kilbey reads the kama sutra for mature ladies only!

      • avatar
        Once | 8 October 2012 at 3:22 am #

        OMG. Forget 50 Shades of Grey…this would absolutely ROCK!!!


      • avatar
        Steven Krut | 8 October 2012 at 3:50 am #


  18. avatar
    jjo | 7 October 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    The Church, one of the great bands of the world. now over. oh dear, what a shame. terrible.

  19. avatar
    Billy Baldwin | 7 October 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    I have met you heaps over the years. I have helped film some of your shows in Brisbane and Melbourne over the past 6 years and even paid for my ticket to hold one of Tiare’s or Pablo’s cameras. None of this has been released. Have been a massive fan since heyday. Have travelled to gigs interstate. Bought every solo, church, side project, etc etc. Have the posters and tshirts, the back stage stories. Know the band vaguely and some of your friends around the place. Got heaps of family and friends on to the band. You met all of my brothers and you showed some interest in why we all became fans. Have supported you by going to at least 1-2 shows on every tour. Have a young family and I have been a real true fan (fan boy you would say). The wife is sick of me playing your music. The love has been with the music and what you guys stand for. Have supported you by paying and not pirating….

    Every time I met you over the years, I was meeting someone different. Once or twice you were friendly, but the rest you were too cool and rude, and just ignored people like me. I felt like a dickhead hanging around wanting to have chat. I know, it is awkward meeting people that like your music, but maybe you could have given a shit….. Since we are the ones that help keep you alive. Hope it works out Killa.

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 8 October 2012 at 4:02 am #

      Billy –
      You appear to be a devoted and generous man…I will not defend Steves actions
      pre/post performance…but I do know this from experience…The Church NEVER
      mailed in any live performance iv had ever seen …and thats 15 and counting ….I myself am a musician
      but it is not my career , I am disabled and retired now , but I remember as if it was yesterday..the energy that is drained from ur entire mind and body when you exit a
      stage after u gave up urself physically and mentally for hours …I sat outside in my
      cloathes soaked completely thru…shaking and unable to even speak…unable to
      remember only fragments of the last couple hours except muscle memory and memory
      recall at a rapid pace (I played guitar in a speed metal/punk metalbbands….not everyones
      cup of tea but WAY WAY more than 3 chords …think classical music – sped up and distorted)
      (And before my body broke down – I bounced around like a complete madman in life)
      And it was the greatest feeling in the entire world , a drug within itself…but I did 4-6 shows
      a month …off n on …couple meaningful years …long long ago ….greatest memories outside my
      wife n kids….(family and friends included)………………….
      .NOT 20-25 a month in full tour mode…like Kilbs and the guys ….. I have stood outside hours after
      an incredible acoustic show at 2am talking with Steve and my wife with another couple and
      Steve was still in ‘performance’ mode which is incredible and outstanding…yeah…maybe he
      didnt want to talk on many nights – but he just gave and left a piece of his body on stage
      moments ago….and it wasn’t you Billy or Me or whoever personally…I believe Steve
      just was spent…and if it was a lovely Sunday afernoon and you met him in a gallery –
      He WOULD be more than engaging and delightful…but after a live performance…it can take
      a period of time for the performer of any art…to reinvigorate …

      Best Wishes Billy – would love to see the footage you took someday


      • avatar
        Billy Baldwin | 8 October 2012 at 8:16 pm #

        Hey Daz, you rock man. Appreciate the comment and also the insight. Yeah, probably a little hard on Killa but I am fired up about this. I’m frustrated because I know there is a way to make it work and make money on their terms.

        You gotta admit, and I know Killa, he’s mellowed over the years but still bloody moody. Top bloke though. Just fired up at the moment.

        Man I want to hear from PK TP and MWP and T.

      • avatar
        Anonymous | 8 October 2012 at 11:10 pm #

        not all bods drop Daz…I just love Steve Lukather…and don’t even think to comment on Toto until you have seen them perform live
        they (Toto) are only started up again to support Mike Porcaro (Toto bass player) who is so very very ill
        my point is that Steve Lukather tour heaps and is always there for the audience from what I can gather
        went to G3 in Sydney and those guys played their hearts out (Satriani, Vai & Steve Lukather)…and seriouly looked like they actually love what they do…
        when Toto came to Australia for both their last 2 tours we got almost 3 hours from them not your 1 1/2 that most bands do
        have a look at the Steve Lukather website or facebook…the guy tours like crazy year in year out and still has time and energy for the concert goers

  20. avatar
    davem | 7 October 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    Oh SK.
    Just back from watching Radiohead – great band but they ain’t you.
    It just seems so unfair that a once in a lifetime talent like yours can’t make the living you deserve.
    I’m gutted about the demise of my band – we all feel so close to you guys having followed you for so long that you’re “our” band – but I will always try my best to support what you do cos it’s my SK. Those words, that voice.
    Admit I’m in tears as I type this.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 7 October 2012 at 10:42 pm #

      i know how much my band has meant to you
      i’m sorry i had to make this drastic position
      my position is this in a nutshell:
      i dont care if second motions accounting is right or wrong or indifferent
      i dont care if stephen judge is honest dishonest incompetent or otherwise
      this is a howl of outrage and protest
      that these albums are still returning us nothing
      a new guy but same old result
      and all that bullshit about putting records in a young kids hands
      howabout putting some money in an old musicians hand
      hows that for a radical idea?
      i dont care why where how or anything my records are earning me nothing
      i have seen and heard every fucking excuse under the sun
      i was being eaten alive by top music biz sharks
      when judgey was knee high to a grasshopper
      i dont want to see some more accounting for this…
      i want to see some money and i want the church released from the deal
      give us back our copyright and give us all the profit you mighta made on us
      otherwise why put these records out at all?
      i have waited in some cases 32 years to see a cent of record royalties on these titles
      i dont care whats right or wrong anymore because i wanna be sorted out! understand!
      its irrelevant the blah blah blah contractual doo dahs
      and the eastern distributor fee and the what nots!
      the simple moral truth must outweigh the “facts”
      this is my music and my life you have acquired
      i want to be paid i want to be released
      what do you do to deserve 50%?
      that is so rude against our 17 % each
      seeing what i did
      and seeing what you did
      pay me , release me and my bands records
      and i am gone

      as to the band
      i am tired of pretending …
      not the music
      not our friendships tho they get strained
      doubtless now strained to the limit…
      there are too many damned white elephants in the room
      i cant breathe for them anymore
      the boys know what im talking about
      seems i can never for various reasons
      get to the bottom of my own business (oooh ah, mr humphries..thats for you davem!)
      i dont know how much we make or lose or where are all the accounts?
      i dont wanna take it on faith anymore
      i am tired by the friction of our arrangement
      so these conditions must be fulfilled :
      judgey pays me off a bit and releases the church
      the church let me see everything i want to see
      and then
      we try things another more transparent way
      the church are my favourite players
      they are the best the very best
      each person i admire respect and am well disposed towards
      but i cannot go on as we are
      i reappoint myself leader and do some things how i’d like to do them
      ive been in the backseat for a long time
      other people have wrested control from me
      that was justified : i was a hopeless heroin addict!
      those days are gone!
      we must try my way for a while with business
      my way is to hand it over to some competent people who i trust
      you guys had your go and look where we are
      i doubt its gonna be that easy
      thats ok
      thats their prerogative
      if my conditions are not met then
      there will be no church
      and i may continue being churlish on my blog

      • avatar
        Andreas | 7 October 2012 at 11:26 pm #

        This looks like an open fissure for hope. The church is not over… yet. Getting optimistic again… someone must talk to these guys, This guy Judge, if he’s a fan as he claims, he sees that he cannot work with the church anymore, so release them! And the other guys in the church, just sit around a table and talk, for your fans’ sake! Can’t you see WE LOVE YOU GUYS! Does it matter to any of you? C’mon!

      • avatar
        Anonymous | 8 October 2012 at 12:43 am #

        ‘competent people you trust’…surely Steve you have learned by now that the only person you can really trust is yourself… and even then we can ever really know ourselves as a result of our actions

        read the Upanishads and I bet you your last dollar that some law, company, in some place will lay claim that they ‘own’ the exclusive ‘rights’ or ‘copyright’ etc……then, they will merrily hire the best QC in town to sue you for everything (right down to your last pair of jocks and socks) and more if you allow them

        there was a brief time before the discos killed the live music venues when venues provided the space and the band earned the door takings…and that, from my little bit of experience worked OK…it was fairly simple, not too many fingers in the pie

      • avatar
        andy | 8 October 2012 at 1:33 am #

        i’m with this 100%!
        just listened to u23 in the car…..
        no-one else could have made that record,
        those velvety vox, slinky subtle axes and stealthily beautiful
        drums ‘n bass(and those little mellotron flourishses)…..magic, in a really f’ed-up world…essential.
        boriah, i think you need to listen again man..this album is the antitheisis of a ‘dry well’.
        anything that keeps this train a rollin’ a bit longer is worth a shot.
        the formation of the church back in 1980 closed the golden age.
        when you guys throw in the towel…the mayan callendar comes true.
        god help us all…….

      • avatar
        IncorRect PoliticAlly :>\ | 8 October 2012 at 2:46 am #

        Hell YEAH !!!

        IP :+/

      • avatar
        Steven Krut | 8 October 2012 at 4:52 am #

        I think that’s your best explanation of your position yet. I now fully get it, at least. It seems perfectly reasonable to me. Anytime you upset an established order there’s a lot of shouting and chaos, but if the other guys also aren’t getting paid, how married can they be to the established arrangement?

      • avatar
        Anonymous | 8 October 2012 at 8:04 am #

        yes, the best explanation, honest and moving
        stupid throat is clenching
        i love you steven
        i love the church dearly
        i mean every word dammit
        please repost this as a mainn blog entry not comment
        i’m afraid it’d get lost and there was too much misunderstanding already

  21. avatar
    Kohl Ette | 7 October 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    Who’d be a Turtle? 🙁

  22. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 7 October 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    I know this may seem odd…
    But what does ur Mom think of all this ??
    she has been the constant in all of this , ur entire life …
    I speak with my Mother everyday …she is a treasure in her late 70’s
    Loves The Church…she has had to …its been filling the air with sonic
    beauty back 30+ years now …she loves all the acoustic songs/albums …
    Iv told her everything…do u know what she said –

    “Oh that Steven is a good looking boy , he is smart – dear – he will
    know what to do for those pretty girls …its family …all about family ”

    And there it is from a woman who lost her husband to early in life -her true love !!!
    did her best to raise 3 boys into men , and now teaches her grandkids a
    thing or two…her health not well…time finally caught up …wishes she can
    take all my pain away , nothing more dreadful than being witness to your children’s
    suffering ….but still knows it is so simple – all about family …even extended family …
    She offered up a hug and finally said “Steven will make it right , he loves his little girls”

    Best Wishes from an Elder female fan (who always says “he’s more handsome than Elvis”)
    If that doesn’t make ya blush…what will ????!!!!!!


  23. avatar
    Jesiah6 | 7 October 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    This makes me angry too!
    All the money I’ve spent on The Church’s music, concerts and t-shirts, I never even thought of where the money was going. You and the band deserve so much more for what you’ve created. It’s so wrong.

  24. avatar
    Amy | 7 October 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Your level of frustration is well earned. It seems like the world needs an ‘aha moment’ to realize that you are one of the most amazing songwriters of all time and that the Church is one of the most underrated bands in history. Of course, that won’t solve your problems if someone else is profiting from it. Please continue to release your solo material. We are happy to support you and will continue to do so. I doubt there is any other musician who has produced the quantity and quality of work that you have.

  25. avatar
    Chris | 7 October 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    Dear devoted fans of the creative spiritual genius of Steve Kilbey…I have just finished making a 40 minute DVD of an interview with Steve recorded this year in Sydney about his spirituality and faith journey. I plan to upload a 20 minute summary of this interview on YouTube soon, but I want to make the full 40 minute interview with Steve reading 3 of his brilliant poems live on camera available for sale, either through TTB or me, all profits, every single cent, to Steve Kilbey. A film editor friend and I made this DVD and have given it to Steve as a gift….it is mind blowingly honest and awesome…another sk treasure to get out into the world…classic Steve Kilbey. Steve owns all of the rights and the copyright. Tell me what you think of this and whether you would be interested in buying the 40 minute interview so that I can gauge interest etc. Steve is busy and preoccupied with heavy stuff at the mo, so I want to co-ordinate this for him. Please email me, not TTB. Peace and love.

    My email is

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 8 October 2012 at 7:48 am #

      my dear friend
      this is an extraordinary offer
      if people want to see this great video i am happy knowing you will co-ordinate it for me
      i trust you implicitly . this is a legit offer therefore, folks

      • avatar
        Leigh Blackmore | 8 October 2012 at 2:05 pm #

        I am offering to distribute the DVD in the Illawarra NSW. I hope other Church fans will come to the party and distribute in their local areas by arrangement with Chris Beal. Small is beautiful and if we pull together we can make a difference!

    • avatar
      Ryan Murdock | 8 October 2012 at 7:43 pm #

      I’d love to buy a copy Chris.

  26. avatar
    Chris | 7 October 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    p.s. We also need to tell the world to stop illegally downloading artists’ music…the U.S alone made over 90 million illegal music downloads between 2011-12.

    Source: The Week (Australia)

  27. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen | 8 October 2012 at 12:16 am #

    I’m speechless 🙁 Just as The Church was finally getting some recognition again, this happens – you get screwed over once again? My beloved band no longer exists! It breaks my heart.

  28. avatar
    veleska1970 | 8 October 2012 at 12:18 am #

    i don’t know what to say. i’m heartbroken. but i still love you and support you all the way.

    of course you should be paid for what you do. it’s silly for anyone to expect otherwise. melissa and i have the same idea: when we win the lottery, then you guys shall be rewarded handsomely. 😉

    lotza love………….

  29. avatar
    davem | 8 October 2012 at 12:43 am #

    “i doubt its gonna be that easy
    thats ok
    thats their prerogative
    if my conditions are not met then
    there will be no church
    and i may continue being churlish on my blog”

    I’m keeping everything crossed now!

  30. avatar
    John Garratt | 8 October 2012 at 12:56 am #

    I remember playing a show around Thanksgiving time one year. Our singer thought we should give our earnings to the United Way that weekend. So we set up the show to be this charity thing. We made $100 at the door. The sound guy, who did a serviceable job at best, went up to the doorman and asked how much was made that night. When he learned that we made $100, he ‘decided’ that his fee would be $90.

    The drummer and I stole a few bottles of beer from the backroom. In our 22-year-old minds, justice had been served.

  31. avatar
    shawn_el | 8 October 2012 at 1:06 am #

    I don’t post comments to this forum very often but – I support whatever you do all the way.

    Put up the financial statements from SJ so that people can get the official picture and lobby SJ if it’s legitimate. You’ve been saying for a few days that you were going to do it, so…

    The good news for you – and for everybody else – is that it seems like you’ve found a way to make money for yourself and finally get paid! Keep putting up the bandcamp stuff and I will buy! I wonder if you might tell folks exactly how much you get from each purchase, since maybe that will incentivize us to keep doing things your way.

    And for the record, I’ve enjoyed David Neil, Isidore, SK + MK equally as much as any of your associated recent releases. People should take a deep breath and remember that the creative output will keep coming one way or another.

  32. avatar
    Boriah | 8 October 2012 at 1:19 am #

    I´m a little tired of the “OHHH you four guys you create magic only when you´re together”. BULLSHIT. That´s pointless since the day Ploog left/was fired.

    To me things are clear: THE CHURCH is and has always been Steve Kilbey. I loved The Church and became a loyal fan not because of the guitarist or the drummer but just because of that VOICE. And so the rest of you. What made THE CHURCH special to us is/was first and foremost the voice of Steve Kilbey. Dont fool yourselves about perfect combinations or whatever.

    More, the only member in THE CHURCH machine who is INDISPENSABLE is Steve Kilbey. Or put it the other way: Steve can hire three other musicians and publish an album under the name of THE CHURCH and I´ll buy it (we all will). If MWP, PK and TP put out an album with another singer under THE CHURCH that would be a COMPLETE JOKE.

    I understand you wanted to give the guys more democracy at some point. It´s ok. BUT once the things are obviously not working you´re completely legitimize to take the power and control again. Fuck that democracy. You´re the true leader of this band and if any of the guys dont understand that then he could take the highway. Plain as that.

    What´s that “I´m leaving THE CHURCH”??? I DONT UNDERSTAND THOSE TERMS. To me it´s more: “this guys arent doing the things the right way so I´ll continue with THE CHURCH, with MY BAND and IDEA (as you said) from the begining, with different people.


    Whatever happens, I´ll buy YOUR stuff. I´ll be there. Count me in.


    • avatar
      andy | 8 October 2012 at 9:38 am #

      to YOU the church is just steve.
      it sure as hell ain’t that way to me.
      as a solo artist he shines.
      in fact…he’s a visionary.
      i fuckin’ well love him to bits,
      as an artist and as a human being.
      even if MWP PK and TP never wrote another note or word ever…the church would endure as long as steve was at the helm.
      but if you can’t hear the amazing contributions these guys bring to steve’s music, then for you the church may as well cease.
      roll on the steve kilbey band…sure, get a couple of hired hands in and tour around playing the ‘hits’….i don’t think so.(steve would NEVER do that anyhow)
      i’ll be buying steve’s work no matter what happens…everyone on this forum
      will. in my mind kilbs is the hardest working most inspired musician imaginable
      but alex, you have just insulted the finest guitar duo and most innovative drummer/producer in best rock band on the planet.
      shame on you man.

      • avatar
        thetimebeing | 8 October 2012 at 9:48 am #

        the truth is in the eye of the beholder

      • avatar
        Cath | 8 October 2012 at 11:48 am #

        I see The Church like a pyramid, they each hold a pillar and the music created is their capstone. There is no Church without either one of them,Andy you say it well Best Rock band on the planet.
        Love you guys, I so so so so so hope this can be resculpted, moulded, configured into something workable prosperous, full of love.
        I remember crying my eyes out in the early 90’s when you disbanded, thinking no it can’t be. Steve, heaven and earth will move for you, this can work out.Lot’s of healing sent your way. I hope you can get contractual release and regain your copyrights, that must be so hard. WE love you, you’re my biggest inspiration, love always Cath

      • avatar
        Boriah | 8 October 2012 at 5:04 pm #

        Andy, bro, you´re too romantic. And you cannot attack the problem being romantic. I havent insulted anyone, I just put things in place. According to all the sources the first 5 CHURCH albums were composed almost entirely by Steve kilbey, and he was the one and only leader there. He had the right to fire anyone. He had the rights! Only then, during “Starfish” times he “relaxed” and gave the rest of the members more freedom to decide. Since then on things went sometimes good and bad. AND, people came and went. The only one who stayed there ALWAYS was Steve Kilbey. Marty knew he had to retain Steve otherwise he would sell a shit being solo. Now, things are twisted, now it´s time to take control and power again, it´s like back to square one. And if the rest of the members are wise enough they´ll let Steve take control, and they´ll work under his commands. To me of course The Church is Steve Kilbey, or at least it SHOULD BE. The majority of the fans buy the stuff because is Steve Kilbey´s voice what is singing those songs.
        “The finest guitar duo”??? Could be, but without the voice of Kilbey you´d have never bought an album made by the “guitar duo”. The “most innovative drummer/producer”??? That´s your opinion, to me his producing has ruined some The Church albums. No Andy, let romanticism aside. Business talks NOW.

        See you in Istambul, you´ll make Sean Connery, I´ll make Christopher Lambert….

        And, of course, shame on you too.

        • avatar
          thetimebeing | 8 October 2012 at 5:22 pm #

          afraid i agree with both of you here!

        • avatar
          andy | 8 October 2012 at 7:14 pm #

          great reply alex…..
          you made your point much better 2nd time!
          see you in ephesus little bro!

          • avatar
            Boriah | 8 October 2012 at 7:37 pm #

            Bring your best Katana my dearest bro, it´s gonna be a tough fight. There can be only one…

    • avatar
      Steven Krut | 8 October 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      The Church is greater than the sum of its parts. Steve’s role is the most critical and central, sure, but it’s the musical synergy of those four guys that makes the band so special. Yeah, Steve and three other guys could play together in a band called The Church and it would have a superficial similarity to the old group, but it wouldn’t BE The Church. Not even close. I’d be deeply disappointed if that happened. The other guys make critical contributions to the compositions. Look at what Marty added to On Angel Street. And then there are the live performances. A big reason why The Church is still around is because they’re stellar live and that is very much due to Peter and Marty. The Church is a true group effort in my eyes.

  33. avatar
    John Paul | 8 October 2012 at 2:08 am #

    2 days ago I was in an airplane flying back home to Atlanta from San Francisco. The only music I could find on my laptop was oddly Priest=Aura. It makes me sick to think that my pleasure in listening to the lyrics in “Lustre” at 39,000 feet is not being compensated to the one(s) who created it. SK, you and I probably are poles apart on many things, but you are right in your frustrations. These songs and albums, they are yours, you created them from nothing, and you should be reaping a good reward for them. Your bandmates too. I simply don’t understand why the best, like you and another of my favorites – Paul Westerberg – are just scratching by in terms of earnings. Not sure what I can do but continue to buy the releases, come to the shows, and stay tuned. I will also be hitting you up for a commission art piece, hopefully soon. Keep brave. Concentrate.

  34. avatar
    Jaime R | 8 October 2012 at 3:27 am #

    Refo:mation, often times we gotta keep a cool head Killer.. Find the balance.. Work the negotiations w the right people.. keep the balance.. Appreciate that you’re still making music instead of shoveling shit.. Realize that he Church are surpassing any prime theyve/ we’ve seen.. You can judo move thru this without injuring yourself or anybody.. The Electric Lash is a rough communication.. Cyber pitchforks dont really help.. You need to know the fine details and find the clarity and solutions… People can help on this.. You know its all really special what we have here and important to keep..I know this isnt fair to the legacy and the Band.. I am in the same difficult position of holding on or letting go too.. I cant completely abandon without taking care and respecting the essence of it.. an arrangement finds its conclusion but then again, maybe this is what we do and who we are… Peace be with you.. God Bless the Church..

  35. avatar
    marathon | 8 October 2012 at 4:42 am #

    Love to you in all of this. Power, strength, courage, and clarity of mind – and above all (aside from love), peace. I’ll hold out hope that something can be made right and you’ll be back sometime(being). It’s sad to think I might not see you in Chicago again, but I would prefer to see/hear a free spirit sing, and not a chained one. – Jeff Elbel

  36. avatar
    Lars | 8 October 2012 at 5:37 am #

    It is so sad to read all this.
    Since the brilliant #23 I hoped to see The Church again here in Germany.
    The last tour here – in 2006 I guess – I could not attend because of some stupid accident. And now this 🙁
    As someone how has worked some years in game delevelopment (which you could see as a form of an art – or not) I know this Get-nothing-for-your-hard-work-frustration to a certain extent. The publisher deals have been quite similar (publisher gets all -> developer gets nothing) in this business – at least 10 years ago. The point is: Things change now – because of Kickstarter or commercial distribution platforms. There are more and more successful indie projects, and the big publishers will somehow have to react to this (and they would not have to, if all this indie developers had given up earlier… ). Although this obviously does not help with your current situation (which seems to be more a legal issue), I wonder why you are not interested in crowdfunding at all? Taking the money from the people in advance who admire your work seems a much better way to me than the way you’ve done it the last 30 years or than just quitting it all.
    Anyway, if there is anyone who knows less about the music business then you it’s me 😉 – so probably you should ignore all this – but not the following:

    Thanks for all the wonderful music, emotions, moments in the last over 20 years when I discovered The Church for the first time in some episode of “Miami Vice” (!)! Take care!

  37. avatar
    Kohl Ette | 8 October 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Tis good to hear some money making ideas thrown round but some alarm bells start already. You have some supportive and well meaning friends, great! I beg of you if my friendship is meaningful to you and in the shortish time I’ve been on fb and here I think it’s pretty intense with ups and downs, but I’m still here, so… Please do not become over exposed in your quest for righteousness. I probably don’t need to say it, just checking. I read or heard an interview where you spoke of magic/spirituality yet staying in touch with every(hu)man and I think that is a great quality of yours. Never become too elitist or too much the opposite. I’m sure you won’t, just saying as a friend. Don’t become Rolf bloody Harris ok? Yes he was ok but you know what I mean? Be selective and not too selective. I just don’t want to start thinking already oh yeah, another voice over by sk. Much as I love your voice. Keep surprising us with your originality. The reason I love you if you could call it a reason is you do alternative indie stuff with intelligence and style. A certain grungy classical rock n roll refinement and still manage to escape being pigeon holed because you can’t be. My summary is only an attempt to define you. Don’t get too self conscious about anything. Don’t end up losing yourself again. But thanks for listening to us and letting us try and help. I send you a virtual embrace, mate.

  38. avatar
    Kohl Ette | 8 October 2012 at 7:55 am #

    The king parrot returned this morning and is still calling…

  39. avatar
    xtine | 8 October 2012 at 8:43 am #

    *thank you* *thank you* *thank you* for a prolific 32 years, wished a lot of other bands could’ve sticked together and made magic as long as you have.

  40. avatar
    Kohl Ette | 8 October 2012 at 9:00 am #

    And now a whip bird. I have Never heard one here before. Can hear it loud and clear, can’t see it… what can it mean?

  41. avatar
    David Ingram | 8 October 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Steve Kilbey You are one of my top singer-songwriters of all time! I consider your work to be some of the most beautiful poems ever set to music in the last 32 years. It breaks my heart that it has come to this, i have adored your side projects (jack frost especially) and love the church dearly and always will. Upset that a man I consider a true poet, and outstanding musician and vocalist, has to consider this, be driven to these lengths! So sorry Steve! I love your Music!. Gold Afternoon Fix, SF the warfield stands as one of the most incredible live music experiences I have ever had. Hoping you can hang in there! Of all people you do not deserve such a raw deal. Your words and Music throughout the years have helped me through it, some very hard times. Sorry that you have to consider this. With or without the church, i will continue to love and listen to Your Music. Hoping this gets resolved to a satisfactory conclusion, for your life’s work, you deserve so much more, it means so much to all of us Thank You, For Your Words and your voice and your music. ! bless you for you have added to the beauty of this world. You should surely be better compensated!!!

  42. avatar
    Buster Hymen | 8 October 2012 at 10:51 am #

    a post-crunch world would be a dark, bleak place

  43. avatar
    Crasher | 8 October 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Got a mate who’s another one of those ” not the same since ploogy left” types.
    i saw first saw the church in 1982.. a thunderous heavy rollicking show it was.
    loved those 80s albums..particularly seance (ears of the beholder)
    loved p=a..without “ploogy” then sometime anywhere..without pk.
    with the release of mats,a slow decline was evident to these ears.
    then pk came back. from hob on ALL albums have varied from brilliant to excellent. i love takes a lot of listens but so does forget yourself and ultc. let’s not forget the coffee hounds,operetta and deadman’s hand eps
    these albums are clear examples of the the sum of the whole.
    the solo thingys…like the jack frosts, don’t mind the kennedy ones. looove the gb3 (damaged,controlled). the 2 isidores require more listens still…the wilderness years..innaresting ??
    no doubt the church have been poorly managed and marketed over the years.
    go down to the record store..looking for music dvds under c..about 10 cold chisel dvds !!! who the fuck are they ? you may well doubt they have been marketed well though..when was their last album of original material ?
    if you’re lucky, you might find the goldfish (jokes,magic & souvenirs)compilation, or that wonderfully sounding but appallingly filmed enmore show from 1992 ( i still recommend it though..just for the sound).
    there should have been more in the video area..much more.
    a dvd of the past present future tour would have been brilliant. oh well ??
    more from me later..the teardrops are shorting out my keyboard.

  44. avatar
    Once | 8 October 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    i tried to just pull lines from this, but I don’t have Avid at home…

    Let him GO! Bushmila!

  45. avatar
    reid | 8 October 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    if indeed the future no longer contains a church my life will have one of its brighter lights permanently dimmed
    some of the best times of my life were spent in the presence of your music together and with you as individuals travelling together and making such treasured memories
    i im in no position to judge or have much of an opinion on what you should or shouldnt do, or what you should feel or pursue or ultimately decide upon
    the only bit of advice, or rather the only bit i can say to you of any relevance comes from a place i have found myself in recently
    i have been working with a band for the past several years, and about two weeks ago, the guitarist, ross, was killed in an accident that has us all still living in a state of shock
    when you say that yourself, and marty and pete and tim are brothers, i know exactly what you mean. the six of us in this band used and still use the term brothers, and this tragedy has brought to us exactly how much that means, and how true it is. i am closer to them then much of my own family, and his death has made a void in my own life that will forever be vacant, much less the musical hole now left silent
    this sudden alteration to plans we had made (norway and sweden next year!) and the self delusion we all maintain in our minds, thinking that things will always be the way they are has suddenly come crashing down around all of us.
    it has brought us all even closer together as we grieve and remember and tribute ross, and has made me acutely aware of how special that brotherhood, and that musical magic can be when people who are made to make music together find each other, and create a sound, a feeling and a singular entity that did not exist before.
    i know you are aware of your own connection to your musical brothers as such, and real life concerns such as finances, operations/management and other details will always play a part in any relationship
    people will fight and be frustrated
    we all say things we regret and think thoughts that arent always ones we wouldnt change later
    and there is a point where all things must change – change is what defines life above all else
    but always remember that magic, that language in music you speak with your brothers
    the love that you share among each other that is reciprocated and manifested and a source of frustration as much as admiration with each other
    remember that some day that brotherhood can and will be severed by things out of anyones control
    one or more of you will be gone, and then the chance to make something nobody else ever has before will forever be gone, and different
    eventually things cant be patched up or apologized for or forgotten or moved on from
    and what you once had can never be reclaimed or redone or copied or approximated
    maybe it is right to move on now
    selfishly, i do not want you to, but i know how any art requires the correct mindset to be made correctly
    and i love your solo/collaborative work as much, though differently than the church
    there will always be something different and special about the church, and as i have made it clear to you every time i have an opportunity
    you guys have been getting better and better with each album and tour and year
    that magic is something that can never be bottled, and that brotherhood is something that is fleeting. you have been honored to be a part of it for this long, and to have even discovered it in the first place
    your music has made my life immeasurably richer and inspired me to do so much with my own life
    i have and will always place your art above all others in my own life
    the fact that i can home a connection to all of you and a very small hand in any of it will always be one of the deepest held treasures of my existence
    you do what you feel that you have to
    but as with anything and anyone and to all of us
    find your ego and dont let it be the decider
    love and art are what make us human
    i understand and sympathize with a lifetime of being screwed over and screwing yourself over in the middle of it
    eventually our brains want some sense of justice and fairness and equity
    but art and love come from the heart and the brain
    and you are nothing if not an artist in the true archetypal fashion
    you exist in this world to create and to be a father
    by that measure you have been a fucking massive success beyond any imagined boundary
    youve led several peoples lives worth of adventures and pursuits
    brought so much happiness to others – remember that
    yeh we all have bills and daily life routines and bothers
    thats the side of our heroes nobody like to think about
    we’re all just people who are petty and selfish and frustrated
    we all get sick and go to the bathroom and have good days and bad days
    just like us you can reach your wits end and want to give up
    maybe you need to do that
    but for gods sake steven remember what you do have in your life and remember how special it is, how special it has been and know that it still can be special
    whatever you do it will be special in its own way
    but honestly with yourself you know how much you love your band as well and how lucky you are to be in the best band in the world
    all good things must end
    and you will always be brothers together
    but cherish who you have in your life
    before its too late and you can never hug them goodbye
    or hear them play an instrument like no other
    what i wouldnt give right now to be frustrated with ross or to have a disagreement with him
    none of us should ever leave someone we love on bad terms
    fortunately i have no regrets in that department
    but there is still a void that hurts, and we all wish we had made even more of the time we had together
    even though the time we had was amazing and treasured and as full as it could be
    dont let living get in the way of life
    dont take for granted what is around you
    dont forget the people around you
    dont fool yourself into thinking things can be made right later
    dont think there will always be another
    another is never what is already in front of you
    and in your own life and heart

    stay well steven
    i am sorry any of this is had to be endured by you or anyone else for that matter
    principles are only as valuable as what they give to us or bring to us
    if rules dont benefit or prevent harm they themselves are a crutch to bringing peace to ourselves and those around us

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 8 October 2012 at 1:36 pm #

      my dear friend reid
      thank you for this wonderful heartfelt letter
      i read it
      i absorbed it
      much love to you , man

  46. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 October 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    i truly am a twat.

  47. avatar
    Adam | 8 October 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Historically, where the bargaining power between two parties is significantly unbalanced so that it results in one party being continuously subject to the exploitation of the other, governments have been forced (often after decades/centuries of inactivity) to pass legislation to try and protect the exploited party (eg. employees in an employment relationship and, most recently, borrowers in complex mortgage transactions).

    However, there is only very minimal protection for music artists in their often extremely complex financial arrangements with the various recording, production and industry companies in the music industry.

    I often wonder how many of my most favourite and treasured bands broke up, not beacuse they had lost the “magic” or because they didn’t immensely enjoy the company of others in the group, but because their “contracts” with other parties in the industry were just unworkable and oppressive.

    But, I can sense a change in mood in the air with consumers more regularly opting for the boutique and bespoke which exploiting companies will never be able to embrace.

    In this regard, the very recent following comments by Morrissey about his “lack of a deal” are also relevant, so it does not unfortunately seem you are the only one (not that this helps, but our love and kindness do):

    “You are what they call between record labels – is there an update you can furnish us with?

    Not really. The horizon remains bleak. But I accept it now. I exist only in the live arena, or on You Tube, and that’s the full extent of it. Talent is now so artificially shaped that to tour successfully and to have integrity and meaning to whatever you do are utterly foreign commodities to the music industry.

    A handful of new songs (Scandinavia, Action is My Middle Name) have been played live and swiftly surfaced on You Tube – is there a new album recorded?

    These songs are now quite old. We were ready to record the album 18 months ago, but there were no takers. I was recently approached by Sony, but the offer was so poor that I’d end up paying for everything with my own personal finances yet splitting the profit with the label. It doesn’t make sense.

    Are you entertaining other alternatives?

    I think people who like me want the physical – artwork to spin as they listen to the CD or even the LP. Yes, a lot of people still want vinyl.”

  48. Kraig
    Kraig | 8 October 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Ok Steve,

    maybe you should seriously take a professional outlook on this and get an International Lawyer to sort this crap out? Sounds like big fucking mess from the past 30+ years. Maybe they can sort out everything you speak of? I consulted a lawyer after my Dad passed away and they tried to get a few thousand dollars from me because he did not maintain his apartment, so i didn’t know what to do at the time because i could not afford a lawyer and i didn’t have a pot to piss in at the time, etc. So i found this cool place online that helped me in so many ways you cannot imagine…they put an end to my fiasco between the landlord and my Dad’s estate, etc. Here i was getting letters to collect 5 grand from the Landlord (long story of trying to ripp me off) but i went to JustAnswer online and you seriously NEED to check it out! This could COMPLETELY change your whole picture and you get advice RIGHT AWAY and is very affordable. There are tons of categories so choose one wisely but would this one fit the bill…Intellectual Property Law? If so, visit:

    If not, there are other laywers to choose from including Australian or International Law, etc. If anything, just go get an International Lawyer, Copyright Infringement, and/or Intellectual Property Law and sort this bullshit out for you, the band, and your fans before it’s too late.

    Hope this helps you out, stick in there, keep The Church ALIVE, and do not give up! I’m crossing my fingers and toes for you bro!

    Much Love & Good Fortune,

  49. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 October 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    I really believe this year has something quite magical about it. Making people move forward, switch positions, understand things from above and inside, look further, rise above rubbish they’ve been immersed in and I could go on and on about how the phoenixes are getting a kick in incredible 2012. So these are not surprising news to me, the one who grokked you and your art since the first second. Sorry, the second second. Even from the most distant distance. I think you really deserve to do this statement. It is the pinnacle after 10 years of the highly privileged now this, after everything. You made it as now as ever for the last decade and I know best how this decade that began in purple hazy 2002 turned out to be the golden time of your rebirth, your renaissance as an artist and as a man.
    Success and failure feed your heart and everything is fine below? Between? In-between?
    I take it not as a desperate call from exhaustion although there is the fucking financial issue but instead, as the inconsequential scream of the newborn, finally breathing it altogether out of the… womb. Leaving the hotel womb to follow a new destination. How can you manage to be artistically alive if it’s not this way? Things have to drastically change from time to time and this is your drive to change, to subvert and make it worthwhile after so much energy put in yor renewal. This is the end… Of The Church? Of a decade of frenetic production, bsides, prolific records in the most splendid space rock rocket shape, tours, confessions? Of inspiration inside an institution that is self-imploding? Maybe some maybe all at once. The only thing that is certain is that the end always equals the start and you = aura. Walk out in sun, walk out in rain (or trudge), keep on walking and don’t look back again. I know that you’re going to give much much gloriously creative joy and beauty and love to the world in the next decade and more and at least for me, I don’t care if this will happen inside The Church limits or not. October man, let your 2012 October be. Deep in my heart I still have this intuition that you’re not calling it quits from The Church but from a STATUS QUO that does not suit you anymore (never did but now you figure out how you can make it all happen on your own and you always was and is this searching spirit and this hermit who has to follow his own fiery commands). October 4th I was moving to my recently bought apartment – fancy and luxurious and beautiful and spacious and meaning my concrete triumph over deaths and financial ruins – and there was this moment of unpacking all that damn Church memorabilia and records and keeping it in the closest of places. A time to close and let History be. The future, Estevão, is much more open.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 8 October 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      this excellent letter has most mysteriously spoken the truth
      i am moved by this and my quotes coming back at me
      thank you for this timely missive, my corazon !

  50. avatar
    david | 8 October 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    ……………………………………(cough.) om………………………….

  51. avatar
    Crasher | 8 October 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    just watched the you tube snippet you recommended steve.
    i typed “the turtles talk about show biz” and found it that way.
    it sounded like something out of a hollywood movie script, but was true.
    i loved the punchline ( and the snoopy jumper). now i fully understand.
    how these so called managers attain any credibility is quite… well it’s almost pornographic…bugger the tears are comin’ again.

  52. avatar
    Crasher | 8 October 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    forgot to name check the refo:mation in my earlier post.
    for those very few who don’t already know:this is the church without marty.
    this is an excellent album..i got my copy from the church site a year or so.
    this album is a must have.
    you can see most of the songs on youtube.
    i also found a little vid of pk playing purple haze at the enmore. loved that too.
    3 posts in a day from me..any more and i’ll be a fence.

  53. avatar
    WJS | 8 October 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    I’ve been following this now for a few days and I have to say–wow. The music business is worse than organized crime or selling crystal meth to elementary school kids. It is a horrendous place to find yourself.

    Are you getting anything from Bandcamp? Because if it means buying music on Bandcamp to support you, then that’s what I think people should be doing right now. My fear is that whoever runs Bandcamp will slip into the old ways and then start ripping people off as well.

    Amanda Palmer raised a million dollars to get an album made–perhaps that is the new business model. Want a new Church album? Well, you’ve got to pay for it and you’ve got to support the artist directly and you’ve got to use a new business model that dictates that money goes to the artist, not the middlemen.

    Again, wow. Heartbreaking. I own everything you’ve made, Killer, and I wish you could clarify something else as well–should people stop buying items from Churchmerch, from the Church’s website?

    Where can people reasonably expect that they can buy something Killer related that will actually put money in the Killer’s pockets?

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 9 October 2012 at 10:21 am #

      bandcamp =excellent!

    • avatar
      fen | 10 October 2012 at 1:44 am #

      re: Amanda Palmer…last i knew, from the other week, was that she initially appeared very greedy and was stiffing other musicians, as well as allocating said funds to previous debt. this raised some questions regarding the pledge transparency issue, and integrity. she then changed her tune within 24 hours, after net backlash. i hope she does the right thing in the end.
      i figure if AP (and others) can raise a million, the Church (and related) can surely raise way more than that.

  54. avatar
    Thompson | 9 October 2012 at 10:19 am #

    So, the thieves of the world win again. The “industry” is nothing but a pack of vampires, sucking the life out of whatever talent they can find. And what do we, the people who actually give a damn, do now? We still care. I still care. I would continue to support the church in any way I can. Directly. I supported the band through album purchases, but I see that was a misdirected mistake, believing that some reasonable portion of what I was paying was actually making it to those who generated the art that I enjoyed so greatly.

    What do we do now? I am profoundly sad at this turn. “Pharao” all over again, nearly a quarter century later and we’re still mired in the same mess. I am profoundly sorry for the circumstances. Who passed around the bad acid? Why are we on this bummer of a trip? Now I wonder if the real world is any better? Oh, wait, this is the reality, no matter how altered it may have seemed.

  55. avatar
    Ingrid | 11 October 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    It made me sad reading this (really affected me). All the vultures (middle men etc.) who have profited on your success and creativity make me sick.

    I just what to say I support you wholeheartedly. It would really be a shame for The Church to break up, but I understand that an absolute change in how things are run would have to happen. I attended a workshop 2 weeks ago running your own Creative Business which included legal aspects, copyright, taxation and marketing (sounds really boring but it was quite good actually). I can give you details if you want and I managed to get it for free.

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