Thursday, November 03, 2005

Wilmington, North Carolina
I'm visiting my friend Robert Lurie for the first time, on the occasion of the first public reading from his biography of Steve Kilbey, the lead singer of The Church. I've run Shadow Cabinet, a fan site for the band, since 1995 and been a fan for many more years. During all that time there hasn't been a single book about the band or its members, so fans who wanted to know the band better (whether the band wanted it or not!) had to rely on collections of interviews, such as the hundreds I collected for the Shadow Cabinet website.

But many of those interviews cover the same ground over and over again and leave one hoping for a more in-depth work. Then Robert Lurie comes along and just does it! The project was done for his Masters degree, and will also be sold to the public, with the possibility of more books to come. He interviewed Steve many, many times and let me be among the first to thank Steve for participating in a project that will make a lot of people very happy.

So I flew in to Wilmington last night and will spend this afternoon typing up some relevant items for Robert to look at. I love hotels with free wireless Internet access!


sam said...

In regards to your posting on Shadow Cabinet about Richard Ploog leaving the band as a possible drug issue, I spent a lot of time w/ Richard when they were in the U.S. and never saw him do anything more than smoke some pot...
I think he was under a lot of presure to use synth drums which he had no interest in. He was very laid back and not as hard core driven as Steve. Different types of people, but I find it hard to believe that drug use played a part.

Brian said...

Hi Sam,
Thanks for commenting; I've never met Richard and hope to do so one day. I think the pot use was more serious than you might think; take a look at what Donnette Thayer (steve's girlfriend at the time) said about it (bottomof page at

Basically, yes, he stuck with pot and avoided the cocaine, but he used too much and his studio performance suffered.

goodenough said...

I was actually working for The Church at the time and Touring with them when Richard was given his marching orders. Believe me, if smoking a Little pot was the motivation for a sacking, then there would be no one in the band!! This is what I saw, Richard was always treated as the weak link in the band by SK and MWP. When they received their success from Starfish, The Church were cracking at the seams. They had never before had commercial success in the order of Starfish and who is the first to go in a band when the pressure to perform jumps in?? The weakest link of course!! Their American Management didnt help the problem, they saw the solution to the issue to be, hiring another Drummer, one that was more precise and less artistic. As this crap was evolving I also left my Role as Crew member for The Church and worked for their support band on the same tour.
Richard was shattered by his sacking, Peter Koppes actually formed another Band with Ploog (The Well) and toured in Australia. Gold Afternoon Fix saw The Church recording with a new Drummer (JD), and I was also present at the recording of this Album. Richard was missed, but there was no going back for SK and MWP. The writing was on the wall, and PK was soon to leave the band due to reasons of his own that I perceived as Perceived Fame in the hands of greedy egos!! IN 1990
'Sometime any where" was recorded in Sydney, and I was also there for that album. It saw MWP and SK on their own, and the introduction of Tim Powells, the Savior of The Church to this day. Without Tims energies and his long stint at management The Church would have passed as another casualty of "Which one of us is the most important?? and I get more royalties than you!!"

So, Richard did not leave the band, he was pushed out by MWP and SK, Peter Koppes was as Stoic as a Man could Be and supported Richard till he had to also go through disappointment in his situation, becoming the weakest link!

2010, Celebrating 30 years as a band is quite an achievement, Good on them!!