The Quireboys have released a statement explaining the reasons for parting ways with Spike. The statement below talks of a history of problems between band and singer, missed shows by Spike and the singer’s unwillingness to communicate.
This morning the Monsterfest cancelled this year’s planned appearance of The Quireboys. Earlier, The Tivoli venue followed suit.
The reaction to the news does seem unfair to the band. As one fan wrote on Facebook, “My point is, the band we’ve all loved in the last 20 years or so is not Spike’s band, it’s as much Guy’s, Keith’s and Paul’s. There wouldn’t have been a band now if it wasn’t for these guys.
“You’re allowed to think Spike is the most fantastic frontman ever, but considering Guy, Keith and Paul as backing musicians is totally unfair. They are Quireboys! Don’t be stuck in a time warp where only the so-called original band and the first album matter. It’s denying all the great work the band, including Spike, has done in the last 20 years.”
The statement in full:
Further to our initial statement last week regarding The Quireboys parting ways with Spike, we’d like to address some of the questions and speculation that have arisen.
Spike was informed of our decision to part ways with him via a phone call from the band’s manager two weeks prior to receiving the letter, which was just legal confirmation, as he refused to speak to us. Spike has consistently declined to meet and discuss band issues over the course of the past nine months.
Our decision was not taken lightly and is the culmination of not just months but years of persistent problems, as many working in the music industry know.
Most recently we had to deal with his last-minute nonappearance on the Monsters of Rock Cruise as well as the double-booking of solo shows in a bid to jeopardise contracted Quireboys shows, including those in France this past weekend and our forthcoming US tour. There are many more instances of cancelled shows and systematically trying to undermine us thus causing stress and uncertainty to both our crew and ourselves.
Spike’s solo performances are not and have never been an issue, but doing them without any consultation with the band or management is. Our shows are booked months in advance of being announced and all band members receive the dates in good time.
It is up to us all individually to manage our calendars accordingly and to ensure that any other projects we have do not interfere with The Quireboys schedule. Ultimately, if we do not fulfil our contracted tour schedule, the band makes no money and any deposits would need to be refunded.
We have been trading as The Quireboys through a business registered with Companies House & HMRC for many years, a company Spike was asked to join but declined, preferring instead to be hired on a freelance basis, ‘cash in hand’. Therefore, there is absolutely no fraudulent use of the name by us. Spike does not legally own the band or the name.
The pandemic hit our company and band hard, as it did many in the industry.
After an 18 month struggle to pay bills and keep the band solvent whilst supporting our families, we were dismayed to come into possession of a contract that Spike’s agent had been sending out on his instruction stating: “Please note that The Quireboys will not be performing any ‘unplugged’ shows” – and so just like that, 50% of our future income was gone before we had even had a chance to play again.
None of us asked to be put into this position. We are a band who has been playing together for over twenty years with nine albums’ worth of music to our name. In addition, as most fans would know, Guy Griffin has played on every Quireboys album to date, writing many of the tracks you love.
Why should we be denied the opportunity to play the songs we wrote or performed on and not be able to protect our livelihoods?
Let the music do the talking.