Former EastEnders star Martin Kemp, who stars on BBC’s new show Rock Till We Drop tonight, has acted as peacekeeper between his brother Gary and the rest of the band.
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The Spandau Ballet had one of the most bitter separations in music history – and a man was stuck in the middle.
Martin Kemp is forced to play the peacekeeper during a tense clash between his bandmates and his brother.
“I’m a peacemaker, I try to make sure everyone is happy all the time. Sometimes I’m the one in the middle,” he told Jonathan Ross last April.
“I don’t mind about it, that’s my role, that’s what I played. Unfortunately I didn’t get paid for it.”
Formed together in 1976, the chart-topping band consists of brothers Martin and Gary Kemp along with frontman Tony Hadley, saxophonist Steve Norman and drummer John Keeble.
They had eight UK top 10 albums and ten UK top 10 hits with songs like Gold, Only When You Leave and True – but soon they were embroiled in one of the most messy public feuds ever. of pop music.
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The band first decided to take a break in March 1990 after playing on the last day of their 10th anniversary tour to pursue other acting and solo projects.
Gary and Martin played East End gangsters Ronnie and Reggie in The Krays, while Tony recorded his first solo album in Los Angeles.
However, things turned completely divisive due to a heated argument over loyalty – with Tony, John and Steve unsuccessfully trying to sue Gary in the Battle of the Supreme Court.
They claim they are entitled to a portion of the musician’s income from the rights to publish the hits because they had an “oral agreement” with 1/12 of all the royalties of the songs.
“We had an arrangement between ourselves and we were schoolmates. We are not skeptical, we just do everything based on trust. Besides, we were playing at Hope and Anchor, in a little pub at the time. The idea of arranging a serious contract didn’t come to our mind,” said John Guardians .
While the judges said they made an “impressive and outstanding” contribution to the recordings, they didn’t change the song enough to make them a joint and backing author for Gary.
The judge found it “unconscionable” that they had attempted to claim hundreds of thousands of pounds, which they knew Gary considered his own.
Acknowledging his disappointment following the ruling, Hadley said: “Let this be a sobering lesson for any growing artist or band. No matter how good a partner you are or whether you go to the same school or not, sign the contract. “
“We tried to sort the whole thing out amicably many times,” he added.
“In my heart, I was hoping that someone would tap me on the shoulder right before the court door opened and say, ‘Come on guys, this is stupid; let’s go out to the pub, have a drink and sort it out. ‘
“But it didn’t happen. I don’t think anyone can happily go to court to fight their old best friends.”
While Gary simply said: “I see this as a win on behalf of all the musicians.”
The three had to sell their shares in the Spandau Ballet company to Gary to pay off legal debts but continued touring as a trio.
They toured under their own name, followed by the suffix “ex-Spandau Ballet”. They had to walk away because Gary, Martin and the group’s original manager Steve Dagger owned the rights to the name with their company, Marbelow.
Despite bad blood, the band reunited notably in 2009 when they reformed for a world tour and released a new studio album, Once More.
“Time is a great healer,” Tony said at the press conference. “As you can see, we’re back together again and we’re very happy boys.
“We first met in a pub, had a few beers, stories and anecdotes rang out and we realized we were great friends.”
They were still touring in 2015, but in 2017, Tony abruptly left the band in a cryptic statement posted on Twitter.
The brief statement read: “Due to circumstances beyond my control, I deeply regret that I am no longer a member of the band Spandau Ballet and as such I will not perform with the band in the future. future.”
Spandau responded with a statement of their own, which read: “To the band’s dismay, Tony made it clear in September 2016 that he no longer wanted to work with the band.
“This has not changed and 2015 was the last time we were able to perform or work with him. So now we have decided to move on to activities as a band.”
The band is said to have provided a series of lucrative opportunities that Tony didn’t want to join because he wanted to focus on his solo career.
A former Mirror source: “Tony has been advertised as the ‘previous of’ Spandau Ballet on a number of touring posters. There have been tensions rising between Tony and the rest of the group for almost two years, ever since he decided he didn’t want to perform with them.
“This is the last straw, and Tony has given him an ultimatum – join Spandau or quit altogether.
“The band was offered a series of lucrative opportunities that Tony didn’t want to get involved with. There has been talk of a new album and tours including a top US tour – the UK’s biggest festivals also have deals on the table. But Tony has chosen to focus on his solo career, which means people have missed out.”
Martin, who pursued an acting career and played Steve Owen on EastEnders, recently revealed how much the breakup has hurt him.
“When Spandau Ballet split, I had about eight years without even buying a record because it made me feel physically exhausted,” he told Radio Times.
“In Spandau it was just one argument after another. We will go from arguing to being best friends to arguing. It’s been an experiment for the past few years.
The actor turned bassist is currently collaborating with Lady Lehurr for the BBC series Rock Till We Drop, a search for incredible musicians over 64 to form two rock’n’roll bands.
He added: “Rock Till We Drop reminds me of how exciting the music business can be. It’s about achieving your dreams and having fun. “
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/martin-kemp-stuck-middle-spandau-26360834 Martin Kemp is caught between the bitter split of the Spandau Ballet and the feud for money