Published Apr 28, 2017All things considered, this Record Store Day went down without a whole lot of drama. But we did get a bit of that via long-gone space-rock heroes Spacemen 3, who just days out from the April 22 event urged fans not to buy the band's series of RSD reissues. That plea has now been swiped off the Internet, though, due to the group's former manager getting his lawyers involved and "strenuously" denying Spacemen 3's claims that the reissues are "illegitimate."
As Pitchfork reports, the social media pleas from Spacemen 3's Jason Pierce (now of Spiritualized) and Peter "Sonic Boom" Kember have now been taken down. Apparently, this was all due to the group's ex-manager Gerald Palmer, whose Space Age Recordings reissued Spacemen 3's For All the Fucked Up Children, Playing with Fire and Recurring on Record Store Day.
The plea from Spacemen 3 to fans originally read, "We are currently in legal dispute with Gerald Palmer due to him depriving us of our rights in our music and other intellectual property rights relating to Spacemen 3. Any monies from those sales will go directly to him and help fund his side of the dispute." It also added in all caps, "PLEASE DON'T BUY OUR RECORDS FROM SPACE AGE RECORDINGS."
As you could expect, that didn't sit well with Palmer, who had the posts removed on April 26 courtesy of his lawyers. Speaking to Pitchfork, he said, "All claims that the reissues are 'illegitimate,' that legal action is being taken, and that the band's members are being paid 'very little' in royalties are both strenuously denied and completely refuted.""
While Pierce and Kember have yet to release another public statement about the issue, you can read Palmer's full statement about the takedown below:
All claims that the reissues are "illegitimate," that legal action is being taken, and that the band's members are being paid "very little" in royalties are both strenuously denied and completely refuted and you can quote me on that; in print if you like.
It is true to state that our solicitor (attorney) did send a letter to one of the ex-members of the band who illegally authorised the license of a Spacemen 3 recording behind our back (to which the other band members were denied any royalties or advance) but no legal proceedings have been initiated by us (or any other party for that matter) in relation to ANY dispute concerning Spacemen 3. The disgruntled band member did subsequently make a post on a forum erroneously alleging they got paid 'zero' royalties which then appears to have been disseminated by other fans of the band whilst adding their own take on the story but hey, that's the internet for you. For the record these albums are owned and controlled by me for life of copyright. All the ex-members of Spacemen 3 continue to be accounted to and paid on a bi-annual basis as they have been for the last 30 years, with the total sum paid out in royalties running into substantial six figure sums.
Let me pose a question you may wish to consider; if the releases are purported to be "illegitimate" you may wish to ask yourself why, since the expiration of the licenses to Fire Records, BMG and subsequently Taang! Records in the U.S.A. in the 90's (check the copyright notices on the jackets of these issues if you have them to hand) then you may ask yourself why no other label (excepting only Space Age Recordings) has exclusively manufactured, distributed and sold these records on a worldwide basis for approximately the last 20 years?
Subsequent to being alerted to Pitchfork's news story I contacted Jason Pierce and Peter Kember's legal advisers yesterday (26th April) requesting (amongst other things) that I required their immediate confirmation that they would remove the wildly inaccurate, distorted and untrue postings made on the official Spiritualized Facebook page and the official Spirtualized twitter page. I received a response 2 hours later confirming 'we can confirm that the posting has been removed from the Spiritualized Facebook and Twitter page and that it will not be re-posted.'
As a foot note, it is the small independent record stores who will suffer the financial consequence of Pete and Jason's reckless actions the most.