Well the Sham 69 split is rumbling on! and after we printed Dave Parsons statement we are now printing a statement from long time drummer Ian Whitewood. Now, we really dont want to take sides so that is that-as far as Vive Le Rock is concerned. The fans will have the final choice. Eugene Vive Le Rock

Well what would YOU do?

Here's the deal:

 You 're in a headline band that’s been booked to appear at a Rock festival in July. Unfortunately, due to a mix up with dates, you've just discovered that your planned holiday to Cornwall starts two days before the gig. The rest of the band have assured you that if you can play the gig and postpone your holiday for two days then a flight can be arranged to get you to your beach the next day. Will you play the gig, have a good time and play to the fans that have now paid to see you, or say to hell with it, the holiday is more important?

 Now also imagine that recently you had a ten-day holiday in Cuba, and a couple of long weekend visits to your cottage in Wales. The rest of your band are all itching to play because that's what they want to do, besides they can't really afford to take time off, this is their chosen career and they have committed themselves to this band and the people who want to see them play. They live for the energy and the crowd, it makes them feel alive.

So how would it look if you turned around and said to your band members in no uncertain terms  'I'm not doing this gig, my holiday is booked, and as a result neither are you, this band will never ever play a show without me, and if you get a stand in to cover me I'm gonna threaten the promoter with legal action for misrepresentation because I'm the only original member left in the band'

 The fact that the drummer has been a loyal member for better or worse for 26 years counts for nothing it seems.

 Just for the record here is what was posted on Dave Parson’s Facebook page:

‘Sham 69 has been disbanded by Dave Parsons. The band have been rehearsing in a replacement Guitarist, without Dave’s knowledge, removing his name from list of band members on Sham 69  Facebook site, and will therefore presumably be continuing as a TRIBUTE BAND.
Dave has not ruled out the possibility of playing the odd gig as SHAM 69 with any of the old members of Sham 69 previous to this last line up’.
Well first of all due to our joint contractual agreement Dave Parsons does not, by law, have the right to disband Sham 69, nor have we, at this point, been rehearsing with a replacement guitarist. We shall never continue as a tribute band as we collectively, by democratic process, majority rule and signed documents, own the rights to use the name.
Should Dave decide is necessary to re embark on a relationship with either Jimmy Pursey, or Mat Sargent then it would obviously be hypocrisy of the highest level, as he has spent the past four years demonising them for their actions regarding this band, and has always shown the utmost contempt for their behaviour. To back track now would indeed be the actions of a desperate man looking for any port in a storm.

To conclude, this band I've called home for over a quarter of a century doesn't need much time off. It lives and breathes for the next gig, the next album, the next fix. This is the very essence of Sham 69; interacting with its audience and being at one with its energy. 

Hey sure, let’s have a fucking holiday, take the kids out, hang out in the sun and have a rest, but make sure you recharge your batteries boys cos it's gonna get busy in a minute!

Three of our number have this attitude and, not wishing to recount numerous examples of reluctance, arrogance, conceit and greed, one of us does not. 

As a result Sham 69 shall now continue with a new guitarist and if you don't like it then go somewhere else because we will not compromise. This band has always been greater than the sum of its parts and no one is indispensable. To those critics who have taken pot shot’s at us without knowing the truth, they will again label us as a Tribute as we were with Dave Parsons ‘in’ the band what’s new? Sham 69 over the last 5 years has become more of an ideology and belongs to the people and the fans, and not to any one of its members who’s only concern is a life of ease, comfort and a bottle of Brandy and a lifestyle contrary its ideaology.


Ian Whitewood

Drums Sham 69 (26 years)

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