The Church's Peter Koppes

On this day in 1955, Peter Koppes was born in Australia. Koppes and Marty

Willson-Piper alternate lead- and rhythm-guitar work for the Australian,

atmospheric-folk-rock quartet the Church.

As a child, Koppes began playing the drums. By the time he formed the Church in

Sydney, Australia, in 1980 (with Willson-Piper and singer/bassist/principal songwriter

Steven Kilbey), Koppes was a guitarist. Initially, the band's music was similar to the

Byrds' psychedelic-era sound.

In 1981, the Church had a hit in Australia with "The Unguarded Moment," from their

debut LP, Of Skin and Heart. Drummer Richard Ploog was added for the following

year's The Blurred Crusade, including such tracks as "Almost With You."

After signing with Arista Records, the Church had their biggest hit in the U.S. with "Under

the Milky Way," from 1988's Starfish. The LP also contained such popular tracks

as "Spark" and "Reptile." Gold Afternoon Fix, with the "Metropolis" single, followed

two years later. Ploog left the band and was replaced by Patti Smith Group drummer Jay

Dee Daugherty for 1992's Priest=Aura.

After their 1992 LP, Koppes and Daugherty left the Church; the band went on to issue

Sometime Anywhere in 1994. Koppes' solo albums include Manchild And

Myth, From The Well and Water Rites. A single, "Iridescence," also is

available from Phantom Records. Koppes' most recent solo LP was Love

Era/Irony. Koppes continued to work with Kilbey on albums by Margot Smith and

Mae Moore.

This year, Koppes reunited with the Church (including new drummer Tim Powles) for

their first American tour in eight years. In September, the group issued Hologram of

Baal (Thirsty Ear Records), with such cuts as

HREF="http://media.addict.com/atn-bin/get-

music/Church,_The/Anaesthesia.ram">Anaesthesia" (RealAudio excerpt). The

first single from the LP is "Louisiana."

The Church now are offering fans an opportunity to contribute tracks to an upcoming

Church tribute album. Information is available from the band's website at

www.church.sausage.com.

Other birthdays: Lonnie Jordan (War), 50; Björk, 33; Margret "Magga" Ornolfsdottir

(Sugarcubes), 31; and Alex James (Blur), 30.