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
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
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
Other birthdays: Lonnie Jordan (War), 50; Björk, 33; Margret "Magga" Ornolfsdottir
(Sugarcubes), 31; and Alex James (Blur), 30.