Earlier in the year Testament made a line-up change when original bassist Greg Christian left the band and the re-hired former Death bassist Steve DiGiorgio. Ok Testament at this point are famous for their line-up changes so here’s the bass timeline for Testament.
Greg Christian: 1983-1997
Derrick Ramirez: 1997-1998
Steve DiGiorgio: 1999-2002
Greg Christian: 2004-2014
Steve DiGiorgio: 2014-Present
(Image from Greg’s Facebook page)
Understand? Greg just went to his Facebook page to explain his reason for leaving the band…again.
“F— it. Last week I said I’d do this, so here it is. And if this gets picked up by any sites, all I have to say is, I can say whatever the f— I feel like on my own page. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. I’m in the US of A and this is my free speech.
Anyway… ”The last straw [was as follows]. [I was] sitting at the bar in the Seoul/Incheon airport [in South Korea], with a couple of the entourage, and Chuck [Billy] walks up and casually says he just spent three grand, cash, on a first-class upgrade. [He] said he thought it was worth it to be more rested for the first Euro show, in a couple days. Then, of course, Eric [Peterson] gets up and walks over to the ticket counter (gotta keep up with the Jones’s or the Kardashians or whoever lol).
[Here's some] perspective. As my employer, in a business I helped start and put (at that time) just over 20 years into — 12 then 8 — and helped build from nothing the first time and helped resurrect from almost nothing the second time, this $3K for one first-class upgrade stuck in my mind, and when I got paid a couple weeks later, I was just thoroughly disgusted and done with Testament. ‘My employer’ thinks that his ass being in a more comfortable seat for one ten-hour flight is worth more than I was worth for five festival performances (on two continents — neither this one), a half dozen shi–y flights plus a week and a half away from home and my family.
I did this as a job…
I don’t make anything off anything else, so it’s not a situation where I get anything off the back end. In other words, promoting the band only helped my employers — not me.
I made $350 a day for show days, $175 a day for travel days / days off since 2005 — with not a penny more and no PD’s [per diems] so I had to spend about $300 out of pocket to eat in hotels and airports — or starve.
I don’t know actual numbers — no one ever told me — but I heard rumors the band made $100K just for the one Korean show and watched both Chuck and Eric spend $$$ like it was true (of that I got about $700).
Tune in next week if you want to read about a ‘band meeting’ a few years ago in Sao Paulo, Brazil (the last time I tried to talk to those guys about $$$) and hear a few of the things that were said…
Since it’s been more than a week there was no post about a band meeting but he did say this:
“- I know last week I said I’d talk about a band meeting that happened in São Paulo – I don’t care anymore – I’m done airing the ridiculous, and (believe it or not lol) I’m saying my final peace here – I could go on for as many years as I was back in Testament with stories of being slighted, lies, and greed, but my only real point or complaint is about live performance money. I don’t own any part of the records or anything else and don’t really care. But to use my name and likeness, as an original member, along with a ‘recognizable personality’ (for lack of a better term) on stage, along with what I actually brought to the stage, pretty consistently (just look at YouTube) and refuse to give me anything other than the beyond ridiculous deal of NOTHING EVER of show money – though I went through all the shitty travel, and all the other ‘downsides’ to everything, and had my face on the ads, did all the meet n greets, signings, and everything else – is simply wrong. Everything else aside – I worked for and earned, at least some kind of piece of that. That’s undeniable. And I’d’ve been happy with a much smaller piece than I felt I was worth. But not zero.
- I believe it’s personal. Directed solely at me. And I think there’s a high likelihood it’s a direct result of words I spoke back in ’96 – though not very tactful, I wasn’t exactly wrong about.
And to push a petty grudge like that to this point is something I just can’t understand. I would never do that to someone I hated, but to do that to someone you spent 20 years on the road with and helped you get where you are??? In my humble opinion (for whatever it’s worth) – that… that leaves me speechless – I just don’t understand it.
- FYI – for ALL the shows I played in 2013 and ALL the travel and ALL the time away from home and family – before taxes $37,775 – after taxes about $25k – with no PD’s and our travel schedule that’s actually more like about $21k – ya. that’s reality – and considering the $$$ Testament brought in for live performances in 2013 – cruel and unusual – Thanks guys. Love you too.
- I’ll post a pic of my W2 in the comments. Don’t want it to be the 1st thing people see, but if anyone has any doubts – there it is -
anyway… I know I can be a long winded fuck but I finally said my peace…
- this signals an end to my three weeks of throw-up Thursdays. I don’t know how anyone else even reads this shit. Makes me sick, but I had to let it out, and now that I have this summarized, it may be time to see what an attorney thinks… I dunno??? but I’m not holding my breath lol. anyway… on to new music…”
Sounds good Greg, looking forward to some new tunes!