Monday, June 21, 2010

From The Rockaliser News Desk: King Khan and BBQ Show Break Up

As an enterprise, Rockaliser focuses primarily on criticism, rather than journalism, but a mostly unreported story came to my attention this morning.

Friend of the blog and current Seoul resident Katie H. wrote me with the news that Canadian garage duo King Khan and the BBQ show have parted ways. Her story corroborates this post, from the concert promoter. In her words:

This week King Khan and BBQ Show were in Korea playing three shows, and apparently at one of the shows, in this shitty city called Daegu, King Khan and BBQ got in such a big fight that they broke up. So my friends and I heard that the show in Seoul was only going to be played by BBQ because they were on such bad terms that they couldn't share the same stage. We get to the venue and on one corner Mark Sultan is standing there awkwardly smoking cigarettes, and on the other corner of the same intersection King Khan is standing there with a friend of a friend. So we eavesdrop and find out that broke up because a) King Khan does not want to spend time with someone who "masturbates in front of porn every day" and b) King Khan spent many hours in Daegu talking to a female monk, which conversation led him to decide to abandon his life as a rock star and actually become some sort of monk at this all-female monastery in Korea. It appeared that he was serious. Then King Khan left, because BBQ wouldn't play if he were even present at the show, and THEN the entire show got cancelled because BBQ wouldn't play if the promoters continued to put King Khan up at their place, which they said that they were going to continue to do. So, no show show, but a pretty good show in a way

If KK and BBQ can't patch things up--they broke up in Australia a week earlier, but worked that out--it will end a partnership that begin in the mid-nineties. I saw a pretty wild King Khan and the BBQ show in 2008 and if his last couple years are any indication, instability is the norm for Kahn. While I personally prefer his work with the Shrines--it's more soulful and fleshed out, but with the same passion and venom--the world of garage rock would be a little emptier without their partnership.

Update (6/23): According to the Seattle, WA venue Neumos, King Khan and BBQ have canceled their show scheduled for September 28.

Update 2 (6/23): In a publicly available comment from Mark Sultan's Facebook profile, he writes "We need to not exist as a band. Done!"

Update 3 (6/23): The argument between Mark Sultan and the promoter in this post's comments section was not their first.


  1. Hey- I'm the promoter involved with that tour- thanks for accurate coverage! You got the story pretty right. BBQ wanted us to send Khan out on the streets, and thought Khan was at the show because we had some under-handed ploy to get them to play together.

  2. This is Mark Sultan. I guess it is a lot cooler to vilify me, the guy who was only trying to finish these shows and remained very calm through khan's destroying good folks apartments and being a general asshole, rather than dare say anything bad against the guy who ruined the tour. Khan can make petty insults about me, it's fine. I have a list of life-destroying, disparaging shit on him, but as usual, I will be the better guy here and let him be. He has problems right now. What sucks is that Sean, the promoter, continues to side with Khan, no matter how much shit that dude laid on his face. I guess it's cooler to be a two-face with me, the lesser-hyped guy in the band. What Sean doesn't mention is that a day after this shit in Seoul, he wouldn't let Khan stay at his place cuz he was scared of his imbalance. I tried very hard to make this all good and help all involved no lose more money - I ws playing for fee and did a good job. Ask anyone who saw me the night before Seoul. I was nothing but helpful and respectful with all involved. Maybe I too should have been destroying everyone's shit and being delusional. I guess that is what passes as 'cool' here. Though I pick up girls the natural way and am not a big fan of porn, I'll just chalk it up again to someone in the wrong trying to make the guy who did NOTHING seem like the jerk. Ask Adam in Busan what really happened and realize I won't attack with what I do know. I would have assumed one way to be a 'Buddhist Monk' was not to be a lying asshole. I didn't play cuz Sean brought Khan to the show with his guitar after saying 'maybe they will play a few songs together' and after I told him we were enemies and Khan just needed to rest and get better.

  3. Hi Mark--
    It wasn't my intention to attack you. I was trying to share an email I received. I have every reason to believe my friend relayed the events as she saw them, and I haven't seen the split reported elsewhere. If there's incorrect information above, let me know and I can post a link to your version of events.

  4. Readers should note, however, that this information is several degrees removed from the actual events that led BBQ and Khan to part ways, as they seem to have done. The email is printed verbatim, with the exception of the capital letters, but my friend wasn't present at any monasteries or apartments while King Khan or the BBQ were there. She was simply passing on her experience, the events as she saw and heard them.

  5. That IS my response, except I meant I played 'for free' and that the quote for the promoter was from his mail-out before the show. Now this dude, who was super nice to me and apologetic and decent, is saying shit about me on American blogs, even though all I did was try to right a wrong. Fuck your street-cred, Sean. Even the dude I was with was marveling at how calm I was being towards the situation and you. He wanted to crush you (remember you almost cried?). Lesson learned. Fuck everybody.