Hong Kong - As Beyond’s Under A Vast Sky resounds through Hong Kong as the anthem of pro-democracy protesters, the discord between the rock band’s former members has returned to the headlines.
In an explosive post on Weibo on Thursday night, former Beyond bassist Steve Wong said the “real reason” the band broke up was that guitarist Paul Wong felt he deserved more pay than drummer Yip Sai Wing.
The post was a response to recent attacks on Weibo by former Beyond manager Leslie Chan and Paul fans, said reports in Ming Pao Daily News and Apple Daily on Saturday. Among other things, Steve was accused of cashing in on the memory of his brother, the late Beyond frontman Wong Ka Kui, said Apple Daily.
Steve quit Weibo after uploading the post, in which he swore by the lives of his family and himself that he was telling the truth to counter “nearly 10 years’ worth of rumours and unfounded accusations”. After Ka Kui died in 1993, the surviving members continued as a trio for six years, before going solo in 1999 and playing their farewell tour as a band in 2005.
Steve wrote: "Before Beyond's contract with Rock Records ended in 99, Paul Wong told me he didn't want Sai Wing to live off him anymore. I was so surprised by his words. He said he had contributed too much and it was unfair to him to share our income equally, so he wanted to go solo."
He said he did not agree with Paul - “I don’t think Sai Wing and I didn’t contribute” - but had no choice but to accept it.
“I buried these heart-breaking words for 15 years,” he wrote. “I never disclosed the real reason for the dissolution. I just said we had musical differences to protect him. I never told Sai Wing.”
He said: “Now that Sai Wing is a Buddhist and sees through life, he should be able to forgive. Sorry, Sai Wing, I hope you can forgive me for not telling you.”
Recounting the farewell tour, he said the plan had been for the trio to co-write a theme song telling the story of the band, reported Ming Pao. But Paul wrote the song Story alone and regarded the others as supporting musicians, Steve said.
After his song was vetoed by the others, Paul held a grudge, Steve said. Not only was Paul uncooperative on the tour, he also distorted the truth last year. “He actually said he wrote Story to commemorate Ka Kui and I wouldn’t let him release it,” Steve said.
Furthermore, in their six years as a trio, Beyond did not release Ka Kui’s compositions because Paul did not approve, Steve wrote.
Steve said: “Please don’t forget this is Ka Kui’s band... In Ka Kui’s aura we are able to continue pursuing our ideals.”