Australian rock group Cold Chisel, 1982. Clockwise, from left: bassist Phil Small, singer Jimmy Barnes, drummer Steve Prestwich (1954 - 2011), guitarist Ian Moss and keyboard player Don Walker. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

An Insider Tells Us Why Cold Chisel Fell Apart

They were Australia’s biggest band – then Cold Chisel dramatically split at the height of their success.

Producer Mark Opitz was a close confidante of the band, as well as working on several of their albums including East and Circus Animals.

He says that Chisel’s split in 1984 may have been prompted by drummer Steve Prestwich clashing with frontman Jimmy Barnes, but that the seeds were sown for several years before they pulled the pin

“Steve was fighting with Jimmy, fighting with everyone, I could see this incredible bond starting to fracture, which is only natural because they’d been together for such a long time”

Mark Opitz

“When you’re teenagers it’s all ‘we’re all together as one’ but as you get into your mid 20s you start to peel off, start to have girlfriends… all of a sudden you’ve got money and that takes you to another place. And that starts the fracture.”

Mark Opitz

Chisel would reform in 1997 for new music and live shows.

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