Geoff Rickly’s Collect Records Severs Ties With Price Gouging Pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli
One of this week's biggest news stores revolves around Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, who infamously raised the price of a drug to treat infections in some AIDS and cancer patients from $13.50 to $750 a pill. Turns out Shkreli invested around $600,000 in Thursday / No Devotion singer Geoff Rickly's Collect Records label, but due to Shkreli's shady practices, Rickly has parted ways with him.
Martin Shkreli has caught hell since his decision to increase the cost of Daraprim by over 5,000 percent. After countless people worldwide expressed outrage and high profile presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders criticized Shkrelim the Turing CEO agreed to lower the price of Daraprim, though the amount has not been revealed.
Geoff Rickly tells the New York Times he has "agreed to fully sever our relationship with Martin Shkreli, effective immediately. Never in a million years did any of us expect to wake up to the news of the scandal that he is now involved in. It blindsided and upset us on every level.” Pressure also came from various bands on Collect Records such as Nothing, Wax Idols and Sick Feeling, who all stated the would not continue working with Rickly if Shkreli remained in the business.
Rickly was aware of Shkreli's past business dealings, which included controversial investments and lawsuits from former employees. “Of course I Googled him,” Rickly says. “I had apprehensions and I talked to him about it. He has a cavalier attitude about things. At the time, one on one, it was soothing, but in public now it comes across as borderline sociopathic." Rickly adds, "You take any capitalist money and you never know. It’s a dirty system and usually people do something questionable things … “At the very worst, if Martin was a bad guy, then you’re taking his terrible money and giving it to artists who never get any,” he said. “I wanted to make something great out of it — the stupid Robin Hood narrative that everybody knows.”
Shkreli commented on his ousting, “I don’t like it — I want to be involved in all this — but I respect their decision.”
Unfortunately, this all likely means the end of Collect Records. “This is going to end the career of the record label, no doubt,” Rickly says. “If I were a band on the label I would be having a serious crisis of faith right now. The amount of money I have in the bank doesn’t cover my outstanding invoices. It’s devastating.”
Rickly also relayed this message through a number of tweets:
Because there are some conflicting things, I feel the need to say this plainly. I have always been an honest and caring person. So… Collect has been a labor of love from the beginning. The bands on my roster are the best, the brightest, the most forward thinking… The most diverse group of people. I’m so proud of all of them and they didn’t deserve this. Tonight I’m running on nothing but faith… Faith that any missteps I make in the next few days will be forgiven by people that matter to me. Because I’m human and I hurt. Faith that tomorrow will be better and I’ll use my 20 years of punk rock resourcefulness to fulfill every promise I’ve made. Faith that all of you that have sent their love to me today will help pull me up and teach me a better way to make this label work. And some bands will leave and I will love and support them and some will stay and I’ll bleed for them like I do. And I’ll make new mistakes But I’ll do it in the best, most honest, most caring way that I can. With my friends and family @SkeeterNYC and persevere. I love you friends. I love you kind strangers. I love you who have been outraged. We need to rage against things sometimes. Now is one.
Stay tuned as further developments continue.
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