Tuesday, 25 March 2014


Reprinted from Wikipedia:

The first incarnation of what became The Cure was The Obelisk, a band formed by students at Notre Dame Middle School in Crawley, Sussex. The band made their public debut in a one-off performance in April 1973, and featured Robert Smith on piano, Michael "Mick" Dempsey on guitar, Laurence "Lol" Tolhurst on percussion, Marc Ceccagno on lead guitar and Alan Hill on bass guitar.[1] In January 1976 the band took a more substantial form when Ceccagno formed Malice with Smith and Dempsey along with two other classmates from St. Wilfrid's Catholic Comprehensive School, with Ceccagno on lead, Smith on guitar and Dempsey switching to bass. Ceccagno soon left, however, to form a jazz-rock fusion band called Amulet. Increasingly influenced by the emergence of punk rock, Malice's remaining members became known as Easy Cure in January 1977.[2] By this time, Smith and Dempsey had been joined by Lol Tolhurst from The Obelisk on drums and new lead guitarist Porl Thompson. Both Malice and Easy Cure auditioned several vocalists before Smith finally assumed the role of Easy Cure's frontman in September 1977.[3]
That year, Easy Cure won a talent competition with German label Hansa Records, and received a recording contract. Although the band recorded tracks for the company, none were ever released.[4] Following disagreements in March 1978 over the direction the band should take, the contract with Hansa was dissolved. Smith later recalled, "We were very young. They just thought they could turn us into a teen group. They actually wanted us to do cover versions and we always refused."[4] Thompson was dropped from the band in May, and the remaining trio were soon renamed The Cure by Smith.[5] Later that month, the band recorded their first sessions as a trio at Chestnut Studios in Sussex, which were distributed as a demo tape to a dozen major record labels.[6] The demo found its way to Polydor Records scout Chris Parry, who signed The Cure to his newly formed Fiction label—distributed by Polydor—in September 1978.[7] The Cure released their debut single "Killing an Arab" in December 1978 on the Small Wonder label as a stopgap until Fiction finalised distribution arrangements with Polydor. "Killing an Arab" garnered both acclaim and controversy: while the single's provocative title led to accusations of racism, the song is actually based on French absurdist Albert Camus's novel The Stranger.[8] The band placed a sticker label that denied the racist connotations on the single's 1979 reissue on Fiction. An early NME article on the band wrote that The Cure "are like a breath of fresh suburban air on the capital's smog-ridden pub-and-club circuit", and noted, "With a John Peel session and more extensive London gigging on their immediate agenda, it remains to be seen whether or not The Cure can retain their refreshing joie de vivre."[9]
The Cure released their debut album Three Imaginary Boys in May 1979. Because of the band's inexperience in the studio, Parry and engineer Mike Hedges took control of the recording.[10] The band, particularly Smith, were unhappy with the album; in a 1987 interview, he admitted, "a lot of it was very superficial – I didn't even like it at the time. There were criticisms made that it was very lightweight, and I thought they were justified. Even when we'd made it, I wanted to do something that I thought had more substance to it".[11] The band's second single, "Boys Don't Cry", was released in June. The Cure then embarked as the support band for Siouxsie and the Banshees' Join Hands promotional tour of England, Northern Ireland and Wales between August and October. The tour saw Smith pull double duty each night by performing with The Cure and as the guitarist with the Banshees when John McKay quit the group.[12] That musical experience had a strong impact on him: "On stage that first night with the Banshees, I was blown away by how powerful I felt playing that kind of music. It was so different to what we were doing with The Cure. Before that, I'd wanted us to be like the Buzzcocks or Elvis Costello; the punk Beatles. Being a Banshee really changed my attitude to what I was doing."[13]
The Cure's third single, "Jumping Someone Else's Train", was released in early October 1979. Soon afterwards, Dempsey was dropped from the band because of his cold reception to material Smith had written for the upcoming album.[14] Dempsey joined the Associates, while Simon Gallup (bass) and Matthieu Hartley (keyboards) from The Magspies joined The Cure. The Associates toured as support band for The Cure and The Passions on the Future Pastimes Tour of England between November and December—all three bands were on the Fiction Records roster—with the new Cure line-up already performing a number of new songs for the projected second album.[15] Meanwhile, a spin-off band comprising Smith, Tolhurst, Dempsey, Gallup, Hartley and Thompson, with backing vocals from assorted family and friends and lead vocals provided by their local postman Frankie Bell, released a 7-inch single in December under the assumed name of Cult Hero.[16]

Below is a collection of early demos and out takes:


Comprised of demos, various radio & TV sessions.

Tracks 1-5: Sound & Vision Studios, London 11.10.77

Track 6: Chestnet Studios, Sussex 26.05.78

Tracks 7-9: Morgan Studios, London 00.01.79

Tracks 10-14: Maida Vale Studios, London 00.05.79

Track 15: Extended Version Acetate 00.09.79

Track 16: Original Version Of 'A Forest' 00.12.79

Tracks 17-20: Morgan Studios, London 00.01.80

Tracks 21-22: Echo B Studio, France 00.00.81

Track 6 is the same version as found on "Curiosity".

Track 15 claims to be an acetate version, but it's a live version from a 1979 concert.

Track 16, "Into The Trees", is a rough demo of what became "A Forest", but it's shorter and with different lyrics.



Before embarking on a solo career, between 1977 and 1980, Billy Bragg released several singles with his punk band Riff Raff. Below is a collection of their recorded output. 

Friday, 14 March 2014


Formed in 1975 by Johnny Thunders & Jerry Nolan after their exit from the New York Dolls along with Richard Hell on bass, who had just left Television around the same week. Started rehearsing and played a few shows as a three piece before adding second guitar player Walter Lure from The Demons. By 1976, Richard Hell would be replaced by Billy Rath. For the whole Heartbreakers/Johnny Thunders story, there is no better source than Nina Antonia's In Cold Blood

The Heartbreakers continued to play gigs occasionally  throughout the 80's when individual schedules allowed, sometimes using Billy Rogers or Ty Styx on drums or Tony Coiro on bass. Johnny passed away in 1991 and Jerry passed away in 1992. Walter Lure still plays with his band the Waldos when he has time and Billy Rath started up the Street Pirates a few years ago. 

Below are a selection of Heartbreakers' gigs ranging from their early beginnings with Richard Hell in 1975, at their peak in 1977 and the "Rent Parties" of 1979-80. 


No introduction needed for this band and not much I could say would in a few paragraphs could do the band justice. Here are all of the recorded gigs from 1976 that I am aware of being in circulation. Some shows feature fifth member, guitarist Keith Levine (who would later help define the sound of Public Image Ltd). Not only is it fascinating to hear the Clash as they are literally learning onstage but there are quite a few songs that were dropped before 1977 and thus were never recorded.

Thursday, 6 March 2014


First Sex Pistols poster , from German magazine Bravo 1976

Very little point in writing much here. Anyone without knowledge of this band would not be here in the first place.

Here are a handful of shows recorded in 1976 while Glen Matlock was the bass player.

Get them here:


1977 punk documentary produced by Robert Glassman. Filmed in UK & France. Bands featured include The Jam, The Stinky Toys, The Damned, The Police, Wayne County & The Electric Chairs and The Sex Pistols.

Watch it here:

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Text reprinted from wikipedia.org:

Johnny & The Self-Abusers formed on the South Side of Glasgow in 1977. The band was conceived by would-be Glasgow scenemaker Alan Cairnduff, although he left the job of organising the band to his friend John Milarky. At Cairnduff’s suggestion, Milarky teamed up with two musicians he had never worked with before – budding singer and lyricist Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill. Kerr and Burchill had known each other since the age of eight. After joining Johnny & The Self-Abusers, they brought in two of their school friends, Brian McGee on drums and Tony Donald on bass (all four had previously played together in the schoolboy band Biba-Rom!).
With Milarky established as singer, guitarist and saxophonist, the line-up was completed by his friend Alan McNeil as third guitarist. Kerr and Burchill also doubled on keyboards and violin respectively. In common with the early punk bands, various members took on stage names—Milarky became "Johnnie Plague", Kerr became "Pripton Weird", MacNeil chose "Sid Syphilis" and Burchill chose "Charlie Argue".
Johnny & The Self-Abusers played their first gig on Easter Monday, 1977 at the Dourne Castle pub in Glasgow. The band played support to rising punk stars Generation X in Edinburgh two weeks later. The band went on to play a summer of concerts in Glasgow. The band soon split into two factions, with Milarky and McNeil on one side and Kerr, Donald, Burchill and McGee on the other: at the same time, Milarky’s compositions were being edged out in favour of those of Kerr and Burchill.
In November 1977, Johnny & The Self-Abusers released its only single, "Saints And Sinners", on Chiswick Records (which was dismissed as being "rank and file" in a Melody Maker review.) The band split on the same day that the single was released, with Milarky and McNeil going on to form The Cuban Heels. Ditching the stage names and the overt punkiness, the remaining members continued together as Simple Minds 

Get some music here:





Text reprinted from Paul Marko at www.punk77.co.uk :

Formed in Great Yarmouth  East Anglia in 1974 and known as Cosmic Love and then Teezer, The Crabs were vocalist/guitarist Tony Diggines, guitarist Ronnie Rocker, drummer Ricci Titcombe and bassist William Kimbling. They supported the likes of X-Ray Spex,The Lurkers, Sham 69, The Jam & Siouxsie & The Banshees and many others and regularly played famous punk venues venues like The Roxy & Vortex.  Also known as The Fulham Furies for a side project. After The Crabs members became the backing band for Gary Holton and played with Max Splodge. During the eighties Ronnie Rocker played with The Angelic Upstarts and The Godfathers. 

Its a sad fact but like so many bands at the time The Crabs never got the breaks nor the recordings out they deserved. Quality songs like Lullabies Lie show a tuneful quality while Victim shows them as punk rock as the next. Their sole recording output is a solitary live track Lullabies Lie on the mixed bag that was the Farewell To The Roxy album. They signed to Lightning in February 1978, home of the flotsam & jetsam of punk like The Mirrors, Cane & Horrorcomic who were going nowhere. Allegedly a single exists  - Victim /Blue Unction/ My Skin - but  probably was never released as noone has ever seen a copy. Tracks in their set at the time  included Dull Kid, C.R.A.B.S, For Us & Wartime Memories. They got very little publicity except when Ricci was charged with intent to commit GBH in February 1978. Tired of beer glasses being thrown at him he threw one back and ... hit his girlfriend... and got arrested despite her not wanting to press charges!!! Mind you their 'Catch The Crabs slogan' was catchy!

So what went wrong for The Crabs? Simply bad luck and the fact that they were a tuneful above ordinary punk band just as Punk started to harden into a more hardcore form. Record companies just weren't interested anymore and The Crabs were at the fag end of the Roxy. How many of those bands were signed compared to the first Roxy live album?  And that's where they sit, perennial supports at The Vortex & Roxy.  Peelie obviously recognised they were above ordinary and gave them a session in '78 featuring Victim, Under Pressure, Lullabies Lie & Don't Want Your Love. For that we have to be thankful.
Ironically  their only real vinyl was when they recorded a football song dedicated to Fulham FC as The Fulham Furies (wrongly thought to be Cocksparrer or even The Lurkers!) These Boots Were Made For Walking / Under Pressure. Produced by Mike Berry of the Wombles fame!!

Catch The Crabs here:

This compilation features the band's 1978 John Peel Session, Live at The Vortex Club 1978-01-13 and a single they released in 1978 under the name "Fulham Furies".

Here is the song they opened with at the Vortex gig 1978-01-13. It was left off the compilation for some reason:

Here is The Crabs' contribution to Lightning Records Various Artists album "Farewell To The Roxy", oddly enough recorded live at the Roxy Club sometime between December 30th, 1977 & January 2nd, 1978:


Sylvain Sylvains post Tokyo Dolls project before the Teardrops when he wasn't helping David Johansen with his first solo effort. The band recorded one single, which is included on a compilation Bowery Butterflies and played a bunch of well received shows. "The Kids Are Back" remains one of the greatest moments of the early New York punk scene.

Get it here: 



Monday, 3 March 2014


Steve Dior & Barry Jones got their head start in punk rock back in 1976 rehearsing under the name The Quickspurts with a revolving door of musicians such as Keith Levine & Chrissie Hynde. BY 1977 Barry Jones became occupied with the booking and management of the Roxy Club, however in late 1977 when Jerry Nolan left the Heartbreakers, he quickly joined forces with Dior and Jones, bringing former New York Dolls bass player Arthur Kane along. Between 1978-1979, the group played a load of shows particularly at Max's Kansas City (both on their own and as a backing band)  and released one single. A shame a full length was never recorded by this line up.

Get some music:




1978-05-03 Max's Kansas City, NYC

1978-06-10 Max's Kansas City,NYC

1978-06-25 Max's Kansas City, NYC

Live With Judy Nylon (of Snatch)

1978-05-03 Max's Kansas City

Live With Sid Vicious (Mick Jones of The Clash on guest guitar)

1978-09-07 Max's Kansas City, NYC (Set One)

1978-09-07 Max's Kansas City, NYC (Set Two)

Sid Vicious died of a drug overdose Feb 2nd, 1979 thus recording sessions he had planned with the Idols never came to be. The band evolved into the London Cowboys in the 1980's with a continually rotating set of musicians including Terry Chimes, Tony James, Pete Farndon and Glen Matlock.

Jerry Nolan died in 1992 as a result of meningitis and pneumonia and Arthur Kane died of leukemia in 2004.

Steve Dior and Barry Jones still play in various musical projects and Judy Nylon is still active as a multi discipline artist.


Text reprinted from http://www.boredteenagers.co.uk/

Three great Punk releases then the band disappeared and stayed unknown and a total mystery to Punk collectors worldwide. Then a rumour went around that the ex lead singer was one of the head honchos at 'Sanctuary Records'. After several phone calls and emails the story was unravelled. Roger had told me that the band had recorded an album and has stayed unreleased up to now and they were in the studio recording when they heard on the radio that 'Elvis Presley' had died!!

Horrorcomic was the normal typical Punk band as they were a lot older than most of the bands and had been in bands through-out the sixties and had played support to bands like 'The Who' & 'The Small Faces'. When Punk came out in '76 they formed 'Horrorcomic' and released 'I'm All Hung Up On Pierrepoint'. A horror type vocal and tells the story of the famous hangman. Next up was a true Punk classic 'I don't Mind' which was backed with 'England 77'. Both sides are true killers and remain Punk anthems today!!! Lastly, 'Jesus Crisis' appeared a year later and for 20 years collectors worldwide hunted for this record. The majority of collectors thought it was unreleased and became a bit of a myth. Then out of a blue, a dealer in London called us up one day a few years back and said he had found a record which was on my WANTS list. When he told me what he had found, I was gob smacked!!! and didn't really believe it until I actually had the record in my hands. When I spoke to Roger about this release, he told us that it was officially released but didn't sell that well!!!

Get the music here:


The Killjoys were an early English punk band from Birmingham formed in 1976 by Kevin Rowland, who would later form Dexy's Midnight Runners. Bass player Gil Weston would later join NWOBHM band Girlschool.

Watch live, rehearsal and interview footage of the Killjoys from the German film Punk In London:

Download some music here:


The Valves started life in Edinburgh as pub rock band Angel Easy but by 1977 had given their sound and image an overhaul, becoming one of Scotland's first punk bands. 

See The Valves promo video filmed in 1979 at Edinburgh Napier University:  

Download a whole bunch of Valves stuff here:





Wayne County & The Electric Chairs kicked ass, especially live. While Wayne County's rock'n'roll performances date back to The Factory Days and associations with Andy Warhol and David Bowie with such bands as Queen Elizabeth followed by the Backstreet Boys (who released the immortal single "Max's Kansas City 1976), it was relocating to the UK and forming The Electric Chairs in 1977 that gained Wayne wide spread popularity on the UK Punk scene.

Here is a short bio from the Electric Chairs era taken from wikipedia:

In 1977, County moved to London, where the English punk scene was just emerging, and formed Wayne County & the Electric Chairs. County released the EP Electric Chairs 1977, plus a single on Illegal Records. This was followed by "Fuck Off", recorded as a single for Safari Records and supported with a European tour. While in London, County met Derek Jarman, who cast her as "Lounge Lizard" in the seminal punk film, Jubilee, which also starred Adam Ant, Toyah Willcox, Ian Charleson, Little Nell and Jordan. County and band are also featured in The Punk Rock Movie, by Don Letts, containing part of a 1977 performance at The Roxy club in London.
Shortly after this, Wayne County and The Electric Chairs recorded their first, self-titled album, as well as an EP, Blatantly Offensive, which contained "Fuck Off" and "Toilet Love." After touring they recorded Storm The Gates Of Heaven. The next album, released in 1979, was Things Your Mother Never Told You, which featured several songs based on County's experiences in Germany and it was produced by David Cunningham. After it was released, the band broke up and County, along with guitarist Eliot Michaels, returned to the U.S. It was at this time that she changed her stage name to "Jayne County" and began publicly identifying as a woman. The final release by County on Safari Records, Rock and Roll Resurrection (In Concert), was under this new name.

Below is a link to a fantastic performance that appeared on German TV in 1978:

Sunday, 2 March 2014


Text copied from wikipedia:

The Zeros were one of the early English punk groups, as chronicled in Henrik Poulsen's book 77: The Year of Punk and New Wave. They released a single called "Hungry" in November 1977 on the Small Wonder Records label. Originally a trio, they were led by Steve Godfrey (guitar/vocals, b.1959, Walthamstow, London), the cousin of Jerry Shirley of Humble Pie. "Hungry" was No 1 in the NME punk chart. The two other members were Phil Gaylor (drums/vocals) and Steve Cotton (bass/vocals). Paul Miller (guitar/vocals) joined in early 1978. The same year Hugh Stanley Clark became their manager and re signed the band to "The Label". They released a second single a year later, "What's Wrong With A Pop Group".

Download their complete recordings: