mercredi 23 mai 2012

Tim Purr , Glam fan

- Who are you, where are you come from?
Tim Purr from Bath in the UK.  

- How did you come into music?
My Mum and Dad had a few records, which I used to play on a Pye Black Box record player when I was really young, five or six. Their records were nearly all 78RPM and by artists like The Platters (“The Great Pretender”, “Only You (And You Alone))” and Doris Day (“The Deadwood Stage”). Then an auntie gave me some Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley LPs. I played those a lot. I was also given an EP by The New Christy Minstrels (“Three Wheels On My Wagon”), which I really liked at the time. In the late-1960s and early-1970s an uncle used to play me his records. If I particularly liked one he would give it to me. He gave me a lot of singles in the late-1960s, but I was too young to appreciate most of them. I kept The Monkees, The Supremes and a few others, but I took lots of them to school and swapped them for comics and sweets. In 1968 my parents took me to see Walt Disney’s “The Jungle Book”. I really enjoyed the film so they bought me the soundtrack LP, which I played so much that every word, spoken or sung, is now forever burned into my memory. I remember enjoying music on TV, too. An early memory is The Monkees show. They started in 1966 when I was four years old. I also remember liking The Banana Splits. Later on in the early-to-mid 1970s I watched TV shows like Top of the Pops, Lift Off With Ayshea, Shang-A-Lang, Arrows, Supersonic, Marc, Get It Together etc.
The first turning point in music for me came in 1971 when my uncle gave me a copy of “Hot Love” by T.Rex on the mustard-coloured Fly label. I thought it was amazing. I liked the look of the record nearly as much the music. It was the first single he’d given me which didn’t seem like something from the past. It sounded fresh and exciting. I was hooked! Strangely enough, I always preferred the B-sides, “Woodland Rock” and “The King Of The Mountain Cometh”. But being given a copy of “Hot Love” inspired me to find out more about Marc Bolan & T.Rex and it got me into buying records myself.  

- Your first souvenir about that?
I still have a T.Rex t-shirt that my Nan bought me in 1971 to help fuel my Marc Bolan obsession (see photos). It was a bit big for me in 1971, so I continued to wear it well into the Punk era. When T.Rex toured with The Damned in March of 1977, I customised the t-shirt adding a hand-drawn back print of Dave Vanian.

- What kind of music did you listen when you were young?
From 1972 onwards I started to buy records by T.Rex, Gary Glitter, Sweet, Slade, Suzi Quatro and Mud. I do remember hearing the Sweets’ bubblegum records from as early as 1970, but I didn’t start buying records myself until 1972.  

- Any favorite band when you were young?
Probably in this order: Gary Glitter, T.Rex, Sweet, Slade, Suzi Quatro, Mud, The Glitter Band.  

- First record?
Apart from the records I was given by older relations, the first record I bought for myself, or obtained in a swap, was either “Telegram Sam” by T.Rex or “I Didn’t Know I Loved You (Til I Saw You Rock ‘n’ Roll) by Gary Glitter, both in 1972. 
I wasn’t into LPs very much. I was six years into collecting records before I bought my first LP. This was probably because they were expensive and I was still at school. The first LP I bought was “Damned, Damned, Damned” by The Damned in 1977. Before this, as presents, I’d been given “Sweets Biggest Hits” by Sweet, “Bolan Boogie” by T.Rex, the “Jungle Book” soundtrack LP, and various old rock & roll records given to me second-hand by relations.

- First gig?  
My first gig was Chris Spedding/The New Hearts at The Pavilion, Bath on Saturday 1st October 1977. The show was the first night of a tour to promote Chris Spedding’s second solo LP “Hurt”, and his new single, the Punk Rock-inspired “Get Out Of My Pagoda”. Spedding had Steve Currie playing bass guitar for him, I remember, which was also very exciting for me, being a massive T.Rex fan. I went to the show with a few of my friends from school. We were 15 years old. I was already a Chris Spedding fan. I had the single “Motor Bikin’” and I’d seen him play with The Vibrators on the TV show “Supersonic”:

I was also aware that he played on The Wombles’ records, which I’d also liked in my not too distant past. Recently I’d read about Chris producing the Sex Pistols’ first ever demo.
 In 1977 The Sex Pistols were the most important band in my life, so anyone even remotely associated with them was fascinating to me. At the gig I remember thinking Chris was dressed in a really good way, not “punk”, just very cool. After seeing the show I went out and bought copies of “Get Out Of My Pagoda” and “Hurt”. The support band New Hearts went on to become Secret Affair, after a minor line-up change. Back in 1977 singer Ian Page was still going under the “punk” name of Ian Paine. I remember he was wearing a pink tonic suit at the Bath show. They were a very energetic band. The singer, bass player and guitarist spent a lot of the time leaping up in the air, obviously big fans of The Jam. They were a great introduction to seeing live bands. I must have been impressed because I went straight out and bought their debut single “Just Another Teenage Anthem”. I also bought their follow-up “Plain Jane”, which, at the time, I thought was slightly better.  

- Best gig?
My favourite ever gig was Heartbreakers/The Killjoys/The Models at The Pavilion, Bath on Saturday 22nd October 1977.  For that show I have a preview and a review of the show from my local newspaper.

Here’s the preview…. From Simon Kinnersley's 'Speakeasy' column in Bath & West Evening Chronicle, Thursday, October 20th 1977: "What's On - Heartbreakers - Pavilion, Bath. Tough and raunchy American punk band, accompanied by The Killjoys and The Models, makes this a most interesting punk package (and coincidentally the first to visit Bath). Recommended.

 I was 15 years old and I was there with five other 15 years olds and two 12 year olds! It was my second ever gig. I remember I was wearing my dad’s wedding suit covered in talcum powder –an idea I stole from Wayne Barrett of Slaughter & The Dogs. On the jacket lapels I was wearing an upside down crucifix and some homemade Sex Pistols badges, made from pictures I’d cut out of Giovanni Dadomo’s review in Sounds music magazine of the Sex Pistols’ recent Top Of The Pops appearance (on film) playing “Pretty Vacant”. Sounds reviewed the band’s TOTP appearance as if it were a proper concert, probably because the Sex Pistols themselves weren’t playing live because of the bans and band and management paranoia. I still have a stiff cardboard poster from the promotional display used to advertise the Heartbreakers’ “L.A.M.F.” LP at this show. I also have a laminated advert from Sounds (15th October 1977) with the UK tour dates on it. My ticket said "Heartbreakers/Siouxsie & The Banshees/Slaughter & The Dogs/Models", from memory. According to an article in my local newspaper the bill was also at one time rumoured to be “Heartbreakers/Models/The Boys”.

Before seeing the show I had already heard music by all of the bands. I was a big Models fan. I bought the single ‘Freeze/“Man Of The Year” when it came out and taped the John Peel session when it was first broadcast on 13th July 1977. I also had The Killjoys’ single “Johnny Won’t Get To Heaven”/”Naive” and “L.A.M.F.” and “Chinese Rocks”/“Born To Lose” on 12” by Heartbreakers. I was aware that Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan were ex-New York Dolls, but I’d only heard two songs by them, “Personality Crisis” and “Who Are The Mystery Girls”, which I had on a great, early Punk Rock compilation LP called “New Wave”. So, I already knew a lot of the songs I was about to hear played live.

Consequently, I was really excited to be there. I remember being amazed that Debbie Juvenile from the Bromley contingent was in the audience at that show. Because of her association with the Sex Pistols, I had a crush on Debbie at this time. She was fifteen like me. She was also a Heartbreakers fan and a friend of Marco Pirroni from The Models. There’s a clip of Debbie in Don Letts’s “Punk Rock Movie” describing the Heartbreakers as “proper music”. I agree!

Beyond the entourages of the various bands, there wasn’t much of an audience - a few curious hippies, some students from the local university, a couple of Punks from near-by Bristol, and us, the first and so far only punks in Bath!

 The Models were first on. I remember the bass player Mick Allen was wearing a Vivienne Westwood “Tits” cheesecloth with long sleeves and “D” rings. It was the first time I’d seen Vivienne Westwood’s designs up close and I was amazed! Marco was wearing a brightly coloured mohair jumper. I remember it was difficult to hear singer /guitarist Cliff Fox’s voice at the show, it was overpowered by the twin guitars of Cliff and Marco, although it didn’t really matter to me as I knew the words to some of their songs already.

 On 13th July 1977 John Peel broadcast a radio session by The Models consisting of: “Man Of The Year”, “Censorship”, “Brainwash” and “Freeze”. The session was excellent, even better than their Step Forward single. The session version of “Freeze” had an extended opening similar to the beginning of Heartbreaker’s “Born To Lose”. Marco was a big Johnny Thunders fan, I know. 
 As I had school the next day I was in bed for the second half of the show. I was listening with earphones, trying desperately to stay awake long enough to record the Models’ session, tracks from which were being played at intervals around the rest of the John Peel show. I managed to record “Man Of The Year”, “Censorship” and “Freeze”, but I fell asleep just before “Brainwash” was broadcast. Consequently, I had to wait for many years before John Peel repeated the session in the 1980s and I could hear “Brainwash” for the first time! 

In 1977 my aunties bought me a book called “Punk Rock (Complete Guide To British And American New Wave)” by John Tobler, (Phoebus, 1977)”, which I still have. In it there was a photo of The Models posing with their guitars. I was so impressed by their guitar straps that I bought the same ones the band were using. I treasured those straps for years, using them when I played in bands. One day our roadie picked them up after a show and put them in the support band’s bags by mistake - I was devastated! I loved The Models so much I went on to buy the singles by their future offshoot bands M.A.S.S. (Mick Allen) and Rema-Rema (Mick Allen and Marco Pirroni). Rema-Rema definitely changed my approach to guitar playing. I became obsessed with feedback and walls of sound. 

In 1978 I was in a Punk Rock band called God’s Little Creatures - inspired by the Menace song “GLC”. In our set we covered “Censorship” by The Models, a song I still love to this day. 

When The Killjoys guitarist Mark Phillips came on stage he was wearing a Vicar’s dog collar. As I’d never seen photos of The Killjoys before (there wasn’t one on the sleeve of their only single) I didn’t recognise him as a member of the band and I stupidly assumed he was a real priest and was about to lecture us all on “the evils of Punk Rock”. As the rest of the band joined him on stage, he strapped on a guitar and they started to play. I felt glad I hadn’t embarrassed myself by sharing my fears with anyone else. The thing I remember most about The Killjoys was their bass player Gem, who was dressed in a leopard print leotard, which was very exciting to a 15-year old schoolboy. I do remember thinking Kevin Rowland didn’t look very “Punk” in his white Fred Perry T-shirt and curly hair. I later became friends with the Killjoys’ roadie when he decided not to return to Birmingham with the rest of the band but to stay on in Bath, because he fell in love with the architecture. In the early-1980s he changed his name to “Mitch Moonstruck” and formed a Glam Rock band called Terry Tinsel And The Spangle Boyz: And he’s still in Bath now, 35 years later! The last I heard he was a sword fencer!

I remember the moment the Heartbreakers took the stage as one of the most thrilling moments of my entire life. Their intro tape was a mixture of air raid sirens and Nazi jackboots marching. The house lights were down. All you could see was the glowing embers from their spliffs as they crossed the Pavilion stage. The room was dark but you could still make out their silhouettes. As they plugged in their instruments and moved closer to the front of the stage you could even smell them. They smelt of cigarette smoke and Patchouli oil, which I thought for many years was the smell of rock & roll. As their intro tape ended, the band exploded into “Pipeline” and the spotlights bathed the stage in a wash of bright colours. It was the most exciting experience, ever, and one I’ve never really come close to recapturing in all my years of going to gigs. The first cut is the deepest, as they say. I recall that Walter Lure was wearing WW II fighter pilot goggles and a black tie with large green polka dots. When the Heartbreakers finished playing I remember Johnny Thunders jumped down from the stage and walked straight through the middle of the very small audience. He looked visibly pissed off, presumably because there weren’t many people there.

After the show I remember being in the bar area stood next to Marco Pirroni but I was too shy to talk to him. The foyer of the Pavilion had a huge display for the L.A.M.F. LP. It was an amazing place to be, surrounded by my heroes.

Now here’s the post-gig review from my local newspaper…. From Simon Kinnersley's 'Speakeasy' column in Bath & West Evening Chronicle, Thursday, October 27th 1977: "Having stayed to watch almost the entire Stranglers set (The Stranglers played Bristol on the same night and Simon was obliged to review both shows), it was with a certain amount of regret that I missed most of The Heartbreakers set, and Bath's initiation to punk rock. The Heartbreakers were concluding what seemed like a typical raunchy set with an aggressive rendition of 'Do You Love Me', with Johnny Thunders storming around belligerently yelping and hollering with the band churning along behind. And that was that. More intriguing was the local punk audience decked out in last year's fashions in black bin liners (not guilty), loads of safety pins (guilty) and loads of glam make-up (does Talcum powder count?). Somebody tell them, please. This is autumn '77 and Bath's not even smouldering, let alone burning! (I was burning, thank you very much)" (taken from a much longer article on local venues banning punk gigs).

Outside of the venue I bought a fanzine called “Killer” from a Punk from Bristol, which I still have. Inside was an article on the Heartbreakers. There were rumours of a coach-load of Teddy Boys from Bristol coming to beat us up after the show, so we didn’t hang around. Historically, this was the last 1970s show that Heartbreakers played with Jerry Nolan on drums. He left after the Bath show, I heard because he was disappointed with the mix of L.A.M.F. His leaving must have been on the cards for a while, though, because when The Heartbreakers played in Bristol (12 miles from Bath) on 1st October 1977 Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook were filling in for an absent Jerry Nolan. The support bands were The Pop Group, The Models and Levi. After seeing the Heartbreakers in 1977 I felt compelled to see Johnny Thunders play many more times.
His show at The Lyceum Ballroom with Cosa Nostra on Sunday 9th October 1983 was the second best one I ever saw.

A close runner-up for my “Best Gig” excitement-wise would be The Clash/Coventry Automatics (The Specials)/Suicide at The Locarno, Bristol on Sunday 9th July 1978. But that’s another story. I still have the poster for that show, too.

- Did you ever play in a band?
My first appearance on a stage in a “band” was taking part in a school disco competition in 1973, aged eleven. Four of us mimed to “The Groover” by T.Rex and won “First Prize”; a box of Milk Tray chocolates. Everyone miming in that band thought that they were Marc Bolan, including the boy miming playing the drums! After we won the chocolates we took them to the Boys toilets, locked ourselves into a cubicle and scoffed the lot. “Second Prize” went to the school swot, who performed Clive Dunn’s “Grandad” dressed up as an 11-year old little old man!?! “Third Prize” went to a bunch of chancers miming to Slade’s “Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me”.

Inspired by hearing “God Save The Queen” by Sex Pistols, I started to write songs and play in bands from mid-1977 onwards.However, in 1977 and 1978 I struggled to find other people in the small city of Bath that wanted to learn instruments and play Punk Rock during its period of relevancy. My friends were keen to go to gigs, but not necessarily to be in a band themselves. I rehearsed with very few people in 1977, slightly more in 1978, but only once with a full band line-up.

The bands we part-formed in 1977/78 were called: “The Corgies” (after the Queen’s favourite breed of dog), “Nicholas Ferris: Tall Boy” (after a (tall) boy in our class at school), “Buster Hymen & The Penetrators” and “God's Little Creatures”, or “GLC“ (after the Menace single). We played original songs along with covers like “White Riot”, “Belsen Was A Gas” and “Censorship” (by The Models). My early songs were all Sex Pistols-inspired and anti-monarchy, although in a slightly tongue-in-cheek schoolboy way. But we didn’t get very far with lyrics like, “I’m a Corgie for The Queen, but The Palace ain’t my scene, Maaan!” (“The Corgie Song”) and “There’s malice at the palace/They’re immoral at Balmoral/At Buckingham you’d be surprised/They will not strike a compromise.” (“Malice At The Palace’, the riff to which was The Clash’s “1977” played backwards, by the way!). Oh well, they were my first attempts and I was still only fifteen.

I occasionally went along to the rehearsals of another Bath band in 1977. They were called Red Mess and The Tampons, but they were a few years older than me and only played cover versions. I once sing “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” with them, because Red Mess didn’t know all of the words. It took me two years before I was in a REAL band, then I played almost continually between 1979 and 1995.
The bands I played in were never commercially successful, but some of them generated some interest from John Peel, NME, Melody Maker, record labels, including EMI, TV companies, would-be managers, including Nick Sheppard (The Cortinas, The Clash), Hugh Cornwall (The Stranglers) and Max Splodge (Splodgenessabounds), and Jermaine Jackson (I was once asked to join his band). But it was all promise and no reward.

The bands from this period were called: Little Doll (in tribute to Johnny Thunders and inspired by The Stooges song of the same name and also an early Blondie bootleg), Bike Boys Go Ape (named after a gay porn film starring David Johansen) -both of these bands sang songs inspired by Boris Karloff Universal horror films- Studs On Main St. (another gay porn film starring David Johansen) (the third line-up of Studs On Main St., long after my time, were managed and produced by Hugh Cornwall), Jonah & The Wail (more of which later), If You Wanna Talk Punk Let’s Go In The Kitchen (a line from the Dennis Hopper movie “Out Of The Blue”), Murder Incorporated (after a quote from The Phil Silvers show, “where did you get him from, Murder Incorporated?”), and Gunsmoke In Paradise (a book by Burt Arthur).

Of the above, Jonah & The Wail had the most near misses... Here’s our 1986 Melody Maker review. We were playing at The Dug Out in Bristol :
“A REAL rocky horror show this. Seven alien sex fiend idiot bastard sons and daughters of Bo Diddley, The Tubes, Johnny Thunders, The Cramps and John Lydon, smashing their way through the restraints of glam-punk, and set on terrorising the natives. The Attitude is what counts. Noses are thumbed, faces are pulled and mockery is made as they run amok. The singer leads the war dance, fixes a pagan glare on you, and mimics your nods, blinks, winks and shifty gaze, as discomfort becomes more and more apparent. Relax and react is the motto. Earthy, gutsy rock‘n’roll with humour, more trashy than Half Man Half Biscuit, and leaning to America for an unstoppable salvation. Go with the grin.” DAVE MASSEY, MELODY MAKER, 1986
The NME review from the same period is still in a pile of NMEs in my attic somewhere (I hope)…

Formed in 1985, Jonah & The Wail were the closest Wayne County ever came to having a tribute band. In our time we covered no less than three of his songs. In our heads we were The Shangri-Las (there were four backing singers, The Angels: Destiny, Harmony, Rhapsody and Melody) backed by the New York Dolls with a David JoHansen/Wayne County/Iggy Pop/Marcel Marceau type figure called “Jonah Wail” out front. Jonah & The Wail were a continuation on the Bike Boys Go Ape! theme, with even more songs about Boris Karloff films, more specifically “The Bride Of Frankenstein” (“We Were Made For Each Other”). Other song topics included New York City (“New York City” – “start spreading your legs, I’m leaving today”), werewolves/inner demons/‘Mr Hydes’ (“(There Ain’t No Hope For A) Lycanthrope” – “well I used to be a werewolf, but I’m alright n…o…o…o… h…o…w…l!?!), a song for teenage werewolves, lycanthropes and misanthropes everywhere, plus songs about TV commercials/newfangled technology and its age-old appeal to the domestic pet (“The Adverts Song”), played along with cover versions of ‘Juke Box Baby’ by Alan Vega, ‘Get Off The (F*cking) Phone’, by Heartbreakers, ‘Rockaway Beach’ by Ramones, ‘96 Tears’ by ? & The Mysterians, and as previously mentioned, the complete Wayne/Jayne County back catalogue: ‘Rock‘n’Roll Cleopatra’, ‘Russian Soldier’, ‘Paranoia Paradise’ (“Hello, is that the PRS? This is Wayne County…”).

For a while it was looking promising: positive NME and Melody Maker reviews, a slot on Saturday morning TV, John Peel wanted to play us on the radio, but sadly the BBC didn’t have the technology to cope with our cassette-only debut release, and so the moment passed.
Nick Sheppard (The Cortinas, The Clash) and Max Splodge (Splodgenessabounds) both offered to manage us…
Then came the offer of an appearance on the BBC’s ‘Casualty’. We were supposed to be a band playing in a nightclub. A fight breaks out in the audience as we’re on stage. Then the director came to see us play live and it was all off. He decided we’d be too distracting, that people would be watching us and not the fight. Flattering, but not altogether career-enhancing.
Then someone from Channel 4 approached us to be in a documentary about “two completely different bands trying to “make it” in the music business”. It was to be an hour-long show juxtaposing Jonah & The Wail with some fellow unknowns from Scotland called Wet Wet Wet. “You’re very, very different (titter, titter)”, remarked Channel 4. Then Wet Wet Wet had a No.1 single with ‘Love Is All Around’ and that was that. Wet Wet Wet were home and dry, so the whole show became about their “overnight” rise to fame. From the “Dear John” letter subsequently received from Channel 4: “…and in light of recent events, we’ve decided to make the entire documentary about Wet Wet Wet. Please accept this book on ‘How To Make It In The Music Business’ along with our thanks and best wishes…” Thanks!

But the gigs were usually a triumph, or a glorious disaster, or both.
A show at Bath Pavilion with Half Man Half Biscuit on their ‘Back In The DHSS’ tour led to a show at Bristol’s Colston Hall the following day at the band’s personal invitation. One packed London show led to the band being invited to play another London show later on the same night! That too was rammed. A one-off show at the Marzbar Club in Bristol led to a week-long residency.
At a Bristol Bierkeller show with Sigue Sigue Sputnik one paper reported that following the headliners’ departure from stage, “the crowd chanted for support group Jonah & The Wail to come back and play rather than Sigue Sigue.” You had to be there, I guess. Still, I was pleased when ex-Generation Xer Tony James confused my white Gibson Les Paul Custom for the one Malcolm swiped from Sylvain Sylvain to give to Steve Jones. Oh happy days.

And then I stopped playing because I didn’t feel like being in a band anymore and I didn’t want to fake it. I continued to write songs for other people’s bands, though. That never stopped. Then in the late 2000s I was asked to play live again. This time in a 1970s-style Glam Rock band playing original material, which is something I’d always wanted to do, and it brought things full circle, so I said “yes”. The band started life as Paranoid Dog Bark, before changing their name (mid-set during their first show) to Glam Chops (phew!). Sadly, we rarely play live because one of the singers is in another band, Art Brut, and he lives in Berlin, but we are in the process of writing and recording a Glam Rock Christmas LP.  

- Did you were in a youth cult? for how long? How did you come into? 
I was into Glam Rock from 1971 onwards. Aged 9, I was too young to dress Glam Rock style beyond wearing band T-shirts or badges, but I was Glam Rock in spirit, definitely! I had platform shoes, and a pair of “Wedges”, which were a high street version of brothel creepers, like the ones Mud wore. Around this time I was wearing patched jeans or Bell-bottom trousers. By the mid-1970s I was wearing Oxford Bags with high street platform shoes, or Pod-Toe shoes, or 8-eyelet Ox Blood Dr. Martens. Jacket-wise, in the early 1970s I wore Jean Jackets (Levis, Wranglers, Brutus and Lee), Parkas and Lumberjack Jackets.

Very early in 1977, when I had just turned 15, I got into Punk Rock after hearing it on the John Peel show. I had only just started to listen to John’s show. I discovered its existence after reading John’s regular column in Sounds magazine. Before Punk Rock I’d only ever listened to daytime radio. I still have tapes of some of the John Peel sessions I recorded in 1977 and 1978.
 In 1977 my favourite Punk Bands were Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, The Models, The Killjoys, Eater (I was the same age as Dee Generate), The Electric Chairs, Slaughter & The Dogs, Dead Boys, The Snivelling Shits (“Terminal Stupid”/“I Can’t Come”/Arthur Comix (“Isgodaman”), Buzzcocks and many more besides.
Being a Punk was a very dangerous occupation in 1977, particularly around the time of the Queen’s Jubilee. I was chased on several occasions and I was beaten up a couple of times as well. I stopped considering myself to be a Punk somewhere in 1979, although the Sex Pistols splitting up in January 1978 was when I first began to lose interest.

- Does style was important for you? 
 I started to pay more attention to what I was wearing at the beginning of the Punk era.
In mid-1977 myself and my Punk Rock friends -all of which had been into Glam Rock with me- went to the army surplus store and bought a pair of army trousers each (I still have mine).
A photo of Jimmy Pursey from Sham 69 getting arrested in a pair was possibly the inspiration. My next-door neighbour was ex-Territorial Army and he gave me an army belt to complete the look. With these I would wear a pair of World War II “Escape” flying boots, which were RFA issue from 1943.
The “Escape” boots were given to me by an uncle who was in the RAF and fought in World War II. They had a concealed knife in a pocket in their sheepskin lining. The idea being, if you landed in enemy territory you would use the knife to detach the upper half of the boots in order to transform them into what looked like a pair of civilian shoes.
With this look I would wear band T-shirts (Sex Pistols, 999, T-Rex) and a black leather jacket with lots of zips. I would also wear old 1960s suits from Oxfam - Oxfam chic, as it was often called. I couldn’t afford to buy much designer Punk Rock gear. I had an original Sex Pistols “Holidays In The Sun” T-shirt, which I bought from a Punk boutique in Bristol called “Out Of Order” in 1977. I also used to buy Punk clothes, like “Let It Rock” black drill trousers and Vivienne Westwood-designed black velvet bondage trousers, from another boutique in Bristol called “Paradise Garage”. “Paradise Garage” were regularly supplied by Westwood and McLaren, so they sold clothing from SEX and Seditionaries. I found Paradise Garage a very intimidating shop to walk in to when I was fifteen, but I would imagine Seditionaries was far more so.  

- Your best souvenirs? 
  I still have a few posters, fanzines, handbills and badges from the Punk Rock era, mostly from shows I went to. I saw The Clash play four shows over three different tours: “The Clash Out On Parole” (1978), “The Clash Sort It Out” (1978) and “16 Tons’ (1980). I had a ticket for the Bath show on “The Clash Get Out Of Control” tour (1977), but the venue sold out really quickly and the show got moved to a larger hall in Bristol. My parents refused to let me go to Bristol to gigs until I was sixteen, so I missed this show and several other important Bristol Punk gigs. I still have tour posters for “The Clash Out On Parole” and “The Clash Sort It Out”.  

 - Your past hobbies?
My hobbies have always centred around music: buying records, going to gigs, playing in bands, reviewing bands, putting on bands.  

- What kind of music do you listen now? 
Junkshop Glam. I’ve returned to my roots, inspired by compilations like “Velvet Tinmine”, “Glitterbest”, “Boobs” and “Glitter From The Litter Bin”. My favourite Junkshop Glam acts are Hector, Iron Virgin, Kipper, Rosie, Grudge, Eli Culbertson and Pantherman. Does style still important for you? The way I dress today is still rooted in the 1970s, but I dress far more conservatively now than I did when I was a teenager, except when I play with Glam Chops. I always wear original clothes from the era. I don’t like reproductions. I sometimes wear original 1970s high street fashion and low-budget designer wear when I play with my band Glam Chops. I have a small collection of original 1970s platform boots and shoes, some of which originally belonged to people who played in bands at the time. I have a pair of boots that were pre-owned by Elton John’s drummer Nigel Olsson and another pair of handmade Granny Takes A Trip snakeskin platform boots that were pre-owned by John Beattie, lead guitarist with Wolverhampton’s The Spectrum. I have a pair of two-tone platform shoes with a Bowie flash on them that once belonged to a failed Glam Rock singer who switched to a career in stand up comedy. I’m told he wore them to his “New Faces” audition. Besides my platforms, I have a few more pieces of Glam Rock fashion, including items by Sniggin Piggin, Lee Bender and Frederick’s of Hollywood.  

- Your 5 favorite records ?
Gary Glitter – Rock ‘n’ Roll Part 1/Rock ‘n’ Roll Part 2 (I’m obsessed with “Rock ‘n’ Roll Part 2” T.Rex – Telegram Sam/Cadillac/Baby Strange (one of the first singles I ever bought) Jacky - White Horses/Too Many Chiefs (Not Enough Indians) (a beautiful and haunting tune. I love Jackie Lee) Jet Harris – Main Title Theme (from The Man With The Golden Arm)/Some People (My band Studs on Main St. used to play “Main Title Theme (from The Man With The Golden Arm)”. It’s also a favourite of Steve Priest from Sweet, who covered it on their LP “Desolation Boulevard”) Hector – Wired Up/Ain’t Got Time (a song I’ve only known about since its inclusion on “Boobs”, but “Wired Up” is my favourite Junkshop Glam song and I’m totally obsessed with Hector. As I used to watch Lift Off, I may well have seen Hector play “Wired Up!” on TV in 1973, but I can’t remember anything about that programme besides Ayshea, Ollie Beak and Fred Barker!)  

- Your favorite song (difficult !!! ) ?
Not difficult. Gary Glitter – Rock ‘n’ Roll Part 2. I’m in love with that beat. And every “hey” sends a shiver down my spine. I’m on a mission to find every record ever made with a Glitter Rock beat! Wish me luck!

Tim Purr links :
Glam Chops
Purr Records

1 commentaire:

  1. I love the part about Wet Wet Wet! :)
    Also I remember having a flyer for Paranoid Dog Bark, I think it was written in biro on the back of another flyer :) :)