Archive for the ‘The Jam’ Category

J. J. Cale

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Listen: Travelin’ Light / J. J. Cale

March ’77, Corinne and I made our first trip to England together for a fortnight of fun. We ended up staying at the then seedy Royal Scott Hotel, way before the area became chic. But seriously, it was heaven to us, a real taste of old London, now long gone.

Most importantly, the visit marked our first meeting with Howard. Who knew then that we’d become life long friends. HT showed us around for two weeks solid, and must’ve been glad to see the back of us.

This was a time almost like no other, with the energy of punk united against the stale old guard, and HT had every night sorted: The Damned, The Jam, Eddie & The Hot Rods, Ultravox, Eater, Johnny Moped, The Sex Pistols, The Heartbreakers, Sham 69, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Rockpile, The Downliners Sect, Generation X, The Clash, The Vibrators. Pretty sick, right?

We would start every morning in one of the many rickety cafes along Argyle Square or Crestfield Street, covering traditional English breakfast fry ups of eggs, chips and mushy peas with plenty of HP Sauce, gagging back several sugary teas, then scouring either the record shops or dumpy street markets, Corinne looking for deco jewelry and vintage clothes, me for used 45′s. By early evening, flying on Cadbury Flakes or Fry’s Chocolate Creams, we’d meet Howard, always in a swinging pub with a happening jukebox.

He introduced me to Andrew Lauder on one of those nights, and we all found quite a lot to talk about simply by scouring through the records in The Hope & Anchor’s jukebox. ‘Travelin’ Light’ was visually playing at the time, meaning the machine was a vintage model, one whereby you can watch the vinyl spinning round. Easily, it made for a lasting memory.

Released by Denny Cordell’s Shelter Records, quite possibly ‘Travelin’ Light’ was a single simply to allow the B side, ‘Cocaine’, availability to jukeboxes and club dj’s. For obvious reasons, that track doubled as bragging rights amongst us all, and along with Dillinger’s ‘Cokane In My Brain’, became our cheap theme.

Still it’s this A side, ‘Travelin’ Light’, that I can play endlessly and never tire of, all the while doubling as a journey back in time, to that jukebox and those incredible two weeks.

The Nipple Erectors

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

NipsUKPS, The Nips, Shane MacGowen

Listen: King Of The Bop / The Nipple Erectors NipsBop.mp3

Somewhere I have a photo of Shane MacGowen pogo-ing at The Roxy in London, March ’77. Corinne snapped it, and I’ve asked her seemingly a million times since to pull out the negative. It’s not looking good.

The Jam and The Rejects were sharing the bill. The place was packed and on such a cold, damp night seemed like the only place in London that had any heat. At one point, Shane jumped onstage and sang a cappella. Damn if I can remember what song it was. The best part was his Union Jack shirt, between that and his aura, he literally commanded more attention than Paul Weller.

A year or so later, Howard sent me the debut 7″ by The Nipple Erectors. Hold on, there’s that guy from The Roxy. Yes, it was Shane’s band, and we finally figured out who he was.

‘King Of The Bop’ was a one play single – so simple and swinging, you never wanted it to end. Who’d have thought it would stand the test of time, but it has.