1970s nightmares part 2: forgotten bands, hopeless causes & the search for the missing chord

Despite the recently fashionable status of the Bethnal Green area in east London, this has to date failed to lead to a revival of interest in the 1970s band who named themselves after the hood. Bethnal were formed in Bethnal Green in 1972, and sounded like a cut-price Who minus the vocal skill of Roger Daltrey and the songwriting talent of Pete Townshend. I saw Bethnal at The Marquee in Wardour Street on Thursday 24 August 1978 and had a  good night out. Bethnal had plenty of energy but beyond their deployment of a violin, there was nothing very memorable about them. They simply weren’t as good as the other bands I saw at The Marquee that month: The Vibrators on Monday 14  August 1978 and Ultravox! (when John Foxx was still the vocalist) on Tuesday 22 August 1978. I caught plenty of other bands that August too, at venues all around London…  Bethnal were simply another night out on the town.
At some point after that Marquee gig, I pulled Bethnal’s first album Dangerous Times out of a bargain bin. It’s bog standard seventies Brit rock. The opener Out In The Street (not the tune of the same name from the first Who album) sounds like a second-rate Pete Townshend song covered by a boogie band, but it’s still enjoyable. The best tracks are covers of We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place and Barba O’Reilly, but while acceptable they’re not as good as the originals… And other tracks like Who We Gonna Blame are seriously let down by the vocals. Bethnal’s second and final album Crash Landing was not at all to my taste, since it veers much more in the direction of stadium rock and prog, so even when I came across bargain bin copies of this swansong recording, I left them lying where I found them.
One reason for mentioning Bethnal is because I’ve been enjoying John Eden’s series of blogs at Uncarved about uncool gigs he attended as a teenager. The ninth and most recent in the series is about him going to see The Mission in 1987. Eden appears to have ticket stubs and other memorabilia to jog his memory, whereas I’m relying on internet research to date the gigs I went to 30 and more years ago. I’m a bit older than Eden and I seem to have been more hardcore about my gig going from an earlier age. I liked a lot of seventies new wave and punk acts and among my early live experiences can list The Stranglers, The Damned and The Clash. I hate to admit it but the first band I ever saw was The Jam, and that was sometime before they had a record contract. For me, more interesting than these ‘name’ acts are those who never made it. One of the best bands in this latter category is Burlesque, a jazz rock combo with new wave trimmings, who like Bethnal managed to release a brace of albums that have yet to be reissued on CD.
According to the Billy Jenkins Webzine Burlesque were: “Selected as the ‘Band Most Likely To Succeed’ in both the tabloid Sun and Melody Maker at the end of ’76, it took a flying visit from America by music business legend Clive Davis to sign the band to Arista Records.” I don’t like the construction of that sentence, but I presume an article hosted on a former Burlesque band member’s website will be factually accurate. All I can say is he and his band-mates in Burlesque cracked me up with songs like Steel Appeal (about being sexually turned on by people in wheelchairs). Better yet, Burlesque saxophonist Ian Trimmer wore a tatty army jacket with ‘Bird Lives’ sprayed punk-style across the back; even at the age of 15 I knew that ‘Bird’ was jazz legend Charlie Parker. Making things even more surreal, the one time I saw Burlesque Paul Weller of The Jam was in the sparse audience. That said, Weller was obviously present to check out support act The Pleasers, who were Merseybeat revivalists replete with collarless Beatles’ jackets. The Pleasers even had their own one band musical movement – Thamesbeat!
I caught Burlesque and The Pleasers at some college (can’t recall which one) at some point in 1977, and it is curious to recall some of the acts I saw in the late-seventies that no one I know talks about any more. For instance, I subjected myself to Nina Hagen at The Lyceum, but I’m not sure if this was in 1978 or a bit later. I guess people still rave about Hagen in Germany, but she hasn’t been of much interest to UK based hipsters for the past 30 years. She made her initial international impact with a German language cover of the new wavish Tubes’ song White Punks On Dope, done with re-written lyrics as TV-Glotzer. In the early/mid-eighties Hagen made tunes like New York with disco legend ****Giorgio Moroder acting as producer, and for me that collaboration is the most notable thing about her.
I don’t like Hagen’s voice, so I’ve no idea why I went to see her circa 1978 – I can only assume there was some other act on the bill that I wanted to catch. I can’t remember where I saw Hagen’s one-time boyfriend, the Dutch rocker Herman Brood, but it may have been on a multi-act bill with his consort of that era. Brood is Holland’s most famous rock ‘n’ roll junkie, but I haven’t heard mention of him in London  for years, despite his 2001 jump from the roof of the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel leading to saturation media coverage of his suicide and subsequent funeral in The Netherlands.
Back in the late-seventies I used to  see a lot of bands and my tastes were very varied. I would catch Sham 69 one night and Wire the next; groove to The Vapors on Saturday then freak-out with Gloria Mundi or The Virgin Prunes on Sunday… I even saw Motorhead, but I much preferred The Pirates! Having started out as Johnny Kidd’s backing band, The Pirates had been around since the late-fifties. On record they weren’t bad, although I didn’t really bother with their vinyl, I just liked them live… and in 1978 you’d have been just as likely to find me at a Pirates or Wilko Johnson gig as at a punky-reggae party. I was also going to see British reggae bands like Steel Pulse, Aswad, Misty In Roots and Matumbi. Since I much preferred small clubs to concert halls, I didn’t bother with visiting Jamaican acts although I liked their sounds. The Lyceum Ballroom in The Strand was the biggest place I went to with any regularity. I only ever went to The Hammersmith Odeon once, to see Lou Reed in 1979, and I considered the experience shitty.
Out of the stew of music I caught live 30 and more years ago, it is curious to see what’s disappeared. Amazingly, bands like The Pleasers made it onto CD in the late-nineties, whereas as far as I know the output of Burlesque and Bethnal has never been reissued on that format…
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!


Comment by Dave Kelso-Mitchell on 2009-07-28 12:34:05 +0000


Comment by Simon Evans on 2009-07-28 14:11:20 +0000

‘greedom and freedom been twisting my arm so heading out West, now do the burlesque’…the b side ‘the Rocking R’s’ was good too.

Comment by Moggy on 2009-07-28 14:43:50 +0000

The Pirates were an awesome band.
Mick Green is a god!
Only saw them the once (at The Lyceum supporting Bo Diddley) but they are still one of the most memorable bands I’ve seen.
Really blew me away that night, everyone I was with were mightily impressed with them.
The Lyceum was a cool venue, they had some terrific bills back in the day, several of which still rank as some of the best nights out I’ve had.
Burlesque I remember, never got to see them live though, and I never knew Mr Jenkins was in them!
I’ve had a few chin-wags with him about music and bands he was in, but he never mentioned that one!
Bethnal heh, I remember that violin being a much talked about gimmick at one time, seem to recall a big splash picture of that violinist on the front of a copy of Sounds or NME I bought.
And how the fuck The Pleasers’ cabaret Beatles act ever got them put into the punk/new wave sections of record shops I’ll never know…

Comment by Michael K on 2009-07-28 15:13:00 +0000

Yeah. I remember Bethnal…so much so that when I first came upon Bethnal Green it reminded me of the band

Comment by raymond anderson on 2009-07-28 15:39:06 +0000

what he said..
The Pirates blew my socks off! Probably the best live act I have seen. The plastic punks under the plastic palm trees of the venue berated them and called them old men but that just psyched the band up for the onslaught we were about to witness. A savage power they had and the punks were struck dumb.
Same venue saw Doll By Doll, another early 70s artist Jackie Leven in psychiatric nursing rock sensation. Their Artaud based album cover and posters was the draw. Punishment of Luxury, like Neon the vanguard of the North East. Iggy Pop touring New values was not really embarrassing but I lost a plate of two front teeth shouting Iggy just as a bomb scare evacuated the premises. Fuck the bomb we need to find the boys teeth my mate said as we waded through piles of lost punk badges.
I saw Sham69 by mistake. It was supposed to be an AC-DC gig. A muso friend dragged me to see Joni Mitchell, Jeff Beck, Steve Winwood and Hall and Oates. The only thing I recall about The Grateful Dead nights at The Rainbow was an announcement from the stage about the movie The Producers and a flat in Stratford I stayed in. Theres a very small bit of me that wishes I had got on that bus in ’78 to go and see Zappa in London. He is so reviled it is attractive
Nina Hagan is also known for an Austrian TV appearance where she demonstrates how to masturbate.
Brood sort of slips into my “could have been glam” mixtape with Audience’ Howard Werth, Lewis Furey, Rupert Hine and David Werner.
Burlesque almost sound like the League of Gentlemen skit about Creme Brulee but a sense of humour always wins the day. What’s next? The Comedy bands? Albertos, Otway, Cooper-Clarke?

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-07-28 15:49:49 +0000

Blimey.I remember these bands.
Bethnal were a prog meets British trad rock meets “can we get away with calling ourselves a punk” band. They used to play with Hawkwind if I remember.
I can’t remember any of their songs, just a generic over all sound — are they any good?
And The Tubes, Hermann Brood, Nina Hagan…… Riding on the coat tales of pub/punk rock, and on that passing interest in glam/ bubble gum rock n roll that was still around in the late 70’s.
The Dutch I think, were really into those bands ( it was a kind of Roxy meets Mud meets Lou Reed meets NY Dolls, meets Glam meets doo wop image, and not a kind of raw power edgy garage band rock n roll that resurfaced in entirely different scenes in bands like Eddie and the Hot Rods and the Nipple Erectors).
I didn’t like ’em. If I remember, their followers were older people, perhaps late 20’s to late 30’s; ( people also into stuff like “Hey Lord Don’t ask Me Questions” Graham Parker and the Rumour) , whilst we were about 14 at the time. All those bands looked ancient to me and the sound was unresolved, thin and weak compared with the raw garage music and punk rock I wanted to hear.
I also saw quite a few UK reggae bands, but it really seemed to me as if they hadn’t discovered their own identity yet in the late 70’s — something cohesive and distinctive seemed to be missing.
The UK reggae scene more than made up for that though in the next few years. As a young punk in the late 70’s,I can still remember the cerebral and gut thrill of hearing the garage band sheer noise opening of “Blackboard Jungle” through huge bass speakers all over Ladbroke Grove , blasting out from little DIY punk shops,revival clothes emporiums selling 50’s clothes, rockabilly hang outs and reggae shops.

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-07-28 15:54:19 +0000

Raymond, nice weblink there. Lots to think about. Nice one.

Comment by Time Traveller on 2009-07-28 16:12:01 +0000

I’m heading back to 1969…

Comment by Michael K posing as Annouchka Sputnik on 2009-07-28 16:36:11 +0000

Hey I was born in the eighties and like bois. Any of you hot-tays want to get with improving my knowledge of the eighties? I’ve got a great imagination and an hourglass figure (I’m not fat I’m big-boned)

Comment by Michael K posing as Stewart Home on 2009-07-28 16:37:24 +0000

I’ve decided to leave that trouble-baiting comment uncensored because sexual violence in the workplace gets me pure horny

Comment by Michael K posing as Euan Macdonald on 2009-07-28 16:39:48 +0000

You sick fuck! Dont you know that even now Annouchka is on life support because of your lack of common humanity? Some people make me so angry I could fire off a couple of dozen items of hatemail using the Facebook interface right now!

Comment by Michael K posing as Furst Jaglen on 2009-07-28 16:40:47 +0000

I want everybody to know that I DO NOT consent to becoming a multiple name project.

Comment by Michael K posing as Wil Self on 2009-07-28 16:41:53 +0000

I’m not stupid.

Comment by Michael K posing as Michael K on 2009-07-28 16:44:56 +0000

Let’s get reaaaaaaaady to ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuumble!

Comment by Michael K posing as Annouchka Sputnik on 2009-07-28 16:49:17 +0000

Some people are asking how, cince I dont have a cellphone or landline, how I managed to phone for an ambulance when I had a sufdden panic-attack and lung-collapse because DIRTY Michael K broke my heart by telling me…erm…I’ll remember later. These people have also been questioning how Euan my wonderful boi with a rich father and helipad and a master of all the physical sciences, art, music and …erm…I’ll remember later…managed to get the news and then relay it to all my friendslist while I was deactivated and telling my girlfriends with my dying breath how to log into my facebook and email accounts to let everybody know how seriously close to death I was because of DIRTY Michael K.
Well I have this to say….erm…I’ll remember later

Comment by Michael K posing as Euan Macdonald on 2009-07-28 16:53:05 +0000

You sick fuck! Dont you see that it’s becuause of your hat I’ve become lack of common humanity that Annouchka suffered a serious delusional episode where she didnt believe she was at a top event in Toronto (pictures on the web right now) but was at death’s door in a Toronto hospital which has singularly failed to keep good records of her attendance?????
People like you make me lose faith in gardeners and fishermen not to mention peasants

Comment by Michael K posing as Time Traveller on 2009-07-28 16:55:00 +0000

I never doubted it wasn’t even vaguely not plausible for more than a few spare moments while I was in my drinking-shed

Comment by Michael K posing as Dave Kelso Mitchell on 2009-07-28 16:55:39 +0000

Serves you right for….erm…something or t’other

Comment by Michael K posing as Dire McCain on 2009-07-28 16:57:26 +0000

I was not amused

Comment by Michael K posing as Prince on 2009-07-28 16:59:28 +0000

Don’t get on the scales cos u aint got the weight
It’s mo’ hard to love than it is to hate! Sing!
It’s mo’ hard to love than it is to hate! Louder!
It’s mo’ hard to love than it is to hate! One more!
It’s mo’ hard to love than it is to hate!
Glam Slam….ESCAPE!

Comment by Díre McCain posing as Díre McCain on 2009-07-28 17:29:04 +0000

It must be jelly ’cause jam don’t shake like that…

Comment by Michael K posing as Michael K on 2009-07-28 17:41:50 +0000

Help I’m a rock!

Comment by Justin on 2009-07-28 17:46:43 +0000

Did you ever stumble upon The Heavy Metal Kids, perchance?

Comment by Michael K posing as The Heavy Metal Kids on 2009-07-28 18:07:51 +0000

What really gets me hotta than the eleventh of august (and there’s no day hotta since that was the target date on those posters. which bore only the batlogo, in July 1989), is the thought of someone leaving a link on somebody’s blog somewhere which would take me into the realms of K’s imagination….
Issue 4**
Coming Soon

Comment by Will Self Posing As Will Self on 2009-07-28 18:44:24 +0000

Burlesque were shit. Will self is better.

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-07-28 19:28:22 +0000

Life is a Dream —

Comment by genesis p orridge vogueing as brian jones on 2009-07-28 19:29:39 +0000

Will Self is butter when I get hold of him.
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Will Self

Comment by I Can’t Believe It’s Not Will Self on 2009-07-28 21:19:26 +0000

I will make throbbing gristle of you mister porridge.

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-07-29 00:10:34 +0000

Moggy and Raymond – The Pirates just totally rocked, and if I could play guitar like Mick Green, or even Wilko Johnson who was totally inspired by Green then I’d be very happy! Vicious and absolutely top, made all the punk rock guitarists sound like Bert Weedon!
Raymond. I think I saw Iggy Pop on that New Values tour… I certainly saw him in London. I think that is the tour he played The Lyceum, if I remember correctly he’d played the Music Machine before that… I had a ticket and a tout was trying to flog me one, absolutely convinced I didn’t have one… Then I just walked through the door…. But no bomb scares in London… Nina Hagen had a great image, I just didn’t like her voice. I also think the idea of Wendy O’Williams was a lot more appealing than her music, which was too metal for me…. Herman Brood had some good tunes “Rock and Roll Junkie” in particular – but also stuff like “Doreen” – he’d been around a long time before punk, wasn’t really punk, but he knew how to rock despite some duff tunes. I still kinda like him… but he ain’t up there with The Pirates or anything. Burlesque knew their chops but were funny with it. I liked those comedy bands – saw and enjoyed all the ones you mentioned – Albertos, Otway, Cooper-Clarke. Snuff Rock by The Albertos was better than the real thing; John Otway & Wild Willy Barratt were a giggle live although I don’t need to hear the records again, John Cooper-Clarke was also much better live than on vinyl.
Howling Wiz. Yeah Bethnal supported Hawkwind and sorta mutated into Robert Calvert’s backing band….They could rock out but they needed a better singer and material…. I wouldn’t bother really… As I say above, Nina Hagen for image and not music… but there are some good Herman Brood tracks if you like rock and roll, but the Hot Rods were a lot better… I kinda agree with you about the UK reggae bands at the time, my memories of seeing them are all very blurred, or was that the drugs?

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-07-29 07:03:05 +0000

One of the guys who played in Y Los Trios Paranoias went on to run the Blood and Fire reggae label. Not Steve Barrow of course, the other geezer. Forgotten his name now. He’s left the label now.

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-07-29 07:04:06 +0000

Painting of the day —

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-07-29 07:05:06 +0000

Blimey Mr Home, sorry for going off page there and spoiling the page format.

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-07-29 07:51:04 +0000

Blimey, you got me thinking of all these terrible bands Mr Home — talking of f*\*ing awful bands that somehow incredibly managed to scam a 15 minute ride on the coat tails of punk and new wave circa 1977/78– how the f** did they get away with it? A lot of it was just bad American pop music with a dash of bar room boogie, as seen from Graham Parker here —
There were loads of these awful bands, who somehow thought wearing wrap around ray bans, glowering a bit, looking “a bit fed up” with society, punching the air meaningfully, adding an ambiguous “drug” lyric about meeting a bloke “on the corner” , and wearing straitleg jeans and skinny ties ( blimey) meant they could sell a few desperate records to people in the wake of new wave and pub rock…
Record shops even went though a phase in 1977 of putting sticky labels on records boldly emblazoning them as….”PUNK!”…so if you went into your local record store, everyone from Dillinger to Mink Deville would hurriedly have a pink and yellow sticker shoved on it, with a silly drawing of a safety pin on it….FFS…Probably the only people fooled were curious record buyers in their 30’s….
Mink Deville were another example of real rubbish — a lot of awful Lou Reed poseur copyists — actually, I read somewhere he’s another one of those Americans who says he’s errr…..urrrrmm…..”native Amuuurrrcan Indian” — when of course, his grand dad was probably from Glasgow, or if you want to get more exotic, perhaps from Rotterdam or Belgium.

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-07-29 07:56:01 +0000

And don’t forget now, “Hey Lord, DON’T ask me questurrrrnnnssss!”
Alright? Got it? So, next time God asks, you know what to say. You can punch the air with weedy arms at the same time. That should do it.

Comment by Morrissey posing as The Heavy Metal Kids on 2009-07-29 08:07:30 +0000

The Pirates are great but it’s poor old Johnny ray for me

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-07-29 10:02:06 +0000

Howling Wiz – And on that tip, never forget the Doctors of Madness – Waiting was okay, but punk? Nah, not even when Dave Vanian was briefly in the band after The Damned broke up!
Justin. Yeah, I did hear the Heavy Metal Kids, but the name was enough to put me off. Never saw them. I went more for The Kids from Antwerp, who did a great song “Bloody Belgium”…..

Comment by Andrew Stevens posing as Alvin Toffler on 2009-07-29 17:55:07 +0000

Quibbling is counter-revolutionary, and I like incorrect/unpolished language . . . having said that Morrissey’s ‘Everyday Is Like Sunday’ begins “Trudging slowly over wet sand.” Trudging slowly? As opposed to what – trudging quickly?

Comment by Tehreek e Nafaz e Shariat e Hurufi on 2009-07-29 23:14:30 +0000

fuck them kafir cunts welkum back 2 da 21st century motherfuckers

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-07-30 03:44:24 +0000

Yes, Doctors of Madness — I remember being unimpressed by them — I was around 14 in 1977, and to me they just seemed anachronistic, and lacking in raw adrenaline power.
Did Vanian make any records with them or just gig with them?

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-07-30 03:52:46 +0000

Who did Doctors of Madness appeal to though? Bowie fans? Rocky Horror Show fans? Glam fans growing a little older? Or perhaps the older ( but new to ) punk audience who had grown up with an eclectic micture of progressive rock,aswell as TRex, Hawkwind, hard rock,and a mix of much older rock n roll like Eddie Cochrane etc?

Comment by Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad on 2009-07-30 04:49:51 +0000

Sensational Alex Harvey Band influence probably — a band who apparently also influenced Jaz Coleman, Youth and Geordie.
On that note, I recently read an interview with KJ drummer Paul Ferguson, who is now an art restorer and sculptor living in New York.
The early KJ 45’s were amongst the last “punk” records I bought.

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-07-30 10:37:37 +0000

Vanian cut a track with The Doctors Of Madness called “Don’t Panic England” which was supposed to be released as a single, but their record company Polydor rejected it. The song was written by the ultimate talentless punk poseur/tosser TV Smith (of The Adverts), who wrote a lot of stuff with Kid Strange of The Doctors. The Doctors actually made their public debut on a Twiggy TV show (they shared the same management) and were apparently the subject of an American NBC documentary short called “How To Hype A Band In Britain”. Evidently the kids were smarter than sad tossers like TV Smith and Kid Strange – Doctors of Madness broke up after making 3 albums because they were dropped by their record company Polydor for failing to shift product.
Alex Harvey made the odd good tune early on, like Midnight Moses, but personally I was never convinced by SAHB.
Killing Joke I saw a few times but I only went coz I knew people into them who were going, I didn’t bother with the records coz I didn’t like the music…..

Comment by Old Rope on 2009-07-30 13:09:33 +0000

Trip, my burning question: were The Pleasers any cop? After initial doubts, I’m starting to dig their name and want some heavy love to back this up.

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-07-30 15:18:01 +0000

Old Rope – when I saw The Pleasers that one time supporting Burlesque I thought they were absolute shit – but Paul Weller seemed to enjoy them… So take your pick, was I right or was Weller? But if you haven’t done so already you can hear a bunch of Pleasers tunes on their MySpace profile:
It mostly sounds like merde to me… And even the shameless Tony Wilson looks kinda embarrassed to be introducing them on the embedded YouTube clip on that page (the first one – and this seems to be one of their better and more ‘rocking’ tunes). Well choosing between Paul Weller and Tony Wilson is like choosing between a rock and a hard place…. And I hate to find myself on the same side as Wilson, but if I wasn’t I’d be on the same side as Paul Weller (which is just as bad). At least Tony Wilson is dead! And yes I’ve had the misfortune to talk meet both of ’em, a long time ago.
And someone calling themselves rizlatune has uploaded a load of Pleasers videos on YouTube… And check this comment from one of them:
Bob Geldof said of The Pleasers “If the Jam were The Who, The Stranglers The Doors: and we were The Stones, why can’t these guys be The Beatles.”
That’s at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIpff2HgpdQ – I first saw The Jam several years before they had a record contract, and they definitely weren’t The Who, they were playing top ten covers among other things… The Stranglers were better than The Doors, although the vocals and lyrics let them down.. but at least they had a bass player live to anchor the sound and didn’t have Jimmy the Ninny fronting the band… Personally I think Mick Jagger is a plonker but Geldof and The Boomtown Rats make him look fabulous in comparison. Geldof and Weller for The Pleasers? Doesn’t sound good!

Comment by Old Rope on 2009-08-03 20:56:03 +0000

Geldof is a doofus

Comment by Gutterdandy on 2009-09-02 19:33:20 +0000

“Mink Deville were another example of real rubbish — a lot of awful Lou Reed poseur copyists — actually, I read somewhere he’s another one of those Americans who says he’s errr…..urrrrmm…..”native Amuuurrrcan Indian” — when of course, his grand dad was probably from Glasgow, or if you want to get more exotic, perhaps from Rotterdam or Belgium.”
Shut up you snotty little piece of British scum. Have a little respect for the dead. Mink De Ville didn’t copy Lou Reed — what an idiotic statement. And Willie certainly did some fine singing on his own, especially on the Live In Berlin acoustic trio double-CD of a few years back. And now he’s dead, thinking he had Hep C (bad enough) and finding out he also had pancreatic cancer. If you’re ever in Brooklyn, drop me a line and we’ll get together and talk about “rubbish” Lou Reed imitator Willie DeVille. You suck.

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-09-04 01:14:04 +0000

GutterDandy, well hey….dude…
Are you an Ammmurrrcan Injun too man ? I mean, I will bet yer grandmammy was Cherokee…right?
See ya….dude..

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-09-04 01:15:46 +0000

Hey, Brooklyn suuuuccckkkkksssssss…….doood….

Comment by Duncan Gillbert on 2009-09-08 22:22:18 +0000

Having recently seen The Pleasers headlining an amazing gig over whose left of The Clash, The Sex Pistols and The Buzzcocks at The 100 Club in London. My pals and I thought they were f*****g brilliant. Melodic, great harmonies and great song structures. I never got to see them the first time around, but since their recent successful Powerpop album release in Japan, I think they are going to perform some gigs in Tokyo around March 2010, that I have simply got to go see if poss!
Did you know that Bo Benham (Singer Co-writer/Bass Player) of The Pleasers wrote several songs with Dave Fenton of The Vapours, which have never been released. This was just after The Pleasers broke up when Bo was forming his own new band called ‘Bo and The Generals’ who were signed to Island Records. They released a track called ‘Rich Girl’ produced by the producer of Squeeze. This band also included The Pleasers lead guitarist Nick Powell, all Interesting stuff… a!
And, Paul McCartney was asked in 1978 about what he thought of The Pleasers music back in an interview for the Melody Maker 1978 and he said ‘The Pleasers were the only band around at the time keeping the melody alive to a powerful back beat! Plus Bo Benham once lent his Bass Guitar amp to U2 for their rehearsal and never got it back.
Bo Benham went onto formatting and producing a Music TV series for ITV1, ITV2 & MTV called New Music Television back in 2000. This series was responsible for helping to break over 24 new bands into the UK top 20. The bands included ‘Feeder’ The White Stripes’ and ‘The Hives’.
Sorry, I know all this because I’m a bit of a music nerd! But I assure you, its all true.

Comment by Duncan Gillbert on 2009-09-08 22:30:44 +0000

Oh, I just remembered, after a row one night between Bo Benham of The Pleasers and Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69 in a pub near Chertsea in Surrey. Hundreds of fans of both bands battled it out after a Pleasers gig at what was then called The Camden Paley in Camden. What a fight that turned out to be… Teeth everywhere…

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-09-09 09:10:29 +0000

Didn’t know Benham worked with Dave Fenton of The Vapors…. or of the row between him and Jimmy Pursey in Chertsey…. Any idea of the date of the bundle at what I guess is The Camden Palace, it was called The Music Machine up to 1980, Are there press clippings? I used to go to the Music Machine a lot, but never once it became the Camden Palace. I used to go and see Sham before they had hit records too… and managed to avoid the problems at their later gigs. They were fun before they became big.

Published At