Please note the items you are about to read consist largely of scurrilous gossip, vicious back-stabbing and idle speculation. As Jon Stewart might say, its stories are not fact checked. Its informants are not journalists. And its opinions are not fully thought through.
April 24. This blog is shutting down for a week or two. We'll be back in May with news about the DVD, the acoustic album and a full report on the Jolly Pranksters' St George's Day weekend. Until then, stay safe and stay free.
The Power & The Glory, the follow-up to Gal's Riff-Raff, Rebels & Rock Gods book, is now available for pre-order. This second volume of memories (largely) from the golden days of Sounds includes Slade, Thin Lizzy, The Ruts, The Jam, Blondie, Bad Manners, Def Leppard, Motorhead, Madness, the Sex Pistols, Secret Affair, Squeeze, Infa Riot, Lars Frederiksen, John Cooper Clarke, Steve Ignorant, The Blood, Crisis, the Eurythmics, Engelbert, Pete Way, Gary Moore, the Butlin's Festival of the Sixties and an apology to Judas Priest. All for £7.90 here. Bargain!
April 23. Happy St George's Day. Click on the pictures below for a closer look at last night's gig.
Oh what a night! A big thanks for Lee Wilson for turning up and buying a drink (if not a ticket) and to Jonny Wah Wah for turning into Fat Col and lowering the tone. As drunk as 100 sailors, Jonny hijacked the post-gig interview to ask whether Wattsie's raspberries looked Japanese rather than British. (She has "nipples like a blind cobbler's thumbs" according to Col, but how would he know?). Wah Wah stumbled on to tell one blonde beauty she was his perfect woman and that they would have spectacular sex, adding "if that's not too forward". Thanks also to FB for donning the Frankenskin mask once again. His scarifying dance routine was up there with Buster's old Top of the Pops Can Can. Among the rascals and reprobates making the night special were Noel Martin from Menace, Jeniera Blade, Si Spanner, Dee of the Mad Hatties, Ginger Bob of MFC, Chelsea Dom, Leah McCaffrey, he who can't be named, Mistress Helen from Welling, Jo and Margot, and Mandy from the Crows. Apologies for absence were received from the Anti-Nowhere League, Charlie Harper, Nev and Christine Staple, Garry Johnson, Prince (Are you sure? – Ed) and Chris Weeks of the Charlton Boys who was en route to Vegas. Finally huge thanks to Ken and Stu for filming, Barnet Mark for promoting the night and Emma Rule for the pretty pix. NB: those who bought tickets but did not attend should be reminded of Miss Management's "no refunds" policy which experts believe is even stricter than her "stay on your knees till I finish whacking you" policy. Until the next time, cheers!
Random Noos: Discharge have released 'Raped & Pillaged' as a taster for their next album End Of Days, which is out next Friday via Nuclear Blast... Madball's Infiltrate The System and Legacy albums have been re-released on CD by Ferret Music... The Descendents next album will be called Hypercaffium Spazzinate; it's out in July via Epitaph Records.
April 20. We have turned down an offer to appear on Tonight At The London Palladium. It was revealed last night that ITV producers approached us on the recommendation of Joe Pasquale, to ask if we would perform a "radio edit" censored version of 'Oi Mate', but Waistrel rejected the offer out of hand. Scrotum, his Lordship's wrinkled retainer, tells us: "The boss was hinsulted heven to be hasked." Quite right too. The Gonads will not compromise our art and trivialise our message for the idiot box... well not until they revive The Wheeltappers & Shunters Social Club at any rate. (We are however open to offers from Loose Women).
Happy b-oi-day Jeff Turner, 52 today. You can call him an old git if you've got the guts...
Aussie Oi band T.H.U.G. have just released their second album, T.H.U.G. Volume 2, via Randale Records. The album includes a guest appearance from Roi The Boi and nine brand new songs including 'Old Skins', 'Working Poor' and 'Fight Back'. Hang on a minute, though, a seven year wait for just nine new numbers? Bah, we'd rip the piss out of their work ethic except it's taken the Badoes 35 years to release their eleven track debut album and two of the songs on side one are regurgitated as "alternative versions" on side two...
Bard News: the ever-busy Garry Johnson is working on a brand new volume of heart-felt street poetry, The Cockney Bard – From Bow Bells To Bitter Street. It's due out shortly. Meanwhile our pal Salena Godden has recorded THIS IS NOT ANOTHER EULOGY – her tribute to Howard Marks and Jock Scot.
STOP PRESS AC/DC's Brian Johnson has just released this press statement: As many AC/DC fans know, the remaining shows for the 2016 AC/DC Rock or Bust World Tour, including 10 postponed U.S. shows, are being rescheduled with a guest singer. I want to personally explain the reason because I don't believe the earlier press releases sufficiently set out what I wanted to say to our fans or the way in which I thought it should be presented. On March 7th, after a series of examinations by leading physicians in the field of hearing loss, I was advised that if I continue to perform at large venues, I risked total deafness. While I was horrified at the reality of the news that day, I had for a time become aware that my partial hearing loss was beginning to interfere with my performance on stage. I was having difficulty hearing the guitars on stage and because I was not able to hear the other musicians clearly, I feared the quality of my performance could be compromised. In all honesty this was something I could not in good conscience allow. Our fans deserve my performance to be at the highest level, and if for any reason I can't deliver that level of performance I will not disappoint our fans or embarrass the other members of AC/DC. I am not a quitter and I like to finish what I start, nevertheless, the doctors made it clear to me and my bandmates that I had no choice but to stop performing on stage for the remaining shows and possibly beyond. That was the darkest day of my professional life. Since that day, I have had several consultations with my doctors and it appears that, for the near future, I will be unable to perform on stage at arena and stadium size venues where the sound levels are beyond my current tolerance, without the risk of substantial hearing loss and possibly total deafness. Until that time, I tried as best as I could to continue despite the pain and hearing loss but it all became too much to bear and too much to risk. I am personally crushed by this development more than anyone could ever imagine. The emotional experience I feel now is worse than anything I have ever in my life felt before. Being part of AC/DC, making records and performing for the millions of devoted fans this past 36 years has been my life's work. I cannot imagine going forward without being part of that, but for now I have no choice. The one thing for certain is that I will always be with AC/DC at every show in spirit, if not in person. Most importantly, I feel terrible having to disappoint the fans who bought tickets for the canceled shows and who have steadfastly supported me and AC/DC these many years. Words cannot express my deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks not just for the recent outpouring to me personally of kind words and good wishes, but also for the years of loyal support of AC/DC. My thanks also go to Angus and Cliff for their support. Finally, I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring. My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that. For the moment, my entire focus is to continue medical treatment to improve my hearing. I am hoping that in time my hearing will improve and allow me to return to live concert performances. While the outcome is uncertain, my attitude is optimistic. Only time will tell. Once again, my sincere best wishes and thanks to everyone for their support and understanding. Love, Brian.
April 19. Last night's secret warm-up gig was a triumph, writes our rather moody correspondent Jacqueline Hyde. First up were erotic dancer Snow Wilde with some geezer with a bullwhip followed by another bloke who did strange things with a bed of nails. (Not to be confused with The Growler's notorious bed of ice). Wattsie got so worked up she had a go on the poll herself (not sure why he wasn't much to look at). Terence Hayes, PM, was among the invited guests at the discreet Kent location and came with a gift of the East End Badoes' handsome looking vinyl album Let's 'Ave It. Later reports of an earthquake in the Gravesend area were entirely due to Gentleman John's new fuck-off Marshall amp. The bad news? Friday's show, and the Big 7 scooter rally, really will be the last time we perform the punk set ever. Bank on it. Gal's ears just can't take it..
Terry Hayes, PM, ahead of last night's gig
Friday's gig may have a few surprises...
April 18. If you're at a loose end next month, have summa this:
April 16. We must be butter cos we're on a roll! We've just finished our latest album, London Bawling – fifteen tracks of awesome acoustic Gonadery signed, sealed, delivered and up yours. We won't say too much now, but 'The Drinking Song' is massive, even better than the near-legendary original and Wattsie's "gazebo" (kazoo) work gets us shaking like an Albanian spin-dryer every time. The Bitch adds: "Gal's vocals, in the key of Yale, actually improve the more he's lost his voice... and as for Phil and Paul's doo-wops... it was like Frankie Lymon with very old Teenagers... or Showaddywaddy reborn... as So-shoddy-waddy". Meow! More details will follow. We also packed in another gruelling three hour rehearsal session and on Monday we play a secret gig... so it's all go in Gonads City. And there's much more to come, chums, especially if you're joining us next Friday because it's fair to say our 75minute "pure punk for row people" set now hits like John Whittingdale's ex girlfriend on pay-per-spank and in a very bad mood...
Wattsie dangles the stage cock over Sir Gal of Gonad.
That's some girth, girl! (We're talking Gal's gut of course)
What woman could resist the sight of Paul SkaNad topless?
Even Shazza Stiletto might get half a lob on.
Gentleman John - ace of bass
Miss Management shoots us a stern look of admonishment with a twist of pity...
Phil McDermott - he's our guitar hero
April 15. News & rumours: Canadian pop-punk band Rarity have just released their debut album, I Couldn't Be Weaker – ten tough and tasty ditties packed with melody from Rise Records... Garry Johnson is said to be working on a follow-up to his classic Boys Of The Empire poetry collection... and here's the Cockney Rejects' latest heart-felt offering, 'Goodbye Upton Park'
Oh no! Fat Col is boycotting next Friday's DVD shoot after accusing Wattsie of "breaking my heart in fifteen places... ," adding "One of them was Morrison's car park". A distraught Gannon tells us that he knows he has "lost her to another" and claims he intends to live the life of a (drunk) monk. Sobbing, the fat fool goes on: "She was the perfect woman and we could have made beautiful music together. Think the Slits meet the Members falling down a set of concrete stairs on a busy building site... " An unimpressed Wattsie sniffs: "Did you say 'oh no he's not coming?', I think you meant 'Oh good... '" Spoilsport!
April 13. A gruelling non-stop three hour rehearsal last night, with Miss Management cracking her whip, cemented our 75-minute set for the DVD recording. "Every male member of the band must have lost half a stone in sweat," reports Wattsie. "But mercifully they put it all back on with a few gallons of cider, lager and best bitter." We're at it again on Friday...
April 12. Some good news today – Garry Johnson is okay! Like all friends and fans of Hackney's finest Punk Poet we had feared for his safety after he posted about being in severe pain and having "had enough" on Facebook last night. Gazza tells us: "I think I had a panic attack and meltdown. The pain was like no other... like a combination of being punched by Mike Tyson and someone dropping a bag of concrete on your chest. I know it's going to be the last time one day and I panicked... so I was a bit of a drama queen, but at the same time it's serious... it's hard when you know something is going to happen... I know it's the same for everyone but I've been pre-warned I won't be around for long." Just take things easy mate, don't try and do too much. No-one wants to lose you yet.
*QUICK reminder: if you're in London on 7th May, the big "New Tide" gig is happening at the Pipeline with the Bar Stall Preachers, Alias Kid, All The King's Men and Dirt Royal – all for a cockle! The event is supported by Street Sounds, Vive Le Rock and Louder Than War. Don't miss it!
*SKA legend King Hammond tells us that he's only got forty copies of his latest single, 'Ballad Of A Bad Man', left in stock. The 5-track CD e.p. costs a tenner. If you want one contact Nick Welsh via Facebook before On The Buses starts.
April 11. Another week, another Garry Johnson album... Never Mind The Boolocks – Here's Garry Johnson, He's Kosher! comes out later this month on vinyl. It's Gazza's poems put to music by Paul Waghorn of Insane Society. The misspelling of 'Bollocks' is deliberate rather than a Toes-style cock-up, we're told, but still puzzling. Never Mind The Bow Bells might have been funnier. But Gal J isn't pissed off about that, he's fuming because the album includes a new version of 'If Looks Could Kill' with someone else singing it. And this version is very nearly in tune! "It's like the Faces without Rod Stewart," moans Gazza. Or possibly breathing without lung disease...
Rumour City: the Cockney Ramones to make a come-back this year, possibly for Rebellion...
R.I.P. Howard Marks, aka Mr Nice. Drug smuggler turned author Howard died of bowel cancer. He was 70. Let's hope he's cremated, the fumes will get everyone in three square miles of the crematorium stoned.
Re-issued this week: Pass The Dust, I Think I'm Bowie – the 1979 album from Black Randy & The Metrosquad. Vinyl LP comes with a digital download of the album and seven extra tracks, via Frontier Records.
April 10. It is just twelve days until the big Hope & Anchor video shoot, chaps and chapesses. So think of us, beavering away around the clock in Waistrel's Bromley bunker as we perfect the mighty Gonads noise for your punishment and pleasure. It's gonna be a good'un...
As were the two triumphant Cockney Rejects gigs at the 100 Club this weekend with Vince Riordan back on bass, and Tony Van Frater never far from anyone's thoughts. The East End Badoes were on fine form on Friday, too – at least two of their songs from the night, 'Forever Proud' and 'Where Have All The Dockers Gone?' are already up on YouTube. But we have to ask two questions: 1) That young fella on bass, Tel, is he Mark Wyeth's secret love child and 2) Is it Cherry's turn to be pregnant this year???
If you're oop North on the 22nd and 23rd of this month, then Oi Polloi, The Flatliners and Sick On The Bus are among the anarcho-herberts playing the second Manchester Punk Festival. Over sixty bands for £21. Bargain!
April 9. Could DMG be back on the cards? Word is the Gonads' mental metal spin-off band has been approached to release their debut e.p. by an independent rock label. "It's the Next Wave of British Heavy Metal," claims DMG manager Martin Sporrell (aggressive gooner) who is playing his cards close to his chest.
Serious moment: Zane Gbangbola died from suspected hydrogen cyanide poisoning when his home in Chertsey was flooded back in February, 2014. He was just seven. Hydrogen cyanide is a toxic gas that can lurk in unregulated landfill and which can be released when mixed with floodwater. Yet the causes of Zane's tragic death appear to have been covered up, with officials claiming that the poor kid perished from carbon monoxide poisoning leaking from pumps in his family home – even though the pumps were electric and not gas operated. The Fire Brigade present at the time detected only hydrogen cyanide; no carbon monoxide was ever found there. If you feel as concerned about this as we do, please sign this petition for a proper investigation.
Quick reminder: the third annual Polyfest takes place on 30th April at The Half Moon, Putney, and will feature the likes of Roddy Radiation, Angie Brown, Saffron Sprackling, Spizz and Doctor & The Medics among the hoards playing in Poly Styrene's memory and raising cash for CLIC Sargent, a charity supporting young people and kids with cancer. There's a CD out full of covers of X-Ray Spex's best known songs (including Anita Harris performing I Live Off You with the sham-Sham). It's called The Day The World Turned Day-Glo.
April 8. The latest edition of Napalm Reloaded is out now, featuring Cretins For Corbyn, Dom's IBS, Dyslexic Mods, Scandinavian "sex Goths" Skenande Horor, Making Monsters, guitar guerrilla Rebecca 'Dunce' Dunscombe, true groupie confessions, punk 'psychics', Burning Jimmy, One Up The Back, Garry Johnson on the stories he couldn't publish, inside the Albanian anarchist tradition and much more.
April 5. A serious and worrying development. Gal's ear specialist confirmed yesterday that his hearing has been irreversibly damaged by prolonged exposure to punk, rock and metal. He's been advised to stop playing or "risk becoming permanently deaf" – like poor old Brian Johnson. This is obviously a massive hurdle for us, and although we will honour all of the bookings that are in place, it will mean that in future our full-on punk set is likely to become as rare as laughter at a Stephen K. Amos stand-up show.
April 4. The big Punks Against Homelessness event is taking shape. It is now likely to be an all-dayer at a London venue in the second half of September. Confirmed bands include Infa Riot, Underclass UK and the London Sewerage Company. Many more will follow...
Big love to Garry Johnson, Oi's indestructible man, who is now back home after a nasty scare. Last Thursday The Punk Poet was rushed to hospital after a suspected heart attack. Tests confirmed that it was an angina attack, a symptom of heart disease. Take care, mate.
April 3. We're gearing up for three weeks of intense rehearsals in the run up to our live DVD recording at London's historic Hope & Anchor on 22nd April. We have tickets at £5 a pop. You can order them from the link at the top of this blog, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve yours to pick up on the door. Numbers are strictly limited.
Calling punk bands of all 57 varieties: if you want to be involved in the big Punks Against Homelessness gig get in touch ASAP.
April 2. Entirely serious announcement: we're looking for a permanent fiddle player for our live acoustic gigs and a small but effective horn section for studio work (insert your own 'small but effective horn' jokes here). Please spread the word.
The Coast Town weekender hits Blackpool again this Summer. From The Jam, Esperanza and Heavy Sol are among the acts playing the Empress Ballroom at the Mod and Ska extravaganza which takes place on the 8th and 9th July. The line-up also includes Bad Manners tribute band Special Brew, local heroes Ska Face, BANG The Skillet and Amy Winehouse tribute Lioness. The popular weekender is in aid of the Rosemere Cancer Foundation. Please don't spoil by asking Bruce about his face-lift and hair dye. Tickets on sale now from www.skaface.info/shop
April 1. Incredible news from Fat Col. In a remorseful round robin email to all of us, Colin claims to have seen the light. He promises to stop pestering Wattsie Watts for sexual favours, to vote Labour and to give up eating meat. It was only when we got to part about supporting Millwall that anyone thought to look at the date...
Motörhead are releasing a live album and a film shot and recorded at two shows during their last-ever tour. These were their Munich gigs on 20th and 21st November, just five weeks before Lemmy popped his clogs. This last blast from metal's memory lane will be called Clean Your Clock and will also be released as a coloured vinyl double album.