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.
THE GONADS! CHARLTON! SOUTH LONDON! STREET ROCK N ROLL! COCKNEY CULTURE! COCKNEY ROCK! OI-TONE! SKA! BEER! CURRY! WORKERS’ RIGHTS! FLAG-GIRLS! ENGLAND! OI OI OI! THIS IS WHO WE ARE!
March 31. STOP PRESS It looks like we’ll be playing North Devon in February. Watch this space.
Effete El asks if the Sex Pistols’ Spunk counts as a forgotten album. Not really mate because it was never forgotten. It was a high-quality alleged bootleg masterminded by Malcolm McLaren to stir up controversy and publicity. We say alleged because it was pressed by Lyntone who would never have touched a real bootleg – especially one that would have represented a clear breach of the Pistols’ contract with Virgin Records. But worry not, we have a few lost/forgotten gems in the pipeline for the weeks ahead.
March 30. Steve Davis, yeah the six times snooker world champ, calls to tell us about his ambient synth band The Utopia Strong and his new book with Kavus Torabi called Medical Grade Music, an entertaining meander through their decades of interest in progressive rock. Could a gig with punk prog legends the Orgasm Guerrillas be on the cards before Christmas? Don’t bet against it.
The ALF (Aztec Liberation Front) have thanked us for our support of their dwindling community. Sister Coaxoch (beautiful Aztec name) made contact with Martin Sporrell (aggressive gooner) to pass on the message that the ALF want to make us honorary members. She adds that they will help put on our South Shields gig and may even invite us to a private cultural event when we’re up there. Very exciting!
March 28. Here’s the brand new video for Federales, kids. Be the first to be scarified by the thumbnail!
March 27. And now a new regular monthly feature: Gonad On The Spot, in which our esteemed leader answers three pressing questions from blog readers, Club 77 members, and other Gonads fans. Week one, question one: a book based on the Gonads overseas tours has been mentioned on the blog, will it ever happen?
Gal: I would absolutely love to do this. The problem is, books take a lot of time to do properly and at the moment spare time is rarer than an unreleased Beatles track. Realistically, the only way we can make this happen is to start work on it when we tour again – get me and Clyde at the back of the van for a week, recording all the anecdotes, and pay someone to type it up when we get back. That’s the way forward. But who knows when we’ll be able to tour next! May 2022 has been mentioned, but not by me and certainly not in front of Wattsie…
Question 2: There has been talk of an Orgasm Guerrillas album and a Prole album. When will these be forthcoming?
Gal: The Prole album is definitely happening. It’s mostly written and we have a very credible label for it, so I’m reasonably confident it will be released in 2022. The Orgasm Guerrillas project is close to my heart too. I’ve spoken to the musicians we’d like for the project, I have the outline for it in my head and I’ll be sounding out some surprising special guests. Time is a factor though and there are Gonads and GBX songs that we need to record first, so the Guerrillas album is on hold. It’s on a back burner but simmering away nicely, much like Fat Col watching Question Time. Let’s just say it’s likely to come a long time before Col ever does with a real-life woman.
Question 3: Can you cut through blog mischief and tell us exactly what music you will be releasing this year?
Gal: Certainly. Shona & The Alien by GBX will definitely be released on St George’s Day. The Three Chords & The Truth EP is currently being mixed and we hope to announce a release date for that reasonably soon. Everything else is up in the air due to the virus.
Thanks Gal. Send us your questions! More answers this time next month.
March 26. Wattsie Watts has cast doubts on a genuine photo of Gal carrying Jet from TV’s Gladiators that was taken more than a quarter of a century ago. In response he has offered to sweep Wattsie off her feet for a picture when the band next meet “to prove I’ve still got it”. Gal is now in training for the challenge. But be careful Shona, if Fat Col takes the pictures don’t wear a skirt.
Shona & The Alien is released on 23rd April but you will have to wait for the B-side, Harry On The Boat, which we’re told has been delayed by “legal action” in California. How odd. More news when we get it.
Here’s Gal’s latest interview with Simon Hearn of Totally Wired Radio. The sound quality is out of our control.
March 25. The man, the myth, the flat cap… Here’s a sneak peek of Paul SkaNad from our brand new video for Federales, filmed at the weekend. We’ll let you know when it’s on YouTube.
*Iggy Pop played four sold out shows in Australia, back in 2019. One of those concerts, at Sydney Opera House, was recorded and on 21st April, to celebrate the Popster’s 74th birthday, the big gig will be streamed globally for the first time. Tickets go on sale today.
PS. No one mention the time Iggy tried to score speed from Parsons and Burchill who solemnly gave him laxatives instead of blues. Iggy poop? Quite a lot as it happens. Talk about born to run…
March 23. Oi Oi, saveloy! We’re warming up for the big June gig with a small show at Arkwright’s, the Rainham private members’ club. This event is open to Club 77 members only, but be quick. Arkwright’s capacity is even smaller with Covid restrictions in force.
March 22. An early contender for quote of the year: when top video director Richie Razors was filming us performing Federales live at the weekend, la belle Wattsie remarked: “I thought there was going to be a man with a camera”. When JC pointed out that Rich “WAS a man with a camera” (in fact, several cameras! – Ed), she replied: “Oh I thought he was a man with a light…” (and possibly that the small devices he’d planted all over the venue were alien detector pods).
Prankster Alert: this year’s Ostara (spring equinox) festival will take place at That Essex Place #2. Rambling Sid Wilson, Colchester WM, will preside over “a tantalising programme of top-drawer light entertainment”. See your Tyler for details.
March 21. Surprising facts about yesterday’s recording session… and matters arising from it: 1) everyone in the studio had to take a Covid-19 lateral flow test before being allowed into the building. 2) Fat Col passed the test but was turned away at the door anyway, on Wattsie’s orders. 3) Leah McCaffrey made a surprise visit to impersonate a certain old school Hollywood producer whose name has been banished forever from this blog. 4) Gal wrote the lyrics to So Glad To Be Alive in the studio within ten minutes of hearing the music, old school style 5) Miss Management has taken command of the Mistress Material project and has vowed “to make it happen” this year 6) Miss M was happy with her new title, Chief Jivel, but no one had the bottle to tell her the other one. 7) JC Cruttwell attempted to sabotage the Federales video by sneaking a Gillingham FC scarf into the shoot, mercifully the offending item was spotted and “dealt with” by Martin Sporrell (aggressive gooner). 8) Plans to release a new Official Bootleg live album later this year have been kicked upstairs to Waistrel for the final say. 9) Wattsie cut her own fringe with garden shears before the recording started and only mentioned it 73 times. 10) Three Chords & The Truth is based on the Gonads’ historic 2017 West Coast tour but still only skims the surface – Gal and Clyde reckon they have enough true stories to write a book about that and the even crazier 1998 tour which came with bullet holes, chalk body outlines, drippers, strippers and actual snakes…
March 20. Well we promised you big news this weekend and here it is: earlier today, working in our bubble, we finished three fantastic new tracks. The songs are: THREE CHORDS & THE TRUTH and PROMISED LAND – both on the same level as FEDERALES. The third new number, SO GLAD TO BE ALIVE is a ska-punk post-Covid anthem. Pictures to follow. All three will be released as an official Gonads EP later this year. But before that, on 23rd April, the new GBX single SHONA & THE ALIEN b/w HARRY ON THE BOAT will be released by LA indie label CAR.
In other news, we will headline a charity festival in Welling on Saturday 24th July. The gig will be at Guy Earl of Warwick but the stage is outside the pub. The event is organised by The Great Welling Beer Fest in conjunction with the Welling Roundtable and the Shooters Hill Pranksters. Watch out for our new Federales video, which is coming shortly, like a randy pygmy, and the long promised Mistress Material re-vamp.
March 19. We’re in the studio, in a bubble this weekend… more news soon…
March 17. Wattsie Watts has come to the aid of her dishy daughter Aitch and her intended, the bashful JC Cruttwell, by furnishing their new bijou love nest. Wattsie’s generous gifts include living room furniture, wardrobes and even her old clothes (retrieved from Fat Col’s private collection), including her tasteful silk underwear – which we’re told the shy and demure JC likes to wear on date nights.
March 16. The latest in our forgotten album series is… Jon Anderson’s 1,000 Hands! Yes, the former Yes star bypassed our anti-prog rock defences and called Nads HQ (collect) from California to tell us about this solo album which he recorded more than 30 years ago and completely forgot about it. The album’s working title was Uzlot, he tells us, adding “That’s Accrington for Us Lot. I recorded it in Big Bear city with good old Brian Chatton from Bolton who played with my first band the Warriors. We had eight songs and I liked them but I had to go on tour with Yes and Brian had a tour with BB King so I said, ‘We’ll finish it later in the year’. Instead, it sat on 2inch tapes in my garage for 26years.” Producer Michael Franklin contacted Jon out of the blue five years ago asking him to send him the tapes. “I said, what tapes?” Jon laughs. The restoration process was worthy of MasterChef. “We had to put them in an oven and bake them at 400degrees Fahrenheit,” he recalls. “Then you can only play them once or they fall apart. Michael transferred them to a computer.” Jon’s Yes bandmates, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White played on the original recordings, and Franklin brought in more big-name guests including Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson (no relation), Chic Corea and Billy Cobham. “I couldn’t believe it. It was like Surprise, Surprise!” he laughs. Can anyone beat that?
March 15. Inspired by Elon Musk rebranding himself “TechnoKing of Tesla” and his finance director “Master of Coin”, Lord Waistrel has announced that from now he should be referred to as “feudal tyrant” rather than band proprietor, with Fat Col re-christened Court Jester. Miss Management should be known as either “Chief Jivel” or “First Mistress of the eiderdown”, added his Lordship, although none of us have got the guts to tell her that.
March 13. Weekly roundup. 1) Today, the Gonads – arguably the world’s most consistently anti-racist band – pledged to raise awareness of the plight of Britain’s smallest and most neglected ethnic group, the Aztecs. Historical scholar Mad Mickey Wharton tells us, “Aztec refugees are believed to have arrived in Cornwall at some point in the late 16th century following the fall of the Aztec empire. Their descendants then scattered across the country. The latest DNA evidence suggests that the last remnants of the British-Aztec community can now be found in the North East.” Where, we ask breathlessly? “Above a chip shop in South Shields,” Mickey states with great authority, adding, “That’s why the Gonads must play there to alert the woke and vigilant to the Aztecs’ plight and help keep their cherished cultural memories alive.” What about the Incas, we ask? “They came here too,” Prof Wharton tells us. “And by an odd twist of fate, their community run a taco bar/minicab firm in North Shields. They are also known to worship Terence Hayes, DM, as a living god.” (As many do - Ed). “Unfortunately, Aztecs and Incas don’t get on. It’s one of the oldest and most bitter feuds known to man, worse even than West Ham and Millwall or Wattsie and Fat Col. But maybe, just maybe, the magnificent Gonads can bring them together.” By god, Prof, we’ll do our best.
2) Big trouble in little Chelsfield. Yesterday, Gal announced plans to film a video for one of the two great new Gonads tracks later this month and within seconds he was given the full Alex Ferguson hairdryer treatment by a furious Wattsie Watts who attacked him for “arranging a date when hairdressers are still shut”. His suggestion to “wear a beret” did little to appease her anger. But Gal has Waistrel on his side and the filming with go ahead – with or without Ms Watts. Meanwhile, here’s the new vid from DeeCRACKS.
3) On Thursday, the Fit Bird hearing sensationally acquitted Gal’s PA of any financial wrong doing or meddling in band business. Court observer Effete El tells us: “Everyone expected her to kicked out, even her own lawyer (the Beast) thought she was bang to rights.” So what happened? “Well she dyed her hair blonde, and wore a low-cut top,” says El. “Within minutes a drooling Waistrel was apologising and stuffing a monkey down her suspenders to compensate for any ‘undue suffering’ brought on by the inquiry.” Works every time.
4) Huge sighs of relief on Tuesday at Lord Waistrel’s Merseyside retreat – in Formby, near the golf club – as Meghan Markle chose not to open up to Oprah Winfrey about their long friendship. Waistrel was apparently worried that his 2019 offer to formerly adopt Meghan would be misconstrued as “some sort of sordid sexual advance” by the gutter press. Scrotum, his Lordship’s wrinkled retainer, tells us “Nothing could ’ave been further from his ’onourable mind. ’E merely wanted to care for ’er like a father in her ’our hof need, hand save her from that dreadful middle class Windsor mob.” Scrotum dismissed claims that Waistrel had offered to bathe the Duchess of Sussex on a regular basis as “hobscene hand habsurd”. The butler added, with a sniff, “’Is Lordship don’t heven know how to hoperate a tap.”
March 6. Weekend update: in actual news, we will play the New Cross Inn on Friday the 18th June and are about to confirm a charity gig in Welling for July – watch this space.
Meanwhile a new US West Coast mini tour is definitely not happening in May 2022. It will not involve Gal, Clyde, the American Gonads and “Flogging” Dori Cameron, and we will not be playing with Doug & The Slugz and the Lower Class Brats. No dates or hotels have been booked. Honest. Especially if Wattsie asks.
The Fit-Bird inquiry heard more damaging revelations yesterday as records appeared to show that she had dined in style at Nads HQ during the pandemic to the tune of £12,552.95. Top quality gourmet grub, charged to Lord Waistrel’s account, was delivered in secret to Chelsfield by West End couriers. The food is believed to have included 100 tubs of jellied eels from Barney’s Seafood Ltd in Billingsgate, 40 jumbo sized jars of pork scratchings, £5,348.90 worth of ring-stinger curries couriered from the Darjeeling, Sidcup, and £2,752 worth of kebabs from the Lale in Eltham. An additional £3,000 was spent on Buckfast and takeaway Paulaner lager supplied by The Office. One insider tells us: “A heaving box of gin and tonics is being delivered to Nads HQ under the radar every Tuesday along with a £50 bouquet of flowers.” Club 77 officers expressed concern at the way the gin boxes bypass Martin Sporrell’s strict security checks at the main entrance and are instead delivered silently but vigorously straight up the back, at Fit-Bird’s request. The hearing continues next week.
March 5. Weekly round-up: the inquiry into Fit-Bird’s influence over band decisions began on Monday, with shocking claims that she is engineering an expensive make-over of the living quarters at Nads HQ in beautiful downtown Chelsfield. There were audible gasps when the hearing was told that her planned redesign includes: demolishing the bar, removing “all of the old-fashioned pub-like décor” and replacing “horrible punk and heavy metal gold discs” with framed photographs of Sade and bio-degradable shots of Greta Thunburg. Fit-Bird is also alleged to have plotted the sacking of Wattsie Watts with an unnamed third party (Fat Col) and to have “used her position in head office to lobby Soitainly Records to release a ‘Gonads & Pals’ compilation off her own back”. The comp would have included acts like Donkey Laugh & Monkish. She is also believed to have asked the label to release a 7inch single featuring JC and Jenny Woo doing a tender duet of the pre-punk classic (Are you sure? – Ed) Mouldy Old Dough by Lieutenant Pigeon. Said our anonymous insider (Effete El): “The comp idea sounded pretty good, but there was a ripple of anger when the hearing heard about the single.” Blimey. The inquiry continues.
Not a forgotten album this week, more a lost one. A couple of years after Gal’s first solo compilation Just The Filth was released, he and Clyde started work on a second one. The project was put on a back burner when the SkaNads morphed into GBX, but by then most of the songs for Just The Filth #2 had been written, including White Tights, Roisin and Majestic Goose. Gonads archivist Chris Ruxley explains, “Just The Filth was a big success, it completely sold out its initial 2012 pressing. So Gal and Clyde started writing more songs in a similar vein.” Club 77 chairman Effete El, who heard the demos at the time, describes them as being “more sophisticated than the first LP, witty rather than filthy”. There is no official band line on whether JTF#2 will ever see the light of day; and it seems likely and logical that the songs will simply be absorbed by GBX over time. But, says Chris, “As a completist I’d like to think the second volume of Just The Filth will one day be available even if only as a limited edition CD.” Never say never.
Noos: Here’s the poster of next summer’s Cream Of The Crop 3 at Bedford Esquires.
And here’s the link for the week's Highway To Hell, said by experts to be “heavier than James "Arg" Argent in concrete wellies”...
Fascinating Facts: Richie Birkenhead (Youth Of Today) first sang in public as a child on the US kids TV show Captain Kangaroo.. . In a related story, Toyah Willcox made her teenage TV debut in Second City Firsts and later played the children’s favourite Barmy Aunt Boomerang, while a young Fat Col made his first TV appearance on the live ITV kids show Tiswas shortly before he was ejected from the studio for slipping backstage and riffling through Sally James’s underwear.
RIP Ian St John and Bunny Wailer. Two more legends lost.