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!
April 30. Congratulations to our pals in The Selecter. The 40th Anniversary reissue of their debut album Too Much Pressure has crashed into the UK Top 30 at Number 24 and gone straight to Number 1 in the Official UK Vinyl Album Chart (and the Indie and Alternative album charts too). Pauline tells us, “I’d like to thank our fans who bought the re-issue, who have stuck with us for over 40 years, who still believe that The Selecter are and were a great band and that the ideas behind 2-tone are still worth fighting for!”
In a serious blow, the Gonads have lost the cover of next month’s French edition of Rolling Stone after the rag heard a leaked demo of Promised Land. Editor Pierre Pot-de-Chambre tells us, snottily: “Phil Badoe et Gros Col a raison. Ce n’est pas du punk! Faites chier les twits Anglais.” Charmant!
STOP PRESS: ILFRACOMBE PUNK FEST confirmed! We’ll headline the Friday night, 11th February 2022. Bring thermals.
April 29. Gal has got his own back on Wattsie – by dramatically SACKING her from his ventriloquism act and replacing her with this charming younger model, this fully functional Zoe Anderson doll! Fit-Bird tells us: “It’s not personal, it’s about professionalism, innit? ’E didn’ wanna do it, did ’e? But Wattsie let the side down with her teenage bad attitude.”
Hot news from the USA. Rodger ‘Trotsky’ Shosa writes: “Us American Nads have been watching your recent activities closely and want you to know that we’ve been busy as well. In the past year or so we’ve played a bunch of gig and sold many t-shirt.” That momentum proved too much for Fatt Matt who has been replaced by “Ritchie Fuckin’ Bruiser”. Rodger adds, “We plan on playing new old songs and old new songs soon!”
And we should have told you on Sunday: the UK Subs’ latest album, Reverse Engineering has been recorded and is now being mixed by their studio collaborator, sometime Gonads producer and ex-Vibrators bassist Pat Collier. It was recorded remotely at their homes by everyone except Charlie who actually ventured into a recording studio, possibly on the outlook for Gonadian women to tempt and corrupt.
April 27. STOP PRESS! PEACE IN OUR TIME! SHONA & THE ALIEN OUT TOMORROW! WATCH THIS SPACE.
April 26. And now we return to our new regular monthly feature: Gonad On The Spot (not to be confused with Spots On Your Gonads, an unpleasant by-product of being Infected). This month’s three questions for Gal are: 1) How serious is the rift in the band that is mentioned on the blog, and how does Wattsie put up with what is written about her?
Gal: “It’s not a rift, it’s a disagreement over one song – Promised Land. It’s true that it doesn’t sound like the Gonads, but we’ve never been a band who were afraid to take chances. Anyone who says a song can’t be any good unless it’s brick-wall punk needs to get their ear-holes checked. Pretty much everything Clyde Ward writes or co-writes is a gem and Promised Land is no exception. It’s a cry for justice. Almost a hymn. My only criticism of the demo version is it sounds a mite too polished. Once we ‘Gonad it up’, it’ll be a killer. As to Wattsie, we love her to bits and she knows the blog is largely written in jest. However, if we ever find the people responsible there will be hell to pay.”
2) Why were you not as successful managing The Blood as you were with the Cockney Rejects?
Gal: “They were unmanageable! Managing The Blood was like trying to lasso lightning. They didn’t want to gig, they wanted to drink. I put them on tour in 1985 and they spray-painted obscene graffiti over the tour van and piddled out of the back of it on the M1. They were trying to get nicked because they would rather have spent a night in the cells than play the tour dates.”
3) The current list of unreleased/unrecorded Gonads albums seems to include The Quest For The Golden Goblets, Official Bootleg II – Live In London, 18 Stone Of Dynamite (Half Inch Fuse) and Greater Hits Volume 4. Will they ever be released?
Gal: “There is a very good chance that at least three of them will see the light of day… eventually. The Official Bootleg is ready to roll at some point this year and I’d love to record 18 Stone Of Dynamite in Cyprus with Clyde. It would have to be done totally raw though. Twelve tracks in one session, with no over-dubs, guest artists, harmonies or kazoos. Golden Goblets would need to be recorded with the American Gonads and Shira, so that definitely can’t be done this year. Volume 4 would be the very last of these to be released. We need to space them out.”
STOP PRESS! Stern-faced lawyers (The Beast) acting on behalf of The Jolly Pranksters ask us to clarify that the brethren “do not have, and never have had, a sideshow event at their gatherings called Pull A Mullah Off A Mattress”. We are pleased to report that the actual sideshow event is called Pull A Wally Off A Waitress – the Wally being traditionally played by Fat Col. Apologies for any distress caused.
STOP PRESS TWO! As one controversy ends, another begins. Wattsie Watts is refusing to do her ventriloquism act on stage with Gal and has outrageously alleged that “he’s only written it to make me sit on his lap”. Gal strenuously denies the “insulting” claim and in turns accuses Wattsie of “making cheap slurs”…“undermining the Gonads’ stage act” and “failing in her duty of professionalism”. Quite so. (Just don’t mention the “artistically essential Francine Lewis bed scene in his DVD – Ed). Meanwhile Wattsie’s refusal to pose for promo pictures for the vent act has been entered into Miss Management’s little black book of discipline along with Gal’s unacceptable levels of studio grumpiness.
April 25. We were invited to the studio yesterday as guest artists on the Orgasm Guerrillas’ debut album. Unfortunately, the morning got off to a bad start when JC and Harriet drove to Welling to pick up la belle Wattsie. Aitch spotted “some teenager with peroxide hair and a leopard print skirt” and hissed, “Look at the state of ’er! Dressed to go clubbing at breakfast time! What a slapper!” This catty private remark was followed moments later by the very public words “Oh, hello mum!”
Details of the OG album are firmly under wraps but we can reveal the working title is Satsuma Edgy, and tracks include Issy Bonn, Yakult (Don’t Mess With The), He’s Fallen In The Water, Jolly Old Eek, Mole-Strangling For Beginners and the remarkable Harmony 13, a 13-part harmony composition performed solo by Phil Fury. An insider whispers, “Most scholars believe there are only seven harmonies, but Philip has found six new ones said to be the harmonic equivalent of dark matter… you should hear this shit, it would blow Brian Wilson’s mind.” Strewth.
April 24. Word up, peeps. The Jolly Pranksters face a new challenge. A rebel “Woke” faction are demanding a public inquiry into the brethren’s private practices – in particular the popular ‘Pull A Mullah Off A Mattress’ sideshow at their recent Easter weekender. More news as it breaks.
We’re lining up a North East mini-tour for later this year, canny lads, but the project has already hit two buffers. Fat Col, the self-appointed tour driver, insists that everyone in the band signs an Omerta clause upfront agreeing that “what happens in Newcastle, stays in Newcastle”. Col also argues that “everything would be so much easier if we left Wattsie behind – for starters, we could travel in one estate car, and no-one on board would be rabbiting away at 3am in the morning.” Harsh but true.
April 23. Happy St George’s Day! Here are some memories of previous celebrations with a few roguish faces…
April 22. In a shocking turn of events, Miss Management has intervened to STOP the release of Promised Land. She has however sanctioned the release of a new split single – Three Chords & The Truth by the Gonads, b/w So Glad To Be Alive by the SkaNads – which should be available by early June. The dramatic compromise was engineered to “prevent a major band rift”, an insider tells us. However, Clyde’s allies in LA have hit back by HALTING the release of Shone & The Alien which was supposed to come out tomorrow. Says Effete El, “Only Lord Waistrel can stamp out this crisis but he has flown off to his 16th century castle in Geneva to sit out the repercussions of the super-league row.” Blimey.
April 21. Lord Waistrel today claimed to have “personally blocked” the 16-strong elite super-league of streetpunk bands (that he himself had created). Waistrel’s executive director Amanda Moneybags said, with a straight face, “His Lordship has always been very clear that oi oi punk rock is about the music and the fans and their voices will always be paramount.” She added: “This deceptive money-making scheme was never about money or deception but always about the future of our great scene. And if the league comes back in another guise next year it won’t be anything to do with Waistrel… even if he is the major shareholder.”
Even more dramatically, a huge row has broken out inside the Gonads over our latest song Promised Land. Clyde loves it, but Phil Fury angrily stated “It sounds nothing like the Gonads and should not be released under our name”. Gal and Paul SkaNad are undecided saying they love the song but think it should be rawer. Wattsie Watts has yet to break her uncharacteristic silence but Steve Whale considers it “a stunning number with strong lyrics and a great chorus”.
April 20. The punk rock world was stunned last night by news of Lord Waistrel’s plans to create a worldwide super league of 16 “elite” bands. Fans reacted with fury to the news that the bands – believed to include Cock Sparrer, the Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, the Gonads and Susan Boyle (Eh? – Ed) – would play “deluxe televised festivals” around the world – at the expense of established fests like Rebellion and Punk Rock Bowling. While furious commentators condemned the scheme, Waistrel’s new tight-lipped PR, Miss Moneybags told this blog, “This is a business arrangement pure and simple and one which we believe will strengthen the worldwide live music scene. It is certainly nothing for politicians to poke their beaks into or the great unwashed to fret about. They will still be able to buy weekend tickets, starting at a very reasonable £1,000-a-day rate, and subscribe to his Lordship’s new global Oi!-Vision channel (in partnership with BT Sport).”
April 19. Here is the exciting first glimpse of Gal’s new ventriloquism act featuring this full-size, lifelike Wattsie Watts doll. Witnesses tell us the fake Wattsie can already ‘say’ simple phrases such as “Gottle of gear”, “Gluten-free for me!”, “That better be your hand moving. Gal”, “I’m supposed to be the one with wooden parts”, “You should see where his fingers are, and he hasn’t even bought me dinner”, and “Oi! JC, don’t you dare get her pregnant!” The next stage for the doll is to master complex conspiracy theories and the lyrics to Badly Done.
April 18. Nothing to report this week, chums. But we’re like ducks – calm on the surface with a lot of effort going on beneath the waterline to keep us afloat… and heading in our chosen direction. Whether it’s the right direction is anybody’s guess. Not much thought goes into this We’ll let you know when we get there.
PS. When we say we’re like ducks, we should make it clear that we aren’t very feathery, and to be honest few us qualify as plump-breasted. Aside from Fat Col, obviously…
Random toffee: the Orgasm Guerrillas have finally got themselves a Facebook page…Gal and Wattsie’s new ventriloquism act (see Instagram) has raised several pressing questions from her future son-in-law JC, not least where exactly is his right hand… Triple B Records have released a 2xLP vinyl album called The First 100 Compilation, as a snapshot of their first 100 releases. It’s a one-off pressing of 1000, with artwork by Chris Wilson… and finally, from the desk of Colin Gannon: New flag girls urgently required – for totally ironic reasons, natch. Send photos! Send phone numbers! Send kisses! Send underwear! (Stop that! – Wattsie).
April 11. Fat Col today made an urgent plea to blog readers to load vintage Gonads songs up on YouTube. “It’s outrageous that classics like (Rise Up) London Boys aren’t properly available,” Col fumes, adding “There’s no Re-Infected, Fat Cat Splat or Badly Done, and Lager Top is wrongly uploaded as a Splodge song.” Why don’t you do it yourself, we ask innocently? “I can’t be arsed,” he replies.
April 10. Hot news: we’re set to play our first ever gig in Devon next February; watch this space for confirmation… our three new tracks are all mixed and mastered and the tougher business of getting them released by a serious label begins… Gal’s new Harry Tyler novel will be published on 9th September (but will the 79 rock/NWoBHM book, now nearly two years late, beat it to the punch?)… and finally, Gal tells us that he is mulling over a couple of offers to revive Bushell On The Box on TV. If you recall the original show ran for fifty episodes in 1996, topping the ITV late night ratings, and featuring, among others, The Blood playing in his back garden, Lenny McLean and Roy Shaw, Barbara Windsor, Penn & Teller, the guitarist from X Ray Spex whose name we forget, the first and only performance of our unreleased classic Mystic Meg, stars of Gladiators and The Bill, Crystal Palace’s Sagi Burton, Ted “3-2-1” Rogers and a host of comedians including Bob Monkhouse, Vic & Bob, the legend that is Micky Pugh and Lily Savage. Fit Bird tells us “He’d like to do it, wouldn’t ’e, but it’s a shit-load of work.”
April 9. Could this really be in the running for an Academy Award in 2022? The film has everything – sex, violence, drama, star quality… everything, that is, except a physical form. It currently exists as a fashionable, online-only “work of art”, with a digital authentication stamp (an NFT – non-fungible token). Academy insider Wesley Sanderson tells us “Dirty Garry would have romped home for best picture this year if only it had been available in a more conventional format.” Bugger.
April 8. The latest in our series of lost or forgotten albums is Green Day’s Cigarettes & Valentines. It was meant to be their follow up to Warning and should have been released in the Spring of 2003. But in November 2002 the master tapes were stolen from their studio by persons unknown, and instead of re-recording it from scratch the lads binned it entirely and started work on 2004’s game-changing American Idiot. C&V is said to have been punkier, and very much in the vein of their earlier albums Insomniac and Kerplunk. The masters were finally recovered but has never been released, although Green Day did re-record some of them and release them as the B-sides of American Idiot singles – such as Too Much Too Soon and Letterbomb. A live version of Cigarettes & Valentines itself was however released in 2011.
April 7. Here’s an unseen shot from our 2017 gig at The Viper Room on Sunset Strip with Gal and Clyde joined by Shira Leigh and Geoffrey C. Palmer. (Trotsky and the Tripod are out of shot so as not to frighten the children). We’ll be back next year, folks. But don’t tell Wattsie.
April 6. Irate Prankster Sid Guildenstern, MA (failed), calls Nads HQ to complain about our “partial” coverage of their Easter weekender. “If you are going to defy our injunction and write about our spiritual gatherings you should at least get your facts right,” Sid storms. “You only covered half of the variety bill for one night. There was no mention of the great blue comedian Arthur Lobon, an absolute master of filth, or the Sutton Hoo Jazz-Ska Orchestra, or the giant inflatable Jennie Bellestar bouncy castle donated by QAnon. And there wasn’t a word said about Sunday afternoon’s pathetique synthesiser duo, Gruntfuttock & Horne. Nor did you cover the great earth-bonding ceremony conducted by those of the 13th degree and higher wherein elevated brethren released their spirit selves to merge with nature at a transcendental level.” Blimey. “By the way,” he continues. “We did not just burn effigies of Boris but also Keir Starmer and the LBC radio buffoon James O’Brien. Get it right or don’t bother.” Well, that’s told us.
German model Ivana Koch contacts saying she wants to be in the Gonads video. Which video, we ask? “Any video,” she replies. For god’s sake keep her away from Fat Col.
April 5. The Prankster’s big Easter gathering took place without a hint of ag, despite Essex cops launching a county-wide hunt to close it down. The 120-strong brethren, plus barmaids, evaded arrest by switching the location to a farm near Woodbridge in Suffolk. Although reporting restrictions are still in place, we can reveal that the reformed pathetique revivalists Donkey Laugh closed the event with a performance best described as “stonking” (a technical term) before an effigy of Boris Johnson was burnt on a huge bonfire under a banner proudly proclaiming ‘Beef, Beer and Liberty’. Our anonymous tipster, Brother X (whose identity must be forever secret), tells us that Fat Col’s Saturday night variety bill was an uneven affair. “The highlight was a Wilson, Keppel & Betty sand dance tribute,” Effete El – whoops, Bro X – reports. “And there was a great magic act modelled on the fictional Victorian duo Michael Magister and Phoebe Le Breton who did wonders with a disappearing snake. The fire-jugglers were pretty damn impressive too. The worst performance was from Col himself who came on dressed as Chubby Brown and mimed to a recording of the fat bastard’s 90s stage act. Col lasted precisely two minutes and 18 seconds before ashtrays and pint glasses full of piss started to fly. He was finally knocked out by a well-aimed slab of rock-hard suet pudding which hit him square in the mooey. Thankfully no harm was done as the pudding was still fully edible.”
April 4. The Cockney Rejects have covered the Stray Cats song Runaway Boys as a taster for their forthcoming new album. All possible West Ham/Runaway Boys jokes have been filed under ‘Too Risky’.
April 2. Cheers for all your nice comments about Federales. We reckon our three new songs are just as hot – and Gal and Clyde are already working on another trio of gems – Scream My Name, One More Sip and The Kelly Gang. The boys must be butter cos they’re on a roll!
April 1. Our version of Saturday Night (Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees) is finally up on YouTube.