Shrink - Valid Or Void - A&M Records - AMS7409 - 1979

David (a.k.a Chris) Banks left northern England in 1977, and headed to London to audition for 'The Secret.' The lead singer was Mickey Modern, the bassist was Benny Leopard, the drummer was Percy Cute, and two guitarists were taken on, Reggie Mental (Dave Murray of Iron Maiden), and Banks, now known as Shrink. The Secret set up a showcase for A&M records hoping for a record deal, so, unsure of Shrink's skill, they replaced him with a session guitarist. They then asked Shrink to be the support act for the showcase, possibly hoping he'd only make them look better. Instead, Shrink got a standing ovation and an A&M record deal. After the show, David recalls that a member of The Secret met him backstage saying he didn't know whether to shake his hand or smack him in the mouth. Apparently, they underestimated his performance ability, which incorporated gold face paint and silver bodysuits. One fan recalls that when he went to see Shrink in London of 1979, it was heavily attended by punks. When Shrink took the stage the punks gathered to the floor and began to bow to Shrink. In another account of a show at Phillippa Fawcett College in Streatham, attendees watched Shrink stop singing mid-song, and after what I imagine was an uncomfortable moment of silence, he burst into tears. "As the sobs got louder and his body convulsed, nobody knew whether to help him out, look the other way or laugh." This confusion is confirmed by the fact that at times in his performances he appears to be in agony. Shrink also made a cameo appearance auditioning/guitar smashing for 'Breaking Glass' in the movie of the same name.


Chris Spedding And The Vibrators - Pogo Dancing - RAK - 2C.006-98449 - 1977

Chris Spedding was a jazz guitarist turned session musician, and appeared on several interesting (and way more not-so-interesting) recordings throughout the 70s. I've only listed a handful, mostly those related to library, novelty, junkshop glam or 'punk.'

1972: Played guitar and wrote a song for Standard Music Library - Small Group Pop. The Spedding-penned song appears in the movie Serpico.

1973: Played bass on first LP by comedy trio the Goodies.

1973: Chris becomes the guitarist for Mike Batt's novelty creation, The Wombles. Apparently, when playing "live," the Wombles suits contained actual musicians. Chris Spedding as Wellington brought his trademark white Flying V guitar to the character.

1974: Teamed up with songwriter Mike Batt again to play guitar for a recording credited to Top Of The Pops dance troupe 'Pan's People' called 'You Can Really Rock And Roll Me.'

1975: Played guitar on theme song to music TV show 'Supersonic'.

1975: Played guitar on loads of Kenny songs. It makes sense that session musicians would have been used, since the band, formerly 'Chuff,' was hired to become 'Kenny' in order to milk some more from Tony Kenny's earlier success.

1976: In October Chris Spedding teamed up with the Vibrators to record 'Pogo Dancing' and 'The Pose' and while they were at it, he played guitar on their first A-side 'We Vibrate.'

Pogo Dancing on Supersonic:

Chris Spedding also has numerous production credits, but I'm only listing the few that interest me at the moment.

1976: Chris produced some demos for the Sex Pistols in which he wanted to highlight the ability of the rhythm section, especially Matlock's bass. He felt that muddy recordings were used by poor musicians to cover their flaws, and that his goal for these demos was to prove that this band could actually play their instruments. The Sex Pistols and McLaren decided it was better to sound like they couldn't play their instruments, so the demos were rejected and only released on bootlegs.

1979: Chris produced some demos for 'The Cramps' but Lux and Ivy thought they sounded too polished, so they've only been released on bootlegs.

Another TV appearance:

Live version recorded Friday, March 13, 1981 at Trax in NYC and released on 'Friday The 13th' LP:

From a 1977 interview:
""I'd appreciate it if you played down the punk rock thing," he says mildly, looking at me out of the corners of his soft brown eyes. "I don't want people to think that I'm leaping onto a bandwagon, when I can stand on my own two feet."
SURPRISING words for someone whose latest claim to fame-or notoriety is his involvement with the Vibrators, one of the new wave bands. "Pogo Dancing," their single, is threatening the charts right now. So dammit all, Spedding, explain yourself.
"Well first of all the Vibrators aren't really a punk band anyway. They're too old for one thing - one of them is thirty-two.""


Ishmael United - If You Can't Shout Saved You'll Have To Face The Penalty - Kingsway Music - 1979

Ishmael is a bible character and is also the pun version of Ian Smale's name. Ian started out in Ian & Andy, the Andy being Andy Piercy of After The Fire, who also produced this record. I guess since the theme of this record in title and appearance is soccer, the band name he went with for this record is Ishmael United. The music on the record emulates punk here and there, but also has some ska and pop-rock. Apparently he also made another LP the same year as Rev Counta and the Speedoze and a solo 7" of a strange electronic version of 'The Glories,' which is done differently on the Ishmael United LP.


The Golant Pistons - Gorilla Suite - Rock Extra / Changing Seasons Of Rock - Selected Sound 9099 / ST 134 - 1982

It appears that the Golant Pistons included Tony Cox, Al Hodge, Bunk Dogger and a drummer credited as Foxy. My guess is that Tony Cox, who did some arrangements for UK records boss/convicted sex offender Jonathan King, was Bunk Dogger's connection to releasing his first (and best?) solo record. Bunk Dogger is also credited with playing guitar on a song on the Tone Deaf and the Idiots' Catastrophe Rock LP. He wrote all the songs on the 'Changing Seasons Of Rock' LP, and 'Gorilla Suite - Rock Extra' contains most of the same songs, with a few Cox numbers thrown in. Both were released on library music label Selected Sound. One song on both LPs is described on the back as 'fast heavy rock with electric guitar solo,' and is called Hunter Killer.

Most of the other songs on the records are rock revivalism, but synth-pop tune 'People In Advertisements' stands out.

Alan Feanch/Pierre Dutour - T.V Adventure - Crea Sound 46554 / Mondiophone MON 54 - 1980

Pierre Dutour is responsible for some interesting library music under that name as well as his Ted Atking alias, but the two versions of 'Fanatical Punk' found on this library record are far more utilitarian. At least the title track is good.