Old Age Punk: Charlie's still rocking it at 71
PUNK pensioner Charlie Harper has vowed to keep on rocking at the age of 71.
By Isobel Dickinson / Published 28th June 2015
Charlie Harper STILL ROCKING: Charlie Harper [GLENN GRATTON]
Refers to 2 photos above
The veteran is happier on stage belting out protest anthems than at the bowls or bingo.
The UK Subs frontman and his band have clocked up 38 years in the music business. And the grandad of six – who plays 200 shows a year – has no plans to slow down.
He said: “I love the shows and still get as much of a thrill now as I did 40 years ago.
“I live and breathe it – and we love the fans – that’s what keeps us going.” But he admits the bands’ afterparties aren’t what they used to be.
Charlie said: “We’ve certainly had some hell-raising moments over the years. We’ve been thrown off planes, trains, out of hotels and God knows what else.
“Once the drummer got arrested after throwing himself on the baggage carousel at an airport.
“He refused to get off and just kept going round and round. The cops eventually came and hauled him off.
“Another time we got a gun held to our heads at a club in New York.
“One of the group persuaded the manager’s wife to get her boobs out. He didn’t see the funny side.
“Things are a bit tamer these days. We still like a drink but it’s more sharing a few bottles of wine and chatting about the gig.”
The old-school rocker, who started out as a hairdresser, turned 71 in May but says little has changed over the years – apart from his hair.
He kissed goodbye to his bright green mohawk after becoming a grandad but says his grandson preferred his punk do.
He said: “I loved my green hair and sometimes I’d have stripes running through it.
“When my first grandchild was born I thought I should tone it down, so I decided to dye it blond.
“But it turns out, after all, that he preferred it green.”
UK Subs were one of the original British punk bands, releasing more than 80 records.
But Charlie, from Seaford, near Brighton, who appeared on Top Of The Pops twice in the 1970s, said they had never been fussed about fame.
He added: “We would rather be infamous than famous.”
They can still be found gigging everywhere from Japan to the US West Coast and will play at punk festival Rebellion in Blackpool in August.
Thousands of fans are expected to attend the four-day gig which also includes Buzzcocks and Sham 69.