NEAR DEATH AT EMI
In which, following the fall-out from the Subs' split, the Harper-less remaining Subs set about getting a new band off the ground. Will they fly higher, will a wasted youth turn out to be a wasted adult? Despite a brief happy break as a Dog, our narrator narrowly avoids seeing his life go down the pan...
The above may be a morbidly captivating chapter title but I can assure you it is entirely factual and we will get to the specifics of this close call with my mortal demise in good time. Meanwhile…
After my abrupt and unplanned exodus along with Nicky Garratt and Kim Wylie from the now Charlie-centric U.K. Subs I took stock of my options and tried to get my head around the fact that my life was about to alter in ways that were looking, for the short term at least, fairly negative. Like Martin Sheen at the commencement of the film ‘Apocalypse Now’, I quickly became ensnared in the purgatory of inaction and concluded I had to get back to playing music even if it meant claiming unemployment benefit short term to contribute my share of the rent, food, and to help cover the various bills that arrived incessantly in brown envelopes in the post. This, I determined, would only be a temporary measure until paying my way through earning as a professional musician resumed.
To advance getting back to that desirable position earlier rather than later, I got together with Nicky Garratt and Kim Wylie at the Ship public house in London’s Wardour Street and there, at my beer-scented office from home, suggested starting up a new band together. Nicky was enthusiastic about the potential of this collaboration between us ex-Subs and said he knew of a talented singer who had also recently extracted himself from a band I knew next to nothing about called Wasted Youth.
Not to be confused with the hardcore Punk band with the same name from Los Angeles, this British-based Wasted Youth had a far more gothic and measured sound than their Californian namesakes. Comprising of guitarist Rocco Barker (soon to join the group Flesh for Lulu with Nick Marsh); Darren Murphy, bass: Nick Nicole, synth; Andy Scott on drums, and Andy’s brother Ken, who had been Youth’s lead vocalist and the man Garratt had been referring to as a potential frontman for our fledgling group, this stylish collection of musicians had enterprisingly managed to release four albums and several singles on the Bridgehouse record label between the years 1979 to 1982.