Floratina has threatened to dust off the blog. We all think that as do our astonishing army of ooh half a reader (Motorhead - "Lemmy visits the box" sometimes even the dizzy heights of two readers, "John Rotten visits the box"). I reason that ALL have to have a rest from the ole; Myspace, Yahoo, CNN news,
Welcome back to Chriswasanon. Still the only real source outside of www.sex-pistols net for quality transcriptions of ye olde radio show, Ye Jonesy's Jukeboxxe on ye Indie 103.1 fm cranky olde wireless valve radiogramme stationne.
More and yet more shows have been bolted on to the Sex Pistols "Holidays in the Sun 2007" tour, including a "10th caller you've won a ticket" show at the Roxy club venue. That one sounds like it could be a sort of LA. SPOTS gig. John Rotten thought so too. This machine decided to take a header down the Internet stairs the day the www.JohnLydon.com website link to www.seetickets.com was open. Ack! I eventually got on. Now all that remains is to...wait. I'm off to Manchester Inshallah! Sing: "We're the Pistols, no one likes us and we don't care..."
Yes, I wish that I was going to old London Town for Ane Brixton Academy Gigge but the Manchester Evening News venue is only just down the road from Wigtun, in Galloway. Speaking of Wigtown (briefly,) another circus is back in town. It's the Ninth Annual Scottish National Book Town Festival. There's a massive marquee parked in the square. Media types, loads of cops...Dr Ian Paisley...
Anyway. CwA! would like to advise you that if you are in any sort of a position financially or geographically to get yourself a ticket for a Sex Pistols 2007 , gig, why haver and swither and dither you dipstick? Do yourself a favour! BUY A TICKET.
Ah what do we have here? Well Missus, it's Rat Scabies visits the box. August the 8th 2005. Put your minds, eyeballs and earoles back over two 2 years. It's August 8th 2005. Courtesy of my good friend Mr. MM. Some vintage jukebox. Rat Scabies is guesting, Chairman Steve Jones presiding. Ably assisted by the Very Able Mark Sovel (Shovel) the staion engineer, though he does appear to be having some trouble keeping a straight face. Seems like a hot day outside in LA...
Steve: You’re listenin’ to Jonesy’s Jukebox on Indie 103.1 on a lovely beautiful California day, 105 degrees, with a North Westerly, Santa Anna, Fontana, blowin’ in with bandanas...all over the manor. Yeeeeah! What was I goin’ to say? What is a porthole?
Mr. S: A what?
Mr. S: Portal.
Steve: (US. Accent) Portal!
Mr. S: Portal or porthole? There’s two different things.
Steve: There’s space…hole.
Mr. S: Portal.
Steve: Yeah, what is that?
Mr. S: In space?
Steve: Well what is it? You go through it and you go somewhere…
Mr. S: Yeah it’s like a doorway.
Steve: A doorway, what does it mean though really?
Mr. S: It’s a doorway.
Steve: What like there? If I go out there, that’s a porthole?
Mr S: A portal into the…
Steve: A portal into the next millennium.
Mr S: Into the…hallway!
Steve: Right but what is it? Is it something that really exists or is it, made up? When you go through space, you go through a certain place and is that a porthole?
Mr S: Well in Science-Fiction movies it’s a portal, I mean we go through a little…
Steve: So it’s just a fantasy word. It’s not a real word then?
Mr S: Yeah it’s a real word, but it depends how you use it, if it’s in space - that’s a fantasy.
Steve: OK. if it was for real how would it be used? Explain to me how you would use it.
Mr S: Mmm. That doorway is the portal into the hallway.
Steve: OK. (Strumming guitar) I see I’m getting’ nowhere with you Mr. Shovel.
Mr S: But if you’re in space, you’re lookin’ for some kinda wormhole.
Steve: So it’s nothin’…it’s not really…it’s some some flash word, like a New-Age word for goin’ through a bleedin’ door then?
Mr. S: Why are you askin’ anyway?
Steve: Cos I was thinkin’ I saw it somewhere and I’ve heard about it for a long time and a port’ole is a toilet right? Like a portable toilet?
Mr S: Mmm, (Laughs quietly). (Spacey accent) You’re talkin’ about a portal into another dimension, it that what you’re…?
Steve: Yeah, into another toilet. Yeah that’s it, a portal into another dimension. Do you ever see Dr. Who? When he used to go into that box and, they should have one for one of them portable toilets. That’d be the new Dr. Who instead of that police phone box that they used to use. In one of them you know – outside building sites? Like a portable toilet? That’s where I’d want my porthole, yeeeeah.
DR WHO disappears into a space-time continum portal.
Steve: And we’re waiting for our guest today, I’m sure he’ll arrive…
Mr. S: He’s about to come through the portal.
Steve: Oh is he outside?
Mr S: Yes.
Steve: Rat Scabies is comin’ through the porthole? Lets play a few songs and by the time they’re finished Mr. Scabies will be here in the hole of many ports, take it away Mr. Shovel.
After a short set….
Steve: …And in the studio we have Mr. Rat Scabies! Hello Rat!
RS: Hi how are you doin’?
Steve: Jolly good. You’re real name is Chris Millar, right?
RS: It is.
Steve: Do you like to be called Chris or…
RS: At my time of life really it’s about if the other person can ‘andle it. Cos not everybodys happy calling me “Rat.” (indecipherable) Most people do but it’s whatever you’re comfortable with.
Steve: I only know you as Rat.
Steve: Chris Millar sounds almost like, “normal.”
RS: Well the thing is you see, when I first started getting called, “Rat” it was easy to imagine that it wouldn’t really last more than a few weeks and then I thought, “Then I’ll take up me proper musical career,” you know.
Steve: Right. So did someone else give you that name?
RS: Yeah it was ummm, I dunno who it was whether it was Mick or Tony cos it was that whole London SS. thing I don’t know if you remember that?
Steve: Yeah Mick Jones used to come down with us and he had his long hair and the spandex. (Check www.myspace/sexjones in Steve’s pics for a picture of the early Clash).
RS: He used to look like Mott the Hoople.
Steve: Johnny Thunders he looked like from the Dolls, kind of like that.
Steve: Yeah Mott the Hoople.
RS: Kind of long hair and leather trousers and scarves and all that.
RS: And him and Tony well they were the same weren’t they really, they both had the same look going and they had this well they were tryin’ to put a band together I suppose which was the London SS. And they had, Brian Jones was playin’ the guitar and I had scabies at the time, I was…
Steve: You had scabies?
RS: Yeah. Which is a small cuddly affectionate mite that lives underneath the skin which you can’t see.
Steve: Do you know how you got it?
RS: Er shakin hands with someone - particularly - you know. (Sounds like a very heavy infestation).
RS: It’s not an STD (Sexually transmitted disease) or anything like that no it’s just…
Steve: So you had no idea where you got it from?
RS: It suddenly hit and that was it. And I was itchin’ and it had all turned septic cos I couldn’t get rid of it and I kept scratchin’ and they:
“What’s wrong with you?”
“I’ve got scabies.”
RS: And I think it was a rather spiteful Tony who said that he thought I looked like a rat while I was playin’ so the moniker got thrown on me there and then really.
Steve: Well then…then you did milk that look. The “Rat” look.
RS: Well yeah, I did my best to be as rodent-like as possible really, I you know (makes smacking sound with lips and teeth imitating a rat).
Steve: (Laughs). Excellent. Oh it’s the same with Rotten. Johnny Rotten got his name because I said his teeth was all bad, they were like “Rotten…”
Steve: And that kind of stuff. It wasn’t no big, you know, let’s sit down and think of names for ourselves…
RS: It’s a London thing really cos you know rememberin’ long names like Lee and Luke is a bit much, innit? Same with Johnny.
Steve: Right. Pete…
RS: Yeah so you know . It’s easier to…it’s an easier way to identify people. Plus it was the dole (Unemployment Benefit) an’ all you know like, cos if you was “Rat Scabies” you weren’t Chris Millar. So you could go and sign-on and still get yer Giro. (Benefit for claimants was paid through the Post Office Girobank cheques system then, cashed at a designated Post Office. Signing on meant signing a piece of paper stating that you had been, “unemployed…and able to do any work but unable to get any,” or something.)
Steve: Excellent, so that song we just played, “Morning bird,” that kind of disco-ey. It says on here, “The Damned,” but you never remember – do you find anything…
RS: That definitely isn’t me.
Steve: ‘Old on. Yeak OK. I’m readin’ the paperwork, it’s off of "Velvet Tin mine" CD. A best of which has got a lot of Glam stuff on it so I’m just readin’’ere a bit about. It says The Damned. (Steve reads off the sleeve notes)…” The mysterious Damned were likely to be one of Mikey Dallion’s? session men…confessions. As the single was released on Young Blood label, its naggin’ riff was half-inched – that means its pinched – from Geordies, “All because of You.” But “Morning Bird” has a Chicory Tip-like appeal. Well they still don’t say…is it the Damned here do you know? That’s weird. I think there’s a lawsuit there mate.
RS: I think there is.
Steve: All 10 copies that were sold, I think you might…
RS: …Reach for my lawyer and go for me 25 cents.
Steve: Yeah I think you might get it. I think you got a strong case there. Usin’ the Damned name and it ain’t even the Damned. So what’s goin’ on wi you, do you er…do you talk to the lads or is that turmoil?
RS: Er. No I did a bit of playin’ wi Bryan the other day.
Steve: Bryan James?
Steve: That was one of the big questions, whatever happened to Brian James?
RS: He’s livin’ down in Brighton, sorta quite ‘appily…
Steve: He’s not broke?
RS: I wouldn’t say he was well-off. But he’s down there in East…There’s a bit of a scene down there with a studio and he does some production and a bit of playin’ ‘ere and there.
Steve: In Brighton?
Steve: A lot of people have moved down there.
RS: Well it’s near to London innit, it’s like…the nearest sea point…
Steve: It’s an hour innit on the M1. (Motorway or Freeway, Autostrada, Autobahn etc)
RS: Yeah not even that, down the A23, you’re there.
Steve: A23 on the…
RS: Train to Victoria. (Victoria rail station in London)
Steve: On a Bonneville. (Triumph Bonneville motorcycle) ‘Undred miles an hour…
Image of a '71 Bonny swiped from www.vintagebike.co.uk
Steve: Er..is he er? What kind of stuff you playin’ like ‘ard rock or…
RS: It’s a new project… I’ve just been asked to do it, somebody just wanted to try their arm (Have a go) at singing really and wanted someone who could play a loud guitar and that, so we got…I got Brian to do it and then we got someone else you might know…Do you remember the Heavy Metal Kids? Ronny Tomas, the bass player from them. He’s livin’ down in Brighton as well so I thought we’d make a day of it by the sea-side and put down a bit of a track.
The Heavy Metal Kids.
Steve: Take yer buckets and spades.
RS: Yeah exactly.
Steve: I play him all the time, Heavy Metal kids, all the time.
RS: Oh, well they did an album a little while ago didn’t they. You sent me a copy of it.
Steve: No that ain’t the same, no I like the old stuff. I got to say.
RS: Well the first album has got some brilliant stuff on it, like, “We got to go and…”
RS: Some classic stuff on it but and then…I dunno, they – it was a bit unfortunate cos I suppose we turned up and they were just decidin’ to go into Prog Rock and opera weren’t it?
RS: Yeah and they made the wrong album at the wrong time but “Kitsch” did have a few good tunes on it as well though even though it was rotten. It had, didn’t it have, “She’s no Angel,” wasn’t that one of the songs on it?
Steve: Well that’s on the first album too.
RS: No, no, no that’s later.
Steve: It is?
RS: Yeah now the very first album they did didn’t have any of the sort of like the “Crisis,” “ “The cops are coming.” That was like the second one I think. But the first one was definitely, it was just like more normal songs and like a lot of Reggae things they had on it.
Steve: Well they had that one kind of Reggae thing…
RS: “Run around eyes.”
Steve: I’m tryin’ to think of a play…the list on that first album. Awww but I play it all the time, don’t I Shovel? Tell ‘im.
Mr. S. Yeah.
RS: Well I believe yer, I don’t have no reason to…
Steve: It’s really hard to get hold of, not many people know about it.
RS: It’s not on CD.
Steve: I know this person. I knew made it all fancy to look like it was a proper CD, got the Art work and everything…
RS: Oh right.
Steve: Yeah but on that one they just knocked out, they put a lot of it on there too.
RS: Er yeah, I suppose…why not.
Steve: But they were a great band. I used to see them down the er..Grey…um…
RS: Well they used to play everywhere, didn’t they the Marquee and the Grey’ound.
Steve: No er, place in Fulham though, the Grey’ound.
RS: The Grey’ound, yeah they was always on there. I used to love ‘em, I thought they were great cos at the time you know, that pubrock thing was…there was quite a lot of energy and aggression in it, like the Feelgoods, Lee Brilleaux was sort of quite frightening when he’d be singin’ an that.
Steve: He was great to watch, yeah.
RS: Yeah they were really good and the Heavy Metal Kids were entertainment and they were sort of…in a way he was a bit rebellious when he’d do all that sort of biker thing with the chain and some of the little stories and that.
Steve: Right. Theatrical weren’t it?
RS: It was! And then I think really when we turned up they were sort of a bit of an influence. It was what we wanted to do. But really we were the real thing rather than sort of pretendin’
Steve: Well they were playin’ they were actin’ it, yeah.
RS: They were pretendin’ to be the part and we were sort of there goin, “Oooh, I can do that.”
Steve: But it was still good though, I’d still rather watch them than…watch some blokes wearin’ cardigans,. Know what I mean?
RS: I think yeah absolutely.
Steve: Excellent, we’re gonna visit the Duke. We’re here with Rat Scabies or if you like, Chris Millar and (Sound of cell phone going off). I think I have a football result, one second please. Yes it’s 2 nil. Chelsea are beatin’ West Bromwich Albion. We’re gonna visit the Duke. Thanks for listenin’
A sound sample that sounded as if it came from a Carry on film played? Charles Hawtrey and Terry Scott could be heard. They return after an advertising break.
Steve: You’re listenin’ to Jonesy’s Jukebox on Indie 103.1 with my guest, Chris Millar.
Steve: Hello Chris.
Steve: AKA. Johnny Rotten.
RS: You wanker Jonesy. (Both laugh).
Steve: Rat Scabies. Hello Rat.
Steve: What was I going to say, um…you got a book out?
RS: I ‘ave.
Steve: What’s it about then?
RS: It’s about um, well it’s about me followin’ up this story of a priest who was…
Steve: A priest?
RS: A priest well he had nothing, found some hidden coded parchments, went and got ‘em decoded and then went back to the village (Rennes-le-Château)and was like a multi-millionaire. And decorated the church and bought most of the village that it was in. And like fixed the whole place up and just like had more money than you could shake a stick at and did like over the doorway of the church he decorated it really weird. And so over the doorway it says like, “this place is terrible.” And he goes through a door and there’s like a big statue of a devil there. The whole thing is like (Steve’s cell phone bleeps) this priest had millions and millions. And nobody knew where he’d got it stashed or where it was comin’ from. All of the inside of the church is decorated with clues as to where the gold was hidden that he was gettin’ and usin’for this like treatin’ the village and buildin’ roads and water towers and. It’s just the story was really brilliant and in the end the priest got excommunicated by his bishop and then got re-instated by Rome. So there’s this whole sort of story and background that you know…It’s like secret societies, freemasons, The Holy Grail. It all kind of stems from this one small village in France where this priest was so. I’ve always been involved in it cos of me Dad - he’s a big sort of authority on the subject so I’ve sort of grown up with it. So a few years ago I just, a couple of years back I started gettin’ a mate of mine who lived over the road sort of drawn into the story a bit and then we just started goin’ down there an’ lookin’ in old churches and castles for…
Steve: It’s a real story?
RS: Oh yeah it’s all true. So he wrote it all up and turned it into a book about the sort of the adventures that we had, lookin’ for the loot really.
Steve: Oh so you went lookin’ for it?
RS: Well as much as we could yeah…
Steve: Did you find anythin’?
RS: Nuffink, not a sausage.
Steve: Not even a coin.
RS: Well we did find a lot of other things though like um…it’s a bit like lookin’ is more fun than findin’. Like goin’ down into secret tunnels and rooms in the churches.
RS: Well yeah that the priest hid. It’s like there’s this one part you go into the church and you open the cupboard door and then you pull the back of the cupboard out and then you’re in this like room.
Steve: So it’s all dodgy like little…?
RS: Oh absolutely, yeah so there’s all sorts of things goin’ on and then you…
Steve: Any young boys buried anywhere with their bums sore or anything like that…?
RS: Well. Almost certainly at some point but it’s…
Steve: Guarantee, yeah? (Both laugh).
RS: “I feel an annointin’ comin’ on.”
Steve: Excellent. Well how can we get ‘old of this book then?
RS: It’s out everywhere now. I think it’s over here. It’s called um…
Steve: What company?
RS: “Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail.” I think it’s on Thundermouth Press. (Thunders mouth)
Steve: “Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail.” (Laughs).
RS: That’s the one!
Steve: And it’s on what company?
RS: I think it’s Thundermouth Press in America.
Steve: Thundermouth Press and you can get it anywhere?
RS: On Amazon…all the…have got it and all the, I guess the bookstores have got it. I haven’t been lookin’ for it though, I’m on ‘oliday so.
Steve: I’m gonna look for it, is there any pictures in it?
Steve: No pictures! Forget it then!
RS: There’s a sketchy map at the beginnin’.
Steve: Forget it! I need pictures!
RS: But there’s quite big print! It’s not ‘ard…
Steve: So you can run yer finger along it when yer readin’ it…
RS: Yeah it’s not dauntin’ to read you know it’s…simple.
Steve: Is there a hardback?
RS: Errr, no they didn’t do one of them, they just did a big paperback instead.
Steve: What does that mean?
RS: Well it’s not a hardback.
Steve: But what does that mean? I’m not sure.
Click! pic for bigge
RS: Well…you know what a ‘ardback is don’t ya?
Steve: A book has paper and on the outside there’s two other bits that hold it all together. (The earliest books as we would recognize them had wooden covers. In bookselling terms front covers to hard back books are referred to as, “boards.”)
RS: The cover! The cover! That’s the one! That’s the one!
RS: That’s the back as we’re talkin’ at the moment and if it’s an ‘ard back, it’s ‘ard. (Thumps Studio desk loudly, general laughter from Rat, Steve and Mark Sovel).
Steve: So paperback is just, like, no, no hard bits?
RS: Yeah well it’s flexible paper, it’s usually slightly thicker, than the insides…Is he alright down here? (Mr. Shovel has lost control and is presumably laughing on his knees on the floor).
Steve: Havin’ a baby over ‘ere, Shovel, look! (Authoritative British Naval Officer type accent) Shovel come on, get up! Man the station Shovel! Ah well, I’m kind of clear, little bit.
Click! pic for bigge!
MS: Not a lot of reading’ goin’ on.
Steve: I’m gonna get ‘old of that. I wish you’d have put some pictures of the church or something in it.
RS: Yeah well there’s quite a lot like that out there already, so…yeah. But we really… it was ‘ard enough with a pen, let alone avin’a camera an’ all. (also)
Steve: I guess you didn’t do a lot of the writin’ down, your mate did?
RS: No! Well….yeah…you’re right, I didn’t write anythink. (More giggling in studio).
Steve: Have you ever thought of doin – why is that funny? Have you ever thought about doin’ a, autobiography?
RS: Yeah, I thought about it, then I realised I haven’t really done anything!
Steve: Well you did this mate! It was one of the best so called- punk songs ever, "New Rose." Can you tell us a little bit about that, when you did it. You did it with Nick Lowe, right?
RS: Yeah, um in um a little Pathway studio down in Islington, eight tracks. Dunno well we went and did it in a day really.
Steve: Had you ever been in a studio before that?
Steve: Never been in the studio?
Steve: You went in there…he said, “set yer gear up over there…”
Steve: And how many takes was it, do you remember?
RS: No…I…um I think it was probably more than two.
RS: I would say. We were done in an hour though. It wasn’t like a lot of…
Steve: You done the track in an hour?
Steve: There’s a couple of overdubs on it.
RS: Yeah I think Bryan put another guitar and then they messed about with the singin’ for a bit, cos they do, don’t they? But I was done really, I was down the pub by the time it was…you know…
Steve: What did you think of it when you heard it finished?
RS: I thought it sounded brilliant! It was really like…
Steve: It’s great though.
RS: It was loud…I just sort of went in and I thought, “studios are brilliant cos everything just sounds fantastic!” Then it was like, there was like a proper rush cos I’d never really heard music at high volume through a good system…
RS: …Cos like everything at home was Dansettes and that… so (“Dansette,” A close and play type mono reproduction record player) and that so to suddenly be with big speakers and it was loud and ‘earing all these cymbals and it was, yeah it was on and…
Steve: Well it’s a great drum track, the whole track is great, one of my favourites…
RS: Yeah our band was, I think the thing with the Damned was that everybody was convinced they were the best one in the group. It was sort of like having four winners all at the same time and everybody is, you know and…So I think there was always a lot of energy put into individual performances cos like the Captain on this, his bass playing is like brilliant!
Steve: Yeah he’s a much better bass player than he is a guitar player.
RS: I have to say, I agree and I know there’s some people that wont go along with that…
Steve: Well they’re fools and imbeciles and jackanapes and don’t know nothing.
RS: Pass me another glass of claret.
Steve: Well let’s hear it anyway. New Rose. We’re here with Chris Millar, the drummer in the Damned and this is New Rose. Take it away….
LEAVING JUST ONE, REPEAT ONE COMMENT OR A MESSAGE IN THE CHAT BOX (Find it) WILL RESULT IN YET MORE OF THIS GREAT SHOW BEING GIVEN THE TRANSCRIPTION TREATMENT.
Part two of this interview is here and the final part is here
To be continued….probly…