Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rat Scabies or Chris Millar visits the box. part 2

My God was it really that long ago?

Welcome back to Chriswasanon, the No 1. sporadic force for transcriptions when the tapes can be had when with quality max renderings of that ancient and now deceased unique Californian musical institution, Jonesy’s Jukebox on the Indie 103.1 station we rewind the very best bits of the old rusting box in the corner now forgotten (sob). Last time we left our one comatose reader, Rat Scabies was saying this:

“Pass me another glass of claret.”
And Steve was saying this:

"... New Rose.We’re here with Chris Millar, the drummer in the Damned and this is New Rose. Take it away…."

Did I tell you about the 30th anniversary edition of NMTB? Get one, get the poster, frame it, vacuum it, settle the needle on the stylus and enjoy. Did I?

I think that when I posted the first part of that Rat Interview that was happening...and this has weighed heavily with me but then when one receives a missive from the great man himself, one eventually gets one's finger aht and posts...

Part one of this interview is here, or you can scroll down.

So lets have at part two...

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….

Steve: You’re listenin’ to Jonesy’s Jukebox on Indie103.1 with my guest Rat Scabies.

RS: Hey, Hi.

Steve: Hi Rat. That was Status Quo and that was Paper Plane. Was you a fan of Status Quo?

Nice sleeve.

RS: Not publicly but…

Steve: You was a closet like me, yeah.

RS: Well they did fast songs that was…

Steve: You get ‘ung right if you’d ‘ave copped to what you really liked (“copped,” admitted)

RS: Oh yeah.

Steve: That’s what I say, I was a big fan of Boston but I couldn’t tell anybody.

RS: No well I never went that (ffff) underground. I weren’t that deep.

Steve There was no need for that (referring to Scabies almost saying the eff word) Who, was you a closet…was you a closet Quo fan then?

RS: No I used to well the thing is back then a band would make an album, there’d maybe one or two tracks on it that were sort of acceptable like. I think my biggest one is probably King Crimson, “21st Century Schizoid Man,” I think that’s…

Steve: Well that is way worse than Boston!

RS: Well…

Steve: That’s nothing to be proud of mate.

RS: I don’t know…I think I need some sort of support group for that.

Steve: King Crimson, who else? Give us another good one.

RS: I don’t know, no there weren’t that much. I used to like quite obscure things like I remember there was this one…

Steve: Harvest?

RS: No no it was nothin’ as bad as that but really I was sort of like a bit of an Who fan and…

Steve: Oh the Who that was acceptable, that was on the cusp of being acceptable.

RS: Well and Alex Harvey, there was a couple of Ten Years After tracks I liked. “Love like a man” was always a winner and a bit of Cream here and there but…

Steve: He was a great guitar player, old…

RS: Alvin Lee?

Steve: Alvin Lee, brilliant guitar player. That’s my favourite on Woodstock that ‘im doin’ Goin’ ‘Ome is my favourite out of all of the Woodstock, ‘im doin’ that, it’s brilliant.

RS: Yeah I think…I saw him play once at the Isle of Wight Festival, you know the big you know after Woodstock when they English thought they’d have a go?

Steve: Yeah. Yeah.

RS: And did that. I went to that.

Steve: Was Free..?

RS: Yeah Free was on it, like everyone was it Miles Davis, The Who, Hendrix it was. I was like um what fourteen.

Steve: What year was that?

RS: 72-73? (It was 1970. Hendrix died soon after). I was there lookin’ after an ‘ot dog stall while Jimi Hendrix played.

Whilst Hendrix played, Rat flogged zer hot dogs...

Steve: Was yer?

RS: Yeah

Steve: Excellent.

RS: The Good old days, it was nice.

Steve: We gotta visit the Duke we’ll be right back with some more wonderful stories from Chris Millar, the author. Thanks for listening.

They return.

Steve: Belching. Pardon! Jonesy’s Jukebox on Indie 103.1 with my guest Rat Scabies, the author, drummer and er…

RS: Grail hunter!

Steve: And Grail Hunter and thief of old antiquities. You was on the Anarchy Tour, right?

RS: Yeah!

The much reproduced poster of one of those cancelled dates on the Anarchy Tour...

Steve: Who was on that? There was the Pistols, there was Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers and Clash..

RS: And us. The Damned.

Steve: That was it, there weren’t no one else?

RS: No.

Steve: Do you remember gettin’ on the bus at Shaftesbury Avenue? No at round the corner from Denmark Street, didn’t we all get on the bus there?

RS: No we weren’t travellin’ with you lot.

Steve: Oh!

RS: We was in a van. On our own. Lonely.

Steve: Why was that then, why did that happen?

RS: Well…I don’t know. I think there was all this between Malcolm and Jake. I don’t think they really liked each other very much.

Steve: Oh, Jake was your manager?

RS: Jake Riviera and I think that…

Steve: That’s a dodgy name though innit?

RS: Malcolm Mclaren? Eh? Huh.. Well that’s even more stable and reliable isn’t it?

Steve: (Loudly in a pushy salesman-type voice) Hi Jake Riviera, nice to meet you!

RS: At least you know you can’t trust ‘im.

Both laugh.

Steve: Well everyone knows Malcolm.

RS: Yeah but I think that was the things really they were sort of at each other and I think they saw the two bands (Sex Pistols and Damned) as a threat or whatever and I think, you know.

Steve: It was pretty crowded on that bus though…

RS: It was, in fact we was probably better off in the van really.

Steve: Yeah.

RS: But I think it was the money thing really. Cos we were really quite jealous of you lot, we never said that but you had this nice luxury bus and stayin’ in Holiday Inns…

Steve: Well…

RS: …and we’re sittin’ on a mattress on the top of the bass cabinet goin’ to Mrs. Bun’s guesthouse down in Rotherham, you know. It weren’t quite the sort of luxury Rock ‘n’ Roll style that I, you know…life-style I was expectin’.

Steve: Yeah but…

RS: (Both talk at once) But none the less, I , we did do the one show though which was the only one we did with that poster line-up.

Steve: Which one?

RS: In Leeds it was weren’t it?

Steve: Was that the first night?

RS: No it weren’t cos I, as I recollect there was quite a lot cancelled (laughs) left, right and centre..

Steve: Cos of the Bill Grundy show.

RS: Well yeah, the first one was like Norwich or somewhere silly like that (University of East Anglia Student’s Union).

Steve: I don’t even remember.

RS: Yeah, well I been researching it for a film script I’m workin’ on.

Steve: Doin’ another book about the Anarchy Tour?

RS: No I’m…a film about the Anarchy Tour is what I’m tryin’ to write at the moment.

Steve: Oh yeah.

RS: What I’m workin’ on…But yeah that one night though yeah, I think that was the best I ever saw the Pistols cos I…I did see you quite a lot you remember I used to go to St Albans Art College.

Steve: That was really early weren’t it?.

RS: That was…

Steve: …not even a stage.

RS: No, no.

Steve: We all looked like we were like twelve years old. I saw some pictures from that actually at St. Albans, that was incredible.

RS: I know, I know, what were they afraid of?

Steve: I know, exactly.

RS: It’s quite, quite surreal now. But that one night on the Anarchy Tour the band was brilliant cos I remember. The audience was horrible cos it was like mostly journalists and football hooligans and skinheads cos there weren’t many punks around really at that point. But I just remember that because like all the bands were really on it. It was a bit like race ‘orses bein’ ‘eld back. Waitin’ to…you know?

Steve: Play, yeah.

RS: “You can play you’re gonna play tonight.” and then we’d get there and then everything. the gear would be in and then it would be: “No sorry lads, you’re not actually gonna plug that guitar in anywhere. You gotta go ‘ome instead.”

Steve: Yeah that was a weird old thing that, the cancellin’ thing and I think McLaren revelled in it cos it was all publicity but…

RS: Do you think he did?
You know I tend to suspect he just didn’t know what to do.

Steve: Yeah, I don’t know. (CwA has wondered over this for a long time. Is MM an evil Svengali?)

Very early and rare Sex Pistols gig poster , created by Malcolm?

RS: Cos he weren’t ‘appy about the Grundy show, was he?

Steve: Not..oh originally.

RS: He told old (cos we were rehearsin’) an’ he was tellin’ the whole of the Sex Pistols off in no uncertain terms that they’d blown their career…

Steve: …until he saw the pape rs the next day and then (Proclaims proudly in Mclaren- type voice)
I invented the Bill Grundy show.

RS: And you know why you got that Bill Grundy show…

Steve: Queen…

RS: Cos Freddie Mercury had to go to the dentist.

Steve: Well he has got a lot of teeth.

RS: And well you can see and…um…(laughs thinking of taking FM’s teeth further into more risque realms) um I’m stoppin’ right there!

Steve: Poor dentist, he had a hammer and chisel. God bless ‘im.

RS: God rest his soul.

Steve: Great performer.

RS: If it hadn’t of been for Freddie’s toothache…

Steve: We would never have sworn on tv.

RS: You would never have sworn on telly.

Steve: What did you think of it, did you actually see it live?

RS: No I was, do you know what we was waitin’ for you lot in some draughty hall to turn up for rehearsal.

Steve: That’s right, in Kilburn right?

RS: In Kilburn and I was sittin’ there freezin’ me bollocks off – didn’t know what was goin’ on, you come in with Malcolm shoutin’ at you and the next day I was getting’ the bus to go and meet up with ? for the tour and you was everywhere. Half of…aside no! Ugh and then bein’…but the knock-on effect was really terrible cos it was like everyone ‘ated the Sex Pistols but anybody with spiky ‘air’d do (would do).

Steve: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

The Sex Pistols did not just invent dissent during the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations of 1977 in the UK. as this contemporary badge or pin shows.

RS: I remember on Jubilee day in England it was so terrible, England cos you had this huge wave of patriotism and street parties and Union Jacks and pictures of the Queen everywhere but if you ‘ad spiky ‘air and parallel jeans you know it was like the whole country was likely to give you a good kickin’.

Steve: Yeah, ‘specially the Teddy Boys, they weren’t thrilled was they?

Rat: No

Steve: Most people actually.

Rat: No one was really thrilled, let’s…you know nobody liked us.

Steve: You was goin’ to tell a story about me and then you said


Rat: Was I?

Steve: Yeah, was it a disgustin’ story?

Rat: No.

Steve (To Sovel) Wasn’t he?

Sovel: Was it on the Anarchy tour?

Steve: On the road. On the Anarchy Tour?

Rat: I was only sayin’ about how good you were and great and marvellous and wonderful, it’s fantastic, I’m honoured to be here.

Steve. I thought you was (Groans) Ohhh.

Rat: You know I’m not worthy, its marvellous, your essence, it’s just…I’m gonna bottle the sweat and take it home with me.

Steve: You don’t have to do that, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, I’m goin’ to let you ‘ave some
right now. False alarm, sorry, false alarm…  To do with the WBA game?

All Laugh.

Steve: Um, I thought you was goin’ to say somethin’ like what I did like.

Rat: Well only, I remember when you ordered a lot of drinks in (?) do you remember that pub in Portobello Road we all used to go in on a Saturday afternoon?

Steve : Yeah, yeah.

Rat: We was all in there and you went in and said, “Nah it’s alright, they’re all on me lads.” Then you ordered up all these drinks and while you was orderin’ ‘em you was pissin’ up the bar which was…then to add insult to injury you got them all in and then said to the bloke, “An’ I want one of them off the top shelf,” an’ as he went round to get it…Pssssh you were gone. (Laughs).

Steve: Terrible.

Rat: That was the sort of person you were Steve.

Steve: Is that good?

Rat: Well I don’t know, do you think that’s the sort of thing we want to show the World?

Steve: Is it book-worthy?

Rat: Er…

Steve: Is it Grail-worthy?

Rat: No, it’s not, it’s not really is it?

Steve: OK. Was you ever a fan of the Faces?

Rat: Yeah.

Steve: You like the Faces? This is Rod Stewart’s solo album but it’s actually the Faces playin’ on this one track, it’s all the Faces. This is one of my favourite songs, it makes me fuzzy-wuzzy when I hear it, it’s called True Blue, take it away…

Steve plays some songs. God it’s been so long I’ve forgotten how to transcribe!!! They return:

Steve: You’re listenin’ to Jonesy’s Jukebox on Indie 103.1 with my guest Rat Scabies, that was Queen, “Keep Yourself Alive,” from their first album entitled: "Queen" before that was “Long Haired Lover From Liverpool,” by um…what’s his name?

Rat: Little Jimmy Osmond of course.

Steve: Jimmy Osmond. Don’t you want to punch is face in ‘earin that?

Rat: I did then, which probably, like ‘ow old would he be now? He’d probably kill me.

Steve: He’s probably bigger than me now.

Rat: Yeah probably but then he was an irritatin’ little tick.

Steve: And then we had the Rubettes, that was one of Rat’s choices, “I can do it.”

Rat: Mmm.

Steve: That was your favourite Rubettes song?

Rat: Yeah, I like the racket on that, went fast.

Steve: Very good.

Rat: Energy

Steve: Almost like a teddy boy song.

Rat: In a way, were they the teddy boy band?

Steve: No, they were the phoney ones, they were phoney teddy boys.

Rat: Who were the ones…?

Steve: They all ‘ad long ‘air and they put their long ‘air up under their caps

Rat: They ‘ad them big white caps they used to wear, that was the Rubettes, that was their image.

Steve That was there hook, there, you know I went to see ‘em, when I was in London, four years ago or five years ago, mebbe before the Crystal Palace thing and saw ‘em at the Hammersmith, no the London Palladium, it was the Rubettes, Alvin Stardust and Suzy Quatro.

Rat: Coo, top night out.

Steve: It was quite funny.

Rat: How was Suzy Quatro?

Steve: She wasn’t that good actually, I was quite disappointed but Alvin Stardust was on form.

Rat: Really? Did he ‘ave the black leather glove with the ring on the outside?

Steve No, he didn’t, he was more like not carin’ about.

Rat: Cos he was the original black leather rocker bloke, weren’t he?

Steve: Well you know he how that ‘appened, he dyed his barnet before he went on and all the dye was on his hands…

Rat: Yeah

Steve: So he put the leather glove over it and that’s how that started.

Rat: Oh, I didn’t know that.

Steve: See most good things start from accidents an’ he put the ring over it, apparently, that’s what I heard, it could be complete bollocks..But that’s what I ‘eard. from someone. Um then we had Rod Stewart from an album, "Never a Dull Moment," that was a song called "True Blue" and before that was "Status Quo." No I’ve all ready said them right? Status Quo ones. Um what was I going to talk to you about? You played with Donovan or something?

Rat: Yeah, I’ve just been out on tour with him.

Steve: What was that like?

Rat: He’s a really, really nice guy. I really like him.

Steve: Is he mellow?

Rat: Yeah.

Steve: Yellow?

Rat: Very. (Laughs) Gooh Oooh, tripped over by Jones. No he’s a real, he’s sort of, I dunno how he’s thought of in America but in England he’s a sort of iconic folkie you know the original wandering minstrel and he’s got a lot of respect and you know he made a lot of great records so I thought it’d be nice to do for a lot of reasons. One of them bein’ it was artistically challenging to play quietly and…

Steve: I bet.

Rat: And do a sort of folkie thing rather than …

Steve: Was you Chris Millar on that tour?

Rat: I started off as Chris Millar and then he found out who I was (laughs) and then

Steve: He wanted you to er?

Rat: Then I gradually became, turned back into Rat Scabies. But he was you know, he looked after me an ‘urdy gurdy man was nice and loud an…

Steve: Did he er, pay yer with good ducats?

Rat: Er again yes, the er, the gilt at the end of the tour is always welcome.

Steve: A purse of silver for my fine rat.

Rat: (Indistinct)

Steve: And then we’ll go down to the coast and look for dead vicars. um we’re gonna visit the Duke, your ‘ere with Rat Scabies, you’re listenin to Jonesy’s Jukebox on Indie 103.1, fanx for listenin’

They return

Steve: You’re listenin to Jonesy’s Jukebox on Indie 103.1, with my guest Rat Scabies. Do you still talk to any of the lads from The Damned…

Cover of the very first Ripped and Torn - ye olde famousse Scottish Fanzine...Bought in Glasgow at a venue back in the day.  Credit to Rab Wilson an excellent Scottish poet for giving me a loan of his copy so we could scan this pic in.

To be continued and there's not much left now either...the amount of time it has taken me to input this data has, really pissed me really pissed me off and wanting to possibly Smash something up!

1 comment:

shloemoe said...

Very good and commendable this all is. Although I haven't read this entire most recent installment, because I'm quite inebriated on this early morning after Halloween, I think we might get to revisit that old vibe we had from the indie days.