l
l
l
JT'S SCRAPBOOK: #1

 

1977
Shock Treatment was my first real band (ie: we played for people). Below we are playing Birmingham Rebecca's. On this stage I saw the Heartbreakers, Adam and the Ants, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Police. I doubt if my guitar had six strings.

________________________________________________________________

 

l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l

1978

Duran Duran's first public performance was in the Lecture Theatre at Birmingham Polytechnic, where Steven Duffy and myself were at college. We played as a three piece, Steve on bass and vocals, Nick on keyboards and drum machine, and myself on guitar. We got to experiment a little with photographs, which I would process in a basic way on the school xerox machine. Next time we played we had added Simon Colley on clarinet and also bass. We played several times around town. These photographs, I think, are from the Hexagon Theatre, although they could be at Barbarellas. The Arts Lab gig never happened.

l
l
l

l
l
l

l
l
l
l

l
l
l
1979

1979 was a disconnected year. Duran would get deconstructed and reconstructed several times over, improving every time. Dufait and Colley had shoved off to form the Subterranean Hawks with David Twist (the singer in Shock Treatment), and the guitarist from TV Eye, a Birmingham band of some legend. In a form of musical chairs, Nick and I joined up with TV Eye's singer Andrew Wickett, and started rehearsing hard at Andy's squat in Cheapside. What a slum! Duran rehearsed upstairs, and the Hawks downstairs. I began playing bass seriously now, having discovered disco and Bernard Edwards' playing. The Hawks would mock us for playing disco, they considered themselves authentic holders of the 'real rock' flame, in the Rolling Stones' tradition, and one night, in a scene worthy of Stephen King, we arrived to find the words "disco sucks" daubed on our door in gruesome red paint.

With Andy Wickett and now Roger Taylor, who I had seen playing drums at Barbarella's, and considered way advanced musically, we cut our first demo tapes with producer Bob Lamb. Me playing bass and guitar. Bob recorded UB40's first album in his living room studio and was a very important influence on all the hipper local talent at this time. We cut "Girls on Film" and "See Me, Repeat Me", which eventually became "Rio".

We found Alan Curtis, a guitar player from London, who had played with London's Pride. Alan brought a London cool to our set-up. We played once or twice, notably at the University one night, when the crowd threw everything they could at us, covering us in tomato ketchup. Andy Wickett then left. Roger suggested we replace him with Jeff Thomas from Scent Organs, and again we made demos and started playing live. Jeff had a very esoteric writing style and a demeanor not unlike Bono. His songs had titles like "Enigmatic Swimmers". In his hands, "See Me, Repeat Me" became "Ami A Go Go". Jeff had a van, and Alan allowed us the use of his flat for practice (man, that was a long drive from Hollywood). Nick and I made a couple of forays to London, taking our tapes to A&R departments and got absolutely no interest. Still, we continued to grow and develop a musical direction. In January 1980 we played Aston University with Fashion.

I guess Nick and I first walked into the Rum Runner around this time. Paul Berrow and Nick and I took and instant liking to each other, and started making big plans. There were two drawbacks: Straight away Alan Curtis skipped town thinking getting involved with two nightclub owners meant he would end up in pieces down a city alleyway. Then Jeff Thomas and Paul Berrow butted heads, and we decided to look for yet another singer. I remember being at Hawkins Wine Bar one Friday evening talking to George O'Dowd. Someone overheard me talking about my band and asked what the band was called. To my reply he responded, "Duran Duran.... are they still going?" On the local level, cynicism abounds. We were a year away from releasing our first record.

l
l
l
l
l
l
JAN. 1980

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


l
l
l
l

more scrapbook