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    Sigue Sigue Sputnik

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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Up 4 It! lyrics
    2Sex Bomb Boogie (Tick Tock and Boom!) lyrics
    Atari Baby lyrics
    4Dancerama [12" Extended] lyrics
    5Rockit Miss U.S.A. lyrics
    621st Century Boy lyrics
    7Rio Rocks! lyrics
    8Rockit Miss USA [Sci Fi Sex Stars] lyrics
    9She's My Man (She Wolves of the S.S.S.) lyrics
    10Original Freekster lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    Flaunt It [1986]
    2Blak Elvis Vs. The Kings Of Electronic Rock And Roll [2002]
    3The First Generation [1990]
    4Ultra Real [2003]
    5Piratespace [2001]
    6Dress For Excess [1988]
    721st Century Boys: Singles [2001]


    It started in 1981... Generation X had disintegrated after the 3rd Album...

    Now I must admit, Billy had discovered the band Suicide before me and they were to become a big influence on Sputnik.. I remember him coming round to the apartment wearing rubber stockings and playing Frankie teardrop continually... but sadly we couldn't agree on the merits of dangerous drugs as a passport to credibility... Something that damages so much from work to your friendship.. it just left the 2 of us on different planets, and suddenly it was all over... Billy Idol left the band to write his solo album in New York.... so I was faced with the emptiness, this awful feeling of loss, like loosing some one so dear to you... the group had been my whole life for nearly 4 years and just like that it, was over and I was completely alone, no manager or record company...

    Gen X had been the only group I'd ever been in... there was a time in 1987, when we were recording the Kiss Me Deadly Album, when the band had been reduced to just me, Billy and drummer Terry Chimes that we had this mad idea - to merge Gen X and the Pistols.. we even rehearsed one day that week in Air studios.. 2 drummers, Chimes and Cook, me, Billy and Steve Jones... we played about 10 tracks, a mixture of Gen X and Pistols songs...now that had a big beat.. I guess it was one of those drink fuelled 'wouldn't it be great if kinda moments'....imagine the Ego nightmare!... it was contractually impossible too and everyone else involved from our record company to their manager freaked out, but it was a hell of a day..

    Billy moved to New York and I didn't see him for more than a year till out of the blue he called me up and came round!... he brought with him a white label 12" of a new track he'd just finished called "White Wedding" which was so great I was completely thrown...

    The Story of Sputnik started slowly as I knew I had to come up with something spectacular to compete with Billy!... I was living with Magenta Devine in those days ,who was then working as a publicist with Tony Brainsby.. she later went on to present the BBC2 TV travel series "Rough Guides".. she was to become my partner in crime and muse... the nights we lay awake in bed agonizing over who was right and what we should do... where was the essence of rock and roll... how to pull it off again.. When I look back now I realise how important Magenta was to the birth of sputnik.. she somehow embodied the spirit of rock and roll and style and we discussed everything... in fact it all only went wrong years later when magenta left to follow her own career... most people form spin off bands from their original group but how many people who had started in punk were able to start a whole new scene??.. a scary thought... especially as the bedroom we were laying in was exactly the same as it was when the former tenant left it, completely black all over, floor carpet, walls and ceiling, wow Sid Vicious had taste..... I was reading lots of Colin Wilson at the time and believed we could influence our future if we cared enough..

    There were several false starts as I was tempted by various friends to take the easy route.. there was a 3 month stint working with Stiv Bators with the formation of Lords of the New Church.. I actually wrote their best song I think called Russian Roulette, check out the song credit on the label.. its credited to James / Chimes although I wrote it all (I do get the royalties of course..)..most people assumed that it was Brian James!... In fact Stiv and I got on really well and wrote several tracks together...I still can't believe he's dead, killed in a car accident in Paris.... such a waste....

    There were the sessions when I produced the group Sex Gang Children.. I loved the name (I found out later it was Malcolm Mclarens idea... damn him, he was always to haunt me).. we recorded their first album in a studio in the country and I indulged in my "great producer " fantasies making them record to candle light, attacking the mics with power drills, spray canning huge murals on the walls to create atmosphere, it was the Guy Stevens school of producing - Ian Hunter had told me years earlier that when Guy had produced Mott the Hoople in the 70s that one evening in Wessex studios they were doing a take and looked in the control room to see Guy smashing chairs up and even trying to smash the control room glass - it was to create that magic, to create atmosphere, that somehow goes into the music that touches the listener - true rock and roll.... aaah the fantasy... Andreas the singer and I still speak a lot.. but really I never liked being a producer of other bands.. I wanted my own band, my own fantasy, my own movie where I could write the script, and like Tarantino, I could be in my own movie too!

    3 Pindock Mews in London, the Mews house that Magenta owned, became the center of madness for 7 years!.. Steve Jones stayed there for a while and we did some recording together but Steve was too scary for me in those days... and then I became friends with an old hero, Johnny Thunders formerly of the New York Dolls and Heartbreakers.. Thunders just turned up at our door one day with Jerry Nolan and asked if I wanted to play with them that night.. U bet!!.. it was a dream come true.. I get to play Personality crisis legitimately!. We learnt 30 songs that afternoon sitting around in Magenta's front room and later that day I turned up at the gig in Victoria, the Venue, and waited.. and waited... when 2 hours later 3 friends carried Thunders in unconscious and laid him out on the dressing room floor I realised a real life rock n roll nightmare was to begin....

    I got to somehow join the Thunders band... there was me Johnny, Jerry Nolan (also from the Dolls - wow!) who was such a brilliant drummer and various rhythm guitarists who came and went... Steve New who had played with the Rich Kids, and who played the lead guitar part on the Gen X track "Dancing with myself" played with us once and did a great photo session with us too.. We toured in France by train, we were canned off in Sweden, we sat around in Paris trying to record... and I felt totally out of control. Back in London Thunders started to haunt me... I used to dread that 3 am knock on the door as he would arrive, completely out of it, to party with us...

    I helped Thunders remix LAMF for jungle records... actually a really pointless exercise when I look back at it.. that would be like remixing Raw Power to give it a modern sound, it sooo looses the moment, the essence of what makes great Rock and Roll.

    One nite Thunders sat up with me and watched Snooker while I tried to explain the game to this out of it American... it was the classic semi final match where Alex Higgins (who I only ever met once, one night at the Hippodrome and the only thing he said to me was "have you got any Charlie..") came back to beat Jimmy White 13-12 to go on to win the world championship.. even Johnny got excited... But usually it was awful... the times Magenta and I walked him round the apartment praying he wouldn't OD on us.. watched this tragically addicted junkie shooting up anything..... But somehow he was really great, such a genius guitarist....I cried when he died years later, his talent never fully realised... Nolan died too, another casualty... but no, this wasn't what I was looking for...

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