The creation of Sigue Sigue Sputnik began slowly. I knew I had to come up with something pretty spectacular to compete with what Billy was doing but I also knew I didn’t want to form just another punk band. I had the seeds of an idea but for a long time that was all it was.

It was Billy that had discovered the band Suicide when we were still together in Gen X, turning up one day at my house dressed in his new image of rubber stockings and tail coat, playing the Suicide track Frankie Teardrop. I’d never heard anything like it and it set me thinking that there was a whole other way to create the sound of rock and roll, using electronic beats, and this track became was to become the central influence to the core sound of Sputnik right from the start.

I had recently moved in with my new girlfriend Magenta DeVine, at that time working as a publicist with Tony Brainsby. Magenta was to become my partner in crime and muse and there were many, many nights when we lay awake in bed agonising over who was right for the lineup in the new band that was slowly forming in my head, and how we would get that band together or, to put it another way, where to find the essence of rock and roll? How to get it right as I had seemingly so effortlessly the first time around in Generation X.

The bedroom where we lay contemplating the future, looked exactly as it had done when the former tenant, Sid Vicious had vacated it. Black floor, black carpet, black walls, black ceiling and black-out windows, let’s just say Sid had a problem with light and whatever else was going on with him, that kid certainly had style. Magenta and I found it womb-like and Sid’s lingering presence just added to the sense of rock and roll magic as we talked long into those night.

Magenta was an essential part in the creation of Sputnik. She was the real thing, effortlessly stylish, even in those days, before we all became larger than life, with her black hair cut in a Betty Page type bob, her lips always Magenta red and the ubiquitous dark glasses. But she also embodied rock and roll,sometimes a little bit too much, her taste and influence on me in those days was invaluable and I owe her a great deal.

I was still absolutely convinced that I wanted to do something completely different, I didn’t just not want to not go back to the old scene, I wanted to form a whole new scene... but what did that mean? A daunting thought. I was reading lots of Colin Wilson at the time and believed we could influence our future if we wanted it enough. There were several false starts along the way as I was tempted by various friends to take the obvious, easy route and form a new punk band.

There was a three month stint working with Stiv Bators from the Dead Boys with the formation of Lords of the New Church. I actually wrote what is considered to be one of their best songs called Russian Roulette. If you take a look at the song credit on the label you’ll see it’s credited to James / Chimes although I wrote it all (and get the royalties of course) because most people assumed that it was Brian James, the guitarist with The Damned. In fact Stiv and I got on really well and I wrote more tracks like “Magick” which he used on his solo album. I still can't believe he's dead, killed in a car accident in Paris, such a terrible waste. In my heart though I knew The Lords were retreading a journey I had already been on. I still have a live tape of those first rehearsals...

I played bass with Terry Chimes on drums, on an album for The London Cowboys with some old friends Barry Jones and Steve Dior from the very early London SS days...