I guess it was a combination of my glib headline quote that “neither of the two drummers could play” yes, but that was WHEN WE MET THEM ....and the fact that to play the samples on stage in this pre sampler/ computer era, Yana would have to load a cassette into the machine for each song to play all the movie voice snippets. Did it look as if she was loading up a backing track? We never hid the cassette machine as movie sounds and voices were part of the bands sound live but you can see how people got the wrong impression.


The trouble is that every story printed, true or false, goes into the file and becomes part of the overall myth. So I had spent all this time carefully crafting every part of my Movie and now other people were randomly adding scenes of their own. You could not tell myth from real. By the time we got to the USA, the idea that we could not play and mimed on stage had become one of the big scandal points. From driving the story myself I was now on the back foot. And this “miming” business was ultimately to hurt the band playing gigs. How had it happened?

The tabloids had written that at one gig we had stopped playing but the music continued... HOW? The whole point of those years of rehearsal was that we were completely live.

But I have to say still it was intoxicating fun. You are getting to live out fantasies you’d only read about in books and the lives of other groups I’d considered notorious. And notorious is always sexy.

Gary Bushell an old, boozy faced, punk journalist now writing for the Sun was on tour with us and Degville and Mayhew often drove to the next gig in his big gangster style Jaguar. He would sit at breakfast making up copy like “Martin simulates sex on stage” and phone it in after phoning up his pet M.P Terry Dicks for an outraged quote. I became disappointed if I didn’t read about us in The Sun next day. The band was so individually recognisable that the Sun ran a great cartoon, really capturing the different personalities of the 5 members.

We are now in the game where you play one tabloid off against the other. This is really playing with fire. John Blake, a friend, was editor of The Mirror’s rival Pop column. Denied access, he came out against the group and concocted equally outrageous counter stories... like saying that Martin came on and told racist jokes, that the London show was half empty. These invented stories, were ultimately really harmful. I can remember him phoning me on tour saying he would give us the front cover if we’d agree to the story that 21st Century Boy featured Deg nailed to a burning crucifix of TV screens and would be released on Good Friday, Easter... great story actually.

The Sun countered with an offer that if we would break the Wapping strike and ride into the compound with Sam Fox on the back of a Chieftan tank we could have the cover. It was a slow news week I guess. I love Kelvin Mckenzie still and loved his book about his time Editing the Sun. What japes it all was we thought at the time...