"YOU JUST WANTED TO CHANGE THINGS"
THERE WAS SO much boringness around. I was doing graphics at Torquay art college when Raw Power appeared, then New York Dolls, and it went on from there. There was talk of ‘punk’ and punk gigs in London, and being in Devon you were out of the loop. So there was that extra impetus to get up to London after finishing college. I absolutely was predisposed towards it. When I first heard the Pistols, I thought I’ve got to see them. The whole punk movement was a downmarket struggle. I met like-minded people in London, little enclaves of rebellion. As soon as the Roxy opened, it was like, This is our place. Doing our first gig there wasn’t scary because we were so used to being in the audience. But when you stepped outside, it was rough. The whole Teds versus punks thing – we were completely menaced. Ridiculous really, but it was deadly earnest back then. Getting terrorised by people. You just wanted to change things. The whole establishment was so stuffy. I had a home-made T-shirt, where I’d written ‘Fuck Off’ on it, which appeared on quite a lot of posters. Then for about two weeks me and everyone else stuck swastikas on things just to wind up your parents, then realised that was a really stupid thing to do. I wore my father’s sew-on reconnaissance armband from when he was in the war instead. You did want to shock people. I was just angry. I don’t think anybody got offended by me personally, but by the band, definitely. Lincoln, on the Damned tour, was horrendous: us and The Damned were barricaded into the dressing room and these people were trying to batter the door down. They smashed all the windows in the van. Just locals who probably read the tabloids – “Ooh, we don’t want that sort of thing here.” Eventually the band ground to a halt and I didn’t feel like carrying on. I didn’t have the ego for it. I didn’t want to be on-stage all the time, I didn’t like it very much. I hated the sexism – the music business just wanted women wearing little dresses. Journalists were the worst: men wouldn’t get subjected to the same scrutiny or criticism. But all the bands accepted you, especially at the Roxy. I never wanted to be a female in a band, I just wanted to be a bass player. Within the punk environment, there wasn’t sexism, there wasn’t racism, it was really inclusive. I prefer doing art now, behind the scenes. But I think the punk attitude stays with you if you ever called yourself a punk: unmaterialistic, standing up for the underdog, that’s just innate. I think any genuine punk bands weren’t in it for the money. It was a whole way of life. Did it change the world? There’s still a lot of crap music around, isn’t there?! As told to Keith Cameron