The Members - 1976, 'The Sound of The Suburbs'





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Uploaded on Aug 27, 2011

This was 1976, and I was skiving off school (being just 16 years old) to go to rehearsals with Nicky Tesco, in Tooley Street, London. I later went on a 2 week school trip to France, and when I came back was sacked from the band. Nevertheless I have this fantastic document from the time, of the first rehearsal, the inaugural line-up of the band The Members before they became a reggae group, with Nicky Tesco (vocals), Steve Morley (bass), Clive Parker (me- drums), and Gary Baker (guitar). Most of the discussion is taking place between Morley and Tesco, with Morley taking the lead. Morley had been a roadie with Love Affair, and was the most experienced musically. Gary Baker seems quite quiet, although he later penned The Members only hit record 'Sound of The Suburbs'.

The two guys who managed the rehearsal studio were little more than south London gangsters, and I believe also managed the group for a while. They tried to keep my drum-kit, and my older brother Keith helped to get it back, the whole of the band coming to my house in Camberley one day to return it (including JC Carroll). That was the last I saw of them really, and except for a couple of spats in the music papers that was the last of my involvement. I saw Carroll once in a pub in Portobello, years later, after I'd joined Big Country, (when with Stuart Adamson, Ian Grant, and Bruce Watson), and JC gave me his card which said 'entrepreneur'. JC Carroll still gigs the band with bass player Chris Payne, Tesco works for Music Week, Gary Baker gained his pilot's license and I believe still lives in Camberley, whilst Steve Morley's whereabouts are unknown.

The rehearsal rooms were a dump, in an old warehouse block on disused Docklands between Tower Bridge and London Bridge. A run down area, and an ancient docklands pub opposite. The whole area is now gentrified and re-developed. The noise coming through the walls is Elvis Costello who was rehearsing there too.

The sound is somewhere between The Pistols and The Ramones, and the songs seem to be; 'GLC', 'Dog', and 'You're a Disgrace'.

The tape I believe is a fantastic insight in to the punk movement in Britain, at the end of the pub rock era, and just before punk exploded.





The tape was made by me using a very small mono cassette recorder and has been cleaned up as much as possible.

Songs; Morley, Baker, Parker, Tesco © (p) Parker 1976

Stars of punk movie Urgh! A Music War, and featuring Lu Edmonds of The Damned & PIL, the re-master release of Athletico Spizz 80 'Do A Runner' album. Out now in USA on CD Baby & Amazon, UK & Europe on Amazon;

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