The Generation X-Rated Era Part 2
(2001 to 2002)
Time and money were tight and the priority of getting back in the studio had nearly got forgotten about. Early on in 2001 we arranged to go to Alan Wilson’s new studio at the side of his house outside Bristol. We gone from London the night before and checked in with him that late afternoon and ready to go the following morning. So just as we were about kick start the recording session, Wally stepped into the live room he announced to everyone ‘I hate recording’ and once again what a great way to start the proceedings. We would have all preferred it if he had just farted instead, like he did the year before.
After being in the band just over a year we had not ounce of bother coming from Wally, so his time had finally come to shit the bed. I could have strangled him right there and then.
That day he was just not with it at all. He could not get his drum fills right or in time and when I tried to tell him politely and diplomatically as possible, he would become defensive and obstructive, handing me the drumsticks and telling me to do it instead and refused to go back and put his mistakes right. I remember for the first time ever wanting to fly over his drum kit and beat the shit out of him. Not because he was struggling but was in denial that his fills were out. 'What is it with fucking drummers?! Why can't can't we just get a normal one?!' I'd rant under my breath. Bob wouldn’t get involved as per usual and Alan knew he was all to cock but couldn’t deal with him anymore than I could, so we just ended up completing our own parts and making do. Playing live was hardly an issue for him, but he developed a phobia and a hatred of being in the studio.
The songs we did here ended up on a Western Star Psychobilly’s compilation CD released as ‘demo versions’ (please don’t buy it!)
I was determined to make this album regardless and do as best job we could only we had no money. All the cash we made from gigs got swallowed up on our van insurance, tax and repairs. It became a real money pit (we needed the van though as that year we made our debut in Holland just before the album recording) I got turned down by the ‘Prince’s Trust’ so get a grant and I owed my folks money at the time so I couldn’t bring myself to ask for any more. Bob managed to pull ace out his sleeve and got a grant from the EU. All we would have to do was place the logo on the back of the album and say it was partly funded by them. They would happily do that for the arts and culture sector. I doubt we would get that anymore, I don’t know what Bob’s thoughts on the whole Brexit and EU are and whether or not he voted to leave or remain. But he can’t deny that something positive came out of it, not to mention free movement around Europe as a band at the time.
So with a few hundred pounds awarded to Bob and on the condition we record locally. We booked in the May of 2001 to get back in Studio 2000 like we did the year before for a week and bang out the remaining songs. Alan Wilson came up and stayed at my folk’s house with me for the duration.
The engineer Steve Oates was very encouraging and patient with us I recall. I still wasn’t as studio savvy and was very grateful. Alan was interested in everything we had to show and came up with some fine ideas like where to let some feedback. Wally this time managed to get his drums down, the best he could anyway. Maybe he had a chat with himself before hand. When he and Bob had done their parts. I began my guitar tracks. I recorded a solo part to one song and asked Steve, Alan and Bob if it was all right, who in turn, all said it was fine. I then turned at Wally and asked him the same and he just snorted and replied ‘I don’t care’ and then fucked off out the studio. ‘Cheers Wally you miserable bastard’.
I recall doing my parts for Bob’s song ‘What did I do wrong’ Alan waited for Bob to go use the gents and had me try out a slide guitar on it. Bob came back in time to say ‘No I’m not having that’ so that idea got scrapped. Fair play to Alan for suggesting it, but ultimately it was better without it and I agreed with Bob. We would go back in a single day a couple of weeks later and record backing vocals. In the last year I came up with a Social Distortion like number ‘Where egos Dare’ and 'Wired to Saturn’ as album tracks. The former would become very much a live staple unintentionally. An uncredited extra backing vocals on the album was Sean Lyons from Dog Toffee who joined us one Sunday to finish them off. “Sorry for not putting you on album sleeve Sean”
At the same time were affiliated with Dog Toffee’s management team but unfortunately nothing came of that, so we ended up with some other who I’m going to call ‘Terry’ whom we had known for some time. He was bit of loose cannon from Greater Manchester with a short fuse and he convinced us he had the right amount expertise we needed in order to go further. Being young and nieve I was impressed with his spiel.
We had already struck up a deal with Howard at Raucous Records in 2001 so all we felt we needed Terry to do was get on the phone and work some of his so called magic he convinced us he could do. I can only ever recall him getting us one gig at some crummy Rock n Roll club where hardly anyone came.
The artwork idea I thought of was one of our Wigan friends/follower’s Elliot Lowe and his enormous shit eating grin being electrocuted. My Dad designed the rest of the cover.
Throughout that year we also managed to play in Germany twice. We had caught the eye of a known promoter there called Lonesome who booked us to play his Satanic Stomp festival in April and later on in the year in Berlin and Luneberg supporting The Caravans. Things were going well. We just needed the release of the now mastered album to come out so we could go further.
We rolled steadily gigging into 2002 and our album ‘Generation X-Rated’ was released in February. We had lined up a few gigs here and there but the big gig of the album launch was supporting Restless that same month at The Garage in Islington, London to hammer it. The gig was blinding playing ‘Where Egos dare’ for the first time and it felt awesome. I purchased two boxes at wholesale price of the CD album off Howard, taking for granted we would clean up, but that wasn’t the case I learned then and there. We still had many miles to go. It was good knowing we had a CD out and hearing it was popping up in record stores like HMV here and there.
Bob met his new American girlfriend Kara at that London gig so he was up and down the country a hell of lot that year. While me and Wally held down full time jobs. There was Bob still signing on but living the high life down there, walking into gigs, bars and clubs with Kara on his arm in his black leather jeans as if he was Psychobilly Big Balls. He was already a local celebrity in Wigan and he was now rubbing shoulders with a lot well known people on the scene down there. So I suppose I was only jealous and I had to hand it to him, it had paid off as far the band was concerned. That year we played London a record number of times securing a regular fan base thanks to Bob. You could perhaps say he was the most familiar one out of all us. But that’s Bob in general, he's a people pleaser.
Annoyingly for us he would spend time being a socialite, rock star, free spirit at our gigs than a band member. He would often manage to duck his way out of driving back afterwards or packing up equipment....if he could.
A young lady from Standish named Sally McAvoy starting tagging along to gigs with us. I had no idea the first time she was going to invade the stage with a dance routine while dressed like Liza Minelli’s character Sally Bowles from the film “Cabaret’ to Triangular kind of love’ I didn’t quite have it in me to shout “Get the fuck off!” she was only a kid. Sally Monster she’s now known as, has since gone on to make something of a name for herself on the scene, she has appeared onstage with many bands doing dance routines and has starred in a couple of Mad Sin music videos, as well travelling the world with them. She’s another character alright.
Manager Terry was proving himself to be a real piece of work. He upset Lonesome I believe, apparently demanding 5 star hotels in Germany for him, his partner and us when we came back. Sadly we never went back and Lonesome never replied him. Later in the year told Bob in person ‘Your manager is an arsehole!’ so that was the end of that for us there and then. We had pretty much handed the reigns over to Terry as at first we thought talked a good game. But instead of charming the right people who could have booked us near and far, he ended up grating on them. He kept comparing the music business to his former profession in security business. We thought he has a good knack for talking but it soon became clear to us that he had hardly any clout at all . He was more volatile than switched on. I once thought in a nightclub he was about to give someone a good hiding who was with a female he had previously dated so he went up, had a word and stormed off and smacked his fist into a corner of the nightclub wall. His hand was fractured for weeks. He would marvel in his title and status every time he would call us up and someone else answered the landline at home or work, he'd be like ‘Hello its Terry….manager of The Hyperjax’ I dread to think of how many other people he annoyed in that period and I wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. He would always come out with the same line ‘At the end of the day, the point I’m trying to make is…’ only we never got what the point actually was. The three of us in the band even made up a song about him.
That September he slapped us with a £200 phone bill. So we paid him and then banned him from using the phone. He must have talked promoters to death boring them shitless and I wouldn’t mind but he gotten us bugger all. ‘How do you expect me to manage you when I can’t use the phone?’ he would say. ‘Email people instead’ I’d say. 'It still costs me on my phone bill everytime I send an email’ I said ‘Have you heard of this new thing called ‘Broadband?’
But it didn’t go beyond that and it highlighted the end of our relationship really. He didn’t like me speaking up to him and he felt unappreciated for all his efforts, which in many ways, I know he really did try. But myself AND Bob had managed to succeed getting us booked and paid at places years before and afterwards regardless and I never billed the band for it. Did we really need a manager? That was the question and the short answer was 'No, did we bollocks' and still don't to this day.
The one thing he did do was help patch up one particular bad rift between me and Bob, which could nearly ended the band that year.
To be continued.