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Johnny Moped

Background information:

 

Origin: Croydon, South London

 

Genres: Punk rock

 

Years active: 1976-1978, 1981, 1991-92, 2007-2008, 2011-12

 

Labels: Chiswick, Deltic

 

Associated acts: The Damned, The Pretenders, Kirsty McColl

 

Past members: Paul Halford (Johnny Moped) Dave Berk, Fred Berk, Slimey Toad, Xerxes, Ray Burns (Captain Sensible), Phil Burns, Chrissie Hynde

 

Johnny Moped

Johnny Moped were a British rock band who came to prominence during the punk era of 1976/77. They signed to Chiswick Records in 1977 and released an album 'Cycledelic' before disbanding in 1978.

News

1st April 2007. Johnny Moped live in the Back Garden 1974 posted on YouTube. Footage of an early Johnny Moped performance featuring a very shy and retiring Capatain Sensible.

15 November 2007. Wikepedia - A brand new page has appeared on Wikepedia featuring a “Pioneering Punk Band (1976 - 78)”

14 November 2007. Johnny Moped Unplugged. Captain Sensible himself has posted a clip of Johnny Moped dueting Darling, Let’s Have Another Baby with wife Brenda in a beer-garden in Caterham. Slimey Toad is playing guitar. “What fun!” says Captain.

Saturday 18th February 2006. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of punk, The Guardian lists the top 25 classic punk singles as compiled by production editor Campbell Stevenson on their website. Johnny Moped does not appear. Readers are encouraged to post their own top 25 and thankfully the first posting includes ‘No-one’.

1st April 2006. BBC Radio 6. The Bruce Dickinson Rock Show (9–12 am) A reliable source informs me that Bruce played Incendiary Device on this show.

2006. Never mind the bollocks … here’s the Rough Guide to Punk! (or so the slogan reads on the book jacket).The incredibly successful Rough Guide series have broadened their (appeal) and released the Rough Guide to Punk (The Filth, The Fury, the Fashion) written by Al Spicer. Despite the fun that can be had inventing endless punk puns these days, this is actually a thorough and well written book. You do get the impression that the author actually knows his subject inside out rather than it just being something he has been asked to research. Much is made of the significance of the ‘punk’ development in the US prior and during the UK explosion (The Velvet Underground, MC5, New York Dolls, Ramones etc.). As punk refused to die gracefully, the book also covers the multitude of bands that emerged in its wake throughout the 80’s and 90’s. More significantly, this is the first book to feature a valid section on Johnny Moped (“Kickstarted 1976, spluttered and ran out of juice 1978”). The book also includes playlists from several punk notaries, two of whom have included Moped tracks in their top ten. The author recommends the Basically CD (“Twenty nine slices of punk rock at its funny, outrageous, experimental,deranged, rock’n’rolling best”). The Rough Guide to Punk by Al Spicer published by Rough Guides Ltd.

1994. Guiness All Time Top 1000 albums. Coming between the New Model Army’s 'Vengeance' and 'Feeding of the 5000' by Crass, 'Cycledelic' is voted the 45th greatest punk album of all time in the Guinness All Time Top 1000 Albums. The number one album is of course Never Mind the Bollocks followed by London Calling (is this really punk? Ed.) and Rattus Norvegicus by The Stranglers.

Discography

Singles

No One/Incendiary Device (August 1977) Chiswick Records

Darling, Let's Have Another Baby/Something Else/It Really Digs (Jan 1978) Chiswick Records

Little Queenie/Hard Lovin' Man (June 1978) Chiswick Records

Albums

Starting a Moped - Cassette only (1976?) This self produced C30 cassette was sold at various punk outlets across London and allegedly pre-dates the Damned's 'New Rose' as the first UK punk release. Tracks as follows:

Side One: Introduction/Groovy Ruby/Little Queenie/Starting A Moped/ Hard Lovin' Man/Wolf & Dracula/The Decision

Side Two: Introduction/3-D Time/Something Else/These Students/Hellrazor/Assault and Buggery.

Cycledelic LP/Cassette (1978) Chiswick Records. Original release features an inner sleeve featuring the group’s family tree as well as a healthy dose of Nazi imagery.

The Search For Xerxes LP (1991) Deltic. Released on Captain Sensible’s own Deltic record label in 1991 (the sleeve states 1990 yet the label states 1991) . Copies are now as rare as hen’s teeth. Engineered by Bobby Broughton, produced by Dave Berk and featuring Eion O'Dunlaing on keyboards and “Invaluable Technical Assistance”.

Side One: I Believed Her Lies/Edwina/Every Dream Came True/Corpse Boogie/Cut Across Shorty/I Wanna Die/I Wanna Die/Zogaloogajergabrox

Side Two: Sad Sack/Soldiers/Save The Baby Seals/Moped Crash/I'm A Spasm/Hiawatha

Cycledelic LP (LFO 197-668) 1995. Re-issue of the original LP on the LFO label. No inner sleeve but available in groovy white or regular vinyl.

Basically: The Best Of Johnny Moped CD (1995) Chiswick. A long-awaited release by Chiswick. Extremely good value for money, featuring the full original album together with bonus live selections from the group’s legendary Roundhouse gig and B-sides. Sleeve notes by Dave Berk. He sends out your gas bills, don't you know.

The Complete Bootlegs Vol. I & II CD/LP/Download (2007) Damaged Goods.

Johnny Moped on compilation albums

Live at the Roxy WC2 (Jan – Apr 77) (LP) (1977). Features ‘Hard Lovin’ Man’. Whilst Slaughter and the Dogs, Wire, Eater and The Buzzcocks all enjoyed two tracks, The Unwanted, The Adverts, Johnny Moped and Xray Spex all had to made do with one.

Submarine Tracks & Fools Gold (Chiswick Chartbusters Volume One) (1977) Chiswick Records

Geef Voor New Wave (LP) (1977) Ariola Records (25541). Dutch compilation featuring a Moped track (not sure which)

Various: Longshots, Dead Certs & Odds On Favourites (Chiswick Chartbusters Vol. 2) (LP) (1978). Long since deleted album featuring ‘No-One’

Pogo à Go Go! (Cassette only) (1986) NME. Featured ‘Incendiary Device’. This cassette was available by mail order through NME in 1986. It includes well-known and exclusive tracks including a then previously unreleased version of the Sex Pistols’ ‘Satellite’, a demo version of Elvis Costello’s ‘Watching the Detectives’ and a demo version of the Clash's ‘1977’.

Live at the Roxy WC2 (Jan – Apr 77) (CD) (1990). Receiver Records. The long-awaited CD reissue of the original LP. Dirty punk in glistening digital sound. Well, sort of.

Good Clean Fun - The Chiswick Sampler CD (1995 ) Ace Records. Reissue of the original LP sampler. Great 22 track Chiswick Records sampler CD. Includes early recordings by Joe Strummer (101'ers), Billy Bragg (Riff Raff) and Simple Minds (Johnny & The Self Abusers).

The Chiswick Story - Adventures Of An Independent Record Label 1975-1982 (2CD) Chiswick Records.

If The Kids Are United - The Punk Box Set . (3CD) Castle. Date anyone?

Punk - Live And Nasty (CD) (1995) Emporio Records Features Hard Lovin’ Man.

1,2,3,4 - Punk And New Wave 1976-1979 (CD) (1999) MCA. A five disc set features, you guesed it, 'Hard Lovin’ Man'.

Ultimate Punk Box Set (CD) (1999) Receiver. Features the ultimate Moped classic, ‘Hard Lovin’ Man’.

Sniffin' Glue - The Essential Punk Accessory CD (2003) Sanctuary Records. A 24 track punk compilation compiled and annotated by Mark Perry. The CD is a companion to the Sniffin' Glue book which was published by Sanctuary in 2000.

If the Kids Are United: The Punk Box Set 3CD (2005) Castle Music. A three CD box set featuring Hard Lovin' Man.

Cover Versions

Thee Headcoats & Sexton Ming - No One (7”)(Damaged Goods) (1994)
Billy Childish and Co. A four track EP.

Kirsty McColl – Darling, Let’s Have Another Baby (1988). From What Do Pretty Girls Do? LP. Features four complete BBC sessions including this live version of ‘Darling, Let’s Have Another Baby’ duetted with Billy Bragg.

The Hentchmen – Darling, Let’s Have Another Baby (Flying Bomb) 1997. From the Ten String Trio EP 7" (Flying Bomb) 1997. Another “punk rock-n-roll” act. Two original songs plus the Moped cover.

Gordon Solie Motherfuckers – No One (625 Thrashcore records) (2000). From the Power Bomb Anthems Vol. 1 10”. Step Sister's Tony Erba fronted this short-lived Cleveland act.

Gasolheads – Hard Lovin’ Man (Lollipop Records) 2001. From the Sixty Seconds Swingers CD/10”. “The Gasolheads blaze those three chords into the ground with spiteful enthusiasm that's as infectious as a veneral disease”. Apparently.

Thee Headcoats - Elementary Headcoats: The Singles 1990-1999 CD (Damaged Goods) (2002). Features the ‘No One’ single, originally released on an EP in 1994.

Hot Rod Honeys - Hard Lovin’ Man 7” (Wrench Records) 2006. The Hot Rot Honeys were a “beer-influenced punk rock’n’roll” three-piece from Belgium who enjoyed playing completely naked (artists after Captain Sensible’s own heart – Ed.). This six track EP is backed by three tracks from San Francisco’s Loudmouths.

Related Recordings

Firestarter - Livin’ On the Heat CD 2000 (Mangrove). Features the track “Johnny Moped Was Right”. Firestarter were a Japanese power pop/garage-punk band consisting of former members of Teengenerate.

The Masonics - When You Cry At Night/Where’s Johnny Moped Now? 2006 (Slovenly). A vinyl-only limited edition custom-printed, custom die-cut dust 7” record recorded in Spain. The Masonics were a London 'sooper' group (with one Headcoat, one Milkshake, and one Wildebeest/Kaiser, if I'm not mistaken).

Gig Guide

1977

Hope & Anchor? (Damned, Johnny Moped)

Thursday 3rd February 1977 – Eater/Johnny Moped The Roxy, London. £1 entry.

19 February 1977- University of Leeds (Supporting the Damned)

Monday 21 February 1977- The Roxy (Supporting The Damned & The Adverts). The Captain reportedly was on backing vocals.

Monday 28 February 1977- The Roxy (Supporting The Damned, (Chelsea?) & The Adverts)

Friday 18 March 1977- The Roxy (Supporting Slaughter & the Dogs)

Wednesday 30 March 1977- The Royal College of Art, London (Supporting the Damned)

Thursday 31 March 1977 - The Roxy (Supporting The Damned)

30 March 1977 - The Royal College of Art, London (Supporting The Damned)

Saturday 2 April 1977 – The Roxy? The legendary recording of 'The Roxy, London WC2' album - released 10/6/77 and featuring the Buzzcocks, Wire, X-Ray Spex, Smak (later The Unwanted; pre-Psychedelic Furs) and Johnny Moped. The Roxy Club was opened in Covent Garden by promoters Andrew Czezowskiand Susan Carrington on 1 January 1977; following a dispute over rent, their involvement ended just four and a half months later with a gig on St. George’s Day by Siouxsie & the Banshees. The photograph on the sleeve of the posthumous album was taken after a Damned gig, when the ceiling tiles had been punched out by pogo-ers.

16th April 1977 - The Roxy. The group's first headlining show (supported by Skrewdriver). The gig was reviewed by the influential fanzine Sniffin’ Glue who were impressed.

7th May 1977 – Brighton Polytechnic. A bargain at 60p!

Monday 16th May 1977 – Buccaneer in Brighton (on Marine Parade)

Saturday 21 May 1977 - The Roxy (support unknown)

Sunday 12 June 1977 - The Roxy (supported by Mean Street)

Thursday 16 June 1977 - The Roxy (supported by Mean Street)

Monday 4 July 1977 - The Marquee ( Supporting The Damned)

Tuesday 5 July 1977 - The Marquee, London (Supporting the Damned?) CANCELLED?

Saturday 9th July 1977 – The Elizabethan Room, Belle Vue (?) Supporting Slaughter & the Dogs and Eater with X-Ray Spex. As part of the “Roxy Club Live Album Tour”. Admission ₤1.25. 100 Roxy albums were given away to the most outrageously dressed.

25 July 1977 - The Vortex, Wardour Street (The Adverts, Johnny Moped, Rezillos, Neo). The Mopeds were second on the bill. Admission was £1.

Monday 17 October 1977 - The Vortex (support unknown)

(20 October 1977 – Hamburg, Germany. Dave Berk joins the Damned on drums)

(16 October 1977 - Bataclan, Paris, France. Dave Berk joins the Damned on drums)

September / October 1977 - Osnabruck, Germany. Dave Berk joins the Damned on drums

September / October 1977 - Venlo, Holland. Dave Berk joins the Damned on drums

September / October 1977 - Colmar, Alsace, France. Dave Berk joins the Damned on drums

September / October 1977 - Nancy, France. Dave Berk joins the Damned on drums

Thursday 17th Novemver 1977 – The Adverts/Wayne Country/Alternative TV/Johnny Moped at the Roundhouse. What's going on here? JM bottom of the line-up?

Miscellaneous

Woldingham Village Hall circa 77 (anyone?)

1978

15th January 1978 – The Greyhound, Park Lane, Croydon. Supporting the Damned. Admission ₤1.50. Dave Burke supposedly deputised for Jon Moss on drums, JM having been involved in a car crash.

Saturday 19th February 1978The Roundhouse. Deaf School/The Doctors/Radiators from Space.

19th February 1978 – The Roundhouse. Captain Sensible on bass. Another legendary gig. Xerxes was going to sing but Johnny turned up 10 minutes before the show began. Recorded by Chiswick. This is the gig heard as bonus tracks on their ‘Basically: The Best of Johnny Moped CD’.

2nd April 1978 – Roundhouse, Chalk Farm London NW1. Supporting Cheap Trick and The Stukas. Admission ₤2

Saturday 8 April 1978 - Rainbow, Finsbury Park, London. The Damned 'farewell' gig. Dave Berk on drums? Rat Scabies was in the crowd and was invited by Captain Sensible to join the band on stage for the remaining half the set and encore (what a kind chap). Support from The Soft Boys, Johnny Moped and Prof & The Profettes. The Damned featured Jon Moss (later of Culture Club) on drums and Lu Edmonds on guitar.

Saturday 6th May 1978 – The Marquee, Wardour Street. JM headlining again and supported by Drug Addix and DJ Ian Fleming (obviously taking a writing break). Admission was 70p. The Drug Addix featured a teenage Kirsty MacColl, another Chiswick signing. Kirsty went on to record Darling, Let’s Have Another Baby (see Cover Versions).

Monday 17th July 1978 – Marquee, Wardour Street.

Sunday 5th November 1978 – Hammersmith Odeon, Queen Caroline Street, W6. Supporting label mates Motorhead with The Business. Admission ₤2.

1981 (sometime) - The Tramshed, Woolwich, London. Johnny Moped back in action in glamourous Woolwich.

24th March 1983 -The Ace, Brixton.

3rd June 1985 - The Greyhound, Croydon (Dave Berk memorial gig)

14th December 1991 - Cardiff University.

24th April 1992 – Cartoon, Croydon.

Saturday 24th November 1992 – The Ocean Rooms, Morley Street, Brighton. Admission £6/£5.

2007

24th November 2007 - Ocean Rooms, Brighton. Billed as “The Legendary Johnny Moped and supported by Sumerian Kings (Psycho-groove-swamp-jazz) and Slim Tim Slide (Hooligan blues vandal). Entry was £6/£5. Looking more like Terry Scott than ageing rocker, Johnny Moped takes to the stage once more. A clip from the concert was posted on YouTube the following day.

30th November 2007Inigo Bar, 642 Wandsworth Road, Clapham, London SW8

30th November 2007 – The Indigo O2, London. Johnny Moped at the Millenium Dome? Headlined by The Buzzcocks and featuring Chelsea and Alternative TV. Co-incidentally the Damned played a gig at the Forum the same evening. According the fanzine Fear & Loathing, this gig was better than the Ocean Rooms.

6th May 2008 – 100 Club, Oxford Street. A punk reunion, supporting Shane MacGowan’s original punk band The Nipple Erectors with Seattle power pop band The Cute Lepers.

7-10th August 2008 – Winter Gardens and Opera House, Blackpool As part of the ‘Rebellion Festival’ featuring a whole host of ageing punk (and Ska) acts including Cocksparrer, Stiff Little Fingers, The Cockney Rejects, The Rezillos, The Dickies, Bad Manners, Boomtown Rats, The Sweet, Conflict, The Business, Subhumans, Neville Staples, Napalm Death, The Cravats, Anti Nowhere League, UK Subs, Vice Squad, Discharge, Chelsea, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Subway Sect, Abrasive Wheels, Peter and the Test Tube Babies, The Lurkers, The Vibrators and The Varukers.

29th November 2008 - BH2 Canning Town, London

13th December 2008 - The Forum, Kentish Town, London (Rebellion Festival Christmas all-dayer)

Mon 8th December 2008 - New Cross Inn, London

2008 - Blackpool (Cancelled) Part of the Rebellion Festival (Venue and date anyone?)

Friday 1st April 2011 - The Boston Arms, Tufnell Park, London

Saturday 7th April 2012 - The Hydrant, Brighton

Articles & Reviews

Search & Destroy Chapter 2, Issue 2 1977. Proof That MORONS Can Talk! (interview by V.Vale) http://www.researchpubs.com/books/sdprod.shtml

Chainsaw Issue 2 – September/October 1977. Johnny Moped Retires : Interview and live review at the Red Deer, Croydon. Chainsaw was a Croydon based punk fanzine, which began during the middle of the 1977 punk boom and continued until its fourteenth issue, in December 1984. Editor Charlie Chainsaw is still very active in the London punk scene, running Wrench Records. http://wrench.org/chainsaw.htm

New Wave (1977?). New Wave was another fanzine and Johnny Moped were interviewed by Nag and Ade. I’ve never seen any copies of New Wave let alone this particular issue. Any information greatly received.

New Musical Express, May 27th 1978. Has Johnny Moped Flipped His Wig??? Johnny becomes the darling of the rock press, interviewed by Monty Smith with photographs by Pennie Smith.

Anti-Climax, (Issue No. 7) Aug/Sept 1980. Standard black and white, photocopied, stapled top left fare. Features an interview with UK Subs as well as articles on Johnny Moped and Crisis. I saw this once on Ebay for sale from an Australian vendor but never got round to bidding on it. Anyone?

Spiral Scratch, August 1991. Johnny Moped: I want you back for good (interviewed by Alex Ogg). Spiral Scratch was a short lived music magazine which was quite possibly even more anal than Record Collector. Is it purely a coincidence that as well as featuring the transcript from a backstage interview with Xerxes and co. after the gig, this issue also features extensive articles on Captain Sensible, Martin Newell and Phil Smee (who designed early Damned single and LP sleeves). A good read which can be seen online: http://www.kirstymaccoll.com/information/articles/1990-1993/moped91/index.htm

Dave Berk interview by Mathew Woodall (200?)

Fear and Loathing, (Volume 63) March 2008. An intelligent and well written fanzine/magazine. Features an extensive interview with Dave Berk and includes some amusing anecdotes and revelations. Also includes two Moped gig reviews: “This Blues stuff is all very well” says Johnny “ but this crowd want to boogie!”. A favourable review of the Bootleg Tapes CD is also included.

Miscellaneous

Michael Stephens has written some interesting articles for popmatters.com, particularly ‘British Punk and Northern Irish Terrorism’ which includes references to Johnny Moped and ‘Incendiary Device’ http://www.popmatters.com/music/features/011130-25up7.shtml and ‘Male Hair Styles in 60’s and 70’s Britain’ which again makes reference to Johnny Moped (!). http://www.popmatters.com/columns/stephens/040107.shtml

Under the Influence

A collection of various groups, artists and individuals who have expressed more than a fondness for the band

Billy Childish

V: If you think of punk as folk music, then it should have a catchy tune you can easily remember and sing along with. Initially, I was attracted to punk because the lyrics were political and dealt with "real" concerns.

BC: Yes, but paradoxically, when they're sort of crap and don't really mean anything, I like that as well. Like the nonsense ones. Johnny Moped was one of my favourite groups. The group were friends with the Damned, they were also from Croydon. Johnny Moped was totally, absolutely, naturally strange. His mother would dress him and he'd go to gigs where he was supposed to play and wouldn't be able to get in because nobody would believe he was in the band.

V: If he were doing paintings, you'd call him a "naive artist”

BC: Yeah, and he wasn't even trying to be. The Mopeds were absolutely the funniest group to see. They were brilliant, them and the Damned. Talk about people who write a load of nonsense! I mean, bands like the Clash were really exciting, but after seeing the Damned or the Mopeds I'd go home with an aching jaw because they'd just make you laugh with childish delight.

V: The Mopeds are a legendary early punk group that never got famous.

BC: But they left behind a really good album and a couple of good singles. You know, I don't like playing too often - you don't want to become too serious. You don't want to be a professional in anything you do because professionals destroy everything.

The above is extracted from an interview by V. Vale of RE/Search: http://www.researchpubs.com/rc1/rc1BCex.shtml

Spitting Image

I saved this article from one of my sister’s teen magazines in the early eighties (I can’t remember which particular magazine). I saved it because I remember seeing Dave a lot on the King’s Road around this time. There used to be a collection of benches outside Safeways on the Kings Road and he used to hang around there with various other characters. I was shocked to see his photograph in a girl’s magazine some time later as I’m sure he was too. If he’s reading this or if anyone knows how to contact him, I’d love to hear from him. He’s probably a respectable member of society these days.

“There’s nothing left for punks to do” says Dave (23) from Islington. He’s been a punk for seven years now “but nothing will equal the stuff we had in 1977. Slaughter & The Dogs, The Adverts and Johnny Moped – he was God himself. I don’t know why I do it now because it’s dead. The way things are going I’ll probably knock it on the head in a couple of years time and leave it to the kiddipunks”. These days he divides his time between the benches in the King’s Road (“but the council have taken ‘em away now”) and Piccadilly Circus (where he charges tourists to take his picture). He doesn’t work, spends his money on drink, records and gigs and goes to see his Mum and Dad for Sunday dinner.

He is wearing : X-Ray Spex t-shirt which he found in a shop, trousers given to him by a friend (“I bung anything on ‘em”) and brothel creepers from The Great Gear Market (£14.99). “I never buy punk clothes nowadays ‘cos they’re too expensive”. The girl with him was Heather (22) from Brixton.

Mark Perry. In Al Spicer’s Rough Guide to Punk, Mark lists ‘Incendiary Device’ in his top ten punk singles. This track is also featured on the companion CD to Perry’s Sniffin’ Glue book.

Billy Bragg. Billy also lists his top ten punk singles in Spicer’s book, which, not surprisingly, includes ‘Darling, Let’s Have Another Baby’. As you most probably know, Billy duetted with the late Kirsty MacColl on her version of the same song.

The Undertones. The Undertones also performed 'Darling, Let's Have Another Baby' as an encore at a gig in Bradford on 22.11.79. Johnny Moped were obviously something of an influence on the band, as they had previously performed 'Incendiary Device'.

The Exploited. Lead singer Wattie Buchan discovered British punk in 1977. Bands such as the Sex Pistols wowed the 17-year-old; “I heard it and I knew I was a punk. It’s pretty fucking simple,” he says. “I heard a band called Johnny Moped and the singer just sounded fucking horrible, but I liked it. So I thought - I can do that.” . Extracted from an interview By Craig Froehlich (Red Magazine) http://www.red-mag.com/sep18/exploit.html

The Lurkers. Arturo Bassick from The Lurkers and 999 was one of the well known faces of the punk era. The Lurkers got started in 1976 and are still going strong today. Arturo now lives in the North East which he describes as “the punk rock capital of the World”. Johnny Moped were a big influence at the time.

Loveslug. The Dutch band started out playing lots of 70s punk covers by the Users, Drones and Johnny Moped.

The Templars. New York Oi! band the Templars were not only influenced by British Oi! but Johnny Moped as well!

Message Bored

Memory Bored

Lyrics

If you're able to decipher the lyrics to the whole of V.D. Boiler then please do get in touch.

External Links

http://www.hiljaiset.sci.fi/punknet/moped_e.htm

http://www.punk77.co.uk/groups/johnnymoped.htm

http://www.acerecords.co.uk/labels/chislabel.html

http://www.officialdamned.com

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